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Sonari Chidi

Sonari Chidi

2019 LMJ Scholar Recipient


Microsoft Scholar
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Sonari Chidi is an Owen J. Roberts Scholar and a Dean’s Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he matriculated following his junior year at Penn’s College of Arts & Sciences. At the College, Sonari majored in Cinema & Media Studies with a minor in Africana Studies.

In 2017, Sonari traveled to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya to work alongside refugee filmmakers, to create orientation videos for new arrivals to the camp. He also taught workshops on screenwriting as a tool for social change. While in Kenya, he decided to get the opinions of refugees on their representation in the media. The end result, Shattering Refuge, is an award-winning documentary that has screened nationally and internationally and been utilized by immigration attorneys to contextualize the current policy climate.

Upon his return from Kenya, he co-founded and served as President of Penn FilmAid, a student organization dedicated to making an impact for refugees & immigrants through film, panel discussions, partnerships with NGOs, member training workshops and direct support for refugee filmmakers. He was awarded Penn’s Sol Feinstone Award for the greatest contribution to social change, both within and outside Penn.

He was also named a United Nations & MCN Millennium Fellow, a CAMRA Fellow, a Moral Voices Fellow, and a Fox Research & Service Fellow. Sonari is interested in the intersection of film, media, and the law and looks forward to practicing corporate law at a firm with dynamic practice areas, a substantive pro bono commitment, and support for community service.

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