Meet Our Board of Directors
Oliver Merino, Board Chair, works at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) as the Immigrant Justice Network coordinator, where he fights against immigrant criminalization and advocates for policies that ensure our communities are free from deportation and imprisonment. Prior to joining ILRC, Oliver organized with immigrant and working-class communities in North Carolina and Virginia. Besides working in the immigration field, Oliver was a museum educator doing exhibit development and community engagement. He graduated from Johnson C. Smith University, where he studied African American History.
Federico Rios, Vice Chair, is the City of Charlotte’s first Assistant Director of the newly-formed Office of Equity, Mobility, and Immigrant Integration. He is charged with helping to eliminate systemic barriers. Prior to joining the city, he spent eight and half years with Communities in Schools Charlotte-Mecklenburg. As the founding Director of the Newcomer Services Program, Federico, in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, created a case management model to serve newly arrived, and often highly traumatized, Central American youth. As the child of an Immigrant mother, Federico has felt a deep sense of calling to his work. His commitment to service is driven by his desire to see all members of our community have equitable access to opportunities. Federico has also served the community as a Crisis Intervention Specialist, Qualified Mental Health Professional, and educator. He is a member of the Leading On Opportunity Council, Mental Health America’s Policy and Advocacy Committee, the My Brother’s Keeper Charlotte steering committee, the Communities In Schools Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Equitable Communities Board of Directors, and the Opportunity Insights Advisory Panel. He is the recipient of La Noticia’s 2018 Excelente Award for Community Service Person of the Year and the 2020 Cesar Chavez Liderazgo award. His proudest accomplishment is being a husband to his wife, Lakisha, and father to his two boys, Elias and Jaden.
Hal Jones, Treasurer, is a native of Washington State, currently lives in Washington, DC, and is the former Chief Financial Officer of Graham Holdings (formerly known as the Washington Post Company) from 2009 to 2013.
Ayat Hamza, Secretary, is a third-year law student at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Before attending law school, Ayat conducted moral psychology research at Wake Forest University, where she obtained a master’s degree in Psychology. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of North Carolina. Ayat is broadly interested in issues of social equity and hopes that serving on the Carolina Migrant Network board will contribute to the incredible work being done there.
Althera “Tina” Marshall, Director, was born in Japan just after the Korean war, Tina Marshall came to the US in 1960 with her Japanese mom and African American Dad. Not being quite bi-lingual, she didn’t start school until first grade as school officials advised against second languages in the classroom. Because of that Marshall no longer understands or speaks Japanese. Currently, a fellow for NC BLOC, Marshall has worked on a variety of social justice issues including criminal justice reform and immigration issues. Previous to her move to North Carolina, she worked on a Wall Street trading floor in institutional Money Markets. Marshall has a marketing degree from the University of Phoenix. She is a single mom to one child. She enjoys cooking and her collection of 1000 Black dolls.
Jessica Moreno, Board Member, is a community organizer focused on tenant rights and housing security. Jessica began organizing in 2018 when the owners of her trailer park sold the land and displaced 25 families including her own. Since her own experience with displacement, Jessica has organized communities across Charlotte, NC who have fallen victim to predatory rental owners.