ATHENS — Ohio University junior Micaela Beatham-Garcia has been named as a member of the prestigious 2021 Newman Civic Fellowship Cohort. Beatham-Garcia is the Director of the ACLU of Ohio campus chapter and a pre-law associate at the Center for Law, Justice, and Culture.

"The ACLU is inspiring to me in its relentless pursuit of ensuring the civil liberties of all people, regardless of their intersectional identity. In a time of intense political polarization and conflict, it's relieving to be able to work with an organization that is steadfast in its values and its work to create a more equitable democracy," noted Beatham-Garcia on her relationship to the ACLU of Ohio.

"Micaela, an Action Team leader at the Ohio University, is a diligent leader and volunteer organizer. During the inaugural Listening Campaign for the ACLU of Ohio, Micaela gathered many students to discuss the issues that they and their communities were facing. Through this process, OU was able to engage students deeply even in the midst of a pandemic to share their hopes, dreams and needs for a better future. Under her leadership, the Action Team at Ohio University has become one of the strongest chapters of Campus Teams across Ohio," noted Elizabeth Hopkins, Organizing Director at the ACLU of Ohio.  

The ACLU of Ohio issues a warm congratulations to Micaela on this incredible honor!

The below article was originally posted from Ohio University News.

Ohio University junior Micaela Beatham-García has been named as a member of the prestigious 2021 Newman Civic Fellowship Cohort.

A political science pre-law major, Beatham-García is also pursuing an undergraduate certificate in law, justice & culture. She was nominated to the fellowship due to her dedication to effecting social change and promoting civic engagement and dialogue.

Larry Hayman, Center for Law, Justice & Culture pre-law adviser and mentor in the Newman Fellowship, said that he 'cannot think of a more deserving student than Micaela for this honor. I look forward to working with her over the next year as she continues to channel her passions for equality, justice and service.”

As the director of the ACLU of Ohio University, the only ACLU chapter in Southeast Ohio, Beatham-García organizes with ACLU Ohio at the state level and actively brings together diverse groups of differing political ideologies to facilitate meaningful conversation and mutual respect.

'I have fought to make a space for everyone, regardless of political stances or values, to make a better polis,” said Beatham-García. 'The Newman Civic Fellowship’s qualities are what I value most: learning, personal growth, collaboration, and overcoming inequalities.”

Beatham-García has also led voter registration initiatives, educational presentations, and fundraisers to address issues of inequality and bring about sustainable and equitable system change. She hopes to continue to work towards these goals by pursing a law degree.

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis nominated Beatham-García for the national award and said she is a very deserving recipient.

'I strongly believe in Micaela’s steadfast dedication and motivation to develop and implement approaches that meet the unique needs of the southeast Ohio and Appalachian region,” President Nellis said. 'I am proud of how she works to bring community members together, creating a sense of agency so that her efforts will be sustained even after her graduation.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a national year-long program that recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. This is the first time an Ohio University student has received this recognition.

'I am elated that Micaela’s work on civic education and dialogue is being recognized and celebrated,” said Mary Nally, director of the Center for Campus & Community Engagement, who coordinated the nomination committee. 'Micaela’s efforts with regional and state community and campus partners embody the guiding principles of community engagement at Ohio University.”

This year, the cohort consists of 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico. The complete list of fellows is available on Campus Compact’s Website: 2021 Newman Civic Fellows.