We are excited to announce that the inaugural recipient of the Athan G. Theoharis Summer Internship Program is Sinyetta Hill.
Each year, the ACLU of Wisconsin welcomes interns who work alongside our dedicated staff to gain experience, learn more about civil rights and civil liberties, and make meaningful memories that they can build on as they begin their careers.
Last year, we announced the creation of the Athan G. Theoharis Summer Internship. Dr. Theoharis was born to immigrant parents in the 1930s and became a historian, documenting the FBI’s violations of privacy and abuses of power, a teacher, and an author, publishing 23 books and dozens of articles, as well as contributing to three films.
Dr. Theoharis also served on the ACLU of Wisconsin’s state board of directors, including two terms as board president and the Milwaukee Chapter Board of Directors, often speaking on behalf of the organization on surveillance and privacy issues.
When Dr. Theoharis passed in 2021, his children established a fund in his honor to support internships at the ACLU of Wisconsin for college students who would otherwise be financially unable to take an unpaid internship at a nonprofit organization. This college student interested in civil rights and civil liberties will receive a summer strident to support them for working for 10 weeks over the summer.
Sinyetta is originally from Tennessee but moved to Milwaukee more than seven years ago. She’s a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, majoring in philosophy and political science, on the pre-law track. Her significant passions include voting rights, human rights, women’s rights, and advocating against capital punishment.
She’s heavily involved at UW-Milwaukee, acting as the at-large senator in the Student Association. She also serves on the Students of Color Advocacy Committee, is an officer in Mock Trial, and is heavily involved in CRU, a Christian student organization.
In addition to her involvement at school, she also does political work for a candidate running for Senate. She has worked for Rise Free, a student- and youth-led nonprofit working to make higher education accessible and help all young people participate in democracy, where she has worked on and off for two years. This summer, she plans to work to get more people registered to vote and provide information about candidates.
“As a woman of color, I want to spend more time focusing on issues that hit close to home. I am excited to work with ACLU and participate in things that will better the community,” Sinyetta said. “ I look forward to getting some experience in the legal area since I do dream of becoming a defense attorney someday. I do well with advocating for myself and others, and I can’t wait to be a part of the team.”
We are thrilled to have Sinyetta join the team this summer, helping us protect Wisconsinites' civil rights and civil liberties, just as Athan did his entire career. We are grateful to the Theoharis family for their generosity and the time and dedication it took to establish this program. Athan’s tireless commitment to the ACLU and his lifelong commitment to protecting all civil rights and liberties will never be forgotten.