Our Staff and Board of Directors


Unlocal Team

Staff

 

Michele LampachMichele Lampach, Esq.
Executive Director

Michele Lampach is the Founder and Executive Director of UnLocal, Inc., which was incubated by the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law’s Incubator Program, an incubating space for non-profits and individual law practices that address the legal needs of communities traditionally underserved by legal services.  At UnLocal, Inc., her legal representation focuses on serving immigrant youth. Michele also leads the Grassroots Immigrant Collaborative Project, a project which partners with community-based organizations, schools and other community settings to deliver education, trainings and legal consultations to immigrants. Michele is interested in utilizing technology, art and other media to distribute accurate, reliable information to immigrant communities in non-traditional settings and locations. Michele is an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.

michele@unlocal.org

646-216-8210
MadhuriMadhuri Kumar, Esq.

Probono Counsel

Madhuri is a CUNY School of Law alum. There, as a member of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic, she worked on a range of immigration issues: criminal deportation, Haitian TPS applications, workers’ rights, including full representation of an immigrant in deportation proceedings for whom she helped obtain cancellation of removal.  From 2012 until 2015, Madhuri was the Project Director for the Immigrant Child Legal Services Project for which she represented undocumented youth in their Special Immigrant Juvenile cases. Madhuri is a member of the New York state bar. She speaks fluent Hindi.

madhuri@unlocal.org

646-216-8210

Tania MattosTania Mattos
Education and Outreach Director

Tania Mattos is an immigrant and worker rights organizer who was born in La Paz, Bolivia and was raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. For over 7 years, she has worked with and for the rights of undocumented immigrants, restaurant workers, vendors, and most recently on displacement policies directly affecting the immigrant community. Prior to this, she worked on environmental rights and indigenous peoples rights within the United Nations. Tania holds a B.S. in Marketing, a M.A. in Political Science, and is a Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative.

tania@unlocal.org

646-216-8210

Michael Younker, Esq.
Senior Staff Attorney

Michael C. Younker utilizes his varied background in his role as Senior Staff Attorney to assist on a diversity of immigration advocacy.  Throughout his career, Michael has worked in international affairs through the government of Japan with the JET Programme, as a human rights organizer and researcher in Mongolia, and as an advocate for children in general.  He served in a judicial clerkship with the Superior Court of New Jersey and worked at a boutique family law firm getting exposure to a myriad of issues, especially custody and child welfare matters.  Most recently, Michael worked at Catholic Charities of Newark handling many immigration cases for child migrants and asylum seekers from around the world. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Rutgers Law School and speaks Spanish and some Japanese.

michael@unlocal.org

Steffi Romano, Esq.
Staff Attorney, Equal Justice Works Fellow

Steffi Romano is a Staff Attorney and an Equal Justice Works Fellow at UnLocal, Inc., sponsored by the Paul Rapoport Foundation. In advancement of UnLocal’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the quality of legal services for immigrant communities, Steffi will proudly serve low-income LGBTQ youth of color. Having previously worked closely with immigrant community members in various capacities, such as a teacher, legal intern, and volunteer Spanish interpreter, Steffi is honored to continue to advocate for, be inspired by, and grow with, such community members. Steffi is a graduate of the CUNY School of Law, and received the Class of 2016 Dave Fields Prize Award for Academic Achievement and Student Leadership. Steffi speaks Spanish.

steffi@unlocal.org

646-216-8210

Jake Newton

Jake Newton
Development and Operations Associate

As UnLocal’s Development Associate, Jake oversees the organization’s fundraising and capacity-building efforts. He applies for grants, fosters relationships with prospective donors and develops strategies to improve the sustainability of UnLocal’s various immigrant-serving programs. Jake was born and raised in Redmond, Washington, and had originally relocated for a year of AmeriCorps VISTA service in 2016 at UnLocal to aid in New York City’s fight against immigrant poverty and the challenges that accompany undocumented legal status. After completing a successful year, he now works with UnLocal full-time. Jake graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science in the spring of 2016. 

 

jake@unlocal.org

646-216-8210

Elizabeth Fulton
Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow

Lizzie Fulton is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow with UnLocal, Inc. While in law school, Lizzie engaged in workers’ rights, anti-discrimination law, and international human rights law, all of which inspired her to pursue a career advocating for immigrants. She clerked at the East Bay Community Law Center’s Immigration Law Clinic, researched access to medical care in immigrant detention centers with Human Rights Watch, and interned with the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center on a federal national origin-based employment discrimination case. Lizzie previously taught at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and supported civil society groups while working at the Open Society Foundations. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Berkeley Law School. She speaks Spanish and Mandarin.

elizabeth@unlocal.org 

646-216-8210

Katia Cardoza
Immigrant Justice Corps Community Fellow

“Immigration Law is an issue that is dear to my heart; although I was born in El Paso, Texas, I was raised in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. At the age of 15, I moved back to Texas to search for better opportunities. During this time, I faced the difficulties of learning a new language, living in a foreign country, and being unable to speak for myself. Although the adjustment was difficult , there were so many individuals that supported me, and encouraged me to keep fighting for my dream. Because of this, it is my responsibility to give back to my community and empower those who have been forced to stay behind the shadows. I work with UnLocal because I believe that everyone has the right to equal opportunity. As an Immigrant Justice Corps Community Fellow, I’ve been given the privilege to interact with community members and assist those who need the most, through legal representation and education. My client’s stories have motivated me to keep advocating for change, to be more involved with my community, and to never forget that we are doing this together.”

