Brenda Alvarez

Development Associate

Pamela Benitez

Social Media and Communication Strategist

Diana Castillo

Community Outreach Fellow​

Jackeline Cruz

Rapid Response Legal Collaborative Social Worker

Assata Davis

Immigrant Justice Corps Community Fellow

Elizabeth Fulton, Esq.

Senior Staff Attorney​

Brenda Alvarez

Miembro AmeriCorps VISTA

Pamela Benitez

Social Media/Communications Strategist

Diana Castillo

Community Outreach Fellow​

Assata Davis

Immigrant Justice Corps Community Fellow​

Jackeline Cruz, MA,LMSW

Rapid Response Legal Collaborative Social Worker ​

Elizabeth Fulton, Esq.

Senior Staff Attorney​

Dennise Hernandez

Education and Outreach Coordinator​

Dennise Hernandez

Education and Outreach Coordinator​

Victoria Jeon

Equal Justice Works Fellow​

Angelica Lara

Education and Outreach Director​

Terry Lawson

Executive Director​

Maria Marroquin, Esq.

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow​

Eva Mayhabal Davis

Intake Associate​

Victoria Jeon

Equal Justice Works Fellow

Angelica Lara

Education and Outreach Director​

Terry Lawson

Executive Director​

Maria Marroquin, Esq.

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow​

Eva Mayhabal Davis

Intake Associate​

Jake Newton

Development and Operations manager​

Jessica Olive, Esq

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Justice Fellow

Juliana Perez Calle, Esq.

Rapid Response Staff Attorney

Rebecca Press

Legal Director

Jake Newton

Development and Operations manager​

Jessica Olive, Esq.

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Justice Fellow

Juliana Perez Calle, Esq.

Rapid Response Staff Attorney

Rebecca Press, Esq.

Legal Director

Michael Younker, Esq.

Supervising Attorney

Michael Younker

Supervising Attorney

Board members

Board member​

Christhian C. Diaz

Board chair​

Max Hadler

Board vicepresident​

Lina Cherfas

Board member​

Christhian C. Diaz

Board chair

Max Hadler

Board member​

Aria Isberto

Board member​

Yuniya Khan

Board member​

An Le

Board member​

Ilena Parker

Board member​

Board member​

Board member​

Ilena Parker

Board member​

An Le​

Board member​

Brenda Alvarez

AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow

brenda@unlocal.org

Brenda is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at UnLocal, where she supports the organization’s efforts through capacity-building work. Being interested in a legal profession and desire to make a difference, she traveled to New York to help UnLocal’s team fight for immigrant rights. Brenda graduated from the University of Idaho with a double major in Philosophy and Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology. During her undergrad, she was a member of the Society of Women in Philosophy (SWIP).

Pamela Benitez

Social Media/Communications Strategist

Pamela Benitez is a Social Media/Communications strategist at Unlocal. She is a CUNY graduate and business owner. During undergrad she organized around Dream Teams and education justice. When she's not doing media work for Unlocal she is working on her jewelry business Pink Cove Treasures. In her spare time she likes to create art and cook.

Diana Castillo

Community Outreach Fellow

diana@unlocal.org

Diana Castillo is from Queens, New York with roots in Bolivia and Ecuador. Diana graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and minors in Latinx Studies and Education Studies. At IC, Diana became involved in various grassroots organizations focused on creating reentry opportunity programs for formerly incarcerated individuals and advocating for immigrant rights and local reform. She served as the community organizer for the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition and the Committee on Decolonial Affairs. After falling in love with the work she was doing outside of the classroom, Diana pursued internships within the nonprofit sector, interning with WITNESS and the Ultimate Reentry Opportunity Program. At Unlocal, Diana is the Community Outreach Fellow and will be working to continue building community partnerships and providing accessible resources to the community. “I am excited to support UnLocals’ mission of providing accessible educational resources along with legal support as a vital tool for empowering minoritized communities.

