Our Staff

Rev. Deborah Lee
Executive Director

Rev. Deborah Lee
Rev. Deborah Lee, executive director

Since 2009, Rev. Deborah Lee has been part of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, and in 2018, she assumed the role of Executive Director. With over 30 years dedicated to the intersection of faith and social justice, Rev. Deborah Lee brings expertise in various realms, including popular education, community organizing, and advocacy. Her commitment is evident in her multifaceted engagement with issues such as race, gender, economic justice, anti-militarism, LGBTQ inclusion, and immigrant rights and abolition.

Under Rev. Lee’s leadership, the organization has doubled in both size and impact, achieving remarkable growth. Accomplishments range from closing detention centers and preventing deportations to responding to the needs of arriving immigrant youth and families. They’ve also established Sanctuary congregations and initiated efforts to divest from prisons and other carceral systems of harm, investing instead in thriving and healthy communities. The organization envisions a world without harm, advocating for a world where every person is considered sacred across bars and borders.

Rev. Lee is ordained in the United Church of Christ and is a compelling preacher and speaker on immigration, human rights, and the prophetic role of faith communities in today’s social movements.

Rev. Lee has received awards from the United Nations Association of the East Bay, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and the national United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministry. In 2019, she was honored as the Yuri Kochiyama Impact Honoree by the Advancing Justice Asian Law Caucus.  You can watch her honoree video here: Rev. Deborah Lee – Impactful Journey.

As the daughter of immigrants, Rev. Lee is part of the Chinese diaspora. This journey has taken her family through Southeast Asia, Mexico,  and to the United States. Beyond her professional commitments, she cherishes time with her family, playing soccer,  practicing tai chi,  and being in the beauty of Ohlone Territory in the SF Bay Area.

Contact: dlee@im4humanintegrity.org

Hilda Cruz
Regional Program Director, Inland Empire

Hilda Cruz, Regional Program Director

Hilda Cruz supports immigrant community in the Inland Empire through education, direct outreach, and advocacy for policies that transform and empower our most vulnerable communities.

For the past 20 years, Hilda has been a community leader, organizer, and advocate with a focus on faith, social justice, and the fair treatment of every person. She was drawn to the work at Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity because of her aspiration to work with an organization that represents her values of being an intentional and inter-religious community that is guided by diverse faith traditions to live peaceably, respectfully, and lovingly with every person.

Prior to coming to Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, she worked as the Director of Social Justice and Outreach for St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Yorba Linda.  There she helped to form the North Orange County Interfaith Council which engaged congregations of many faiths.  For three years, she worked as the Justice for Immigrants Campaign Coordinator for the Diocese of San Bernardino where she connected church leaders with community partners and allies to advance pro-immigrant legislation through outreach, education and action, as well as serving as a steering committee member for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice of Inland Southern California.  She is a 2023 Mercy International Global Action Emerging Leadership Fellow.

When Hilda is not working, she hosts care circles: meetings where she shares affirming stories about her experience as a Latina immigrant, encouraging immigrants to embrace their experiences and awaken their God-given personal power.

Contact: hcruz@im4humanintegrity.org

Ipyani Lockert
Faith Organizer, Inland Empire

Ipyani Lockert, Faith Organizer

Hailing from San Bernardino, Ipyani grew up on the west side within a stable and loving home. Being one of the first crop of students to be bused to the north side of town to attend Northpark Elementary school, he has always been surrounded by diversity. Interacting and learning from people from many different backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, and religious beliefs. Equipping him with ability to feel comfortable and confident regardless of his surroundings, with a sense of purpose and belonging.

After graduating from Cal State San Bernardino (“Go Yotes!”) with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, Ipyani has applied his education and lived experience into a number of fields, from campaign assistant manager and trainer to licensed tax preparer; but it was his years as an mental health outreach worker for the African American Mental Health Coalition (AAMHC) that gave him a greater sense of community. Later he became a full-time organizer within the Inland Valley Region for California Partnership, advocating for a greater budget allocations at the state and county level to strengthen our communities, and a safety net through the lens of Health Human Services (HHS).

Ipyani is a published author and avid poet with a love for creative expression.

