Speakers (P-R)

Maki Park is a Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where her work focuses on domestic and international early childhood policies affecting children of immigrants and Dual Language Learners. Previously, she worked as Director of Outreach and Program Manager at WorldTeach, based at Harvard’s Center for International Development. Ms. Park holds a master’s degree in international education policy.


Sam Park is the Georgia State Representative from House District 101. By unseating a three-term Republican incumbent during the 2016 General Election, Sam became first Asian Democrat, and first openly gay man elected to the Georgia General Assembly. Sam is the son of Korean immigrants, grandson of refugees, and a native Georgian. As a first year legislator, served as a deputy whip in the Georgia House Democratic Caucus, and co-sponsored comprehensive statewide civil rights legislation.


Parisa Parsa has served as the Executive Director of Essential Partners since early 2015.  Previously Parisa served as the Director of Congregational Development for the New England Unitarian Universalist Association.  An ordained minister, Parisa led a mid-sized congregation in Milton, Massachusetts for ten years, and has served in leadership roles for faith-based and social service organizations across the country. She is also an experienced facilitator and intercultural consultant, training nonprofit staff teams and congregations working to develop skills at culture change toward greater intercultural relationships within their communities.

Angelica Peña, Citizenship Network Manager for AAAJ-LA, manages their national citizenship capacity-building portfolio. She’s responsible for the strategic development and implementation of programs that increase capacity for organizations providing naturalization services to API communities. Previously, she worked for NALEO Educational Fund, where she led statewide civic engagement initiatives, working directly with the Latino community on citizenship and voting. Angelica holds a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors in Political Science from UCLA.


Daranee Petsod has led Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees since 1999 and has worked on immigration and social and economic justice issues since 1987. Prior to joining GCIR, Daranee was a program and communications consultant for foundations and nonprofits. She previously held leadership positions at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and was a program officer at the Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc. and the Sophia Fund, one of the first women’s funds in the United States. Daranee earned an M.A. in social policy from the University of Chicago and is a recipient of the 2014 Professional Development Fellowship from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

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Martha Indiana Porta, Esq. serves as Legislative Counsel to the New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration. In this capacity, she plays a key role in the development and implementation of legislation, policies, and funding initiatives that protect the fundamental rights of immigrant New Yorkers, ensure equal access to city services, combat discrimination, and promote inclusion. Previously, Indiana practiced immigration law at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) first, as an Equal Justice Works Americorps Legal Fellow, and later as a Removal Defense Staff Attorney. Indiana specialized in humanitarian-based forms of immigration relief for survivors of torture, violent crime, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Additionally, Indiana managed NYLAG’s immigration pro bono docket, led several of the organization’s immigrant-focused advocacy efforts, conducted extensive multi-lingual community outreach, and organized free legal clinics. Indiana earned her B.A. in International Studies from Southern Methodist University, where she was awarded the John L. Freehafer Memorial Award for her special interest in how communities govern themselves, and her Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law.

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Nicole Pumphrey has dedicated her career to fostering cultural understanding and promoting inclusion through education and workforce development. Nicole joined the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians as Director of Strategic Partnerships in 2014, where she leads the organization’s external engagement strategy, building collaborations and advocating for the valuable contributions of immigrants to the region’s social stability and economic prosperity.

Jose Quiñonez, Mission Asset Fund CEO , is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and UC Davis. Most recently, José was selected as the inaugural Chair of CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board; elected as an Ashoka Fellow; selected to the Aspen Institute Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders; received the 2016 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award;and received the 2013 James Irvine Leadership Award. Jose also serves as Vice Chair of the Board for Credit Builders Alliance, member of the Experian Consumer Advisory Council, and member of the Capital One Consumer Advisory Council.

Layal Rabat is a third culture kid who has spent years practicing the fine art of parachuting into projects as the need for her skills arises. She is currently the Empowerment and Advocacy Manager for the Asian Pacific Community in Action, Board Secretary at Sonoran Prevention Works, volunteer at The Restoration Project, and Director of Tech and Communications at the Phoenix Allies for Community Health.

Mark Ranneberger is the Northern California Director at FWD.us, where he leads outreach and engagement with the tech community and elected officials to drive bipartisan support for commonsense immigration reform. His current priority is rallying the tech and business community to push for a legislative solution in 2017 to allow Dreamers to live and work in the United States free from fear of deportation. Prior to joining FWD.us, Mark was the Senior Product Operations Specialist at Uber for Global Ride Experience, acting as the business and operations lead on company-wide product initiatives such as the redesigned and rebuilt rider app. He also acted as the liaison from the rider group product team to more than 400 city and regional teams globally, scaling and implementing features as diverse as Uber’s first airports pickup experience and the Apple Watch app. Mark spent the earlier part of his career in federal consulting at Deloitte in Washington, DC working for such clients as NASA, and previously had his own startup in Kenya that partnered with local governments and technical institutes to open up Kenya’s rural, subsistence farmers to export markets in the Middle East. Mark graduated Cum Laude from American University’s School of International Service in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies.