Jackeline Cruz, MA, LMSW

Rapid Response Legal Collaborative Social Worker

jackeline@unlocal.org

Jackeline (Jackie) is a graduate of Silberman’s School of Social Work and primarily supports the Rapid Response Legal Collaborative and the Immigrant Wellness team at UnLocal. As a first generation immigrant, she is passionate about advancing equity in over-exploited and under-resourced immigrant communities and creating healing spaces for those who suffer at the forefront of broken and racialized systems. Her clinical approach is rooted in anti-oppressive and culturally inclusive trauma-informed practices. She has experience providing court advocacy and therapeutic services to youth and families as an alternative to incarceration. She also holds a M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Brooklyn College and is a 2014 published author in the journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy for her work on a proposed structural intervention addressing sexual health communication among the LGBTQ+ community. She contributed to projects at Columbia University’s Global Mental Health & Stigma Lab, Brooklyn College’s Psychophysiology Lab, and the PRIDE Health Research Consortium researching mental health, juvenile delinquency, and HIV prevention efforts. Jackie looks forward to holistically supporting UnLocal participants and continuing the fight to abolish carceral systems.

Assata Davis

Immigrant Justice Corps' Community Fellow

Assata is an Immigrant Justice Corps’ Community Fellow serving at UnLocal who uses her love of creativity, languages, and communication to effect positive social change. She is so excited to be a part of UnLocal’s mission and to work towards a more equitable immigration system. After completing a year-long communications internship at the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights she returned as a consultant to help launch NNIRR’s Human Rights on the Borderlands Campaign. As a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advocate at her University, Assata worked directly with administrators through the organization she founded, True Inclusion, to develop new curriculum and foster a more inclusive environment for students of color. Assata graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Political Science and a double-minor in Arabic and Spanish.

Elizabeth Fulton, Esq.

Senior Staff Attorney

elizabeth@unlocal.org

Lizzie Fulton is a staff attorney 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. Prior to becoming an attorney, Lizzie taught at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and supported civil society groups while working at the Open Society Foundations. More recently, she worked with the Instituto Para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI) in Mexico City on US-Mexico transnational issues, with a focus on representing asylum seekers forced to return to Mexico under the MPP program. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Berkeley Law School. She speaks Spanish and Mandarin.

AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow

Brenda Alvarez

Brenda is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at UnLocal, where she supports the organization’s efforts through capacity-building work. Being interested in a legal profession and desire to make a difference, she traveled to New York to help UnLocal’s team fight for immigrant rights. Brenda graduated from the University of Idaho with a double major in Philosophy and Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology. During her undergrad, she was a member of the Society of Women in Philosophy (SWIP).

Pamela Benitez

Social Media/Communications strategist

Pamela Benitez is a Social Media/Communications Strategist at Unlocal. She is a CUNY graduate and business owner. During undergrad she organized around Dream Teams and education justice. When she's not doing media work for Unlocal she is working on her jewelry business Pink Cove Treasures. In her spare time she likes to create art and cook.

Community Outreach Fellow

Diana Castillo

Diana Castillo is from Queens, New York with roots in Bolivia and Ecuador. Diana graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and minors in Latinx Studies and Education Studies. At IC, Diana became involved in various grassroots organizations focused on creating reentry opportunity programs for formerly incarcerated individuals and advocating for immigrant rights and local reform. She served as the community organizer for the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition and the Committee on Decolonial Affairs. After falling in love with the work she was doing outside of the classroom, Diana pursued internships within the nonprofit sector, interning with WITNESS and the Ultimate Reentry Opportunity Program. At Unlocal, Diana is the Community Outreach Fellow and will be working to continue building community partnerships and providing accessible resources to the community. “I am excited to support UnLocals’ mission of providing accessible educational resources along with legal support as a vital tool for empowering minoritized communities.

Assata Davis

Immigrant Justice Corps' Community Fellow

Assata is an Immigrant Justice Corps’ Community Fellow serving at UnLocal who uses her love of creativity, languages, and communication to effect positive social change. She is so excited to be a part of UnLocal’s mission and to work towards a more equitable immigration system. After completing a year-long communications internship at the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights she returned as a consultant to help launch NNIRR’s Human Rights on the Borderlands Campaign. As a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advocate at her University, Assata worked directly with administrators through the organization she founded, True Inclusion, to develop new curriculum and foster a more inclusive environment for students of color. Assata graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Political Science and a double-minor in Arabic and Spanish.

