top of page

Our Team.

We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, creed, religion, physical ability, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, previous incarceration, veteran status, union membership or activism, or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal law.


Rochelle Garza (she/her)


Rochelle Garza is a 5th generation Tejana and civil rights attorney from the Rio Grande Valley. She was the Democratic nominee for Texas Attorney General in 2022. Rochelle made history as the first Latina nominated to run for Texas Attorney General. Rochelle won the Democratic nomination after dominating a 5-way primary race and resoundingly winning a runoff election, each by over 20 points. In the general election, she outperformed all Democrats on the statewide ticket and outperformed every candidate, Republican or Democrat, in Latino majority counties, including the Rio Grande Valley. In total, she raised almost $4 million and had her race covered in over 100 local, state, and national media outlets, and was endorsed by every major newspaper in Texas. Rochelle has spent her legal career fighting for the civil rights of children, immigrants, and families. She has legal expertise in immigration, family, criminal and constitutional law. In 2017, she took on Donald Trump, Ken Paxton, and Brett Kavanaugh when they tried to prevent an immigrant teen, Jane Doe, from exercising her right to choose — and won. Her work on that case resulted in the “Garza Notice,” a federal requirement that teens in immigration detention be given access to abortion care, which is still in effect today. Rochelle graduated from the University of Houston Law Center and from Brown University with honors. She lives with her husband, Adam, their daughter, and their dog, Ramses, in Brownsville, Texas.

Carla Palacios.jpeg

Carla Palacios (she/her)

Legislative Communications Coordinator

As a born and raised fronteriza from the border community of El Paso, Carla has spent much of her life advocating for progressive issues and human rights at the frontlines of the border. Her interest in community organizing and communication began in high school speech & debate and flourished onwards from there. She studied Organizational Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso and was recognized in 2021 as a Top Ten senior from the University. Outside of progressive organizing, her interests include cooking, gardening, dog training, fashion, and makeup artistry.


Christopher Rivera (he/him)

Outreach Coordinator, Criminal Injustice

Christopher Rivera is the Outreach Coordinator for the Criminal Injustice Program at TCRP. He received a dual degree at California State University Long Beach where he studied Political Science and Chicano Studies. Christopher has been with TCRP since 2016 where he began his career as a paralegal. Since 2021, he has been working as the outreach coordinator pushing for policy change and advocating for those who are often underserved and over-policed.

emily eby - Emily Eby_edited.jpg

Emily Eby (she/her)

Sr. Election Protection Attorney & Policy Counsel

Emily Eby is a voting rights attorney and incurable Twitter addict. At TCRP, she has helped lead the Election Protection program for three election cycles, training over 1200 volunteers to provide non-partisan "customer service" for voters. She has also worked on local reforms via Democracy from the Ground Up and fought the zombie voter suppression bills that just wouldn't die during the endless Texas legislative sessions of 2021. Emily enjoys watching movies at Alamo Drafthouses, drinking Dr Peppers, and consuming media about time travel.


Hani Mirza (he/him)

Program Director, Voting Rights

Hani Mirza is the Texas Civil Rights Project's Voting Rights Program Director. He joined TCRP as a staff attorney in 2015.

TCRPStaff-406 (1)_edited.jpg

Kassandra Gonzalez (she/her)

Staff Attorney, Beyond Borders

Kassi is a Staff Attorney with the Beyond Borders team, where she works as part of the Humanitarian Team on impact litigation and broader advocacy efforts to protect the human rights of immigrants. Prior to joining TCRP, Kassi was an Equal Justice Works fellow at Texas Legal Services Center’s Medical-Legal Partnerships. During her EJW fellowship, Kassi worked to advocate for the immigrant community in a federally qualified health care center. She provided direct legal services to about 300 clients and engaged in health policy, especially in light of the pandemic. Kassi received her BA in Humanities with high honors and Liberal Arts Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. She then graduated with honors from The University of Texas School of Law. During law school, Kassi participated in Texas Law’s Mental Health and Supreme Court clinics. She also spent summers clerking for non-profits, including Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

Laura Pena Headshot_TCRP_edited.jpg

Laura Peña (she/her)

Legal Director, Beyond Borders

As the Director of the Beyond Borders program, Laura leads the humanitarian and border issue litigation and advocacy efforts. Laura returned to her home region in the Rio Grande after nearly two decades of a varied career in national campaigns, foreign policy, and immigration law. She served under the Obama Administration at the State Department, focusing on U.S. policies impacting Central America and human rights. After a federal judicial clerkship in the Southern District of California, Laura joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an assistant chief counsel in Los Angeles and San Diego and later spent time practicing business immigration in Silicon Valley. Laura first joined the Texas Civil Rights Project as a visiting attorney to help reunify families separated by the Trump Administration’s horrific family separation policy. Laura later worked with the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration on the border, developing a new cross-border initiative to provide legal services to migrants returned to Matamoros, Mexico. Laura lives in the Rio Grande Valley with her rescue dogs Dulce and Maya.

