Part 4: This Is Only The Beginning

Ozi for blogPosted by Matsui Washington Fellow Ozi Emeziem

There is something oddly terrifying about becoming a ‘grown up.’

As a kid, I aspired to it.
It is access to an unknown world and it is enticing.
With each year, I suddenly get closer.
My responsibility expands, my knowledge grows, my dependence shortens.
Yet, excitement soon evolves into fear as I realize that things don’t ‘just happen.’
By college, I diagnose myself with a phobia for change, stagnation, and failure.


D.C. is my chance.
There is a magic about the city, a flair that words cannot justly describe.
When walking the streets, purpose becomes evident – you are in a place of wonders.
A friend describes it as a movie set, it’s not real, and is meant to serve moments rather than be the place where one chooses to settle down…
It has given me the right moments to move forward in my life with a zest for opportunities and action.

I am terrified of adulthood.
But this is not an end, it is merely the beginning

Ozi Emeziem is a senior at UC Berkeley, studying comparative literature and ethnic studies. She is currently interning with the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.


Part III: Fast-Paced City Life

Ozi for blogPosted by Matsui Washington Fellow Ozi Emeziem

Since I last wrote, my time in D. C. seems more eventful than what I thought it could possibly be. I have been tired often, however, it is actually really enjoyable to stay on my feet! As I said in my last post, my birthday passed and one of my best friends spent the week with me, which was such a nice reminder of home without actually having to go home. We spent a lot of time at the monuments and memorials, but our favorite was our visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. It was a special day as it was the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March, so when we made it to the memorial, we met plenty of people from around the country who came to celebrate including some of my friends from Berkeley! The MLK memorial is beautiful. My favorite part are the engraved quotes from Dr. King…definitely words that will sit with me. I also got to finally visit the National Zoo as both of us love animals. In fact, we went there three times in her short stay! Continue reading

Part II: Getting in the Swing of Things

Ozi for blogPosted by Matsui Washington Fellow Ozi Emeziem

Since, I last wrote, things have changed – mainly, I no longer feel like a foreigner in the capital! Suddenly, I got into the swing of things…as if I always wake up at 6:30 a.m. for work, or that I always come home and chef up dinner as well as lunch for the next day, or that my office has always been just around the corner from top notch lawyers, or better yet, that I always go to the gym. As much as I love Cal and miss family and friends, I have to say, I have come to love the independence and the vast amount of opportunities in D.C.!

I intern at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and each day that I spend here, I find my curiosity grows. There’s a chance here to come along for the ride and witness action. To be a part of an organization that has dedicated itself to advancing civil rights. The Lawyers’ Committee was created at the request of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in response to the need to protect civil rights not just in the streets, but in the courts. It is composed of a wide range of professionals including attorneys, analysts, lobbyists, publicity specialists, grassroots organizers, and even cartographers, who all work on the principal projects of Fair Housing, Employment Discrimination, Education, and Voting Rights, in order to ensure equal justice through law. Continue reading

Navigating the Capital: Tales of Ozi in DC

Ozi for blog

Posted by Matsui Washington Fellow Ozi Emeziem

Part One- Arriving in a New Place & Discovery of a New Space!

The days leading up to my departure seem so surreal… Between classes, final projects, and preparations for my trip, I haven’t had the time to sit and think about the fact that I will be relocating in a few days. I am a Libra and change has never been comforting. I enjoy the way things are, how I know things to be, I live in the past, and the idea of evolution, transformation, renewal…it does not necessarily enthuse me. Rather, it scares me. It is the unknown, nothing that I can ever efficiently be prepared for because I have no clue as to what I am truly preparing for. As a Libra, one of the major concepts that I must overcome is my fear of change; I must learn to embrace it instead of run away from it and as my senior year arises, there are a lot of changes in store for me. Continue reading