Our experienced team of advocates and attorneys bring energy, expertise and dedication to Friends of Farmworkers.


Kathryn Brown

Staff Attorney

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 190

Email: kbrown[at]friendsfw.org

 

Kate Brown is a recent graduate of Drexel University’s School of Law.  She joined Friends of Farmworkers in Fall 2013 as an Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow.   Her project provides immigration legal services to our clients who encounter immigration barriers to asserting their rights as workers.  During law school, Kate interned at the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante in Mexico City and at the ACLU of Pennsylvania.   Before attending law school she worked as an immigration representative at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia and received her master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied migration.


Athena Buell Becerra

 

Outreach Specialist – Voces 

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 221

Email: abuell[at]friendsfw.org

 

Athena Buell Becerra joined Friends of Farmworkers full-time in May 2017 after working as an intern in our anti-trafficking program. In her new role, Athena participates in outreach and education about harassment and violence in the workplace across Pennsylvania, as well as assists in providing immigration legal aid to survivors of crime and trafficking. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual degree in Urban Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies. Alongside her studies, Athena interned at Casa Monarca and the African Cultural Alliance of North America.Before this, she interned at California Rural Legal Services for six months. Athena hopes to use and build on her experience to continue to work for the social and economic justice of all people, especially within our immigrant communities.


Liz M. Chacko

Deputy Director

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 130

Email: lchacko[at]friendsfw.org

 

Liz has been an attorney at Friends of Farmworkers since 2006. She is a member of several bar associations, including the South Asian Bar Association and the National Lawyers Guild. In 2010, she was appointed to the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. Liz is also a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition. She received her law degree from Boston College Law School in 2003, where she served as a writer and on the editorial board of the Boston College Third World Law Journal. Liz received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from New York University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


Stephanie Dorenbosch

Staff Attorney

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 180

Email: sdorenbosch[at]friendsfw.org

 

Stephanie Dorenbosch joined Friends of Farmworkers in 2011 on a Holmes Fellowship from Harvard Law School and became a staff attorney in 2012. In addition to her regular casework, she holds biweekly office hours at the Puentes de Salud health clinic in Philadelphia as part of a new medical-legal partnership between FOF and Puentes. She also advocates for the fair treatment of farmworkers as a member of several Philadelphia groups working to improve our regional food systems. Stephanie received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2011, where she interned with an immigration law clinic in New Orleans and with the ACLU of Maryland and served low-income clients through clinical courses in death penalty defense, predatory lending, and criminal defense. She also served on the editorial boards of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Journal and Unbound: Harvard’s Journal of the Legal Left.

 


Paula Govey

Grants and Compliance Manager

 

215-733-0878

Email: pgovey[at]friendsfw.org

 

Paula joined Friends of Farmworkers in September 2016 as our Grants and Compliance Manager. She has worked for social service organizations throughout Pennsylvania managing both Federal and State grants and creating compliance systems to ensure that quality services are being provided to clients.  She has also volunteered with various anti-human trafficking organizations, such as Women At Risk and the Not For Sale campaign, to raise awareness and empower victims of trafficking.  Paula received her B.S. from Messiah College in 2007 majoring in International Business with a concentration in Economic Development.


Mathew Lamberti

Staff Attorney

 

Tel: (412) 208-6772

Email: mlamberti[at]friendsfw.org

 

Matthew Lamberti is a staff attorney for immigrant communities in the western part of the state, including Pittsburgh and Erie. He was previously a managing attorney, working on detention and removal issues and the Legal Orientation Program, at the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC). He was also a staff attorney with PIRC from 2010-2013, defending low-income migrants in asylum, U visa, and criminal removal cases in the York Immigration Court. Matt has experience as a legal service provider for low-income immigrants in Baton Rouge, LA, and Indianapolis, IN. He attended CUNY School of Law and participated in its immigrants' rights clinic. While at CUNY, Matthew received fellowships from the Public Interest Lawyers Association and the Columbian Lawyers Association of New York, enabling him to do pro bono legal service in South Africa and to study Spanish in Peru. He has a BA in English and Philosophy from Notre Dame, and an MA in English and Irish literature from Boston College.