Anahkwet (Guy Reiter) is a traditional Menominee who resides on the Menominee Reservation. He's a Community organizer, activist, author, amateur archaeologist and lecturer. He is a member of the Menominee Constitutional Taskforce and also works for the Native Organizers Alliance. Anahkwet has organized a lot of events that have uplifted the human condition and demonstrated how enriching the Menominee culture is. He's lectured at Universities on the connection Menominee Indians have to the Menominee River. He's also written articles for Environmental Health News and others. When Anahkwet isn't working you'll find him enjoying time with his wife and children. Anahkwet is an advocate for indigenous people everywhere.

Eréndira “Ere” Rendón is the Director of National Partnerships at The Resurrection Project. Ere has served as the organization’s lead strategist and manager on local and state-wide campaigns impacting the lives of immigrants. Ere is a DACAmented immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico and has played a leading role in the successful passage of many pro-immigrant legislations in Illinois including Driver’s Licenses for the undocumented and the renewal of All Kids. Ms. Rendón holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a graduate of the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago.

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Cordelia Revells has served as the Resettlement Programs Manager at Jewish Family Service of Seattle since 2014.  She is responsible for overseeing the Reception and Placement and Intensive Case Management programs. Prior to her current role, Cordelia spent two years working first as the Education Resource Specialist through the AmeriCorps VISTA program and then as a Resettlement Case Manager.  Before coming to JFS, Cordelia taught English as a Second Language on the Texas-Mexico border and in Minnesota.  She received her BA in Biology from Oberlin College and is currently a student in the Executive MPA program at the University of Washington.


Michael Rinehart is Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a community of over one hundred congregations, campus ministries, retreat centers, and other agencies. At Valparaiso University, a Lutheran university in Valparaiso, Indiana he studied music, focusing on organ performance and singing in the VU Schola Cantorum, Chorale, Concert Choir. He received his Master of Divinity at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He lives in Montgomery, Texas with his wife and children.

Tomás E. Robles Jr. is Co- Executive Director of Arizona Center for Empowerment. Tomás became a community organizer in 2010 helping to promote civic engagement and comprehensive immigration reform. Since then, Tomás has worked with various organizations working various issues such as immigrant and worker rights, Veteran's issues and housing discrimination. He is the son of Mexican immigrants, born in Tucson, AZ, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Transborder studies.

Tara Robinson, Mission Asset Fund Chief Development Officer, is responsible for managing fundraising, grants development, marketing and communications.  Tara is a graduate of Vassar College and holds two Master's degrees from Claremont Graduate. She has over eight years of nonprofit program management and development experience and most recently ran Family Voices of California, a statewide collaborative for children with special health care needs.


Melissa Rodgers directs the New Americans Campaign (NAC), a national initiative for which the ILRC serves as the lead agency, which brings together national and local organizations in partnership with a funder collaborative to increase naturalization among eligible lawful permanent residents. Melissa has a Master’s of Education as well as a law degree with honors from Harvard University. She also has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the OneJustice Executive Fellowship program. Melissa is a member of the California bar.

Cleofas “Cleo” Rodriguez, Jr. is currently the President/CEO of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, his hometown.  Cleo has spent over 25 years working with membership driven organizations in both Austin, Texas and most recently in Washington, DC. Cleo received a Bachelor of Sciences from Texas State University and was recently selected for the prestigious honor of Distinguished Alumni of Texas State University and an invited graduation commencement speaker. Additionally, Cleo was the recipient of the Othli Award, the highest honor given by the Mexican Government for intergovernmental relations.  

Galya Ben-Arieh Ruffer, J.D. ,Ph.D., is the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at Northwestern University, where her research centers on the rights and processes of refugee protection, transformation of citizenship and the role of law in settlement and inclusion. She has been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation and the Social Science Research Council and is a former Senior Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research. She is the author of Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness, Expertise, and Testimony (co-edited with Benjamin Lawrance) and serves on the executive committee of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration,

Karina Ruiz is the Executive Director at the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to fight for immigrant youth higher education accessibility and immigrant rights.  She was born in Mexico City, and has lived in Phoenix since 1999 when she immigrated with her parents at 15. She is the mother of 3 US citizen children. She is an active member at Saint Jerome Catholic Church, the President of the Mountain View Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, and a volunteer in the Pharmacy at Honor Health North Mountain Hospital. She has collaborated with the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix and the Phoenix Union School Districts informing the immigrant community about their rights.