Teague Gonzalez

The Project

Teague González is the Director of Programs and Advocacy at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC). In this role, she supports the legal and policy advocacy teams and co-leads the economic justice team. Teague’s Equal Justice Works fellowship will provide education, consultation, pro se assistance, coalition building, and direct representation to immigrants navigating the federal, state, and local business, tax, professional, and occupational licensure systems of entrepreneurship.

Teague is inspired to do this work because much of her legal career has focused on providing direct legal services to individuals and families, including immigrants, who qualify for public benefits programs. The income guidelines to receive public benefits are extremely low and lock out most families who make more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and don’t meet strict immigration status eligibility rules. Teague is thrilled that this project provides education, direct assistance, and policy advocacy about entrepreneurship in the immigrant community, particularly to immigrants who are locked out of the public benefit and traditional employment systems. Teague was raised in El Paso, Texas, where many in her large, extended family participate in entrepreneurship economies, and she knows first-hand the power these businesses provide for family economic stability.

Fellowship Plans

The opportunity barriers to increase family income by opening a business include navigating legal partnership agreements and tax considerations. Providing education and support to prospective and current entrepreneurs will demystify the process of opening, conducting, and operating a business. The project also seeks to expand the professional and business licensure opportunities in New Mexico through policy advocacy.

Teague’s project will aim to remove barriers to economic mobility of immigrant communities through community education, direct representation, community organizing, movement lawyering, coalition building, and systemic policy advocacy. Teague will work closely with coalition partners, including the Color Theory Collaborative, which supports low-income, marginalized entrepreneurs and their families, by employing core strategies from partner organizations to develop innovative program resulting in greater opportunity and economic equity for entrepreneurs. The Color Theory Collaborative partners align with a core mission of bridging identified systemic gaps to build an ecosystem of support to empower families to increase their household income.

I am passionate about supporting entrepreneurs who work to increase their family's economic stability by providing education, consultation, pro se assistance, coalition building, policy advocacy, and direct representation to immigrants navigating the federal, state, and local business, tax, and professional and occupational licensure systems of entrepreneurship.

Teague Gonzalez /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

Jessica Martinez (she/her/hers/ella) is a staff attorney at New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC), where she represents unaccompanied minors and immigrant children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), offers consultations, and provides direct representation in all phases of their cases, including removal defense.

Jessica was inspired to do this work because she is proud to be a daughter of a strong immigrant woman. Understanding her mother’s sacrifices and growing up in a mixed-status family in a border town taught her the power of being community-centered and working collectively toward common goals. Working with immigrant youth and families has fueled her passion for helping make generational change, and it allows her to remain optimistic that through community power, anything is possible.

Fellowship Plans

COVID-19 disproportionally impacted immigrants—especially children and families in rural communities. Immigrants in New Mexico, notably in rural communities, often lack access to health care and resources. Much of the time, people in these communities cannot afford legal services. In New Mexico, there is a shortage of immigration attorneys and a lack of access to pro bono legal immigration services in rural communities. Immigrant children need SIJS—a humanitarian form of immigration relief for abused, abandoned, and neglected children—which is critical to ensuring their safety, stability, and access to permanent legal status.

Jessica’s project will engage in community outreach to increase the well-being of New Mexican immigrant children by developing relationships with rural medical clinics, schools, and social workers to create a referral system for families and children in need of critical immigration legal services. Jessica additionally served as a legal expert for the Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification Act, signed into law in April 2023, which increased access for immigrant youth in New Mexico to obtain SIJS. Jessica will help implement the law by providing trainings to judges and attorneys, and will host legal clinics to identify immigrant children that may qualify for this form of relief.

I am passionate about working with my community to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect, and to use my skills to find solutions to help them find legal relief or resources in a process that is stacked against them.

Jessica I. Martinez /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

At New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC), Casey (he/him/his) provides legal services to immigrant communities in southern New Mexico that were impacted by COVID-19.

Casey represented individuals throughout New Mexico in his previous role with Innovation Law Lab while living in El Paso, Texas. There, he saw the great need for legal services and the amplification of immigrant voices in the state. Casey is excited to continue serving immigrant communities in southern New Mexico.

Fellowship Plans

Casey’s Fellowship addresses the lack of legal services for immigrant communities in southern New Mexico. There is little to no pro bono legal services available to immigrants in the southern half of the state. These communities need help with affirmative and defensive immigration services to help rebound from COVID-19.
Casey will aid both detained and non-detained immigrants throughout southern New Mexico. He will be NMILC’s first full-time staff member dedicated to representing immigrants. Casey will educate immigrants about their rights and provide representation in both affirmative and defensive immigration legal services.