Rapid Response Legal Collaborative Social Worker

Jackeline Cruz

jackeline@unlocal.org

Jackeline (Jackie) is a graduate of Silberman’s School of Social Work and primarily supports the Rapid Response Legal Collaborative and the Immigrant Wellness team at UnLocal. As a first generation immigrant, she is passionate about advancing equity in over-exploited and under-resourced immigrant communities and creating healing spaces for those who suffer at the forefront of broken and racialized systems. Her clinical approach is rooted in anti-oppressive and culturally inclusive trauma-informed practices. She has experience providing court advocacy and therapeutic services to youth and families as an alternative to incarceration. She also holds a M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Brooklyn College and is a 2014 published author in the journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy for her work on a proposed structural intervention addressing sexual health communication among the LGBTQ+ community. She contributed to projects at Columbia University’s Global Mental Health & Stigma Lab, Brooklyn College’s Psychophysiology Lab, and the PRIDE Health Research Consortium researching mental health, juvenile delinquency, and HIV prevention efforts. Jackie looks forward to holistically supporting UnLocal participants and continuing the fight to abolish carceral systems.

Elizabeth Fulton

Senior Staff Attorney

Lizzie Fulton is a staff attorney 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. Prior to becoming an attorney, Lizzie taught at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and supported civil society groups while working at the Open Society Foundations. More recently, she worked with the Instituto Para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI) in Mexico City on US-Mexico transnational issues, with a focus on representing asylum seekers forced to return to Mexico under the MPP program. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Berkeley Law School. She speaks Spanish and Mandarin.

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Dennise Hernandez

Dennise Hernandez is passionate about social change and advocacy for immigrant communities. She holds a B. A. in Government from Dartmouth College where she directed the Coalition for Immigration Reform and Equality at Dartmouth, one of very few immigrant rights organizations in the Upper Valley. Within this role, she advocated directly for undocumented students and conducted outreach to local migrant farmworker communities. She believes in making education accessible to all, irrespective of immigration status, and she brings past experience in non profit development, grassroots organizing, and policy research to her role as UnLocal’s Education and Outreach Coordinator.

Dennise Hernandez

Education and Outreach Coordinator

dennise@unlocal.org

Dennise Hernandez is passionate about social change and advocacy for immigrant communities. She holds a B. A. in Government from Dartmouth College where she directed the Coalition for Immigration Reform and Equality at Dartmouth, one of very few immigrant rights organizations in the Upper Valley. Within this role, she advocated directly for undocumented students and conducted outreach to local migrant farmworker communities. She believes in making education accessible to all, irrespective of immigration status, and she brings past experience in non profit development, grassroots organizing, and policy research to her role as UnLocal’s Education and Outreach Coordinator.

Victoria Jeon

Equal Justice Works Fellow

victoria@unlocal.org

Victoria Jeon (She/Her or They Them) is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at UnLocal, where she works primarily with the Queer Immigrant Justice Project. Prior to and during law school, Victoria has worked with various groups of people who are often underrepresented in human rights or the legal fields, such as North Korean refugees to South Korea, low-income artists, polyamorous families, and LGBTQ+ communities of color. Victoria has a B.A. in History and Legal Studies from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is invested in seeing more racial diversity in LGBTQ+ communities, and is thrilled to be a part of UnLocal to not only help LGBTQ+ immigrants —many of whom are people of color—, but also to pursue a longer term goal to expand the reach of QIJP to be more inclusive.

Angelica Lara

Education and Outreach Director​

angelica@unlocal.org

Angelica Lara is UnLocal’s Education and Outreach Director. She was raised in Queens, New York and is deeply committed to advocacy as a tool of education, communication, and history for creating sustainability for New York City’s undocumented communities. She is the resident Dramaturg with the ALAT company with which she participates in efforts to dismantle and create alternatives to a system that creates harm in our homes and communities, as well as serving as a community educator and advocate. The community education we offer at UnLocal is essential for expanding our understanding of how immigration laws in the United States affect us, distributing the necessary information to make autonomous and informed decisions, and creating networks to grow and preserve our communities.​

