Meet Our Board Members

As stewards of our organization, our Board members play a crucial role in setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability, and fostering partnerships that enable us to fulfill our mission effectively. They bring a wealth of experience, leadership, and vision to the table, guiding us in our efforts to empower migrant families, promote social justice, and create inclusive communities.

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.

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 Morena

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.