From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength. - Cesar Chavez
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JACQUELINE BROWN SCOTT - CHAIR
University of San Francisco School of Law
Jacqueline Brown Scott received her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is an immigration attorney with expertise in various immigration issues, especially asylum, deportation defense, and family-based immigration. She began her career in immigration law at the San Francisco Immigration Court as an attorney advisor through the Department of Justice Honors Program. There, she wrote hundreds of orders and written decisions for Immigration Judges. She started her own law firm, Law Office of Jacqueline Brown Scott, and she dedicated a significant part of her private practice to providing pro bono legal representation to individuals who are especially in need of legal services and unable to afford them.
She has worked with the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project, the National Center for Immigrant and Refugee Children, CLINIC’s National Pro Bono Project for Children, and the Community of East Palo Alto Legal Services. She received San Francisco Bar Association’s 2010 Barrister of the Year Award, as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s 2011 Pro Bono Benefactor and 2010 and 2014 Pro Bono Champion Awards, and the California Bar Association’s Wiley W. Manual Award. She is also one of nine recipients of the California Bar Association’s 2011 President Services Awards for her pro bono work with immigrant children.
She is currently the Supervising Attorney at the Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic at USF School of Law, where she provides free legal services to the immigrant community, while also integrating law students into the immigration & asylum law process.
Kids in Need of Defense - New York City
Gabriela Mendez received her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Passionate about the rights of refugees and immigrants all over the world, she has traveled to Lesotho and Mexico City in
pursuit of holding governments accountable to violations of human rights including immigrant rights.
She has held various fellowships most recently at Asylum Access where she worked on researching the treatment of refugees in countries of first asylum such as Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. She has also recently had a fellowship with Human Rights Advocates working on finding avenues for Native American communities to reacquire their sacred cultural patrimony from auctions houses.
While in law school, Gabriela was an extern for the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic where she began learning how to helpadvocate for the rights of immigrants here in the U.S., before asylum officers and immigration judges. This clinic gave her the opportunity to spend a week in Dilley, Texas at a detention center where recently arrived mothers and their babies are sadly detained. It opened her eyes to the extreme injustice in our U.S. immigration system.
During this time she also wrote a report while interning with the International Human Rights Clinic at USF School of Law on the the violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Sudan, South Sudan, the Congo, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. She was able to advocate for this issue while at the United Nations and made sure that the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child agreed to look into the violence in Central America and the lack of protection for children there.
She is currently an immigration attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza, working on the immigration detention team helping individuals get out of immigration custody and defending them against being deported.
SUSAN ROBERTA KATZ
University of San Francisco
Dr. Susan Roberta Katz received a PhD in Education in Language and Literacy from University of California, Berkeley. Her research fpcuses on: Human rights education, bilingual and intercultural education of marginalized populations in the U.S. and worldwide, the link between critical pedagogy and academic literacy, the examination of violence against youth and its link to schooling, and action research methodologies.
Dr. Katz is a full-time Professor at USF teaching in international and multicultural education and human rights education. Her most recent edited book is "Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms: Exemplary Models from Elementary Grades to University." She is also the author of the published article titled, "Recuperando la dignidad humana [Recovering human dignity]: Shuar mothers speak out on intercultural bilingual education." Intercultural Education, 25(1). 29-40.
ARLEENE CORREA VALENCIA
Arleene Correa Valencia (b. 1993) is a Mexican painter and community oriented artist. After spending the first three years of life in her native Mexico she migrated to the United States and currently lives and works in Napa, California. She is a recipient of Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
JODY AGIUS VALLEJO
University of Southern California
Dr. Jody Agius Vallejo is Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is also associate director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Agius Vallejo’s research concentrates on: immigrant integration, the Latino middle class, Latino business owners, Latino elites, race and ethnicity, wealth accumulation, and inequality and mobility mechanisms. Dr. Vallejo systematically addresses these issues with a methodological approach that combines the qualitative strengths of traditional sociological inquiry (e.g. in-depth interviews, participant observation, and ethnography) with demographic analysis of representative statistics from the U.S. Census.
Her book, Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class (Stanford University Press, 2012) examines the mechanisms—such as parental legal status, access to higher education, and business ownership—that expedite social mobility and integration into the middle class for Mexican Americans. The book also examines middle-class Mexican Americans’ racial/ethnic and class identities, financial and social obligations to kin, patterns of giving back to kin, and civic engagement. Her second book, in progress, investigates middle-class Latino entrepreneurs and the Latino economic elite.
