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)
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
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
AT OUR Atlanta LOCATIONWe are preparing to serve clients but not yet open for intake, please check back soon.