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Torri Jacobus, Head of the Office of Civil Rights for the City of Albuquerque Selected for Prestigious Public Rights Fellowship

Fellowship Will Provide Skills and Resources to Further Albuquerque as an Inclusive and Equitable City.

May 21, 2019

Torri Jacobus, Managing Assistant City Attorney, who leads the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), has been selected among just 29 government lawyers from across the nation to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Public Rights Project’s Affirmative Leaders Fellowship.

The fellowship is a one-year intensive program that will focus on training and professional development, as well as provide fellows with mentoring and access to a national network of impact litigators. Affirmative Leaders Fellows will use the skills and knowledge gained to work on a range of civil rights, economic justice, and environmental justice issues that directly impact vulnerable populations in their communities. The support will enable fellows to initiate, expand, or deepen the impact of their office’s equitable enforcement work.

“This fellowship will equip the Office of Civil Rights with the tools to appropriately identify the issues in our community, to find the cases that will have the maximum impact on the community, and to become the office that remedies problems in a way that meets the needs of our community.” said Torri Jacobus. “The fellowship will provide the resources to further develop the Office of Civil Rights into an office that affirmatively protects the rights of all of the members of our community through a full understanding of the ways in which the City can creatively and overtly protect and take action, while maximizing the resources we already have.” she added.

The Public Rights Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the gap between the values expressed in laws and the lived reality of the most vulnerable communities. The Public Rights Project empowers state and local government lawyers to affirmatively and effectively protect the core rights and freedoms that define America by providing them with knowledge and resources to proactively enforce their residents’ legal rights. Rights such as access to housing and employment, education, clean air and water.

“Congratulations to Torri and the Civil Rights Office.” said Mayor Keller. “This honor speaks to the talented and diverse leadership team that is working to make Albuquerque more inclusive and equitable for everyone.” he added. 

Mayor Tim Keller created the Office of Civil Rights in 2018 and chose Jacobus to lead the office in January. OCR is charged with promoting and protecting human rights, investigating civil rights complaints, and tackling discrimination in Albuquerque. OCR works to inform residents about their rights in areas including public accommodation, employment, and housing. Individuals may have been discriminated against if they are treated differently from others in a similar situation because of their race, ethnicity, age, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, disability, or sexual orientation and were harmed by the treatment.