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Mikayla Tillery awarded Newman Civic Fellowship

Mikayla Tillery, a junior double majoring in urban studies and African and African American studies at Stanford University, has been awarded the prestigious Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellowship. Mikayla is committed to housing justice, climate justice, and racial equity and has been involved in advocacy and public service since high school.

Fellows in the year-long Newman Civic Fellowship program receive mentorship and other support to help them enhance their skills and develop strategies for social change. They are connected to a cohort of engaged student leaders from universities nationwide who were nominated for their leadership potential and community engagement.

Growing up as a Black woman in a predominantly white and rural neighborhood in western Pennsylvania, Mikayla's personal experiences have fueled her dedication to social justice. As a high school student, she became the first Black person to serve on the Butler Township Board of Commissioners, and spearheaded initiatives to promote civic engagement among youth. She also advocated for legislation addressing the mortality rates of pregnant Black women through her organization, Students for Black Maternal Health.

At Stanford, Mikayla has continued her advocacy work, focusing on housing and energy justice through legislative efforts and community engagement. As a volunteer for the Palo Alto Renters’ Association through Stanford’s Just Transitions Policy Lab course, she created public participation documents to reach the more than 800,000 renters in Santa Clara County.

Mikayla was a Partnerships for Climate Justice in the Bay Area fellow last summer. This fellowship, offered through the Haas Center for Public Service, enables students to work with a Bay Area partner organization on a community-engaged project focused on climate resilience. On behalf of her host organization, the Greenlining Institute, Mikayla made recommendations for equitable access to the SolSmart program, which helps local governments implement solar energy.

Mikayla's leadership extends beyond her activism into campus governance, where she serves as a senator in the Associated Students of Stanford University council and represents undergraduate students on the Stanford Board of Trustees Committee on Land, Buildings, and Real Estate. Additionally, she has played a pivotal role in fostering community and support for Black students through programs at the Black Community Service Center.

Mikayla was also recently awarded a Truman Scholarship to support her graduate studies. She plans to attend law school and continue her pursuit of fair housing and eviction advocacy.

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