Mihal Rose Ansik, Harvard Law School
A New Way of Life Reentry Project
As a Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow with A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Mihal Ansik will support families impacted by incarceration and criminalization who are navigating the dependency court process. By opening up pathways to housing, employment, education, and treatment, ANWOL provides women leaving prison with a constellation of resources to stabilize and sustain them. For many of ANWOL’s residents, this increased access is the first critical step to reuniting with their children and rebuilding with their families. In collaboration with ANWOL’s dedicated team of social workers, organizers, reentry specialists, lawyers, and community partners, Mihal will support parents navigating dependency court proceedings after incarceration, and help eligible family caregivers secure exemptions of their conviction histories so that they can keep children in their families out of foster care facilities. Through direct legal advocacy, community education, and movement support, Mihal and ANWOL will develop a project focused on sustaining family connections, building access to reunification, and ending multi-generational cycles of incarceration.
Mihal has spent the past ten years working with people in prison and their loved ones as an educator, organizer, and advocate. While earning her Bachelors’ Degree at the University of Michigan, Mihal facilitated theater and writing workshops in correctional facilities around the state. As a workshop instructor, she used rehearsal time to help the members of her workshops file grievances, connected them to community resources, and drove them home when they were paroled. Prior to starting law school, Mihal spent five years working as a Court Advocate with the Center for Community Alternatives in Brooklyn, NY, where she advocated for incarcerated youth to be released into healing and supportive community-based alternatives to detention and developed workshops to equip youth and their families with tools for advocating for themselves as they navigated the delinquency process. At Harvard Law School, Mihal has continued to advocate alongside clients entangled in punitive systems as a Student Attorney with Harvard Defenders, the Prison Legal Assistance Project, and the Criminal Justice Institute.