Community Lawyering and Organizing

At Communities Resist, we take a community-based approach to lawyering. We partner with tenant associations and community based organizations to better understand and advocate for the genuine needs of our community.

Instigating Change

Communities Resist is a community-based legal services and advocacy organization established and led by people of color to empower, educate and represent low-income communities and community coalitions preventing gentrification and displacement. Understanding that housing is a human right, the fight for tenants’ rights and housing justice must advance racial, gender, and economic justice.

Our work is deeply rooted in some of the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. Communities Resist was born out of a community desire to expand our unique model of anti-displacement legal services, leading the founders to launch a new organization to best represent the changing needs of our neighborhoods.

Tenants United

Our approach in facing the realities of systemic racism and gentrification is to work together as a united front. When tenants organize, they hold the power. Communities Resist, along with our partner CBOs, works to educate and support groups of tenants to organize and work together against their common issues and challenges. Together, tenant associations organize, and then may decide to litigate, against their landlord and bad actors to even the playing field and achieve their united goals.

Our model of legal representation requires close collaboration with the communities we serve. By employing organizing as a key tool to achieve change along with direct legal representation, our organization works to build power with communities of color, not for them.

Our Team

Stacey Altruz

Intake Officer & Receptionist

Christian Barbato

Policy and Communications Coordinator

Christos Bell

Law Graduate

Marya Carter

Racial Justice Fellow

Sam Chiera

Supervising Attorney

Lino Diaz

Supervising Attorney

DENNIS DONNELLY

Supervising Attorney

Kelsey Feehan

Supervising Attorney

Daisy Fernandez

Law Graduate

Rabiah Gul

Senior Staff Attorney

Erin Henegan

Law Graduate

Jack Hsia

Law Graduate

Gia Kagan-Trenchard

Senior Staff Attorney

Jorge Lema Rodriguez

Tenant Organizer

DENG LIN

Staff Attorney

CARMEN MANZANO

Grant Associate

ADAM MEYERS

Director of Litigation

Zach Penzone

Staff Attorney

MICHELLE PEREZ

HR Generalist

ANGELA PIGUAVE

Deputy Executive Director

MILAGROS SANDOVAL

Director of Organizing

ALYSSA SANDERS

Staff Attorney

PADRAIC SIEBER

Law Graduate

Nick E. Smith

Executive Director

FRAN TAVERAS

Paralegal

our board

Albert Suh

Director/President & Chairperson

JUAN RAMOS

Parth Khare

BARBARA SCHLIFF

Ezinwanyi Ukegbu

Rachel Nager

See Our Victories