Annoucing Sireesha Manne as NMCLP’s executive director

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is pleased to announce Sireesha Manne is taking the helm as our executive director. Sireesha has been serving as interim director since February, and has been an attorney with the Center for the last 10 years. With a strong commitment to New Mexico’s families, she has led and collaborated on successful major campaigns, including to expand healthcare access in the state. She is known for her high-caliber policy and legal advocacy, skill with developing effective strategies, and perseverance in achieving lasting results. She leads with a vision for economic and racial justice centered in our communities, and has over 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations.

A message from Sireesha:

The Center stands united with our families and community partners in advancing a bold movement for change in New Mexico. I am very grateful to be part of an exceptional and dedicated team as we enter the next chapter of our history — working together to make healthcare affordable for all, ensure every family has food security, fair wages, and financial well-being, and to pursue wholescale transformation of our public education system so that every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, to the many collaborators that have helped build the Center – both inside and outside the organization – and to all who have made this transition a success. I look forward to working with you in the months and years to come.

Sireesha Manne
Executive Director

Celebrating our Summer 2018 Legal Interns

The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty would like to recognize its three outstanding summer legal interns: Yarrow Allaire, Erika Avila Stephanz, and Verenice Peregrino Pompa.

Yarrow Allaire

Yarrow Allaire worked with the Center’s Workers’ Rights team focusing on combating wage theft. She is a recipient of the Peggy Browning Fellowship for dedicated students who are interested in pursuing work in labor law and workers’ rights.

Allaire, who grew up on a small farm in Albuquerque’s South Valley, first chose teaching as a career. She taught geography to ninth graders in McAllen, Texas and later government, economics, and New Mexico history to high school students in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Her personal history and teaching experience made Allaire keenly aware of barriers to opportunity because of race, class, gender, and geography. She decided to go to law school to advocate for legal reforms that promote economic and social justice for all people.

Allaire holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. She will graduate from the UNM School of Law in 2020.

Erika Avila Stephanz

Erika Avila Stephanz worked with the Center’s Fair Lending team, which advocates for access to fair loans under reasonable terms for all New Mexicans. She is a recipient of the Seth Montgomery Fellowship for outstanding law students who have demonstrated an interest in public interest law.

A native of Albuquerque, Avila Stephanz worked outside the state for several years. The stark inequality and lack of resources for so many New Mexicans, however, motivated her to pursue systematic change locally, and she plans to continue to address socioeconomic inequality in our state.

Avila Stephanz served on the executive board of the Mexican American Law Student Association (MALSA) and is a current member of the organization. She has a dual BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of New Mexico. She will graduate from the UNM School of Law in 2019.

Verenice Peregrino Pompa

Verenice Peregrino Pompa worked with the Center’s Education team, focusing on equitable access to education for children in New Mexico, especially Native American children and children in juvenile detention. She is a recipient of the Craig Othmer Fellowship for committed students motivated to pursue a career in public interest law.

Peregrino Pompa’s personal experiences in the rural public schools she attended in Chihuahua, Mexico and the San Luis Valley in Colorado inspired her to fight for equal access to resources for all students. As a Mexican immigrant student in the San Luis Valley, Peregrino Pompa had firsthand experience with the lack of resources available to minority students, immigrant students, and English language learners (ELL). She looks forward to a future in public policy and advocacy.

Peregrino Pompa is the Multicultural Relations Editor of UNM’s Tribal Law Journal and the president of MALSA. She has a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico and will graduate from the UNM School of Law in 2019.