Roger Life Stories

Roger Life: During DC Internships, Deepening Their Commitment to Create Change

By Anna Cohen
images of Dominion Emmanuel (left) and Blessing Pour, RWU interns studying in Washington, D.C.
Dominion Emmanuel (left) and Blessing Pour in D.C.

WASHINGTON – As part of RWU’s partnership with the Washington Internship Institute, sophomores Dominion Emmanuel and Blessing Pour are in the nation's capital this semester. Emmanuel is interning at Dzubow & Pilcher, PLLC, a D.C. immigration law firm specializing in asylum. Pour is interning for the Prisoners' Rights Initiative at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. 

In-Person with Asylum Clients: “I’m extremely blessed and fortunate to be able to go into the office. I’ve sat in on a couple of asylum interviews with clients," Emmanuel says. "You hear about some of these stories in movies, but when you are in the office talking to these people and working with them, it’s huge. These are actual people with real stories. It gives me a good change of perspective.” 

Experience Inspires Him to Help: “Working with immigration lawyers is sparking even more of a fire in me to help immigrants," Emmanuel said. "Personally, I myself am an immigrant from Nigeria. I moved to the U.S. when I was 8 years old. My parents and my whole family had to go through the immigration process. When you come to this country as an immigrant, you might not know anything about the law or know anybody in the country. Having an immigration lawyer is extremely beneficial.” 

Future Lawyer A Voice Against Racial Injustice: "I want to be a lawyer someday," Pour says, "either a defense lawyer or a prosecuting attorney. I see so many racial injustices within the system. I wanted to intern somewhere where I can speak up for others and be a voice for people who need it. These cases can be a bit draining and heartbreaking, but I've realized that I want to be a help to all people, not just those that society has deemed good. Inmates are people too, and deserve to be treated with respect." 

Opportunities to Find Her Passion, Network: "The firm I work at is a networking opportunity within itself," Pour said. "I work with five people at the firm, and also other people outside of the prison rights team. It’s amazing to have this experience to network and to see where my passion lies."

The D.C. Experience: “This weekend I went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and then to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial," Emmanuel said. "It's really cool just being in that environment and seeing the day-to-day scenery of what it is like to live in D.C. I want to be an immigration lawyer, so there’s no better place to be.” 

Emmanuel, from Burlington, Mass., is majoring in Legal Studies and Cultural Studies. Pour, from Providence, R.I., is majoring in Legal Studies and Political Science.

Washington Internship Institute Spring 2021

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