Shana TabakExecutive Director, Atlanta
Shana Tabak joined the Tahirih Justice Center as the first Executive Director of its Atlanta office which opened in 2018. Presiding over Tahirih’s fifth location, she leads delivery of high-quality legal services and social services case management to protect immigrant woman and girls who demand freedom from violence. She is the former Chair of the Georgia Immigration Working Group, and currently leads its work to increase collaboration between mental health professionals and immigration attorneys.
Prior to joining Tahirih, Shana spent nearly a decade teaching in law schools, specializing in international human rights, immigration law, and gender justice. As a clinical law professor at American University and George Washington University Law School, she supervised student casework in immigration court, federal court, and international human rights tribunals. Most recently, she was a visiting scholar at Emory Law School and a visiting professor at Georgia State College of Law. She also served as a law clerk for H.E. Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Shana has worked with numerous human and immigrant rights groups in Latin America, the Middle East, and in the U.S. including Human Rights First, the Southern Poverty Law Center, UNCHR, Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement in Israel, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as well as with the law firm Foley Hoag.
Shana has published on human rights in post-conflict settings, gender, and migration, and is a frequent speaker on these topics. She has conducted workshops and trainings on gender and human rights, trauma-informed lawyering, and clinical legal education. She was elected co-chair of the American Society of International Law’s Women in International Law Interest Group in 2015, and serves on the Program Committee for the 2018 ASIL Annual Meeting.
Shana received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar, and received a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance. She graduated with honors from Macalester College, and holds an LLM from George Washington University Law School.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
Shana was awarded a Dorot Fellowship for study in Israel, and researched human rights and migration with a Fulbright Scholarship in Bolivia.
IN THE MEDIA:
Author, Deadlocked: What a Nine-Word Decision Means for 5 Million Undocumented Immigrants, June 23, 2016, (The Conversation)
Commentator – Why It’s Almost Impossible to get Asylum in Atlanta, June 8, 2016 (VICE media)
Commentator – Governor Deal Says No to Syrian Refugees in Georgia, November 16, 2015 (NPR-GPB)
LGBTI Migrants in Immigration Detention: A Global Perspective, 37 HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 1 (2013) (with Rachel Levitan)
False Dichotomies of Transitional Justice: Gender, Conflict and Combatants in Colombia, 44 NYU JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLICY 44 (2011)
Family Immigration Detention at Artesia: An international law inquiry https://ilg2.org/2015/01/31/family-immigration-detention-at-artesia-an-international-law-inquiry/
Languages: Spanish & Hebrew (fluent); French & Arabic (conversant)
Shelly AnandSupervising Staff Attorney
Shelly joined the Tahirih Justice Center in 2020. As Supervising Staff Attorney, Shelly represents immigrant victims of gender based violence and provides support to other members of the legal team as well as pro bono attorneys. Prior to joining Tahirih, Shelly was a Trial Attorney with the Office of the Solicitor at the US Department of Labor, where she litigated various workers’ rights cases, including Wage and Hour and Occupational Health and Safety matters, in federal district and administrative court. The majority of her cases dealt with immigrant labor, including her case against an onion grower in South Georgia, Acosta v. Bland Farms Production & Packing LLC, and Delbert Bland, No. CV-614-053, 2017 WL 3259650 (S.D. G.A. July 31, 2017), whereby the court ordered over $1.4 million in back wages and liquidated damages to be paid back to mostly immigrant workers packing onions in a packing shed. Prior to her time at the Department of Labor, Shelly was a Bilingual Staff Attorney with Georgia Legal Services Program where the majority of her clients were undocumented victims of domestic violence.
While in college, Shelly studied in Rabat, Morocco and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has traveled extensively in both Latin America and Europe. She has also spent a lot of time in New Delhi, India, where much of her family lives.
As the daughter of immigrants and the granddaughter of refugees, I am inspired by Tahirih’s dedication to representing victims of gender based violence, particularly in this moment of extreme xenophobia against immigrants seeking asylum and refuge. I am particularly excited about Tahirih’s appellate practice here in Atlanta, where courts grant applications for asylum at an abysmal 2%. I am hopeful that our work here in the South can change the legal landscape for immigrant victims.
Awards and Recognition: Shelly was awarded the Willard Wirtz Legacy Award in May 2019 for outstanding public service as a trial attorney with the US Department of Labor. She was also awarded the Secretary Honors Award in 2016 and 2018 for her work on language access, Whistleblower rights, and her litigation in the Bland Farms matter referenced above.
Publications: She is the author of a children’s book coming out in the Spring of 2021 entitled Laxmi’s Mooch, the story of a young Indian American girl who is teased for having a mustache, but then embarks on a personal journey towards accepting herself and her heritage, and eventually embraces her mooch (Hindi for mustache) in all its glory. The book is being published by Kokila, an Imprint of Penguin Random House. She has also published numerous articles about workers rights and the rights of marginalized communities. As shown below:
“Keeping Workers Safe from Violence in the Workplace” American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Newsletter, Fall 2019, Vol. 48, No. 1.
“Ethical and Cultural Considerations in Litigating Cases with Limited English Proficient (LEP) Workers” American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Newsletter, Summer 2019, Vol. 47, No. 4.
“Civil Rights in Georgia Has a New Color: Rainbow” Harvard Kennedy School LGBTQ Policy Journal: 2013 Edition.
“Lost in (No) Translation,” Fulton County Daily Reporter, November 7, 2013.
