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Our Voices

Marie Calhoun

Marie Calhoun

Marie joined NCLR as a Legal Assistant in April of 2022. Prior to joining NCLR, Marie earned a B.A. from Smith College where she majored in Sociology – with a specific focus on the study of women and gender. She has since interned with Equal Rights Advocates, a Bay Area-based gender justice nonprofit, and the Victim Services Domestic Violence Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. More recently, Marie was a Legal Assistant and Administrator at a boutique law firm specializing in...

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Erin Savoia 

Erin Savoia 

Erin Savoia joined NCLR as a Legal Assistant in November of 2021. Erin’s responsibilities include assisting attorneys with maintaining the legal calendar and docket, electronic filing, bill tracking, assisting callers via NCLR’s legal helpline, and more. Erin graduated in 2017 from Portland State University with an MA in Sociology. Their graduate thesis work involved qualitative interview-based research on non-binary gender identities in Portland, OR. Erin also received their BA from the...

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Misa Ridgway

Misa Ridgway

Misa Ridgway joined NCLR as Philanthropy Coordinator in November 2021. He is responsible for processing donations, including upkeep of donor records and gift entry, aiding in financial reporting, and providing support through digital communication. He is also responsible for engaging with donors through events and outreach. Misa is a graduate of UC Berkeley with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Linguistics. Throughout his career, Misa has worked in various non-profits. He...

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Ellen Caminiti

Ellen Caminiti

Ellen Caminiti is the Communications Coordinator for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization’s social media channels and working with the Communications Director to develop messaging and communications strategy to help amplify all of NCLR’s impactful work for the LGBTQ community. Ellen truly enjoys the creative and intersectional nature of her position is excited about the potential that NCLR’s...

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Danielle (Danny) King, Esq.

Danielle (Danny) King, Esq.

Danielle (Danny) King is the Senior Youth Policy Counsel at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where they will be taking an intersectional approach to implementing legal strategies to advance the well-being of LGBTQ youth through community education, collaboration with coalitions, and public policy advocacy, particularly for LGBTQ youth impacted by the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems. Danielle (Danny) first joined NCLR in 2021, as a Gender Equality Attorney where they...

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Nesta Johnson, Esq.

Nesta Johnson, Esq.

Nesta joined NCLR in 2020, continuing a career focused upon advocating for the rights of children and families, particularly in the child welfare arena. Before joining NCLR, Nesta served as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society, and later with the Children’s Law Center, in Brooklyn, New York. Nesta graduated in 2008 with a BA from Stony Brook University, where she majored in Philosophy, and served as the Distinguished Alumni speaker at the 2015 departmental graduation ceremony. Nesta was...

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Chelsea E. HaleyNelson

Chelsea E. HaleyNelson

Chelsea E. HaleyNelson serves as pro bono Of Counsel for NCLR’s Immigration Project. Chelsea is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law.  She graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2005 with a Certificate in Public Interest Law.  Before law school, she obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of California Santa Barbara in both Political Science and Security and Peace Studies.  Her legal practice focuses...

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Christina Lee

Christina Lee

Christina Lee serves as pro bono Of Counsel for NCLR’s Immigration Project. Christina is a founding partner at Becker & Lee LLP. She received her law degree, JD, from King Hall, UC Davis School of Law in 2003, and her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, from Barnard College. Christina has represented clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit. She has also represented many clients in Federal District Court filing mandamus...

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Cara Jobson

Cara Jobson

Cara Jobson serves as pro bono Of Counsel for NCLR’s Immigration Project. Cara has worked on legal issues affecting the LGBT immigrant community for over twenty years, and she worked on some of the first asylum cases in the United States based on sexual orientation. She frequently provides trainings to community groups and non-profits on immigration law. She is a partner at Wiley & Jobson LLP.

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Noemi Calonje

Noemi Calonje

Noemi was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua. At the age of 14, her family immigrated to the United States due to the unstable political climate in her country of origin. Her family applied for political asylum in 1982 and it was granted ten years later. After earning her B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in psychology from the University of California at Davis in 1991, Noemi worked as a counselor at FamiliesFirst, a non-profit organization serving troubled youth in the Bay Area. In 1994 she...

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