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Cville Immigrant Freedom Fund was established in response to community needs identified by local immigration attorneys and direct service providers. We are led by a diverse, inclusive, and an all-volunteer Board of Directors that is accountable to impacted people. Together with the Advisory Council and Executive Director, CIFF volunteers bring professionalism, lived experience, and a profound moral commitment to this work. We are a member of the National Bail Fund Network.

Board of Directors & Officers

Mayra Cardenas, Board Chair

Director of Systems Navigation, Partner for Mental Health; Bilingual Prevention Education Specialist & Forensic Interviewer at Foothills Child Advocacy Center; interpreter and translator at Legal Aid Justice Center 



Mary Bauer

Civil rights attorney, General Counsel, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante     

William C. Van Norman, PhD
Historian of Latin America; former chair, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at James Madison University; experienced in community outreach in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville

Grace Reynolds, PhD

Linguist, Anthropologist, Scholar and Teacher of Language and Social Movements; currently Senior Program Consultant for the Office of New Americans - Immigrant Services; former CIFF Executive Director


Becka Richman, RN, BSN
Community Health Nurse at Child Health Partnership; bilingual advocate for the Latinx community 

    Natalie Romero
Fourth-year student in Global Development Studies, University of Virginia; lead of the Political Latinx United for Movement and Action in Society (PLUMAS) 

Samantha Santana Rodriguez

Third year student in Foreign Affairs and Linguistics at the University of Virginia; part of Central Americans of Empowerment and the Latin American Identities Coalition

Laura "Lo" Somel, MSW

Bilingual Mental Health Therapist at The Womens Initiative, Advocate for the Latinx Community


Frank Valdez
Third year student in Global Development Studies, University of Virginia; lead of the Political Latinx United for Movement and Action in Society (PLUMAS)

Advisory Council Members

Priscilla Mendenhall

Co-founder, Charlottesville-area Immigrant Resource and Advocacy Coalition; immigrant rights advocate; interpreter trainer and antiracism educator

Guinevere Higgins
Independent Fundraising and Communications Strategist


Bethany Hurley
Senior Project Associate, Operations, University of Virginia


Nancy Kliewer
Bookkeeper and Accountant

Gail Hyder Wiley
Editor, University of Virginia; Cofounder, Charlottesville-area Immigrant Resource and Advocacy Coalition, CAR2Vote

Ron Wiley
Attorney, Old Republic Title; Registered Agent of Cville Immigrant Freedom Fund

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