katia@unlocal.org 

646-216-8210

Juilana Perez Calle
Law Graduate

Juliana Pérez Calle is a recent graduate of American University Washington College of Law. In law school she focused on the intersection of immigrant civil rights, international human rights, and corporate accountability. She interned at several branches of government including the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Senate Judiciary Committee where she worked on various immigrant rights policy. Prior to law school Juliana worked as a paralegal doing Sandy disaster relief work, focusing on the needs of impacted immigrants. Juliana has a B.A from Stony Brook University where she was an undocumented student activist for undocumented student rights and immigration reform.

juliana@unlocal.org 

646-216-8210

Rufina Muniz
Social Work Intern

Rufina Muniz obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work from college of Staten Island and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Fordham University. While in school, Rufina interned at SIBN as a case manager where she advocated for the most vulnerable population. As a social work intern at Unlocal, Rufina collaborates with attorneys to better serve the immigrant community by assessing clients and families and connecting them to services based on their needs. Rufina’s commitment to advocate for the immigrant community stemmed from her parents. As a daughter of immigrants, Rufina witnessed the challenges, obtacles and social injustices immigrants faced through the experiences of her family. Thus, motivating her to become a voice for the underserved population and make a difference in someone’s life.

rufina@unlocal.org 

646-216-8210

Maritza Lopez 
Social Media Intern

Maritza Lopez is a Lehman College graduate, having obtained her Bachelor’s in English. Growing up as a child of an undocumented immigrant parent, she knew first-hand the difficulties of obtaining citizenship after watching her father voluntarily leave the country and study for his citizenship test. After going through an intensive digital marketing apprenticeship – combined with her obsession with news and the internet – she found her passion in social media and joined UnLocal to aid in their mission through various social media channels to get the word out on immigrant issues. She is the recipient of the John W. Wieler Award as a Shakespeare Scholar and was a Finalist for Beginnings: A Student Playwright’s Festival, where her play was produced and ran at the Lehman theater stages.

socialmedia@unlocal.org

646-216-8210

Board of Directors

Christhian Diaz Website PhotoChristhian Diaz, Board Chair

Christhian Diaz grew up in Latin America and then in Florida where as an undocumented immigrant he and his mother cleaned offices, did housekeeping, and worked in chain restaurants. He then attended art school in New York City where he began making performance art, while trying to create a space to unpack the sagging sack of emotions that his own family, immigration, and labor histories have left him. He currently photographs artwork and teaches art to kids for a living. In recent years, Christhian has performed at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA PS1 Printshop, the Museum of Arts and Design, Movement Research at Judson Church, The Center for Performance Research, and Beam Center, among others. He was a 2013 MacDowell fellow, co-organizer of TradeSchool.coop, and currently organizes a series of open performance nights out of his living room called Fifteen Minutes of Doing Something Now.

Emily FarrellEmily Farrell

As an educator and Australian migrant to the US, Emily Farrell was drawn to UnLocal’s mission to provide both legal services and educational outreach to communities in need. As a researcher, Emily worked in the field of sociolinguistics, examining intersections of language and migration. She received her PhD in Linguistics from Macquarie University in 2009 and has taught at the University of Sydney and the Free University, Berlin. She currently works for the academic publisher, De Gruyter.

 

Alexandra

Alexandra Goncalves-Pena, Esq.

Alexandra Goncalves-Pena is a supervising attorney with the Immigrant Rights Program of the American Friends Service Committee in Newark, New Jersey. Specializing in removal defense and asylum law, Alexandra has practiced immigration law since 2006 following her graduation from Vermont Law School.  During her career Alexandra has represented hundreds of individuals before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and has worked on numerous appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Max Hadler, Board Vice Chair

Max Hadler is the Health Advocacy Specialist at the New York Immigration Coalition. He works on a range of issues and campaigns at the city and state levels to improve health access, coverage, and delivery for immigrant communities. Prior to joining the NYIC he worked in many capacities related to access to care for immigrants, including project director and research associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, researcher at the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center, and Spanish-English medical interpreter at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Max received an MPH from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and an MA in Latin American Studies from the UCLA International Institute. He also holds a BA in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University.

Michele LamMichele Lampachpach, Esq.

Michele Lampach is the Founder and Executive Director of UnLocal, Inc., which was incubated by the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law’s Incubator Program, an incubating space for non-profits and individual law practices that address the legal needs of communities traditionally underserved by legal services.  At UnLocal, Inc., her legal representation focuses on serving immigrant youth. Michele also leads the Grassroots Immigrant Collaborative Project, a project which partners with community-based organizations, schools and other community settings to deliver education, trainings and legal consultations to immigrants. Michele is interested in utilizing technology, art and other media to distribute accurate, reliable information to immigrant communities in non-traditional settings and locations. Michele is an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.

Laura Stein

Laura Stein, Board Treasurer

Laura Stein is one of the co-founders of UnLocal. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Dancing Grounds in New Orleans, LA.  Prior to moving to New Orleans, Laura lived in New York City, working in education policy and management. She was Director of Education & Production at Dancewave (2010-2011), NYC Executive Director of RISE (2007-2009), Education Pioneers Fellow (2007), Policy Associate at New Visions for Public Schools (2005-2007) and Program Assistant at the Social Science Research Council (2003-2005). In 2010, she lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she helped create a girls’ Hip Hop program for Tiny Toones. She received her Masters in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from NYU‘s Wagner School of Public Service in 2008. She received her B.A. in the College of Social Studies from Wesleyan University in 2003.