Welcome Staff Attorneys Golnaz and Elizabeth!

CREEC is overjoyed to introduce new additions to our team.

Golnaz Fakhimi joins the Immigration Detention Accountability Project to advance justice through individual and class-action representation of immigrants with disabilities. She has worked with and for structurally marginalized immigrant clients and communities across a wide spectrum of contexts and strategies. Her experience and expertise encompass deportation defense, habeas corpus actions, civil rights actions, and technical assistance to movement leaders and partners.

Image of Golnaz Fakhimi, a brown-skinned woman with long dark hair. The photograph is just her face. The background is a blue sky with tree branches.

From 2019 to 2021, Golnaz co-taught the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights clinic at the CUNY School of Law. Previously, she held positions as an Immigrants’ Rights Attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, a Staff Attorney at Appellate Advocates, an Immigration Staff Attorney with The Bronx Defenders, and a Staff Attorney with the International Justice Network.

Representing clients at the trial and appellate levels across a variety of administrative and judicial fora, training the next generation of advocates, and educating the public through trainings and media advocacy, Golnaz roots her practice in immigrant- and community-led movements for change.

“I’m humbled and honored to join IDAP in working with and for human beings targeted by an inherently cruel, racist, ableist, and profit-driven immigration system.  It’s a system that cages people under conditions that endanger health and life, that tears apart families and communities, and that needs to be abolished.”

Outside of work, Golnaz draws comfort and inspiration from nature, the ocean, especially.  These days she’s particularly into whales (and elephants!). Please join us in welcoming her to IDAP.

Elizabeth Ballart brings a wealth of disability rights expertise to the Accessibility Project, where she will fight for the rights of racial justice protestors, advance access for people with Opioid Use Disorder, expand the breadth and depth of the Fast Advocacy program, and more. She is experienced in civil rights impact litigation, negotiation, and individual representation; and has expertise representing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Elizabeth previously worked in private practice as a special education attorney and has held Staff Attorney positions at Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) and Disability Rights California (DRC).

Throughout her career Elizabeth has been dedicated to the agency and full access of individuals with disabilities. Prior to law school, she worked as a behavioral therapist with children with autism and their families. She embraces disability advocacy that centers on clients as whole people.

Image of Elizabeth Ballart. She is a white woman with long dark brown hair. She is smiling. The photo is from the shoulders up, she is wearing a light blue blazer and a white shirt. The background is blurred foliage.

Elizabeth says, “CREEC is a vanguard of innovative and intersectional advocacy on behalf of underserved people with disabilities. I am so thrilled to join the Accessibility Project and work with this amazing team.”

Elizabeth has two righteous rabbits who are similarly dedicated to justice; she also volunteers for the House Rabbits Society. Please give Elizabeth a warm welcome!

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