Molly Petchenik Headshot - Molly Petchenik.jpg

Molly Petchenik (she/her)

Legal Fellow, Criminal Injustice Program

Molly joined TCRP in 2022 as a Yale Law Journal Jane Matilda Bolin Fellow in the Criminal Injustice Program. Molly works on issues from exploitative bail practices to unconstitutional conditions of confinement in jails and prisons. She received her B.A. in history from Swarthmore College and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she worked on civil rights issues affecting veterans and people in prison. Before attending law school, Molly was a litigation assistant at the Prison Law Office in California and worked for the Honorable David S. Tatel of the D.C. Circuit. Molly served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Pitman of the Western District of Texas.


Rolando Pérez (he/him)

Operations Manager

Rolando joined TCRP in 2015, and he currently serves as the Operations Manager, assisting with our daily operations. Outside the office, Rolando enjoys being with family & friends, playing music, bike-riding, and playing disc golf. In the community, Rolando volunteers in service to people who are homeless, as a group leader with the One Human Race Initiative, and as a lay delegate & leadership council member for his spiritual community. Rolando attended St. Edwards University, and he holds a masters degree concentrating in social science and social justice.

Siddiqui-Sumaya Headshot.jpg

Sumaya Siddiqui (she/her)

Digital Coordinator

Sumaya is the Texas Civil Rights Project’s digital coordinator, executing our strategy to engage and grow our digital audience, and leverage our digital presence to advance our legal and policy goals. As a Muslim American, Sumaya is passionate about minority empowerment and aims to leverage her digital skills to create content and tell stories that leave a lasting impact. Sumaya holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing with a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston. Before joining TCRP, Sumaya interned with the League of Women Voters of Houston during the 2020 presidential election and with Kanarys Inc., a Black female-founded company that advocates for workplace equality. She went on to work as a Communications & Casework Fellow for State Representative Ana-Maria Ramos during the 87th Legislative Session in Texas. Additionally, she served as an inaugural Harris Fellow in Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's Office.


Mimi Marziani (she/her)

President Emeritus

Mimi Marziani is the President Emeritus of the Texas Civil Rights Project. Mimi assumed the position in 2016 at the age of 33. She has an extensive background in civil rights advocacy, nonprofit management, and Texas politics, and is a nationally recognized expert in voting rights and election law. As such, Ms. Marziani is regularly featured in the press, in a variety of public forums, and before the U.S. Congress and other governmental bodies. She is also a teacher and mentor for young lawyers, serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law and on the NYU School of Law Board of Trustees. In 2020, she was recognized with an “Austin Under 40” award. Prior to TCRP, Ms. Marziani led voting rights efforts for political organizations, including running the first coordinated, statewide voter protection program for progressive candidates in Texas in 2014. Ms. Marziani has also worked as Counsel for the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice in New York City, where she litigated voting rights cases across the country, and as an associate of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Ms. Marziani graduated cum laude from NYU School of Law, and clerked for the honorable James C. Francis, a U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of New York. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.

unnamed - Chanel Davis-Hall.jpg

Chantel Davis-Hall (she/her)

Assoc. Dir. of Finance & Accounting

Chanel worked as a Controller for Hale CPA Group, where she was able to help clients streamline their processes and establish best accounting practices throughout their organizations. With 20+ years of experience, Chanel has consistently demonstrated a firm understanding of budgeting and corporate finance, which translates to the transparency and accuracy of an organization's financial reporting. Chanel understands the importance of civic responsibility to uphold democratic values, including justice, freedom, equity, diversity, and human rights. So, when she was given the opportunity to join TCRP, she took the baton and sprinted. Chanel looks forward to continuing to be a part of THE CHANGE!

photo - Denisse Molina.png

Denisse Molina (she/her)

Humanitarian Outreach Coordinator, Beyond Borders

Denisse Molina is the Humanitarian Outreach Coordinator at the Texas Civil Rights Project. In her role Denisse represents TCRP in state wide and national collations, leads advocacy campaigns and organizes communities in the Texas borderlands to fight for human rights and to fight against inhumane immigration policies. Prior to this, Denisse worked as a paralegal at ProBAR, a non-profit that provides direct services to immigrants detained in adult detention centers. Moreover, Denisse also organized border communities to fight racist immigration policies through her work with Frontera Progressives. Denisse is also an immigrant herself and through her owned lived experiences shares a lot in common with the communities she serves. She holds a BA in Government from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is based in the Rio Grande Valley area.