Diana Luna
Legal Assistant


Tel:  (215) 733-0878, ext.  210
Email: dluna[at]friendsfw.org

 

Diana joined Friends of Farmworkers full-time in July 2016. She is a recent graduate of Middlebury College, where she majored in Sociology/Anthropology. Diana was awarded the Lank Prize in Sociology and Anthropology for her undergraduate thesis, “Voices from the Margins: Revisiting the Narratives of Undocumented Immigrant Youth within the Immigrant Rights Movement.” In this thesis, she explored how undocumented Latino immigrant youth organizers in certain localities in eastern Pennsylvania think about their undocumented experiences and how they are framing the issue of unauthorized immigration through their narratives. Diana hopes to continue working to ensure that undocumented and immigrant communities are able to lead full and dignified lives. 


Meredith C. Rapkin

Executive Director

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 110

Email: mrapkin[at]friendsfw.org

 

Meredith began her advocacy for low-income immigrant communities as an Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow in 2004, a fellowship that allowed her to work at HIAS and Council Migration Service of Philadelphia specializing in cases involving immigrant victims of interpersonal violence. After the conclusion of that fellowship, Meredith remained at HIAS and continued assisting immigrant women who were survivors of domestic violence under a larger grant from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. Meredith later spent two years as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic at the Villanova University School of Law, where she used her Spanish language and litigation skills to oversee law students charged with the representation of farmworkers in both employment and immigration matters. She also serves as a consulting attorney to the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia. Meredith received her J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where she was the Executive Editor of the Political and Civil Rights Law Review. Upon graduation in 2004, Meredith received a prize in International Law.


Arthur N. Read

General Counsel

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 150

Email: aread[at]friendsfw.org

 

Mr. Read has served as general counsel for Friends of Farmworkers, Inc. since 1982. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and from New York University School of Law in 1976. A frequent lecturer and author on workers' rights, Mr. Read is well-known for his representation of workers. In Vlasic Farms, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (2001), he won the right to organize for workers in Pennsylvania's mushroom industry. His collective bargaining agreements for the Kaolin Workers Union are the only such contracts in the mushroom industry. His lawsuits under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Relations Act have resulted in injunctive relief that has served as a model for compliance. Mr. Read has also been an advocate for those with limited English proficiency, including serving on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias, which contributed to a law mandating certified court interpreters.

 

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Prebistera (Pennie) Rodriguez

Office Manager

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 100

Email: prodriguez[at]friendsfw.org

 

Pennie joined FOF in March of 2007 as our administrative assistant and notary public. Pennie is an instrumental part of the staff, keeping us all organized and on task. She does not want us to say too much about her here, but we will say this: we would be lost without her.  While Pennie "retired" in January of 2014, she continues to help us keep the office running by working part-time with us.


Vanessa Stine

Staff Attorney

 

Tel: (215) 733-0878, ext. 140

Email: vstine[at]friendsfw.org

 

Vanessa Stine graduated Order of the Coif from Villanova Law School in 2014. She joined Friends of Farmworkers in the fall of 2014 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow.  Her fellowship project provides direct representation, advocacy, and community education to low-income consumers who have been victims of predatory and fraudulent immigration services in Pennsylvania.  During law school, Vanessa spent both her summers at Friends of Farmworkers, one as a Peggy Browning Fund Fellow.  She also interned at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) of Pennsylvania, participated for three semesters in the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic at Villanova, and started the Notario Fraud Project, which documents victims’ stories about immigration fraud and helps victims fight back. Vanessa was awarded the Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award for her extensive work combating notario fraud and we are thrilled to have her with us at FOF as an Equal Justice Works fellow, enabling us to help victims of these fraudulent schemes seek justice.