Student Working Groups

The Fares Center funds Student Working Groups based at the Center. Each group is led by a student Research Assistant based at Fares who responsible for leading the group and serving as the liaison between students and the Center. These groups are focused on a country, area, or theme related to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and may engage in a number of academic activities, including but not limited to: conducting research, organizing speaker events, preparing publications, and creating a podcast. 

Each group receives up to $1,000 in funding (for Spring Semester 2023) in order to implement all intended activities. In addition to the grant, all groups are compensated on an hourly basis at the standard Fletcher rate for no more than 50 hours per semester. 

At the end of the program, each group publishes a series of short articles, a traditional research paper, and/or podcast about their work on the Fares Center website, and publication elsewhere is highly encouraged.  

If desired, the groups can ask the Fares Center to match them with a faculty advisor from Fletcher, Tufts, the greater Boston area, or a university in the Middle East and North Africa. If a group wishes to identify an advisor prior to proposal submission, they can contact the Fares Center as soon as a theme has been solidified. The group members and/or the coordinator may work with this advisor on their Capstone Project (provided their main advisor is a Fletcher faculty), help with research, or engage in a practicum at the professor’s home institution. The Fares Center will work with your group’s theme in order to find a suitable faculty advisor. 

If you are interested in forming a Student Working Group keep an eye out for announcements at the beginning of each semester. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the Center Coordinator with any questions, email:  

Spring 2023 Student Working Groups 

Promoting Land Rights Education in the Settler Colonial Environments  

Ashira Pelt (MALD ‘23) and Kimberly Martin (MALD ‘23) 

Land rights protections for marginalized communities are integral in creating global stability and reducing generational wealth gaps. Through this research, the group aims to develop an international curriculum to help families from marginalized communities combat land loss and build generational wealth, paying special attention to how these challenges become more complex under settler colonial regimes. They will use a comparative analysis of land rights protection curriculums in the United States and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. 

The team leads Ashira Pelt and Kimberly Martin are the co-founders of Active Heirs, a non-profit that empowers black heirs property owners in the U.S. by strengthening family cohesion and by providing families with resources and partnerships to build generational wealth. Active Heirs implements a 12-month curriculum, engaging families in bi-weekly meetings to build their legal knowledge base, strengthen their business acumen, create tools to address intergenerational trauma, and connect with a broader network of black heirs property owners.