Terry Lawson

Executive Director

terry@unlocal.org

Terry is the Executive Director of UnLocal and a long-time immigrant rights and anti-violence advocate. Terry works in close collaboration with UnLocal’s Education and Outreach, Legal, and Development teams to build collective power with New York’s immigrant communities. Terry joined UnLocal from the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) where she championed the right of immigrant New Yorkers to attend court without fear of ICE arrest and helped secure a court rule, a federal court injunction, and legislation ending the practice. Prior to IDP, Terry was the Director of the Family and Immigration Unit at Bronx Legal Services where she also co-led the Bronx Domestic Violence Roundtable. Terry is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Bronx Immigration Partnership and a member of the New York State Unified Court System’s Advisory Council on Immigration Issues in Family Court, the Bronx Impact Advisory Council, and Confluence. Terry began her legal career as a litigation associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where she handled several pro bonomatters. She is the recipient of the NYC Bar Association’s 2019 Legal Services Award and was recognized as a 2018 Domestic Violence Advocate by the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. A graduate of Yale College, Terry has a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a JD from Georgetown University.​

Maria Marroquin, Esq.

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow​

maria@unlocal.org​

Maria Marroquin is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and graduate of CUNY School of Law. In law school, Maria participated in the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic where she represented non-citizens in deportation proceedings, and worked with communities targeted by the government under the pretense of national security and counterterrorism with the CLEAR Project. Maria also interned with Brooklyn Defender Services where she advocated for detained immigrants and with The Bronx Defenders where she worked with individuals in criminal proceedings. Before law school, Maria coordinated campaigns to stop deportations and facilitated Know Your Rights trainings with community members. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Dominican University.​

Eva Mayhabal Davis

Intake Associate​

eva@unlocal.org​

Eva Mayhabal Davis was born in Mexico, raised in the United States, and studied art history at the University of Washington. She is UnLocal's Intake Paralegal. Her personal immigrant narrative drives her work in immigration and advocacy for equity and social justice values through the arts and culture. Her art writing has been featured in various exhibition catalogues and publications such as the Hemispheric Institute’s Cuadernos and Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal.

In 2018, she participated in the Art & Law Program Fellowship, and in 2019 she was a Leadership Advocacy Fellow for the National Association for Latinos in Art and Culture. She is a founding member of El Salón, a meetup for cultural producers based in NYC.

Equal Justice Works Fellow

Victoria Jeon

victoria@unlocal.org

Victoria Jeon (She/Her or They Them) is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at UnLocal, where she works primarily with the Queer Immigrant Justice Project. Prior to and during law school, Victoria has worked with various groups of people who are often underrepresented in human rights or the legal fields, such as North Korean refugees to South Korea, low-income artists, polyamorous families, and LGBTQ+ communities of color. Victoria has a B.A. in History and Legal Studies from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is invested in seeing more racial diversity in LGBTQ+ communities, and is thrilled to be a part of UnLocal to not only help LGBTQ+ immigrants —many of whom are people of color—, but also to pursue a longer term goal to expand the reach of QIJP to be more inclusive.

Education and Outreach Director

Angelica Lara

Angelica Lara is UnLocal’s Education and Outreach Director. She was raised in Queens, New York and is deeply committed to advocacy as a tool of education, communication, and history for creating sustainability for New York City’s undocumented communities. She is the resident Dramaturg with the ALAT company with which she participates in efforts to dismantle and create alternatives to a system that creates harm in our homes and communities, as well as serving as a community educator and advocate. The community education we offer at UnLocal is essential for expanding our understanding of how immigration laws in the United States affect us, distributing the necessary information to make autonomous and informed decisions, and creating networks to grow and preserve our communities.

