J. L. Pottenger, Jr. ("Jay") was a tireless advocate for fair housing and equal justice. His dedication to housing justice was expressed through Open Communities Alliance (OCA), an organization that he helped to co-found. OCA aims to unwind Connecticut's ugly history of government-perpetuated segregation as part of an effort to reduce social, economic, and health disparities experienced by low-income families of color.
His passion for housing justice also included devotion to the Yale Law School Clinical Program, where he served as a professor and mentor for 45 years. Jay gave students clinical experience working on cases, including OCA matters ranging from. Jay was a rare combination of teacher, advocate, litigator, counselor, and a visionary champion for justice. Jay would fight for the rights of the oppressed when no one else would.
Jay's legacy of a life devoted to service is being honored with the Pottenger Fellowship Fund. This Fund will provide stipends to students interning at Open Communities Alliance.
During our summer internship program, Pottenger Fellows will learn the history and laws of housing segregation, gain skills in advocacy and organizing, and deepen their understanding of legislation and litigation. The Pottenger Fellowship is open to undergraduate and graduate/law students, with a focus on students in, or interested in attending, law school. Students will be able to apply in March, with candidates selected by April of each year. As funds become available, this Fellowship may also be open to students desiring an internship during the academic year.
We invite you to contribute to the Fund as a way to honor Jay, advance OCA's mission, and join us as we nurture young people in their pursuit of justice, fair housing and a more equitable world