Erin Thorn (she/her)

Senior Staff Attorney, Beyond Borders

Erin works on the State and Local team in TCRP's Beyond Borders Program. They work to improve border communities through legal advocacy for State and Local policies that respect the rights of migrants and those who reside in border communities.

Portillo square_edited.jpg

Jackie Portillo (she/her)

Digital Admin. & Fundraising Manager

Jackie joined TCRP in 2018 as part of the Community Engagement Department with 6 years of fundraising experience. As the digital administrator an fundraising manager, she manages the website as well as grassroots fundraising and our recurring donor portfolio. In her free time, she finds herself busy with her two dogs, Capone and Seis, and her three cats, Gatsby, Scout and Kennedy. And that's about all she has time for outside of work!


Leticia Rojas (she/her)

Assoc. Dir. of Communications

Leticia leads narrative and messaging efforts at Texas Civil Rights Project, using strategic communications across the digital and media spaces to advance TCRP’s legal and policy goals. As a communicator, she is passionate about centering impacted communities and uplifting marginalized voices in the fight for justice. Prior to joining TCRP, Leticia was on the campaign grind with Beto for America and Cristina for Texas, and also served as Communications Manager for Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. Leticia holds a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she led the publication of the HKS Journal of Hispanic Policy. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, which she received in 2014. Leticia is the proud daughter of immigrants from Central Mexico. In her free time, you can find her reading, baking, and walking with her dog Oso.


Latoya Lane (she/her)

Paralegal, Criminal Injustice

LaToya is an experienced litigation paralegal with over 10 years experience ranging from, criminal, civil, and family law. LaToya is a graduate of Dallas College where she earned an Associate of Applied Science with a focus in Paralegal Studies. LaToya is married to Ken with 5 children, ranging in age from 13 -24. LaToya has attended several legal training seminars to increase her expertise. Latoya enjoys working with clients to help them through their cases. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, reading non fiction books, watching crime TV, and spending time with friends and family.

Raven Hollins

Raven Hollins (she/her)

Chief of Staff

Raven joined TCRP in July of 2021. Prior to joining the organization, she worked in various capacities for campaigns ranging from mayoral races to Presidential primary in roles including; organizer, Grassroots Investment Director, and Deputy State Director, among others. She began her career in finance, and majored in Nutrition & Foods at Texas State University. Raven is driven by the values of radical joy and progress for all Texans, and considers it an absolute honor to serve the brilliant staff of TCRP.

Sarah Chen_edited.jpg

Sarah Xiyi Chen (she/her)

Skadden Fellow, Voting Rights

Sarah is a Skadden Fellow working on local redistricting and election protection on TCRP's Voting Rights Team. In the 2016 general election, she helped run one of the largest regional election protection programs for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, and she previously worked for a Texas political campaign based in Fort Worth and a community nonprofit in San Antonio. Sarah received her BA in public and international affairs from Princeton University and a law degree from the UC Berkeley, School of Law. She clerked for the Hon. Dolly M. Gee of the Central District of California and the Hon. Jane B. Stranch of the Sixth Circuit.

Image from iOS - Veronikah Warms.jpg

Veronikah Warms (she/her)

Manne Family Fellow

Veronikah is the 2022 Manne Family Fellow with the Voting Rights team, where she works on impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and as a member of the Election Protection team. Veronikah received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Syracuse University and graduated with Honors from The University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, Veronikah participated in the Supreme Court Clinic, was Chief Articles Editor for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, and Publications Editor for the American Journal of Criminal Law.

AFD Headshot  - Ashley Dorsaneo.jpg

Ashley Fernandez Dorsaneo (she/her)

Senior Staff Attorney

Ashley is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Criminal Injustice Program, based in TCRP’s Austin Office. Prior to joining TCRP, Ashley was a senior litigation associate at Reid Collins & Tsai LLP in Austin as well as a litigation associate at the New York offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. While in private practice, Ashley had a robust pro bono practice ranging from asylum to Fourth Amendment violations. Ashley also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eric N. Vitaliano of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ashley received her Juris Doctor cum laude from New York University School of law in 2015. She served as a senior notes editor for the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, where she published a note on human rights and self-determination.

Christina Beeler

Christina Beeler (she/her)

Staff Attorney, Voting Rights

Christina is an eighth-generation Texan and staff attorney in the Voting Rights program at TCRP. Christina was previously an assistant county attorney in Harris County, an Equal Justice Works Fellow, and a law clerk to the Honorable Gray H. Miller in the Southern District of Texas. Christina graduated magna cum laude and #10 in her class from the University of Houston Law Center in 2018. During law school, Christina gained experience with numerous nonprofits, including TCRP, the ACLU of Texas, and Lone Star Legal Aid. Before law school, Christina taught high school English and worked as a singer-songwriter. She played South by Southwest and was a featured artist on a Sonny Throckmorton album, including guest vocalist Willie Nelson. Christina currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy’s Houston Lawyer Chapter and was a member of ACS’s national Board of Directors from 2017–2019.

