Beth Ribet, PhD, JD, Director and Co-Founder
Dr. Ribet earned her doctorate from the University of California-Irvine in 2005, in Social Relations (Sociology & Anthropology), and her JD from UCLA Law in 2009, with a concentration in Critical Race Studies. She wrote her doctoral dissertation based on interviews with Jewish daughters of Holocaust survivors in the United States. In addition to her non-profit sector work, Dr. Ribet is a lecturer in Gender Studies and Disability Studies at UCLA, and has taught previously at UCLA Law and Columbia University Law, among other institutions. Virtually all of her research and teaching incorporates some focus on the role of subordination, violence and inequity in creating new disabilities, injuries and illnesses among vulnerable populations. She also speaks publicly as a survivor of violence, and a person with disabilities.
Navneet Virk, Coordinator, Homeless People's Story Project
Navneet Virk received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and has been working with, mentoring, and tutoring youth for about five years. She is currently working with elementary and middle-school students as an academic aide at A Place Called Home and is a project coordinator for Repair’s Homeless People’s Story Project. She is committed to working towards a world where we can all live with dignity and safety, one where interdependence is a core value. In her free time she loves to hermit away with a good book, tell terrible jokes, and try out new recipes.
Rachel Yiv, Intern
Professor Alina Ball directs the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic at the University of California-Hastings. The clinic prepares students for a career in corporate law and provides them an opportunity to critically explore how transactional lawyering can advance issues of economic and social justice. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Hastings, she was a Clinical Teaching Fellow with the Harrison Institute for Housing and Community Development at Georgetown University Law Center. In that role she worked with low-income residents to preserve affordable housing in the District of Columbia by representing tenant associations in the acquisition of their residential buildings and limited-equity cooperatives in the refinancing and operation of those buildings. Before her career in academia, Professor Ball was an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP, in San Francisco and Washington, DC, where her practice focused on representing private and public companies in debt, venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions transactions. She also advised nonprofit organizations on issues relating to entity formation, regulation of exempt organizations, and corporate governance. She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2008, with a specialization in Critical Race Studies, and a B.A. degree from Wellesley College, majoring in Mathematics and Spanish, with a concentration in Latin American Studies.
Julian is a human rights lawyer working to advance and protect the rights of indigenous peoples across Oceania. Licensed to practice law in Guam, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Julian founded Blue Ocean Law, a regional law firm that assists small island states and non-self-governing territories with implementing the normative obligations of international human rights law. An adjunct professor of law in the areas of international law and Pacific Islands legal systems and a United Nations-recognized expert on the international law of self-determination, Julian lectures at academic and civic institutions as well as global justice conferences around the world. Julian has published several books and law articles reframing the grassroots political struggles of indigenous and non-self-governing peoples as international human rights issues whose remedies lie beyond the borders of their enclosing states. In 2011, the Petra Foundation named Julian a national “human rights hero” in recognition of his work defending the human rights of Pacific Island peoples.
Lorraine Bonner was born and raised in New York City. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and a medical degree from Stanford Medical School. After her training she established a primary care practice in Oakland. As her work took her deeper into the experiences of her patients and their illnesses, she began to recognize the impact that a history of exposure to trauma had on physical and psychological functioning. At the same time, her own trauma history began surfacing, and she turned to sculpture as a way of processing memories and exploring associations between personal and political iterations of violent domination. Dr. Bonner is now retired after a thirty five year career in medicine, and is devoting her time to her art and writing from her home and studio in Oakland.
Anam Ella Durrani
Anam Ella Durrani is the founder of A.E.D. Designs, a successful made-to-order clothing line she established at the age of 16 years, while living in Karachi, Pakistan. She worked 14-18 hour days to launch and build the company and its brand, and helped to catalyze an influx of new Pakistani female designers, as her company achieved recognition and acclaim. She identifies becoming an entrepreneur as a teenage girl -- in defiance of social taboos and constraints limiting and stigmatizing female independence -- as her proudest accomplishment.
Anam completed her bachelors degree in 2017, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from UCLA with a major in Gender Studies and minors in Disability Studies and Labor and Workplace Studies. While at UCLA, she became an intern with Repair, and has remained active in the Repair community since graduating. She is now the CEO of Durrani Investment Corporation, and in that capacity is working in real estate development in Los Angeles. She also continues to run A.E.D. Designs from Los Angeles. In addition to her professional obligations, her work with Repair, and her communal activities as a Muslim woman in Los Angeles, she engages in humanitarian work in her home countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is presently building a school for street children in Karachi.