I am excited to serve immigrants in our southern New Mexico communities where there are precious few resources and advocates.

Casey Mangan /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

At Legal Aid of Arkansas, Adrieanna will focus on housing issues with a nexus to a natural disaster or COVID-19.

Access to the courts is a chronic issue in poor states like Arkansas. Many people don’t have access to lawyers and lack enough information to self-help. Estates are often never probated, needed guardianships are never established, and legal wrongs go unchallenged. Once a disaster occurs, this lack of access can become an acute issue.

Fellowship Plans

Adrieanna went to law school to become a public interest attorney. The experience she acquired during law school reflected that aspiration. While in law school, Adrieanna primarily focused on the intersection of housing/education and disability. As part of this focus, she volunteered as a Fair Housing tester for Legal Aid of Arkansas while in law school. After law school, Legal Aid of Arkansas offered Adrieanna the Disaster Resilience position, and she accepted.

Next Steps

Adrieanna went to law school to be able to provide representation to underserved populations because equity makes a better, stronger society.

Lack of access to the courts was a consistent theme in my life. When only one side of a conflict can access lawyers, the legal system can't function properly.

Adrieanna Hutson /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

David Wrinkle (He/Him/His) will continue to develop and enhance Kentucky Legal Aid (KLA)’s outreach to those who have been affected by disasters.

Disadvantaged residents face legal problems (eviction, foreclosure, and repair problems) that are either directly or indirectly related to disasters. Legal problems vary from not knowing about assistance, ineffective applications for assistance, government assistance programs being discontinued, poverty, and poor decisions. Earlier requests for legal assistance can lead to better outcomes, and this project seeks to build on that.

The Western Kentucky Region has been struck repeatedly by ice storms, flooding, and tornado outbreaks causing massive property damage, hardship, and in the two most recent tornadoes, multiple deaths. The courthouse that David practiced in as a public advocate was completely destroyed by a tornado. As such, David has seen firsthand how disasters have impacted his community.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, David will develop outreach programming for smaller audiences with a mobile presentation kit (equipment). He will also leverage messaging through social media and community resource fairs. David will develop social media outreach, for example, through the use of QR code messaging to reach younger community members.

The Project

Matthew Flood’s (he/him/his) project with West Tennessee Legal Services seeks to address the unmet legal needs of people who were negatively impacted by the December 2021 tornados and help those communities become more resilient to future natural disasters.

His Fellowship at West Tennessee Legal Services seeks to help low-income individuals with unmet legal needs caused by the December 2021 tornados and create solutions to legal needs that would arise in a future natural disaster. Matthew plans to provide legal aid for conservatorships, power of attorney, estate planning, and more. Along with legal work, Matthew hopes to foster greater cooperation with similarly oriented organizations and provide information on fostering disaster resilience directly to vulnerable populations.

In law school, Matthew developed a passion for bridging the gap between rural populations and access to justice. He credits his parents for including him in their charity work from an early age and from the time spent with his grandparents in rural Indiana, as these were motivators and sources of inspiration for his work.

Fellowship Plans

To achieve this goal, Matthew focuses on legal requests that West Tennessee Legal Services has the most difficulty fulfilling. These often include conservatorships in Lake, Obion, and Weakly County. Additionally, Matthew will meet directly with organizations that provide disaster related or general services to vulnerable populations. He will also provide educational presentations at senior centers, libraries, and other public and civic organizations.

My love for the outdoors has brought me to many rural areas, small towns, and old communities. I have met people in all of them with unrivaled kindness, generosity, and passion for life.

Matthew Flood /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

Brittany M. Jackson is a Housing Staff Attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services whose project focuses on eviction prevention and diversion in the wake of disasters. Brittany also educates tenants on their rights and works to increase housing advocacy in rural service areas.

This Fellowship seeks to provide representation to vulnerable and low-income individuals and those who may not be familiar with the court system. Individuals in rural service areas often have little to no knowledge about the services available to them, such as representation in housing matters. This project aims to address that unmet legal need.

Fellowship Plans

To address the issues identified, Brittany will put on several “Know Your Rights” presentations in those communities. Brittany will also build valuable connections with community leaders so individuals seeking assistance will know where to turn to get that assistance. She will create community outreach events for networking and providing information to meet the goals of this project.

