Hanae Togami ’19 has cultivated her interest in social justice inside and out of the classroom, a fact echoed by her post-graduation plans. As one of this year’s six Haverford House Fellows, Togami will be working at the nonprofit HIAS PA, furthering a dedication to advocacy-work that she initiated while at Haverford.
“HIAS provides a range of support for immigrant families, including legal assistance in the citizenship process and resettlement services, such as helping find and prepare a place for the family to live,” Togami said. “The goal is to help families settle into their new communities with as much ease as possible.”
The biology major, who minored in environmental studies and concentrated in peace justice and human rights [PJHR], is eager to work for HIAS’ mission. She’ll be informed by both her academic and prior occupational background.
“My experience in the PJHR concentration definitely set me up to pursue justice work in Philadelphia,” Togami said. “Through my classes with [visiting professor] Adam Rosenblatt and [CPGC Executive Director] Eric Hartman, I was able to build relationships with various organizations in Philadelphia which fostered my passion for nonprofit work.”
Throughout the duration of her stay at Haverford, Togami assisted two different organizations, the Center for Creative Works and the Earth Quaker Action Team. At each of these groups, she advocated for local neurodivergent artists and environmental sustainability respectively, honing skills she developed in an on-campus position at the Quaker Affairs Office.
“During my time in the office, I had the privilege of being a part of many efforts to promote acceptance and social justice on and off campus,” she reflected. “That position gave me the opportunity to live my values in a unique way, and I am forever grateful for the skills I will carry from it into my future work.”
Though Togami will be tackling a new challenge at HIAS, she’s well equipped for the task with tools she’s acquired over the recent years. As a Haverford House Fellow, she’ll be able to develop her continued pursuit of advocacy while maintaining a bond with the roots of much of her work.
“I know that I will never sacrifice my core values in my career,” said Togami. “I believe this sentiment to be the result of a liberal arts education that taught me to be critical of societal norms and to live a life that speaks.”