Dr. Agius Vallejo has won numerous awards. In 2016 she was named one of the top 50 graduate and postdoctoral scholar alumni from the University of California, Irvine. She is also the recipient of the USC Dornsife Junior Raubenheimer Award for Research, Teaching, and Service, and also the USC Mellon Mentoring Award. Dr. Agius Vallejo is also a member of the Los Angeles advisory board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and a board member of ABC’s Latino Creative Influencers.
Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum
A proud San Francisco native, Jamal has spent most of his entire life in this great city. Jamal attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and graduated with a double major in History and Legal Studies. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. During law school, Jamal tutored dozens of students in civil procedure and property.
Before joining the USF faculty, Jamal worked in private practice handling a range of civil matters including but not limited to: dissolutions of marriage, estate planning, and quiet title actions. Jamal also worked with USF students in constitutional law, corporations, criminal law, and evidence.
Founder, Dreamer Fund
Monica Valencia is from Los Angeles, California and she was born to immigrant parents from Mexico. She is the first in her family to attend college, graduate, and receive a higher education. Spanish is her native language and learning to speak English at a young age was a difficult endeavor. She believes that her language and her culture are both important to her identity, but also to the way in which she navigates her spaces in society.
Monica enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after high school and received station assignments in the U.S., South Korea and Germany. She excelled in the military and spent six years in service of her country, traveling through Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Monica returned home to California with an honorable discharge.
After the military, Monica graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, where she excelled academically and received numerous awards, scholarships and fellowships. Monica graduated from USC having received one of the highest honors; the Order of the Laurel and the Palm, among other honors that celebrated her academic abilities. She graduated from USC (Magna Cum Laude) with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Human Rights.
Monica went on to study law and received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree at the University of San Francisco School of Law. As a result of her dedication to the profession of law, she has been awarded several awards including the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Fellowship, the Equal Justice Works Public Interest Law Award, and the OneJustice Pro Bono Publico Gold Award two years in a row. Monica graduated from law school having received a public interest law certificate with high honors. At her graduation, Monica was also the recipient of the 2017 "Pursuit of Justice" award; which is only awarded to one student from the graduating class.
While in law school, Monica founded the Dreamer Fund in 2016, a non-profit in San Francisco, California, with hopes of giving back to her immigrant community. She is currently the founder and co-executive director of the Dreamer Fund and her focus is to work collectively and learn from the undocumented and immigrant communities to create social change and education equity. Monica was trained under the "Rebellious Lawyering" model by her mentor and professor, Bill Ong Hing, and was also a Post-Bar Fellow at the Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic at USF Law, where she continued her training with Prof. Bill Ong Hing, Esq. and Prof. Jacqueline Brown Scott, Esq.
Currently, Monica is a supervising attorney at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California and an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School of Law.
BILL ONG HING
Bill Ong Hing received a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he is also a Professor and the Director of the Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic. Hing is an immigration law attorney and scholar. He has published numerous books and peer reviewed articles, to include: Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration (Chicago: Temple University Press , 2010), Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy (New York: Cambridge University Press , 2006), Defining America Through Immigration Policy (Chicago: Temple University Press , 2004), and Immigration and the Law: A Dictionary (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO , 1999).
Hing was also co–counsel in the precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court asylum case, INS v. Cardoza–Fonseca (1987). Hing is a national expert in immigration law. He travels all over the country to speak on legislative issues pertaining to immigration, immigration reform, and most recently, the effects of deportation and sanctuary cities.
His commitment to social justice is second to none and it is obvious from all the work and dedication that he has for various communities. Hing is the founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, which helps the immigrant community and practitioners with immigration law issues. In 2017, he was selected to serve on the San Francisco Police Commission. Hing is loved and respected by his students because of his unwavering support for student's right and especially, undocumented students.
He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including: Honoree at the 2016 Rebellious Lawyering Conference: Celebrating the Work of Bill Ong Hing; Dedicated Service Award from Pangea Legal Services, Asian American Achievement Award, San Mateo Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, Keith Aoki Asian Pacific American Jurisprudence Award, Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty, Lifetime Achievement Award, Centro Legal de la Raza, Donald Cressey Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency; Keepers of the American Dream Award, National Immigration Forum, and many others.