Having family members or friends in poverty who have faced housing instability inspired Brittany to do this work. The lack of knowledge about the free resources available to help with this issue is monumental. Sometimes a little information is all that is needed to help someone. Brittany is in a better position to help provide that information and assistance. Seeing the impact we make on a daily basis drives Brittany to continue to do this type of work.

Accessibility, knowledge, and a little compassion make a world of difference.

Brittany Jackson /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

Nick will provide legal services to victims of the December 2021 tornadoes on the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) Disaster Response Helpline and increase the capacity of the helpline to provide legal services to disaster victims in the future.

There are a number of obstacles standing in the way of Tennesseans facing legal strife in the wake of disaster. The first of these obstacles is often their misunderstandings about what constitutes a civil legal issue. Disaster survivors must then be made aware of the free civil disaster legal services available and how to access them. TALS will continue to improve and expand the provision of free civil legal advice to survivors of the 2021 tornadoes and other natural disasters through the Disaster Helpline and partnerships. Lastly, community partners statewide need to be made aware of TALS’ position as the first point of contact for victims seeking disaster legal services.

Nick worked in safety, security, and disaster preparedness prior to attending law school. In fact, it was his appreciation and aptitude for high-pressure problem solving that drew him to both fields. This Fellowship through the Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program provided Nick the opportunity to draw on past experience to help grow Tennessee’s disaster legal services community.

Fellowship Plans

Nick will enhance TALS’ capacity to meet the civil legal needs of disaster victims by creating training and reference materials for attorneys staffing the disaster response help line. Nick will increase awareness among community partners by sharing information about the helpline with new and existing partners. Nick will also equip community partners who are working directly with victims in the field with tools to identify civil legal issues, so they may refer victims to TALS for legal services.

Strong communities share burdens.”

Nick Gau /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

Remi’s Fellowship with the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project will utilize the Disaster Resilience Program to focus on immigrant victims or potential victims of disasters in Missouri.

Many underserved immigrant communities in Missouri need legal advice, referrals, and full representation. These communities may have trouble accessing these services before, during, and after a disaster—such as the tornadoes that occurred in 2021. The communities also may not have access to resources such as Know-Your-Rights presentations and disaster preparedness materials.

Remi is excited to fulfill her goal of practicing immigration law to help underserved immigrant communities, especially those impacted by natural disasters. She is also eager to improve her communication skills in Spanish to better relate to her clients.

Fellowship Plans

Remi will provide legal services to underserved immigrant communities affected by disasters such as the 2021 tornadoes. Her work will include providing direct representation in applications for immigration benefits before USCIS, and direct representation for immigrants and their families facing immigration removal proceedings in Immigration Court. She will also identify areas for policy change and reform, engage in outreach and education activities, and work with community partners to increase disaster preparedness and resilience for immigrant communities.

Immigrant communities should have access to necessary legal services regardless of events out of their control. Natural disasters are an inevitable part of life and should not be a barrier to services that are crucial to protecting immigrant families.”

Remi Gavlick /
2022 Disaster Resilience Program Fellow

The Project

Jazmin is a Senior Attorney at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC), where she leads the economic justice and policy team. In this role, Jazmin provides education, consultations, pro se assistance, and direct representation to immigrants navigating the federal, state, and local business, tax, and licensure systems of entrepreneurship.

In December 2017, Jazmin became the first DACAmented attorney admitted to the New Mexico State Bar. This accomplishment resulted from her leveraging community organizing principles with creative lawyering to persuade the New Mexico Supreme Court to create a process for admitting DACAmented bar applicants in New Mexico. The lived experience of growing up undocumented and in a mixed-immigration status family was not easy but it showed her that even in systems of oppression, communities are resilient and find creative ways to survive. Jazmin is the right fit for the EJW Disaster Resilience Fellowship because she will apply this same creativity in her work as an attorney and policy advocate to build community power and let those directly impacted lead the work.

Fellowship Plans

Jazmin’s project aims to remove barriers to economic mobility of immigrant communities through education, direct representation, community organizing, movement lawyering, coalition building, and policy advocacy. Among other community coalitions and partners, Jazmin will work closely with the Color Theory Collaborative, which supports low-income, marginalized entrepreneurs and their families, by employing core strategies from partner organizations to develop innovative programs resulting in greater opportunity and economic equity for entrepreneurs. Moreover, the Color Theory partners align with a core mission of bridging identified systemic gaps to build an ecosystem of support to lift families out of poverty.