July 25, 2018
As a Public Service Venture Fund Fellow at Project South, Collin Poirot is working to vindicate the rights of marginalized immigrant communities across the South, while providing legal support to grassroots movements with a focus on combating surveillance and racial profiling. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas, Collin was heavily involved in student organizing in support of immigrant rights, civil rights, and Palestinian human rights. Collin brought this organizing background to Harvard Law School, where he helped launch Reclaim Harvard Law, and mobilized his classmates to demand a change in Harvard Law School’s official crest, which at the time was directly modeled upon the family crest of slaver and murderer Isaac Royall. When campus dining workers were forced to go on strike for fair healthcare and wages in October of 2016, Collin helped organize students to join the picket lines in support of workers’ rights and wrote about the strike for The Nation magazine. Collin spent his law school summers learning the methods and skills of a community lawyer, first as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Community Justice Project in Miami, and later as an intern at the Peoples Law Office in Chicago, where he was honored to work closely with Palestinian freedom fighter and political prisoner Rasmea Odeh. Collin’s community-centered approach to legal work is based on the examples set by his mentors at the Community Justice Project and the Peoples Law Office, such as Chuck Elsesser and Michael Deutsch. Before graduating from HLS, Collin participated in the Harvard Immigration Project, the International Human Rights Clinic, and the Crimmigration Clinic. Collin also served as co-chair of the Harvard Law School chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and has organized and participated in more than a dozen panels and speaking engagements, including as a plenary speaker at the national conventions of Students for a Democratic Society in 2016 and 2017. Collin’s extensive background in community organizing and movement building with immigrant and working class communities provides the foundation for his work at Project South.