Angela Fernandez, Esq., is the Executive Director and supervising attorney of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Angela is a proud, first generation Dominican, whose mother migrated to the United States from Baitoa of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
Angela is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law who has 20 years professional experience in law, media, non-profit management, government, policy development and advocacy. Her public interest law experience includes working with the Center of Human Rights Legal Aid in Cairo, Egypt and providing pro bono legal services through the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Angela has also successfully founded and managed elementary schools in the South Bronx and in Washington DC, taught Women’s Studies in Spanish to female detainees at Riker’s Island Corrections Facility and was a staffer for United States Bill Bradley and District Chief of Staff for US Representative Jose Serrano. Angela’s media experience includes working as an off-air reporter for ABC News, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America and Nightline.
Angela’s experience teaching incarcerated individuals at Riker’s Island, starting 2 small schools in heavily immigrant communities in NYC, and leading the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, a group that’s at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement, has equipped her with a deep understanding of the strategies and policies that have the most impact at the grassroots level. This coupled with the knowledge she gained working in government, first as an aid to Senator Bill Bradley and then later as the district chief of staff to Congressman Jose Serrano, has given her a clear understanding of the current policy gaps within NYC and the progressive solutions to fill them.
Angela is unique in that she combines top-level governmental experience with years of working collaboratively with affected community members in all five boroughs. In the past five years, Angela has helped to build broad city-wide coalitions that have reversed policies that would potentially be devastating to vulnerable New Yorkers. Angela co-lead the effort to end New York State’s participation in the Secure Communities program, and co-developed the first of its kind in the nation, universal court appointed representation program for detained immigrants. Additionally, she is seen is a key contributor to the immigrants’ rights debate: she was a columnist in El Diario and is a regular on-air contributor to NY 1, Univision, Telemundo, and CNN. Ms. Fernandez is fluent in English, Spanish and French and lives in Washington Heights with her daughter.