Georgetown senior researches global disabilities rights policies, wins Marshall Scholarship

Georgetown senior Anna Landre (SFS’21), who researches and studies some of the most pressing problems facing disabled communities, has earned a prestigious 2021 Marshall Scholarship. Landre is among three Georgetown students and an alumnus who received the award; the university had the greatest number of Marshall recipients from any one institution this year. 

Landre will use her scholarship to pursue two master’s degrees at the London School of Economic and Political Science next fall, focusing on international development and humanitarian emergencies, and international social and public policy.

Throughout her time majoring in regional and comparative studies at Georgetown—with minors in disability studies and international development studies—Landre has conducted research at the intersection of disability studies and global development. Specifically, the Marshall Scholar has focused on the regional contexts of accessibility and disability rights in Latin America. 

Since 2018, she has been collecting data and other types of evidence for a paper on disability rights policies in Latin America, which she will co-author with Rev. Matthew Carnes, S.J., director of the Center for Latin American Studies. In recent months, Landre also has presented findings on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of those with disabilities and pre-existing conditions in publications and interviews for The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Landre’s experiences as a disability rights advocate and wheelchair user inform her academic pursuits. “Disability continues to be forgotten in most policy contexts, perceived as rare and apolitical,” she explains. “With my lived experience as a wheelchair user and my academic background… I aim to pursue a career crafting and implementing disability policy across the globe. I believe the key to achieving increased equity is transnational disability community-building and comparative policy research.”

Campus and community advocacy

Landre has been a leading advocate for students and people with disabilities, on campus, in her local DC community, and in the national media. Since February 2019, she has served as a commissioner for the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which advocates for the needs of constituents to the DC government. 

She also was elected to be the DC Chapter Leader for ADAPT (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today), where she organizes nonviolent civil disobedience actions to assert the civil and human rights of disabled people in the United States.

Related: Georgetown student working to shift the conversation about disabilities >

Ultimately, Landre hopes that graduate study will enable her to pursue her ultimate goal: to develop policies that fill in the gaps limiting opportunities for people with disabilities in employment, education, and public spaces, all over the world. 

She seeks to eventually work for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Landre also wants to establish an alliance or nonprofit organization to coordinate the actions of disability rights advocates from across the globe—connections that “will help disability activists learn from one another, build community across borders, and pursue a more inclusive and just world,” she says.

Carnes has no doubt his student will leave a positive mark as she embarks onto the next stage of her career. “She is incredibly smart, remarkably well-prepared, and highly motivated,” he says. “She will make a huge impact in the future in the fields of accessibility and inclusion.”

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