Karem Herrera joined Public Advocates at the beginning of the summer as Legal Administrative Coordinator. During her undergraduate career, Karem experienced first-hand the power of community-led activism, and she brings her passion for connecting with our community partners to impact change to Public Advocates. When Karem isn’t busy advancing social justice, you can likely find her spending time with friends over coffee or exploring interesting places in the Bay Area.
Q: Why did you decide to join Public Advocates?
Karem: After graduating from UC Berkeley, I knew I wanted to continue working on issues of social justice. Throughout my undergrad career, I saw how powerful student-led and community-led activism can be. Along with my co-leaders in the Berkeley Anti-Trafficking Coalition, we mobilized students to take action against modern-day slavery happening in the Bay Area. I saw similar success at UC Berkeley while working with the Public Service Center, the Blum Center for Developing Economies and the Restorative Justice Center. In short, local and community led organizing is a powerful thing. Public Advocates functions with this key knowledge at its core. Part of Public Advocates’ mission is to “challenge the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices”. After reading about how Public Advocates has worked to make this a reality and meeting the talented, diverse and hard-working staff, I knew this was the place to be.
Q: What do you find satisfying about your field?
Karem: My position at Public Advocates gives me the unique opportunity to support both the Education Equity and Metropolitan Equity Teams. I am able to directly work with and learn from staff while simultaneously engaging in critical dialogue about social justice. I also enjoy that people at Public Advocates are genuinely dedicated to this work. Additionally, my position allows me to connect with our community partners. It’s very rewarding to see the impact our work.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside work?
Karem: I love spending time with friends (especially over coffee), walking to the Berkeley marina and exploring new places! I also love watching the ocean, reading a good book and making hot chocolate on a rainy night.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
“When you get into an tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”
– Harriet Beecher Stowe