AmeriCorps VISTA fellow
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).
Immigrant Justice Corps Community Fellow
Jacqueline’s passion for social justice stems from the narratives of underserved immigrant communities like her own. Born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, her firsthand experiences have made her aware of the matters that affect immigrant communities. Jacqueline has participated in projects and volunteered for organizations that have allowed her to work with and for marginalized groups. These experiences remind her of the importance of having fearless advocates to ensure the needs of minority communities are being heard and met. This fight is personal for her and she hopes that at UnLocal she can mitigate the anxieties of those who come to the U.S. in hopes of achieving the American Dream. Jacqueline holds a B.A. in American Studies and Spanish from Wellesley College with concentrations in race, class, and gender.
Community Outreach Fellow
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.”
Itzel Corona Aguilar
Rapid Response Legal Collaborative Paralegal and Organizer
Itzel is from D.F., Mexico, but grew up in San Anto, Tejas. They are a Ph.D. Candidate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University. Their research interests focus on (im)migration and detention/incarceration. Itzel is also an instructor, teaching college-level courses introducing students to prison abolition studies, Chicanx feminist thought, and religious studies. They have worked with (im)migrant communities throughout various organizations in South-Texas, New Jersey, and New York.
Elizabeth Fulton, Esq.
Immigration Attorney, U.S. Law, Immigrant Justice Corps and UnLocal Fellow
IMUMI, Mexico City
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 Legal Aid at Work 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.
Education and Outreach Coordinator
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.
Education and Outreach Director
Terry is a well-known leader in the immigration legal and social services community. At UnLocal, Terry combines her experience in engaging with policy with working directly with communities to effectuate change. Terry comes to UnLocal from the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) where she championed the right of immigrant New Yorkers to attend court without fear of being arrested by ICE and helped New York secure a court rule, a federal court injunction, and legislation stopping the practice. Prior to IDP, Terry was the Director of the Family and Immigration Unit at Bronx Legal Services, where she worked for 12 years, and she began her legal career as a litigation associate at Sidley Austin LLP, where she handled several pro bono matters. In 2014, she co-founded the Bronx Immigration Partnership, a consortium of community-based organizations providing legal and social services for Bronx immigrants around their immigration-related needs. Terry has a long history of representing and advocating for survivors of gender-based violence, through her work with the Bronx Domestic Violence Roundtable, the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence, the Advisory Council on Immigration Issues in Family Court, and Confluence. 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. After graduating from Yale College and helping tenants access affordable housing at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Terry pursued a Masters in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2001. She holds a JD from Georgetown University.
Wes Bree Lucia
AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow
Wes is an AmeriCorps Vista serving at UnLocal, where they support the organization’s efforts and the community through capacity-building work. As a life-long activist for the immigrant community, Wes decided to travel to New York City to help the UnLocal team in continuing the fight for immigrant rights. Wes previously studied theatre at Los Angeles Southwest College, where they developed plays as a form of activism for the Black and Immigrant community.
Maria Marroquin, Esq.
Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow
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
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 Associate. Her personal immigrant narrative drives her personal work in immigration and advocacy as a cultural liaison in support for equity and social justice values in arts and culture. Her writing has been featured in Hemispheric Institute’s Cuadernos, Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal, CultureWork Magazine and the Guggenheim Museum Blog. 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
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 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 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.
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.
Social Work Intern
Susan is from Brooklyn, New York. As a social work intern at Unlocal she will work in conjunction with staff to provide emotional support, connect clients to much needed resources and advocate on their behalf. She previously interned at an emergency shelter, where she provided support for victims/survivors of intimate partner violence and domestic violence. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College and is currently enrolled in an MSW program. A proud Latina, her passion for social work stemmed from growing up in underserved and underrepresented communities. She hopes her work will mitigate the trauma that many immigrants are exposed to prior to arriving, on their journey to and while in this country.
Elsi Wu, Esq.
Staff Attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow
Elsi Wu is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow at UnLocal, where she primarily represents survivors of domestic violence and other persecution in immigration court and on applications for humanitarian relief. During law school, Elsi interned at the Office of the Federal Defender for the Northern District of Texas, the Legal Aid Criminal Appeals Bureau, and was a student in the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigrant Justice Clinic. Elsi has a B.A. in Journalism and History from New York University and a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is thrilled to be part of the UnLocal team that represents immigrants and migrants with a zealous focus on community education and the dignity of affected individuals.
Michael Younker, Esq.
Michael C. Younker utilizes his varied background in his role as Supervising 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.
Board of Directors
Raoul is an art worker living in New York City. He is one of the organizers of the annual UnLocal benefit art auction and in 2018 he helped to coordinate a series of workshops with UnLocal staff and the artist Adelita Husni-Bey on vicarious trauma and the practice of immigration law. He was a co-curator of the related exhibition, Motions at Ludlow38. Raoul was a 2018 Fellow of the Art & Law Program and holds a BFA from The Cooper Union.
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.
Raymi Echavarria is the Human Rights Program Associate at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and a consultant for the College Bridge for All Program, a CUNY and Department of Education Initiative to help New York City’s high school students with the college matriculation process. In both roles, she has been committed to social justice education and increasing access to higher education for underrepresented communities. Additionally, she has worked on advocacy projects and the development of support systems and professional trainings to help support undocumented youth. Supporting
immigrants is important to her in part of her experiences growing up undocumented. Raymi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Sociology from Hunter College and is currently a Master in Public Policy Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she is a U.S. Latinx Leadership Fellow.
Emily Farrell grew up in Sydney, Australia, and has lived in the US for close to 20 years. She became involved with
UnLocal after founder, Michele Lampach, assisted in her green card application. She received her PhD in Linguistics
from Macquarie University in 2009 and has taught at the University of Sydney and the Free University, Berlin. As a researcher, Emily has worked in the field of sociolinguistics, examining intersections of language and migration. She has an ongoing interest in language and social justice issues, as well as increasing access to scholarly research through open science. Emily also serves on the board of the Foundation for the Yonkers Public Library.
Alexandra Goncalves-Pena, Esq.
A proud Latina raised by a strong single mother in Colombia and Bushwick, Brooklyn, Alexandra currently works as
Managing Attorney of Catholic Migration Services’ immigration unit.. 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. Alexandra’s passion for her work and immigrant rights is deeply personal and is driven by her unwavering commitment to working alongside immigrant communities and her belief that all persons in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, must be afforded equal and humane treatment and due process under the law.
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.
Kate Holzman works at Echoing Green, running board leadership training programs and supporting the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Before this, she worked in the areas of corporate partnerships, nonprofit program management, literacy, diversity & inclusion, facilitation, and sustainable textiles. She has previously supported immigrant families as a legal clinic translator and ESL teacher. She earned a Master’s Degree in Community Development, and Bachelor’s degrees in International Development and Spanish, all from Clark University.
Michele Lampach, Esq.
Michele Lampach is a co-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., Michele previously provided immigration legal representation to youth and families, as well as individuals in affirmative immigration applications while also serving as Executive Director. Now, Michele, along with the leadership team and the Board of Directors, helps guide UnLocal’s programs to meet the needs of immigrant New Yorkers and build new programs by supporting program, financial and policy development. She is excited to collaborate with staff members to build an equitable organization that centers the experiences of directly impacted individuals.
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.