Executive Director

Terry Lawson

Terry is the Executive Director of UnLocal and a long-time immigrant rights and anti-violence advocate. Terry works in close collaboration with UnLocal’s Education and Outreach, Legal, and Development teams to build collective power with New York’s immigrant communities. Terry joined UnLocal from the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) where she championed the right of immigrant New Yorkers to attend court without fear of ICE arrest and helped secure a court rule, a federal court injunction, and legislation ending the practice. Prior to IDP, Terry was the Director of the Family and Immigration Unit at Bronx Legal Services where she also co-led the Bronx Domestic Violence Roundtable. Terry is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Bronx Immigration Partnership and a member of the New York State Unified Court System’s Advisory Council on Immigration Issues in Family Court, the Bronx Impact Advisory Council, and Confluence. Terry began her legal career as a litigation associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where she handled several pro bonomatters. She is the recipient of the NYC Bar Association’s 2019 Legal Services Award and was recognized as a 2018 Domestic Violence Advocate by the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. A graduate of Yale College, Terry has a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a JD from Georgetown University.​

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow

Maria Marroquin, Esq.

Maria Marroquin is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and graduate of CUNY School of Law. In law school, Maria participated in the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic where she represented non-citizens in deportation proceedings, and worked with communities targeted by the government under the pretense of national security and counterterrorism with the CLEAR Project. Maria also interned with Brooklyn Defender Services where she advocated for detained immigrants and with The Bronx Defenders where she worked with individuals in criminal proceedings. Before law school, Maria coordinated campaigns to stop deportations and facilitated Know Your Rights trainings with community members. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Dominican University.

Intake Associate

Eva Mayhabal Davis

Eva Mayhabal Davis was born in Mexico, raised in the United States, and studied art history at the University of Washington. She is UnLocal's Intake Paralegal. Her personal immigrant narrative drives her work in immigration and advocacy for equity and social justice values through the arts and culture. Her art writing has been featured in various exhibition catalogues and publications such as the Hemispheric Institute’s Cuadernos and Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal.

In 2018, she participated in the Art & Law Program Fellowship, and in 2019 she was a Leadership Advocacy Fellow for the National Association for Latinos in Art and Culture. She is a founding member of El Salón, a meetup for cultural producers based in NYC.

Development and Operations Manager

Jake Newton

As UnLocal’s Development and Operations 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.

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow

Jessica Olive, Esq.

Jessica is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and 2020 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Her passion for immigration law stems from working alongside members of immigrant communities. During law school, she assisted survivors of domestic violence with their U-Visas applications, advocated for asylum seekers at the Safe Harbor Clinic, and fought for detained immigrants in their removal hearings with The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. Jessica first began working with UnLocal as a legal intern in the spring of 2019. She returned in 2020 as a Pro Bono Scholar, and is now working with UnLocal as an Immigrant Justice Corp Fellow. Jessica holds a B.A. in International Studies from DePaul University.

Rapid Response Legal Collaborative Paralegal and Organizer

Juliana Perez Calle, Esq.

Juliana Pérez Calle is 2017 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.

Legal Director

Rebecca Press, Esq.

Rebecca Press is UnLocal's Legal Director leading the legal team to provide representation to New York's immigrant communities, including those at imminent risk of deportation, those fleeing persecution, the long-time undocumented, and many others. Rebecca helps UnLocal attorneys and representatives provide fierce and cutting-edge representation to immigrant New York and to work tirelessly to ensure that our communities have access to the legal representation they deserve and need. Rebecca has 10 years of experience representing immigrants of all ages in removal proceedings, with a particular focus in Asylum and Protection under the Convention Against Torture. She practices regularly before the Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, and Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition, Rebecca clerked at the New York Immigration Court through the Attorney General’s Department of Justice Honors Program. She is a 2002 graduate of Oberlin College and a 2009 graduate of the New York University School of Law. Rebecca has two joyful and rambunctious little boys.

Jake Newton

Development and Operations Manager​

jake@unlocal.org​

As UnLocal’s Development and Operations 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.​

Jessica Olive, Esq.

Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow

jessica@unlocal.org

Jessica is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and 2020 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Her passion for immigration law stems from working alongside members of immigrant communities. During law school, she assisted survivors of domestic violence with their U-Visas applications, advocated for asylum seekers at the Safe Harbor Clinic, and fought for detained immigrants in their removal hearings with The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. Jessica first began working with UnLocal as a legal intern in the spring of 2019. She returned in 2020 as a Pro Bono Scholar, and is now working with UnLocal as an Immigrant Justice Corp Fellow. Jessica holds a B.A. in International Studies from DePaul University.

Juliana Perez Calle, Esq.

