SPRINGFIELD, MA (03/16/2022) Staff Attorney Jessica Marcellino of Western New England University School of Law’s Center for Social Justice (the Center) will join a distinguished panel of local service providers on March 31, 2022 in a virtual discussion presented by the Women’s Fund. “Wait…What?! International Transgender Day of Visibility” will reveal important and affordable services for Trans and Gender Diverse communities in western Massachusetts.
Marcellino is the founder of GAIP, the Gender Affirming Identification Project, which is the newest project of the Center.
“The Center is honored to be able to contribute to the LGBTQ+ community in such an essential way,” said Marcellino. “Unfortunately, many in the LGBTQ+ community face significant barriers to obtaining something as fundamental as accurate government identification. The Center recognized this need and that was the impetus behind GAIP.”
The Gender Affirming Identification Project is a pro bono legal program that provides comprehensive guidance to persons seeking gender affirming legal services and assists Massachusetts adult residents seeking gender affirming changes to their state and federal identification documents. In addition, GAIP is able to assist with non-legal recommendations for gender affirming related services, such as access to health insurance or finding a Primary Care Physician. Outreach and resources are focused on the four counties of Western MA: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire.
Staff Attorney Jessica Marcellino joined the Center in March 2021 and graduated from WNE Law School in 2012 as a Public Interest Scholar. Her law school and professional experience centered on assisting those in need including positions with: CPCS Public Defenders in the Springfield Superior Court; Law Clerk for the Springfield Housing Authority; and finally, counsel at a private injury firm in Springfield for seven years prior to joining the Center. Jessica currently serves as the co-chair of the Access to Justice Commission’s Consumer Debt Subcommittee. Jessica oversees the Center’s client-facing initiatives and serves as the lead attorney of each of the Center’s free legal services programs.
“We are excited to help those in need and we have pro bono legal volunteers and attorneys ready to assist,” added Marcellino. The GAIP is made possible by the support of the Gervino-Ward LGBTQ+ annual Summer Stipend.
Since its launch in 2019, the Center for Social Justice has achieved great success in accomplishing its mission of advancing justice through research, education, advocacy, innovation, and public engagement. The Center’s pro-bono initiatives assists marginalized and underserved, BIPOC, low-income, women, LBGTQ+, and immigrant communities.
Learn more about Western New England University’s Center for Social Justice and its programs.
Western New England University (WNE) is a private, nationally ranked, comprehensive institution with a focus on preparing work-ready and world-ready graduates. Founded in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts as a division of Northeastern College, WNE’s 215-acre suburban campus serves more than 3,700 students, including over 2,500 full-time undergraduates. More than 47,000 alumni have earned degrees through its 90+ undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and School of Law. Students come from 39 U.S. states and territories and 23 countries. Of 45,104 living alumni, 30% remain within the region, residing in the four Western Massachusetts counties and northern Connecticut.
WNE is classified among nationally ranked universities in US News and World Report, and among the Top 100 Undergraduate Engineering programs, and in the Doctoral/Professional Universities category in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.