Minneapolis, MN – Colleen Kelly, an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by 3M and Fish & Richardson, has been selected to receive a 2015 Veterans’ Voices “On the Rise” Award, which recognizes and honors Minnesotans who have honorably served in the U.S. Armed Forces and are making extraordinary contributions to their communities. Kelly is currently on a two-year legal assignment at the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), where she provides civil legal assistance to homeless veterans or veterans in crisis throughout
Minnesota. She and the other award winners will be honored at an event on September 11, 2015 at the University of St. Thomas.
“I am deeply grateful not only for this award, but also for the support of 3M and Fish & Richardson,” said Kelly. “Because of their sponsorship of the Equal Justice Works Fellowship at MACV, I am able to do this important work of service to veterans.”
“With her sense of service and her ability to combine dedication and expertise, Colleen has earned this recognition many times over,” said Ivan Fong, 3M’s senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel and an Equal Justice Works board member. “Her contributions – whether to the Armed Forces or to her own community – have been extraordinary, and she has both our gratitude and our congratulations.”
Kelly served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 10 years and is a two-time veteran of the Iraq War. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow attorney at MACV, she has worked to expand legal access for female veterans, with a particular focus on helping these veterans transition from soldier to civilian and educating others about the challenges facing female veterans and their barriers to inclusion. Previously, Kelly taught high school chemistry in the South Bronx of New York City and secondary sciences in Guyana, South America. She received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, her M.Ed. from City College of New York, and her B.A. from the College of St. Scholastica.
“We are so proud of the work that Colleen is doing, and feel privileged to partner with our client 3M to co-sponsor our first-ever Equal Justice Works Fellow,” said Ann Cathcart Chaplin, managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s Twin Cities office. “It is vitally important for veterans to receive support as they transition back to civilian life after their important service to our country.”
The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. The program places new lawyers in two-year assignments at nonprofit pubic interest organizations where they implement projects to meet community needs. Fellows receive a competitive salary (paid for by their sponsors), generous loan repayment assistance, connections to their prominent sponsors, participation in trainings, and additional support. For more information, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org.
The mission of the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) is to provide assistance throughout Minnesota to positively motivated veterans and their families who are homeless or experiencing other life crisis. With a passion for serving those in Minnesota who first served us, MACV has been assisting veterans since 1990. Many homeless and veterans’ organizations recognize MACV’s transitional and permanent housing programs as a model for the nation. For more information visit www.mac-v.org
The Minnesota Humanities Center, whose mission is to build a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society, focuses on bringing the unique resources of the humanities to the challenges and opportunities of our times. Veterans’ Voices is a unique initiative that amplifies, honors, and recognizes the stories and contributions of Minnesota veterans in their own voice through plays, art, discussion groups, and the Veterans’ Voices Award. The Humanities Center was established by the state in 1971 and is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.minnesotahumanities.org.
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