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Samah Mcgona Sisay was born in Liberia and immigrated to the United States with her family at a young age. Samah completed her undergraduate studies in International Affairs at George Washington University and received her law degree from NYU Law. During her three years at NYU Law, Samah was actively involved with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and served as a student advocate for two years in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Samah also worked as a legal intern for Defence for Children International in Freetown, Sierra Leone where she monitored the juvenile court and detention centers and advocated for better services for juvenile survivors of sexual violence. Samah is currently an Equal Justice Works fellow sponsored by BNY Mellon and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. During her two year fellowship, Samah will provide free legal representation at African Services Committee on family court matters and a wide range of immigration matters to African and Caribbean immigrant women impacted by gender-based violence. Samah speaks conversational French.

Emily is the Health Education Officer, responsible for promoting health literacy and self-management among African Services clients living with HIV and AIDS. She designs and delivers group and individual health education courses, and oversees the support services provided by peer navigators in conjunction with case management colleagues, to assist clients in overcoming barriers to their engagement in care.

Emily joined African Services after a fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she earned a Doctorate of Education in International Educational Development, with a dual concentration in African Education and International Humanitarian Issues and cross-disciplinary advisement in Sociomedical Sciences. Her dissertation research focused on the experiences and practices of women educators in delivering puberty education and promoting menstrual hygiene to girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Concurrently with her studies, her independent research work included evaluating community reproductive health services in Cotonou, Benin. Previously, she was a long-time communications consultant to the reproductive health program of the Women’s Refugee Commission, along with a diverse portfolio ranging from political campaigns to film festivals. Emily is an active volunteer, serving as Lead Clinic Escort for a women’s health facility in the Bronx, a Marathon Guide for athletes with disabilities, and a member of the Comparative and International Education Society’s Committee for Early Career Advancement. She holds an MSc in Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance from New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and a BA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in the UK. Originally from London and raised in Provence, Emily is bilingual in English and French and speaks conversational Spanish and German.  

Originally from Montreal, Canada Rebecca is a staff attorney at African Services Committee and has been an attorney in New York since August 2012. Rebecca, fluent in French and English provides legal representation to clients who have housing, immigration, benefits and family law issues.

Prior to working at African Services Committee, Rebecca worked as a staff attorney at New York Legal Assistance Group where she provided legal services to Hurricane Sandy victims in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Rebecca is a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada where she studied Political Science and International Relations. She earned her law degree at University of La Verne College of Law in Southern California.

Niat Amare first joined ASC as a volunteer attorney toward the end of December 2013 and continued to be a volunteer till mid June 2014. She is currently working as a legal advocate under the Hurricane Sandy Grant for people living in Staten Island and southern Queens who are affected by Hurricane Sandy. She assists in dealing with immigration, housing, labor and employment and benefits issues.

She holds a law degree, LL.B from Addis Ababa University Faculty of law, Ethiopia and obtained her LL.M in Intercultural Human Rights from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Before joining ASC she worked as a legal researcher for a NGO in Ethiopia as well as interned and volunteered in different human rights NGOs in New York.  She speaks English, Amharic, Tigrigna and conversational French.

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