As the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Amy Crawford (she/her/hers) will oversee the Development Department and provide strategic advice and leadership to the organization in order to maximize impact, increase support, and elevate the innovative justice reform work of Bronx Defenders. Previously, Amy was the Deputy Director of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College, where she worked with jurisdictions throughout the United States and internationally to improve public safety and strengthen communities. As the Deputy Director, she oversaw the implementation and innovations of strategies to reduce violence, minimize arrest and incarceration, enhance legitimacy, and build relationships between law enforcement and communities. She was also responsible for the organization’s strategic planning, external relations, fundraising and overall operations. She has presented at numerous conferences and panel discussions on a wide array of criminal justice reform issues, including strategies and lessons from the field for building community trust and legitimacy, violence prevention, and prosecutorial reform. Amy also was also part of the team that launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay. Previously, Amy was the Deputy Director at the Center for an Urban Future, a public policy organization focusing on economic and workforce development; Amy grew CUF’s programmatic work, built new strategic partnerships and expanded the impact of policy recommendations with funders, civic organizations, and government officials. Amy is excited to return to the Bronx Defenders where she previously spent 8 years as an Equal Justice Works fellow, staff attorney and ultimately, leading the organization’s development and pro bono efforts until she left in 2010. Amy also served as a pro se law clerk for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers. Ms. Crawford holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Danielle Gonzales (she/her/hers) is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and was raised in the San Gabriel Valley located east of Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Theology from Azusa Pacific University focusing on women and other marginalized groups as told in the Christian biblical tradition. Her studies in Liberation Theology shaped her understanding of systems of oppression that deeply affect marginalized communities. In 2014, Danielle completed a 40 – hour Basic Immigration Law training hosted by World Relief and Mennonite Central Committee. Upon completion of this training, she interned with Keep Tucson Together to co-lead a small team that organized on behalf of an undocumented Tucson mother in sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian. Her team advocated for a stay from removal and in November 2015 a stay was granted. Prior to joining The Bronx Defenders, Danielle worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Colombia learning about internal displacement and forced migration and later worked first as a Legal Assistant than transitioning to Development with the Immigration Resource Center of San Gabriel Valley in Monrovia, California. She is dedicated to understanding the root causes of forced migration. Her dedication has led her to walk the Migrant Trail in Tucson, Arizona for the last three years. She has lived in Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. She also speaks Spanish.
Prior to joining The Bronx Defenders, Ms. Hussain was an associate at the law firm of Ewenstein & Roth LLP, where she counseled nonprofit organizations on a broad range of corporate and tax law matters. She began her legal career as an associate in the corporate and litigation departments of the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.
Ms. Hussain is an honors graduate of Wellesley College and Rutgers University School of Law-Newark and has a LLM in taxation from New York University School of Law. She has served on the boards of several local and national nonprofit organizations. Ms. Hussain has also been an active member of the nonprofit law committees of several local and national bar associations.
Esther received both her B. A., with a double major in English and Philosophy, and a Journalism Certificate from Wheaton College (IL). Her experience includes writing for print and online publications, such as Inheritance and Kodon. On campus, she helped found Wheaton’s chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America and revamped its Democrats’ club. She previously interned for Rahm Emanuel for the Press Office. Now, Esther is an active participant in grassroots organizing and civil disobedience–she was a volunteer for AF3IRM (Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Refeudalization, and Marginalization), and is currently involved in various Asian-American leftist organizations. On the side, she’s also the Social Media Coordinator for Mochi Magazine, an Asian American women’s magazine.
Angelica Lara was born and raised in Mexico DF, and migrated to New York to become a part of the Bronx/Queens community. She is a Theater Director, Producer, Dramaturg and teaches children history, political science and sociology through art. She comes to the Bronx Defenders with great personal and academic experience of the needs and wants of the Bronx Community.
Molly graduated from Princeton University in 2014 with a major in Classics and a minor in Creative Writing. As an undergraduate, she served as a leader and trainer for Outdoor Action, a wilderness program that facilitates an inclusive and positive transition to college for incoming freshmen. After graduation, she participated in the Project 55 Fellowship, which prepares recent graduates for careers in the public interest, by working in development at an education-focused nonprofit in Washington, DC.
SheenaPaul studied History and Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, where she also supported the recruitment and retention of low-income students of color. With roots in low-income immigrant neighborhoods in Los Angeles, she is a proud UCLA Law Fellow and is the product of programs and community leaders that empower foster youth and system-impacted youth. Prior to working at The Bronx Defenders, she advocated for and served marginalized communities as an organizer, grant-writer, and program coordinator. She is dedicated to building community power and racial justice through engaging and empowering the most vulnerable communities.
Annie received her J.D. from Cardozo Law School. She originally joined The Bronx Defenders as a Staff Attorney in the Civil Action Practice. She then went on to work as the Assistant Director of the Center for Public Service Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law before returning to The Bronx Defenders in the role of Pro Bono Attorney. During her time at Cardozo, Annie interned at the Civil Law Reform Unit of The Legal Aid Society and the New York City Council. She also worked on post-conviction cases as a member of the Innocence Project clinic, where she went on to be a Teaching Assistant and Fellow. Prior to law school, Annie received her B.A in Sociology, with a specialization in law, criminology, and social deviance, from the University of Michigan, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with University Honors. While at Michigan, Annie conducted classes at a men’s medium security prison and ran a support group for women serving life sentences at a women’s maximum security prison.
Director of Organizing and Community Engagementcontact
Carmen Pineiro was born and raised in the Bronx. She has been organizing communities for over 17 years particularly focused in the Bronx and East Harlem. She is fluent in Spanish and has an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Bronx Community College as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from John Jay College graduating Cum Laude. Her work has been focused on grassroots organizing and building power for low income people of color in addition to grassroots fundraising as a tool to build community power. Carmen previously worked at Community Voices Heard where she was the Sustainable Communities Organizer, Public Housing Organizer, Participatory Budgeting Organizer and the Individual Giving & Events Coordinator during a 7 year span. Prior to that she organized in her community against Predatory Equity and fought for fair housing. She is extremely passionate about working towards ending all forms of oppression and building grassroots leadership by developing and strengthening communities.