Bowdoin College, 2005; B.A. English and Philosophy, Minor
University of Virginia, 2008; M.A. English Literature
Jonathan Pérez’s professional goals have focused on working with social justice groups, to bridge ideas, empower communities, and enact practical policy goals. As a former community organizer in Crown Heights for New York Council Woman Letitia James, he reached out to underserved communities in Brooklyn, and experienced the need for community outreach. After receiving a M.A. in English literature and Latino Studies, he presented papers on immigration reform and cultural studies at a number of conferences. Following his academic trajectory, he pursued a Ph.D., in American Studies at the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and The Modern Experience at Rutgers. He was also an adjunct professor in Multicultural Studies at Hunter College in New York. Jon started as a policy intern for the Director of Public Policy and Economic Development for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in New York. He then moved to DC, where he worked as a legislative intern, for Congressman Raúl Grijalva, handling a number of congressional issues. His most memorable experience was obtaining a sufficient number of Congressional signatures to challenge an Arizona immigration bill, which required police response to those who only appeared to be illegal, as unconstitutional, in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, on behalf of the ACLU, NAACP, and MALDEF. In his first semester at Brooklyn Law, Jon was a law intern at the Brennan Center for Justice and Democracy working on election reform. This summer, he will be working as a law clerk at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) in Washington, DC.