Co-founder and Director

Shubha Bala has been running the SIJS project for the past two years and has gained extensive specialized knowledge in SIJS and adjacent immigration concerns. Their career has been devoted to the social sector. As Program Strategist at DataKind they designed and ran programs that paired volunteer data scientists with non-profit organizations. At Engineers Without Borders Canada, they designed their overseas sending program, managing students working overseas on international development projects. They directed Yoni Ki Raat, a community-based performance, where they managed teams of volunteers to write, perform, fundraise, and produce a show for over 600 people per year.  They are currently the Director of Technology at the Center for Court Innovation, managing a team both in internal operations as well as managing direct service projects and policy work. As an immigrant with privilege, they have had over 15 years of experiencing the complexity of navigating the bureaucratic immigration system, even in the best of circumstances. They have a bachelors in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Masters in International Affairs from the School of Public Affairs at Columbia University.



Brendan Davis has been the primary supervising SIJS attorney for the SIJS project for the past two years. He is an attorney at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) who works with clients at legal clinics in hospitals in the South Bronx and the Lower East Side. Previously, Brendan worked as the Legal Services Coordinator primarily working on SIJS cases at South Bronx United, a youth development organization that uses soccer as a tool for community change.




Courtney has over a decade of experience in communications and nonprofit strategy and management, and is a visual artist. She is currently the President of Network 20/20.  She was Deputy Director of Global Communications and Media Relations at the Council on Foreign Relations and was a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, where she managed the U.S. embassy’s cultural and educational programming. For her work, Ms. Doggart has received an individual Superior Honor Award from the U.S. State Department, a group Meritorious Award from the U.S. State Department, and Network 20/20’s Ted Sorensen Award. Ms. Doggart earned her Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.



Marium is a staff attorney at New York Legal Assistance group. Marium has been a part of and around a diverse immigrant community her entire life who she hopes to continue serving the community. Her previous work and educational experience she’s encouraged her to attempt a more holistic approach when providing immigration assistance. Marium’s previous work has focused on the rights and status of informal workers, mainly domestic workers, and their rights and status in the context of the United States and the Middle East. Her hobbies include reading vast amounts of fiction, sharing memes with friends, and surfing. She continues to actively participate on issues racial justice and prison abolition.



As the Supervising Coordinator of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, Sara was the driving force behind starting a SIJS program. Currently she is the Unanimous Jury Specialist at The Promise of Justice Initiative.  She has a PhD in immunology from UMass, where Sara co-founded Students for Peace and Justice. She was also a member of the Worcester Global Action Network. Sara is originally from Madrid, Spain, and now lives in New Orleans.

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Jacalyn has extensive experience in providing training and technical assistance to community-based organizations and grassroots groups on program planning, evaluation and management, fundraising and board development. She currently works for the New York City Department of Education in program development and planning. She has been volunteering for the SIJS Project since its first year.



Emily is a long time social justice activist in the labor, immigrants rights, and Central America solidarity movements. She has been a volunteer at a variety of immigration organizations, including at the SIJS Project for the past year.  Emily is Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York.



Rhiya Trivedi is currently an associate at the Law Office of Ronald L. Kuby. She enthusiastically participates in the SIJS project — SIJS cases are the only ones she wins. Outside of lawyering, Rhiya spends most of her time introducing her three-legged hound Jack to the humans of New York, and wondering if she should have other hobbies. 


The SIJS Project is a 501c3 - fiscally sponsored under South Bronx United.

©2019 by The SIJS Project.