Christina was formerly an Associate at HCM Strategists, a Washington-DC based public policy firm. In that role, Christina served as a Policy Lead for Lumina Foundation’s Strategy Labs, providing content expertise to state leaders in order to reduce equity gaps in higher education attainment. Prior to her work at HCM, Christina led various education initiatives, serving as Education Policy Director at the Alliance for a Better Community (“ABC”) and as Policy Director at Parent Revolution, non-profit organizations working to promote educational equity in communities of color. She honed her policy and advocacy skills in a variety of leadership roles in public interest organizations such as Amnesty International and Neighborhood Legal Services. Christina earned her bachelor’s degree at UCLA with a triple major in Political Science, History, and International Development Studies. She remained at UCLA for law school, specializing in Public Interest Law & Policy and Critical Race Studies. Christina then traveled east to pursue her master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was awarded a Zuckerman Fellowship by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership. She was subsequently awarded an Education Pioneers Fellowship. Passionate about community service, Christina helped to develop the Juvenile Justice Project, a collaboration between UCLA and Learning Rights Law Center focused on addressing the school-to-prison pipeline. A certified Life Coach, and cancer and Lyme Disease survivor, Christina practices daily gratitude and enjoys watching lovely sunsets alongside her husband.
Elyn is the Co-Founder and Faculty Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is also the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at USC's Gould School of Law, an adjunct professor of Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine, and assistant faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. In 2009, she received the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant." Despite battling schizophrenia and acute psychosis since she was a teenager, Saks is a nationally recognized scholar in mental health law, criminal law and the ethical dimensions of medical research.
After decades of hiding her illness, Saks published a memoir about her struggles and successes in The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness (Hyperion, 2007). The book won far-reaching acclaim from literary critics and advocacy groups.
Her memoir, has garnered such honors as:
- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, the “Genius Grant”
- A New York Times “Extended Best Seller”
- The Time Magazine “Top Ten Nonfiction Books of the Year” Award
- An Honorary LLD from Pepperdine University
- A Hospital ward named after her at Pelham Woods Hospital in Dorking, England
Saks’ scholarship and practice include:
- Worked as a legal intern in the Mental Health Law Project at Yale Legal Services
- Represented Patients in Civil Commitment Hearings and Abuse/Neglect Cases
- Consulted as an Expert in Cases Involving Multiple Personality Disorder and the Law
- Teaches Civil and Criminal Mental Health Law
- Trained as Research Psychoanalyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis
- Writes widely in the area of law and mental health
Claudia Pena, JD, Co-Founder
Claudia was formerly the Statewide Director of the California Civil Rights Coalition (CCRC) for over five years. While there, Claudia focused on the California budget and progressive taxation policies, voting rights, racial justice, equal opportunity and coordinating ballot initiative efforts. She was previously Equal Justice Society’s Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow where she researched issues of implicit bias and equal protection cases. Claudia graduated from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Critical Race Studies (CRS) and as part of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy. While at UCLA School of Law, Claudia served as the Prisoner Reentry Initiative coordinator, which is a collaboration between CRS and A New Way of Life, a non-profit organization in Watts, Calif., providing housing and reentry support to formerly incarcerated women and their children. She has also worked at the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Lawyers for Human Rights and for the Badil Center for Refugee Rights in Bethlehem, Palestine. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Mills College. Claudia is a lecturing professor at UCLA in both the School of Law and the Department of Gender Studies.
Claudia was Repair's co-director from 2014-2018. She has transitioned out of a leadership position with Repair as of January 2019, but continues to support the organization, and to advance its social justice mission through her own ongoing community work.
OF COUNSEL TO REPAIR
A professor of law and women's studies, Chris has taught at UCLA since 1983. Her primary research field is feminist legal theory, and she has led courses in employment discrimination, critical race theory, disability rights and sexual orientation. She helped develop the UCLA School of Law's policies and procedures on accommodations for students with disabilities, and has served on faculty advisory committees for the Women's Law Journal and for UCLA's Critical Race Studies program and Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Law.
Professor Littleton joined UCLA after serving as law clerk to Judge Warren J. Ferguson of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She began teaching in the women's studies interdepartmental program in 1985 and served as chair for several terms. Since 2008, she has served as founding chair of the Department of Women's Studies, where she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses. She also was interim director of the Center for the Study of Women from 2003 to 2006.
Professor Littleton has served on Chancellor's advisory committees on the gay and lesbian community, on working groups and task forces on disability issues, and on the recent Academic Programs Task Force. She also has been active in the community as a founding member of the Board of the California Women's Law Center and a volunteer attorney for several nonprofit civil rights organizations. She has conducted or overseen investigations for the university and the City of Los Angeles involving allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and disability, has conducted trainings on sex and sexual orientation discrimination and served as special master or consultant for major settlements in cases brought by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning housing and public accommodations discrimination. She earned a bachelor's degree with highest distinction in secondary education and communications from Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from Harvard University.