Rev. Dr. Larry Foy
Regional Program Director, Los Angeles

Rev. Dr. Larry W. Foy, Regional Program Director

The Rev. Dr. Larry W. Foy leads our Justice Not Jails program. He is a public theologian, social ethicist, and community activist.  His educational background, training, and life experience has contributed to his development as a Christian scholar and passionate advocate for social justice.  He holds earned degrees in theology, ethics, and law. He has taught theology and ethics at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst Illinois, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.

Larry has served as a community leader in Southern California for the past 25 years.  His leadership includes serving as Director of the Union Rescue Mission and the Orange County Rescue Mission; Director of Community Programs, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, Director of Urban Ministries, Southern California/Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ; and as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for A New Way of Life Reentry Project, located in the Watts community of Los Angeles.

Larry has published several articles, along with writing Hope in Heaven and Faith for Today (2012), a book that challenges Christians to capture God’s eschatological promise of renewal as both calling and challenge toward building a more just and peaceful world in the “here and now.”  

Larry is an eternal optimist and realist. He sees the world as full of possibilities and promise and he believes that people of faith are called upon to bear an influencing presence and to play a participating role in shaping local and global affairs.  Larry resides in the Crescent Heights community of Los Angeles, California.

Contact: lfoy@im4humanintegrity.org

Gala King
Regional Program Director, Northern California

Gala King
Regional Program Director, Northern California
Gala King, Regional Program Director, Northern California

Gala King (she/her) is the Regional Program Director for IM4HI. In this role, she engages congregations, faith leaders, and directly impacted community leaders and families in Northern California in advocacy campaigns and events.

For the past 20 years, Gala has been working with communities and organizations focused on social justice, cultural resilience, community building, and faith-rooted organizing, locally and globally. With a background in public health, she has experience engaging environmental justice communities to build capacity to use information to protect their personal and community health. Gala was a founding member of the transnational environmental justice organization, Filipino Americans for Environmental Solidarity (FACES), which led U.S.-based campaigns pushing for accountability among the U.S. government and corporations for environmental destruction in the Philippines.

As a 2nd generation Filipina-American, Gala and her family are actively involved in Sama Sama Cooperative, which runs a Filipinx-youth summer camp that focuses on ecology, culture, art, and solidarity. They are also members of Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, and Gala helped lead BVUMC through their process to declare itself a “Sanctuary Congregation” in 2017. Through Sama Sama, BVUMC, and other communities, Gala and her  partner enjoy raising their two boys, in a multicultural, politically-active context in Oakland. Gala also enjoys spending time in nature, visiting family, connecting with community, yoga, dancing, and creating art.

Contact: gking@im4humanintegrity.org

Kelly Younger,
Manager, Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Teams (NEAT)

Kelly Younger
Manager, Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Teams

Kelly Younger trains volunteer teams from congregations to accompany recently arrived immigrants in our Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team (NEAT) program. She strives to assure that the families and individuals we accompany are supported and spiritually cared for throughout the process of reestablishing their lives here and navigating the US immigration system.

Kelly has a life-long commitment to immigrant justice work. She earned a degree in Latin American Studies and Chicano/a Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked as an advocate for immigrant families navigating the US education system as a high-school guidance counselor. She also worked as a medical interpreter in hospitals, which then motivated her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare with a concentration in Community Mental Health from University of California, Berkeley. Kelly’s leadership style is to practice humility; she works to put herself in a listening position, to learn from other people and alongside them.

In her free time, Kelly has volunteered in housing ministry, has served as a philanthropic advisor, and is managing a local scholarship. She also creates mosaics, paints, and has even made a boat for her niece to play in.

Contact: kyounger@im4humanintegrity.org

Nadia Tavera Medina
NEAT Program Coordinator

Nadia Tavera Medina,
NEAT Program Coordinator

Prior to joining the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Nadia (they/them/elle) served immigrant communities in Hayward. Providing spiritual support, implementing educational programs for personal development, and creating strategies to improve health conditions and fight food insecurity among immigrant communities during the acute phase of the pandemic.

