About Rights and Refuge

Welcome to Rights and Refuge, a magazine that highlights student voices on immigration, migration, and asylum-related topics.

Our new platform is designed with an interdisciplinary lens in mind. Rights and Refuge resides at the intersection of public health, international studies, and an analysis of the local policy decisions being made in our state, California. Our writers hail from a vast array of academic backgrounds, particularly from majors associated with a pre-med or pre-law track. This mix of foundations is purposeful in an attempt to reconceptualize migration issues as public health dilemmas, and to advocate for greater access to healthcare for marginalized peoples on state, national, and international levels. We encourage our writers to contribute their unique opinions and experiences on such grave situations, and we are excited to share our work with you.

If you are interested in becoming a staff writer or contributing a guest article, please click on the APPLY link below.

Meet the Staff

Annabelle Werner Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Annabelle is a fourth-year at UCLA majoring in political science, international development studies, and human rights and international legal studies. She hopes R & R will continue to be a vibrant student platform that discusses topics of migration from many angles while also showcasing students’ impressive passion, understanding, and discourse on these pertinent topics.

Fun Fact about Annabelle: she’s addicted to oat milk lattes and rewatching Suits.

Yechan Choi Staff Writer

Yechan Choi is a fourth-year political science major and East Asian studies minor at UCLA. He is passionate about public policy and international relations. Yechan was drawn to write for R&R because it covers a wide scope of complex and interlinked topics. Being able to write for a publication that understands this and encourages holistic thinking was definitely a major motivator for him.

A fun fact about Yechan: he has never broken a bone.

Kelsey Kuwahara Staff Writer

Kelsey is a cognitive science at UCLA. She believes that many have slipped through the cracks of our current healthcare systems, but one patient population that often gets overlooked is migrant groups. As an aspiring physician, she understands that is important to be mindful, aware, and not overlook the psychological and physical trauma that many of these folks face. She affirms that there are many downstream effects that trickle into our everyday lives, and are perpetuated by today’s societal norms, which is why these intersectional studies are so integral to making tangible and sustainable change.

 A fun fact about Kelsey: she is fully convinced Spotify is the best form of social media.

Julia Urquizo Staff Writer

Sara Rashidi is an MPH / MIA dual degree candidate at Columbia University, studying Health Policy, Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy, and Political & Economic Development. Her main areas of interest within Public Health include health systems strengthening, healthcare disparities & access in conflict settings, and immigrant/refugee health. Sara has contributed to many writings and interviews around social justice issues through UCLA Daily Bruin, Los Angeles Downtown News, and Global Voices among others. As a first-generation immigrant herself, she is an advocate for quality health and social resources access for marginalized immigrant communities. Sara hopes R&R will cover the true lens behind the complex politics and struggles of immigration and asylum seeking processes. 

Fun Fact about Sara: She is an only-child who loves meeting new people, cultures, and learning languages.

Teresa “Terri” Arsinian Staff Writer

Terri is a sociology major at UCLA who wants to write for R&R because she has always loved to write and social justice is incredibly important to her. So, when she discovered Rights & Refuge, she felt that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to be a part of a team with like-minded people. 

A fun fact about Terri: she’s left handed!