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Using law to promote social change, three social entrepreneurs join CDDRL community this fall

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The fall 2012 Social Entrepreneurs in Residence at Stanford. From left: Zainah Anwar, Mazibuko Jara, and Emily Arnold-Fernandez.

In September, CDDRL's Program on Social Entrepreneurship (PSE) welcomed its second class of Social Entrepreneurs in Residence at Stanford (SEERS) who hail from Malaysia, South Africa and the San Francisco Bay Area. Using the law as a vehicle for social change, this group is collaboratively working to advance the rights of women, minority groups and refugees around the world.

The three SEERS will spend the fall quarter in residence at Stanford connecting to the academic community through a course taught at the Stanford Law School - Law, Social Entrepreneurship and Social Change - by PSE Faculty Director Deborah L. Rhode.

An international figure recognized for her work to help change domestic laws in Malaysia, Zainah Anwar helped launch two ground-breaking civil society organizations working to promote women's rights in Islam. Anwar founded Sisters in Islam in Malaysia and its pioneering work led to the creation of Musawah, a global movement of equality and justice in the Muslim family. 

A social justice activist in South Africa, Mazibuko Jara works to support sustainable rural development for communities residing in the Eastern Cape province. Founder of the Ntinga Ntaba ka Ndoda organization, Jara protects the practice of customary law and the interests of rural African women. As a spokesperson for the Democratic Left Front, Jara also works to bring together anti-corporate social justice movements in South Africa challenging the government and powerful interest groups.   

A lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Emily Arnold-Fernández works to defend refugee rights and transform the lives of refugee communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Founder of the organization Asylum Access, Fernández empowers refugees to build a new life in their new homes by providing legal aid, community legal empowerment, policy advocacy and strategic litigation.

The three SEERS will spend the quarter engaging the student population at Stanford, pursuing their own research agenda and taking some time to reflect on their work and next steps. CDDRL will be hosting a public event with the SEERS on Nov. 14 at 5 pm in the Bechtel conference room at Encina Hall to introduce them more formally to the Stanford community.