Rapid Response Staff Attorney

juliana@unlocal.org

Juliana Pérez Calle is 2017 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.

Rebecca Press, Esq.

Legal Director

rebecca@unlocal.org

Rebecca Press is UnLocal's Legal Director leading the legal team to provide representation to New York's immigrant communities, including those at imminent risk of deportation, those fleeing persecution, the long-time undocumented, and many others. Rebecca helps UnLocal attorneys and representatives provide fierce and cutting-edge representation to immigrant New York and to work tirelessly to ensure that our communities have access to the legal representation they deserve and need. Rebecca has 10 years of experience representing immigrants of all ages in removal proceedings, with a particular focus in Asylum and Protection under the Convention Against Torture. She practices regularly before the Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, and Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition, Rebecca clerked at the New York Immigration Court through the Attorney General’s Department of Justice Honors Program. She is a 2002 graduate of Oberlin College and a 2009 graduate of the New York University School of Law. Rebecca has two joyful and rambunctious little boys.

Michael Younker, Esq.

Supervising Attorney

michael@unlocal.org

Michael C. Younker (he/him/his) utilizes his varied background in his role as Supervising Attorney to assist in a diversity of immigration advocacy. Throughout his career, Michael has worked in international affairs, as an advocate for children, and human rights in general. He served in a judicial clerkship and practiced family law 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 now works for UnLocal, a community-centered non-profit organization that provides direct immigration legal representation and community education to New York City’s undocumented immigrant communities. Michael also directs the Queer Immigrant Justice Project (QIJP) at UnLocal where he represents LGBTQIA+ immigrants in immigration court and at the asylum office, connecting them to health care, housing, therapy, transitioning support, and more. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Rutgers Law School.

Supervising Attorney

Michael Younker, Esq.

Michael C. Younker (he/him/his) utilizes his varied background in his role as Supervising Attorney to assist in a diversity of immigration advocacy. Throughout his career, Michael has worked in international affairs, as an advocate for children, and human rights in general. He served in a judicial clerkship and practiced family law 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 now works for UnLocal, a community-centered non-profit organization that provides direct immigration legal representation and community education to New York City’s undocumented immigrant communities. Michael also directs the Queer Immigrant Justice Project (QIJP) at UnLocal where he represents LGBTQIA+ immigrants in immigration court and at the asylum office, connecting them to health care, housing, therapy, transitioning support, and more. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Rutgers Law School.

Lina Cherfas

Board Member

Lina Cherfas independently supports mission-driven organizations with program evaluation and planning through her consulting practice, A Good Question. She draws on over 15 years of experience planning, implementing, and evaluating programs in non-profit organizations. She has supported immigrant communities with completing asylum applications and learning English. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and History from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Sc. in Forced Migration from Oxford University.

Yuniya Khan

Board Member

Originally from Guyana, South America, Yuniya has worked in the non-profit and international development fields for more than 20 years. She is the founder of The Emerge Project, a storytelling initiative that aims to elevate the voice and impact of grassroots Black entrepreneurs and community leaders in South Africa and Brazil, and is an Associate with NPAG, a professional services firm that specializes in top-tier social sector talent strategy and search. She is deeply committed to supporting programs that enhance the wellbeing and dignity of Black and Brown people, particularly immigrants and those in communities that are overlooked and marginalized. Yuniya holds a BA in TV/Radio from Brooklyn College, an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an MPA in International Management from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Board Chair

Christhian C. Diaz

Christhian C. Diaz joined the board in 2016. He is a New York based artist and advocate. His work is interdisciplinary and collaborative. Christhian holds an MFA from Rutgers University and a BFA from The Cooper Union. As an artist he has performed at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA PS1 Printshop, the Museum of Arts and Design, Movement Research at Judson Church, Abrons Arts Center, and The Wild Project, among others. He was a 2018 fellow of the Art & Law program, 2013 MacDowell fellow, and attended the SOMA Summer Residency in 2019.

Board Vice Chair

Max Hadler

Max Hadler is the Director of Health Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC). 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.

Lina Cherfas

Board Member

Lina Cherfas independently supports mission-driven organizations with program evaluation and planning through her consulting practice, A Good Question. She draws on over 15 years of experience planning, implementing, and evaluating programs in non-profit organizations. She has supported immigrant communities with completing asylum applications and learning English. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and History from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Sc. in Forced Migration from Oxford University.

