Two F&ESers Receive Fellowships for Global Justice and Women’s Rights

gruber fellows 2015
Erin Beasley, left, and Sarah Casson
Erin Beasley ’15 M.E.M., and Sarah Casson ’15 M.E.Sc., have each received a Gruber Fellowship in Global Justice and Women’s Rights for projects to implement environmental programs in vulnerable parts of the world.
As a Fellow, Beasley will work to improve food security, women’s leadership, and rural livelihoods in central Bolivia in the face of climate change.
Casson will work with the WILD Foundation to research and develop international wilderness protection guidelines that ensure indigenous peoples’ rights to their traditional territories.
The Gruber program is a Yale University program administered by Yale Law School that helps foster international understanding and dialogue in the fields of global justice and women’s rights. The fellowships allow recent graduates of Yale graduate and professional schools to spend a year working abroad on these issues.

“The Gruber Fellowship provides invaluable support for Yale students and graduates working to advance the rights of underrepresented populations around the world,” said F&ES Dean Peter Crane. “We are extremely proud that this year's winners include two F&ES students, Erin and Sarah, who are taking a lead role in improving economic opportunity, food security, and access to vital resources in communities facing profound challenges.” 

In Bolivia, Beasley will collaborate with Gaia Pacha — a national environmental non-profit foundation — on an assessment of adaptation initiatives for small-scale agriculture.
Beasley, who will graduate from F&ES this year, also will develop a radio program designed by women farmers for women farmers as they implement adaptive practices in their farms. The radio program will give women farmers an opportunity to share adaptation projects in their own terms, and listeners will learn more about the diversity of projects and programs that other farmers are implementing.
Prior to her graduate studies, she was assistant director of a non-profit organization in Bolivia, supporting public health, human rights, education, and environmental quality.
“I’m thrilled that this opportunity allows me to return to Bolivia, where I was working before attending F&ES, and elevate my contribution in the area of climate change adaptation and agricultural development,” said Beasley.

As a Gruber Fellow, Casson will work to craft wilderness protection guidelines that better represent the rights of indigenous peoples globally.
According to Casson, who also will graduate from F&ES this year, indigenous peoples often receive unequal access to natural resources, restricted from their historic homelands, or forcibly relocated in the name of wilderness protection and development.
Working with the WILD Foundation, Casson will help develop new guidelines along with an international team of professionals drawn from indigenous communities, research institutions, wilderness managers, and non-governmental organizations. Ultimately, she will lead the drafting and presentation of these guidelines at the conference of the International Union of Conserving Nature (IUCN), which annually convenes thousands of the world’s leading environmental experts.

“I’m quite grateful for the Gruber Fellowship,” Casson said. “It is a great opportunity to continue research I’ve begun at F&ES and to work alongside some incredible people.”

View the full list of winners.
PUBLISHED: February 5, 2015
Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles posted prior to July 1, 2020, refer to the School's name at that time.

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