Education: University of North Carolina School of Law, JD; Wellesley College, BA
Languages: Spanish, Hindi, Urdu
Hometown: McDonough, Georgia
Eileen EspinalClient Advocate
Eileen joined the Tahirih Justice Center in 2018. As Client Advocate, Eileen provides culturally-competent, trauma-informed case management for our clients, securing resources and services to support them holistically as they rebuild their lives. Additionally, she conducts outreach and advocacy in Atlanta on the challenges facing survivors of gender-based violence in the immigrant community. Eileen also provides general paralegal support to our Legal Services team, and she manages the Atlanta office’s Volunteer Program.
Prior to joining Tahirih, Eileen served as Community Youth Advocate with the Southern Poverty Law Center in Florida, where she conducted outreach and support to students, incarcerated persons, and immigrants across the state. Prior to that, Eileen worked with Camillus House, an organization serving the poor and the homeless in the South Florida community. Eileen served as a community manager as well as a case manager for the women’s employment and housing opportunity program.
I am constantly inspired by Tahirih’s mission to uplift the voices of immigrant women and girls that have experienced hardships and trauma, and its mission to help these survivors reclaim their agency. Women support and empower our community in a real and beautiful way. It is a privilege to work alongside an organization that believes in the power of gender equality.
Education: Florida International University, MPA & MS Criminal Justice; University of South Florida, BA Criminology
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Sophie LeveilleDevelopment Associate
Sophie Leveille joined Tahirih in 2019. As a Development Associate, Sophie is responsible for researching, cultivating and maintaining donor relationships with the Atlanta branch and tracking donor contributions. Prior to joining Tahirih, Sophie served as an Instructor and Center for Creative Arts Director at the Otis Redding Foundation. Sophie has lived and conducted research in Cape Town, South Africa on the effectiveness of songwriting and music programs on resettled youth.
I am inspired by Tahirih’s relentless pursuit of justice for women and children seeking a better future.
Education: Mercer University, BA
Hometown: Peachtree Corners, GA
Gloria LimaOffice Administrator
Gloria joined Tahirih in 2018. As the Office Administrator, Gloria is responsible for supporting the Atlanta office with day- to- day office operations, financial duties, and offering staff any necessary support. Gloria is also the first point of contact for any service seekers, which includes completing preliminary screenings, and assisting with referrals. Prior to joining Tahirih, Gloria worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center as an Office Administrator, and at Georgia Pacific as a Executive Administrative Assistant.
I am inspired by Tahirih’s commitment to help women & girls with their issues and struggles in this country and specially in the Southeast where they are an under-served population.
Education: Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
Lynn PearsonStaff Attorney
Lynn joined Tahirih in 2018 as a staff attorney at its new Atlanta office. She provides client-centered representation to women and girls fleeing violence in asylum and visa cases, with a special focus on Tahirih’s Atlanta Appellate Project. She supports pro bono attorneys through training and mentorship and serves on the Asylum Committee for AILA’s Georgia-Alabama Chapter.
Prior to joining Tahirih, Lynn was a senior attorney at the Georgia Resource Center where she spent nearly a decade representing persons on Georgia’s death row. In that role, she handled federal litigation and appeals, including a recent victory in the United States Supreme Court based on racial bias in Tharpe v. Sellers, 583 U.S. ___ (2018).
In law school, Lynn was awarded the California Bar Foundation Public Interest Scholarship and graduated with highest honors. She also studied comparative civil rights and criminal law at Université Paris Nanterre.
Growing up, Lynn lived in Jamaica, France, and California. She has since traveled extensively in Mexico, Central America, and Asia.
“I am inspired by the resilience and perseverance of our clients, who after escaping terrible violence, must still face challenges to gain the legal status to which they are entitled. I am honored to assist them in overcoming these legal hurdles so that they can enjoy the safety and autonomy that most of us take for granted.”
Education: Golden Gate University, JD; University of California, Berkeley, BA
Languages: French (fluent); Spanish (conversant)
Hometown: Carmel, California
Elizabeth ZambranaStaff Attorney
Elizabeth joined Tahirih in 2019. As a staff attorney, Elizabeth provides client-centered, trauma-informed, culturally competent legal advice, counsel, and representation to immigrant survivors of gender-based violence in asylum cases, claims brought under the Violence Against Women Act, T visas and U visas. She also provides technical assistance to pro bono partners, represents Tahirih at stakeholder meetings, and conducts outreach and community engagement. Prior to joining Tahirih, Elizabeth was an Attorney Advisor at the New York Immigration Court and an Equal Justice Works Emerson Legal Fellow at the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network. In law school, Elizabeth was the recipient of the Charles H. Revson Foundation Public Interest Fellowship. Growing up, Elizabeth regularly spent time in Mexico and Nicaragua with family. She has also traveled throughout Europe and Northern Africa.
I am inspired by Tahirih’s client-centered approach. As the daughter of an asylum seeker, with roots in Mexico and Nicaragua, I feel a strong affinity with my clients and a great sense of admiration for their tenacity and resilience. I treasure the opportunity to support them through my work.
Education: Rutgers Law School, J.D.; Florida International University, B.A.
Hometown: New York City, NY & Miami, Florida
AT OUR Atlanta LOCATIONPlease call 470-481-4700 between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday to schedule an intake. We do not accept walk-ins. You may also leave us a voicemail or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a staff member will get back to you within 48 hours.
Por favor llame a 470-481-4700 entre 9:30 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. lunes—viernes para obtener una cita y abrir un expediente. No podemos atender clientes sin cita. Tambien nos puede dejar un correo de voz o escribirnos a email@example.com y le responderemos a su solicitud dentro de 48 horas.