Nadia was born and raised in Mexico City, holds a degree in Actuarial Science from the National University of Mexico, and worked over 11 years in Business Analysis and Computer programming for the financial industry in Mexico City. From a young age, Nadia has had a sense of justice for marginalized populations and has been an activist for free education and LGBTQ rights. In 2011 Nadia led the first congregation of queer women in their hometown and was the first openly queer chaplain at La Comunidad Teológica de Mexico.

Nadia moved to California to pursue a career in Ministry. In 2021 they earned a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Social Transformation from Pacific School of Religion and currently is Co-Pastor of Ministerio Latino, an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. 

Nadia is passionate about Biblical exegesis and promotes a Gospel for all. They enjoy sitting at the table with people from diverse contexts and backgrounds. You can find them riding their bike on the shoreline, hiking the Bay Area trails, or hanging out with family and friends in their free time.

Hulissa Aguilar
Youth Leader

Hulissa Aguilar,
Youth Leader

Hulissa Aguilar was first introduced to Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity at a vigil outside of West County Detention Facility, the ICE detention center where her father was detained. She began to share her story and advocate for her father’s release. Along the way, she found her passion for advocacy work, especially for immigrant families like her own. 

Since 2018, Hulissa has developed her leadership skills through speaking at events and involvement in various projects and campaigns. During the summer of 2021, she interned with IM4HI and took on major roles for the VISION Act advocacy work and the zine, We The Youth. She hosted a VISION Act youth rally in August 2021, which got a lot of important media coverage. She also worked on the communications team during the Pilgrimage for a Better Future. In September 2022, Hulissa went to Washington D.C for the Defund Hate Campaign’s ‘National Day of Advocacy’ and spoke to members of Congress about cutting funds to ICE. 

Hulissa is our official Youth Leader and assists with our social media and advocacy for campaigns. In addition, she continues to share her story, being the voice of so many youth and families. 

Somdeng Danny Thongsy 
Faith Organizer

As the Faith Organizer, Danny engages the community and people of faith as a part of a statewide effort to advocate for immigrant rights and to end mass incarceration. He mentors and supports directly impacted community members through advocacy and their reintegration. He is currently studying Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, and his biography has been profiled in the Berkeley News.

Somdeng Danny Thongsy, Faith Organizer

Danny was a former Yuri Kochiyama Fellow with Asian American Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. He advocated for immigrant rights and for the CA Values Act making CA a sanctuary state. He also co-led a successful anti-deportation campaign for community members and for their successful gubernatorial pardon. He helped form a coalition resulting in the passing of Assembly Bill 2845 to Improve Accessibility and Transparency in the Pardon and Commutation Process. Furthermore, he had advocated with the Human Rights Watch in passing Assembly Bill 1308 Youth Offender Parole Hearing Up to the age of 25. He is a part of the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center Leadership Alumni and was a Coalition Coordinator for the Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County. 

As a refugee from Laos, Danny loves to celebrate the richness of his culture and roots by cooking traditional Lao food. He loves the outdoors, drawing, and teaching origami folding.

Jose Ruben Hernandez Gomez
Spiritual Activist In Residence

Jose Ruben Hernandez Gomez, Spiritual Activist In Residence

Jose Ruben Hernandez Gomez is a formerly detained leader. While in detention, Jose advocated for his rights and the rights of others by providing interpretation, filing medical requests, and grievances of the mistreatment that he and his peers experienced, and spoke to multiple media outlets and state representatives. In 2022 he co-organized a labor strike with his detained peers and in 2023 he co-organized a collective hunger strike. Weeks after being violently transferred to Texas, he was released on April 14, 2023 on a bond hearing.

Since then he has continued to advocate, whether being part of the ACLU California Immigration Detention Database, lobbying at our state’s capitol for Immigrant Day of Action 2023 and 2024, also at the 2024 Quest For Democracy. He speaks of his experience in ICE detention to the public through the media, peaceful demonstrations, panels at universities such as UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Southern California. He co-organized our 2023 pilgrimage, joined our 22 mile Pilgrimage for Palestine, and organizes financial support for people who have been deported to their country of origin.

