Koya partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) on the search for an Executive Director. ACLU-MN protects and promotes the civil liberties of all Minnesotans through legal, legislative and community engagement work. The organization’s issues include racial justice, and immigrant, free speech, privacy, reproductive health care, and LGBTQ rights.
The search resulted in the recruitment of Deepinder Singh Mayell to the role.
Mayell has two decades of advocacy and legal experience protecting the rights and dignity of marginalized and disenfranchised communities.
He joins the ACLU-MN from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he served as Executive Director of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans. He was instrumental during the establishment of this nationally recognized clinical law program, designed to reform the immigration system through litigation and advocacy.
Before that, Mayell was Director of the Refugee & Immigrant Program at The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis. He headed this legal services program, which supported pro bono attorneys who represent asylum seekers throughout the United States.
Mayell has spent his career working for vulnerable populations. His past research work has included the constitutionality of prolonged detention of prisoners at Guantanamo, and research on labor conditions in apparel factories in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Mayell began his career as a community organizer in Boston, working with community members, primarily youth, on a variety of issues related to anti-racism and anti-militarism.
Mayell also has a strong background in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging efforts, serving as co-chair of the Racial Justice and Equity Committee at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is an appointed member of the Legal Services Advisory Committee, which allocates funding from the state Legislature to statewide legal services programs.
Mayell holds a BA from Boston College. He earned his JD from Brooklyn Law School.