Humanity in Action Announces the Recipients of the 2018 Pat Cox Fellowship

December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017 – Humanity in Action is pleased to introduce the recipients of the 2018 Pat Cox-Humanity in Action Fellowship

Each year, Humanity in Action brings together a small group of outstanding students and young professionals from around the world for three-month professional fellowships in the European Parliament and Brussels-based NGOs. The program, which honors Pat Cox, former President and current member of the European Parliament, requires participants to have a keen interest in human rights and minority issues. Participants conduct substantial, policy-based and administrative work to gain insight into the legislative and decision-making processes in Brussels. Fellows also attend a series of requisite seminars, lectures and site visits led by key policy experts and practitioners, to engage in intellectual exchange and discussion on various topics concerning contemporary policies and politics in the Europe Union. Since the program was lauched in 2005, it has helped more than 100 young people gain invaluable work experience at the European Parliament or with a Brussels-based NGO. 

The 2018 program will run from January 26 through April 27, 2018. To learn more, please visit

2018 Fellows, Pat Cox-Humanity in Action Fellowship

Roberto Flores (United States, 2017) is currently finishing their studies at Florida State University, Roberto is working toward a BM in piano performance and a BA in interdisciplinary social science with a minor in economics. They were born in Mexico City and moved to south Texas at the age of ten. As a student advocate, Roberto led their university’s LGBTQ+ organization, focusing on sexual health and intra-student mentorship. Interested in housing policy and its effects on historically marginalized communities, Roberto plans to pursue graduate degrees in law and public policy. Still, they hope to continue their musical career and explore compositions from Latin America, highlighting the contributions of indigenous and Afro-descendent people. Roberto is a 2017 John Lewis Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Atlanta program).

Joanna Kopacka (Poland, 2016) just completed her Master’s degree in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, Israel. Her research focused on the bystander phenomenon. During her studies, Joanna interned in Yad Vashem and participated in the project of volunteer work with Holocaust survivors. Beyond academia, she is dedicated to issues of discrimination, xenophobia and the fight for a more inclusive and welcoming Europe. She has been a Campaigns Assistant at WeMove.EU. While in Poland, she was involved in coordinating the first field survey held by "Matzeva Project". She also assisted the chief curator of a contemporary art exhibition entitled "Women Commentators". As her involvement in the transparency project "I Have a Right to Know" triggered her interest in non-governmental activity and human rights advocacy, she hopes to continue working and contributing to this field in the future. Joanna is a 2016 Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Warsaw program).

Kathryn McDonald (United States, 2016) is an attorney with expertise in international human rights and humanitarian law, national security, and post-conflict nation-building. She began her international career with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where she advised on immigration cases concerning foreign human rights violators and facilitated their removal from the United States. She then joined the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice and liaised with government actors, civil society, and multilateral organizations on issues of transitional justice in Africa and the Former Yugoslavia. Most recently, Kathryn engaged diplomatically on contemporary violations of international criminal law in Ukraine for the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. In 2017 Kathryn was awarded an LL.M. with Highest Honors in International and Comparative Law from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. She received her J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School and her B.A. cum laude in Sociology from the College of St. Catherine. Kathryn is a 2016 Diversity & Diplomacy Humanity in Action Senior Fellow.

Inès Seddiki (France, 2013) holds a BA in economics and a Master’s degree in Corporate Social Responsibility from Grenoble Graduate School of Business. She focuses on improving the impact of big corporations (such as Deloitte or AXA) on the environment and society at large with a focus on civil society. Inès was born and raised in a "banlieue", the underprivileged suburbs around Paris. In 2016, she founded GHETT'UP, an organization aiming at empowering the youth of the banlieues. The goal of the organization is to provide with tools and opportunities for them to engage in society and achieve their goals. GHETT'UP has organized 10+ training sessions, workshops and events for more than 1000 young leaders. Her area of focus is social justice and the fight against discriminations. Inès is a 2013 Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Paris program).

Darija Sesar (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2017) has been professionally engaged in the NGO sector in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) for eight years, dealing mostly with education, security and youth-related matters. She obtained a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Mostar. She wrote her thesis on “BiH and NATO Alliance”. As a grantee of the European Commission, Darija spent a year studying at the University of Granada in Spain. Since 2014, she is a member of the OSCE Mission to BiH Youth Advisory Group. In 2016, she was elected as a Fellow of the British Embassy in BiH and Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a one-month study visit to the UK. Darija is native in Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian and fluent in English and Spanish. Her mission is to inspire leadership among her peers in BiH, through non-formal education and to empower next generation of citizens to pursue a meaningful change in their communities. Darija is a 2017 Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Amsterdam program).

Sami Sarper Yazıcılaroğlu (Turkey, 2012) Sami graduated from Sabanci University with a degree in Social and Political Sciences and received his postgraduate certification from King's College London. His areas of interest are minority rights, social justice and conflict studies, which he focused on while studying part time at University of Amsterdam. Sami spent his summers researching issues ranging from voting behaviour in Turkey to sexual orientation and health policy in Europe. He is in the process of publishing two papers with the data he collected. He volunteered at several environmental projects, refugee camps and social transformation initiatives. Additionally, Sami was a Lantos fellow working for Congressman Pascrell in 2013, working mainly on labour and environmental issues. Sami is a 2012 Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Paris program). 

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