Today he is the Spiritual Activist In Residence with Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity as well as a San Joaquin Delta College Student. He enjoys spending time with family, praying, and reading his bible scripture with his mother Maria del Rosario. 

Felicia Hyde
Communications Manager

Felicia Hyde
Communications Manager
Felicia Hyde, Communications Manager

Felicia Hyde (she/her) serves as the Communications Manager for Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, leading external communications to transform the narrative and uplift IM4HI’s impact, people, and vision. Rooted in community and solidarity journalism, Felicia’s journey led her to Mahalaya a year before joining IM4HI. Mahalaya, a SF-based publication, not only supports the rights, safety, and well-being of Filipinx Americans but also contributes to building and strengthening the Asian American social justice movement of previous generations.

Her dedication to Mahalaya involved collaboration with community organizing and social justice and cultural initiatives like Kapwa Gardens, Bayani Art, SacFilipinx, Asian Law Caucus, and NAFCON. Her commitment to solidarity journalism and amplifying Filipinx narratives, not only shaped her perspective, but led her to IM4HI through Mahalaya, a San Francisco-based publication focused on sharing Filipinx voices. Notably, Felicia’s initiation into the IM4HI community was marked by her article on local community organizer and faith leader, Maria Legarda.

A Bay Area native with San Jose roots, Felicia holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in ethnomusicology from San Francisco State University. Embracing her multi-racial heritage of Filipino and African American roots, Felicia brings an open perspective to diverse narratives.

Passionate about community storytelling, Felicia crafts compelling narratives spanning social justice, education, arts, and cultural topics. Her work aligns seamlessly with IM4HI’s values of amplifying underrepresented voices, fostering cultural awareness, and driving positive change.

Felicia Hyde’s vibrant character reveals a multifaceted personality, where her love for cats and exploration of diverse cultures through music, languages, and food are testament to her curiosity and open-mindedness. In addition to her professional pursuits, Felicia finds joy in traveling to new destinations, expressing herself through singing and dancing, and savoring quality moments with friends and family.

Contact: fhyde@humanintegrity.org 

Sara Fread
Development Coordinator

Sara Fread
Sara Fread, Development Coordinator

Sara Fread (she/her) is the development coordinator at IM4HI, managing grant writing, fundraising, coordinating special events, and building donor relationships so our organization can continue working toward the healing and liberation of all people.

Sara is a graduate of Pacific School of Religion where she earned her Master of Arts in Social Transformation and Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change. Prior to beginning her studies at PSR, she graduated summa cum laude from Elmhurst College with a BA in Religious Studies and Intercultural Studies. While in seminary, Sara began at IM4HI as an intern supporting the NorCal advocacy campaigns and fell deeply in love with IM4HI’s uniquely powerful faith-rooted organizing. 

Sara has experience working in church, camp, and education settings, all with a social justice lens. Her vocational call is rooted in the flourishing of all marginalized people and engaging faith communities in addressing systemic justice work. She believes imaging and building a just future is deeply theological work and the most urgent task of people from all faiths today. 

Sara is a Bay Area transplant. She grew up in the cornfields of northeast Iowa and now calls the foggy hills of San Francisco home. When she isn’t working, you can find Sara curled up with a book, exploring the city, singing along to the latest Broadway soundtrack, or snapping a thousandth picture of her rescue cat Lyra.

Sharon Hwang Colligan
Director of Operations, Finance, and Technology

Sharon Hwang Colligan,
Director of Operations, Finance, and Technology

Sharon Hwang Colligan holds a bachelor’s degree from New College of California with a focus on Multiculturalism and Religious Education, and enjoys the theology of a healthy organizational infrastructure. In addition to her work managing IM4HI’s finances and operations, she homeschooled a lively daughter who recently entered the UC Davis honors program for civil engineering, and since 1986 has accompanied a Oklahoma Cherokee friend, incarcerated on California’s Death Row. She is also a fluent Esperantist, database design enthusiast, longtime Unitarian Universalist lay leader, student of Judaism, and dabbler in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her background in web development and coding allow her to manage our WordPress, Airtable, Quickbooks, Xero, and Google Workspace needs. Spreadsheets obey her, for which we are grateful.