Christhian C. Diaz

Board Chair

Christhian C. Diaz joined the board in 2016. He is a New York based artist and advocate. His work is interdisciplinary and collaborative. Christhian holds an MFA from Rutgers University and a BFA from The Cooper Union. As an artist he has performed at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA PS1 Printshop, the Museum of Arts and Design, Movement Research at Judson Church, Abrons Arts Center, and The Wild Project, among others. He was a 2018 fellow of the Art & Law program, 2013 MacDowell fellow, and attended the SOMA Summer Residency in 2019.

Max Hadler

Max Hadler

Board Vice Chair

Max Hadler is the Director of Health Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC). 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.

Aria Isberto

Board Member

Aria Isaberto is the Program Associate at the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation, where she helps administer a grantmaking portfolio of community-based conservation projects in significant wildlife landscapes across the globe.

Previously, Aria was the partnerships manager at a New York City-based food recovery nonprofit, strategically catalyzing support from institutional partners within the five boroughs and nationally. Aria has also worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society, assisting with development from the organization's global priority regions and flagships species.

Aria completed a master's degree in Biology from Miami University's Advanced Inquiry Program. She holds an executive certificate in Nonprofit Fund Development from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor's degree from The City University of New York's Baruch College.

Aria has been a DACA recipient for almost a decade.

Yuniya Khan

Board Member

Originally from Guyana, South America, Yuniya has worked in the non-profit and international development fields for more than 20 years. She is the founder of The Emerge Project, a storytelling initiative that aims to elevate the voice and impact of grassroots Black entrepreneurs and community leaders in South Africa and Brazil, and is an Associate with NPAG, a professional services firm that specializes in top-tier social sector talent strategy and search. She is deeply committed to supporting programs that enhance the wellbeing and dignity of Black and Brown people, particularly immigrants and those in communities that are overlooked and marginalized. Yuniya holds a BA in TV/Radio from Brooklyn College, an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an MPA in International Management from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

An Le

Board Member

An is a software developer based in Brooklyn, NY and an immigrant from Vietnam. She is interested in helping immigrants get access to information and resources, and empowering them to build their lives in the city. An holds an MBA from The Wharton School, a BA from Hamline University, and is a CPA.

Ilena Parker​

Board Member

Ilena Parker is an account director at the social impact communications consulting firm McPherson Strategies, where she works with nonprofit, philanthropic, and corporate clients on campaigns and projects focused on social issues. She spent the past decade leading communications at New York City-based education and youth development nonprofits, and has experience in a range of disciplines from branding and digital marketing to community outreach and coalition-building. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in English Literature from King’s College London. She joined the UnLocal board in 2021.

Aria Isberto

Board Member

Aria Isaberto is the Program Associate at the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation, where she helps administer a grantmaking portfolio of community-based conservation projects in significant wildlife landscapes across the globe.

Previously, Aria was the partnerships manager at a New York City-based food recovery nonprofit, strategically catalyzing support from institutional partners within the five boroughs and nationally. Aria has also worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society, assisting with development from the organization's global priority regions and flagships species.

Aria completed a master's degree in Biology from Miami University's Advanced Inquiry Program. She holds an executive certificate in Nonprofit Fund Development from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor's degree from The City University of New York's Baruch College.

Aria has been a DACA recipient for almost a decade.

Ilena Parker

Board Member

Ilena Parker is an account director at the social impact communications consulting firm McPherson Strategies, where she works with nonprofit, philanthropic, and corporate clients on campaigns and projects focused on social issues. She spent the past decade leading communications at New York City-based education and youth development nonprofits, and has experience in a range of disciplines from branding and digital marketing to community outreach and coalition-building. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in English Literature from King’s College London. She joined the UnLocal board in 2021.

An Le

Board Member

An is a software developer based in Brooklyn, NY and an immigrant from Vietnam. She is interested in helping immigrants get access to information and resources, and empowering them to build their lives in the city. An holds an MBA from The Wharton School, a BA from Hamline University, and is a CPA