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Franco Torres

Franco Torres is the Supervising Attorney for the Legal Department at the African Services Committee (ASC). He supervises a team of attorneys, paralegals, accredited representatives, fellows, and student-interns. He represents ASC’s legal department before the wider community of legal services providers and advocacy partners. He oversees a portfolio of legal initiatives and assists management in the preparation of grant applications to seek ongoing and sustainable funding for the legal department programs. He manages compliance with various program reporting requirements, such as maintaining monthly statistics and case reports, and reporting to funders and stakeholders. He oversees the Immigrant Community Law Center, a low-bono clinic, including practice development and financial performance tracking.  In collaboration with the Pro Bono Coordinator, he oversees ASC’s pro bono and volunteer program development. He also advises ASC leadership on a variety of policy and advocacy initiatives. 

Prior to his work at ASC, Franco served as a supervising attorney at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York City. He was also an adjunct instructor at the St. John’s School of Law Immigrant Rights and Refugee Litigation Clinic, where he taught both immigration law and practice. He created and presented a weekly segment on Univision New York’s nightly news where he informed and educated the public about immigration related issues. Prior to his work at Catholic Charities and St. John’s, Franco was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work in Miami, Florida. There he created a program to provide Know Your Rights presentations, free legal screenings and pro bono legal services to over a thousand men detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement throughout the state of Florida. 

Franco received his Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law where he graduated with honors and with a concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution. He was the recipient of the Warren S. Gilford Humanity and Law Prize for his work both representing indigent criminal defendants before the Boston Municipal Court; and representing immigration detainees pro bono. 

Franco also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Pepperdine University; and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University. He is a member of both the Florida and New York Bars. He is fluent in Spanish. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. 

Danney Salvatierra

Danney Salvatierra was born in Peru and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 13. Danney completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and Global Media Communication at Florida International University. Specialized fields of study include: political repression and human rights, international relations, Latin America foreign policy, and global economic and social affairs. Prior to law school, she traveled as a volunteer to rural areas in Latin America to work on sanitation and education projects for underdeveloped communities. She received her law degree from New York Law School. During her law school career, Danney was actively involved with the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) and the Immigration Law Students Association (ILSA). She worked as a legal intern for human rights organizations such as Church World Service and Human Rights First. In that capacity, she has advocated for immigrant children, families, and refugee communities. She also participated in New York Law School’s asylum clinic, where she helped a couple obtain asylum in the United States after facing years of persecution in their home country due to their sexuality. Danney provides legal representation at African Services Committee in the areas of immigration, landlord/tenant, family, public benefits, and advanced directives. Danney speaks Spanish. She is in the process of learning French.

Samah Mcgona Sisay

Samah Mcgona Sisay was born in Liberia and immigrated to the United States with her family at a young age. Samah completed her undergraduate studies in International Affairs at George Washington University and received her law degree from NYU Law. During her three years at NYU Law, Samah was actively involved with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and served as a student advocate for two years in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Samah also worked as a legal intern for Defence for Children International in Freetown, Sierra Leone where she monitored the juvenile court and detention centers and advocated for better services for juvenile survivors of sexual violence. Samah is currently an Equal Justice Works fellow sponsored by BNY Mellon and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. During her two year fellowship, Samah will provide free legal representation at African Services Committee on family court matters and a wide range of immigration matters to African and Caribbean immigrant women impacted by gender-based violence. Samah speaks conversational French.

Emily Bishop

Emily is the Health Education Officer, responsible for promoting health literacy and self-management among African Services clients living with HIV and AIDS. She designs and delivers group and individual health education courses, and oversees the support services provided by peer navigators in conjunction with case management colleagues, to assist clients in overcoming barriers to their engagement in care.

Emily joined African Services after a fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she earned a Doctorate of Education in International Educational Development, with a dual concentration in African Education and International Humanitarian Issues and cross-disciplinary advisement in Sociomedical Sciences. Her dissertation research focused on the experiences and practices of women educators in delivering puberty education and promoting menstrual hygiene to girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Concurrently with her studies, her independent research work included evaluating community reproductive health services in Cotonou, Benin. Previously, she was a long-time communications consultant to the reproductive health program of the Women’s Refugee Commission, along with a diverse portfolio ranging from political campaigns to film festivals. Emily is an active volunteer, serving as Lead Clinic Escort for a women’s health facility in the Bronx, a Marathon Guide for athletes with disabilities, and a member of the Comparative and International Education Society’s Committee for Early Career Advancement. She holds an MSc in Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance from New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and a BA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in the UK. Originally from London and raised in Provence, Emily is bilingual in English and French and speaks conversational Spanish and German.  

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