Urooj is a 31-year-old human rights lawyer and activist who has spent her legal career protecting the rights of refugees around the world and citizens here at home. She is a loving and caring daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and community member. She is a long-time resident of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where she lived with both her parents up until her father passed away in 2012. Urooj currently lives with her elderly mother in an apartment and she is her mother’s primary caretaker. Her family, friends, and community are shocked and hurt. Her love and passion for her community are being muddled by misinformation.
She spent the last year representing low income New Yorkers facing eviction. She received both her undergraduate degree and law degree from Fordham University where she championed, and continues to champion, civil rights.
During her time at Fordham Law, Urooj co-directed an LGBTQI human rights defender training in Cape Town, South Africa and contributed to a shadow report on behalf of Afro-Colombian women submitted to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD).
The events of Saturday May 30th have flipped her world upside down. Urooj was arrested during the protests in response to the murder of George Floyd. She has since been indicted on seven counts for causing damage by fire to an abandoned and previously vandalized police vehicle and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 years.
She is currently detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY, a federal prison. She cannot be released until the court rules on the bond appeal. Even after that decision, Urooj has a long road ahead. She has to navigate a complicated legal system.