Dustin Headshot blue no tie 2022 - Dustin Rynders.jpg

Dustin Rynders (he/him)

Legal Director, Criminal Injustice

Dustin Rynders is the Legal Director of Criminal Injustice at Texas Civil Rights Project. Previously, Dustin practiced law with Disability Rights Texas for sixteen years where he supervised the agency's Education Team, worked extensively on school to prison pipeline issues, and co-authored numerous reports on school discipline and policing. Dustin worked with coalition partners to identify and end the state's illegal cap on special education students, decriminalize truancy in Texas and improve systems for youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Dustin has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he graduated in 2006. Prior to that he received a BA from Pepperdine University and M.P.Aff. from the L.B.J. School at the University of Texas at Austin.

IMG_0643 - Georgina Guzman_edited.jpg

Georgina Guzman (she/her)

Paralegal, Beyond Borders

In December of 1995, Georgina earned her Associates Degree in Applied Science - Legal Secretary (now known as the Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies) from Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, Texas. Prior to earning her associates degree she began working for attorneys in the private sector in October of 1994, and currently has over 25 years of legal experience, of which over 15 years are in civil litigation. Georgina loves helping others, and through the years has been involved in her community through different organizations. In November of 2017, she transitioned from the legal private sector to the non-profit sector after Texas Civil Rights Project “TCRP” gave her the opportunity to work as its Paralegal/Office Manager of its South Texas office. She brings to TCRP years of experience in the legal field, and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Georgina is currently the Paralegal for the Beyond Borders Program.


James Slattery (he/him)

Senior Supervising Legislative Attorney

James Slattery serves as a Senior Supervising Legislative Attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project. Previously, James also led TCRP's initiative to boost high school voter registration rates in Texas, and encourage voting and civic participation by young voters. James originally came to Texas as Deputy Voter Protection Director for the Wendy Davis Campaign in 2014, and worked on voting rights issues on President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and the Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia Campaign in 2013. James also served in the Obama Administration as Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Commerce. James practiced law as an Associate Attorney at Wiley Rein LLP from 2007-12, and served as a law clerk for a U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge from 2005-07. James graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005, and received a B.A., summa cum laude, in political science from Lipscomb University.


Laura Derrick (she/her)

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Laura joined TCRP in 2018 to manage grants and institutional partnerships from our Austin office. A native Texan, she brings decades of experience working on presidential and statewide campaigns, and in nonprofit management and training. Laura holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rice University.


Miguel Rivera (he/him)

Senior Advocacy Manager, Voting Rights

Miguel Rivera is the Senior Advocacy Manager for the Voting Rights program at the Texas Civil Rights Project. In this role, Miguel represents TCRP in statewide coalitions, leads advocacy campaigns, and organizes Texans across the state in the fight for voting rights. Prior to this, Miguel worked as the Redistricting Outreach Fellow at TCRP, where he fought to create a more democratized redistricting process that included the mobilization and training of hundreds of Texans. Miguel’s lived experiences as an immigrant and young voter shaped his approach to equity and fairness, especially when it comes to access to the ballot. He holds a BA in History from the University of Texas at Austin.


Ricardo J. Rivera (he/him)

Partner Relations Manager

Ricardo is a fundraiser and movement worker based in Houston. Coming from a family that has spent multiple generations in Texas, his work is motivated by a desire to end the violence and militarization in Texas communities caused by prisons, policing, and the immigration system. With a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising, Ricardo has worked in support of education and sexual/domestic violence resource providers, and is committed to antiracist fundraising practices that center equity and community wellness. He is a volunteer deputy voter registrar and an avid reader.

SavannahTarbet Headshot - Savannah Tarbet.png

Savannah Tarbet (she/her)

Press Manager

Savannah Tarbet serves as the Press Manager for the Texas Civil Rights Project, where she handles media relations for the organization. Before joining TCRP, Savannah was the Director of Marketing & Communications at the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, where she promoted her hometown of Amarillo to attract workforce and businesses to the city. Savannah has specialized experience in local media outreach and relationship building. Savannah received her BA in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications with honors from West Texas A&M University. During her time in college, she led 1910 PR, the university's student-run public relations firm, as Executive Director. Outside of work, Savannah has served on several boards and committees of different local organizations including, Elevate Amarillo, Amarillo League of Women Voters, and the Texas Economic Development Council.


Zachary Dolling (he/him)

Staff Attorney

Zachary (Zach) Dolling is a staff attorney in the Criminal Injustice and Voting Rights programs. He previously worked as a staff attorney in the Racial and Economic Justice program, as a project attorney for Justice for our Neighbors Austin, and as a law clerk to United States District Judge Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas.

bottom of page