Safe Passage Project Appoints Two New Board Members

Safe Passage, October 7, 2021

Safe Passage Project is pleased to announce the appointment of two new board members, A. Nicole “Nic” Campbell and Isabel Martinez. Nic and Isabel will join our team of directors and provide strategic direction and pertinent expertise to further our mission to ensure that every child in New York who is eligible for substantive immigration relief receives high-quality legal representation. These appointments bring the number of board members to thirteen.

“We are delighted to welcome Nic and Isabel to our Board of Directors,” said Pam Foster, Chief Operating Officer of Co-Impact and Chair of Safe Passage Project’s board. “Nic’s expertise in philanthropy and social sector infrastructure design, and Isabel’s knowledge and dedication to the Latina/o adult and youth immigrants experience are sure to be an asset to our organization. We look forward to gaining their insights and furthering the mission and success of Safe Passage Project.”

“I am so excited to be part of an organization that is protecting the rights of children in the immigration process,” said Nic. “As an immigrant myself, I am honored to be a board member of an organization that fights to ensure that children have access to often life-changing opportunities in the United States.”

“I am proud to say that I have partnered with Safe Passage Project since 2014 and I have seen, up close, the dedication of this organization and its team to supporting some of New York City’s most vulnerable and newest residents, unaccompanied minors,” Isabel said. “I am thrilled that I am now serving Safe Passage as a Board Member so that I can continue to contribute to their mission in important ways!”

A. Nicole “Nic” Campbell is the founder of the Build Up Companies, a federated group of companies comprised of Build Up Advisory Group, The Campbell Law Firm, and Build Up, Inc. and focused on transforming outcomes for vulnerable and marginalized communities. She is Chief Executive Officer of Build Up Advisory Group, an advisory firm that specializes in improving governance, grant making, and organizational design for brave philanthropists, philanthropies, movements, and nonprofit organizations to provide them with the structural capacity to deliver on their missions. She is Managing Attorney of The Campbell Law Firm, a boutique law firm that serves as a trusted advisor to brave grant-making nonprofits, movements, philanthropies, and philanthropists to interrupt cycles of injustice and inequity. She is also President of Build Up, Inc., a nonprofit capacity builder that supports women and leaders of color and incubates and fiscally sponsors charitable projects and organizations that work with under-resourced and invisibilized communities around the world. Nic also brings extensive experience from the philanthropic sector, having served as Senior Director of Operations and Foundation Counsel for Dalio Philanthropies where she was responsible for their infrastructure build-out, managing their legal affairs, and overseeing their China portfolio grant making. Prior to that, she was Deputy General Counsel and Secretary of the Open Society Foundations, where she provided strategic legal governance and operational advice to over 35 charitable organizations and foundations. Nic has used her legal training and strategy expertise in private practice, private philanthropy, and the public sector for more than fifteen years. She is a Steering Committee member of NPower’s Command Shift, a national consortium of women and allies that advocate for strategies that invest in and inspire the advancement of young women of color in tech careers—with particular focus on women from underrepresented communities and non-traditional pathways. She is also Co-Director of the Nonprofit Council of Newtown, Connecticut, which provides resources and support to the town’s nonprofit organizations. Nic got her B.S from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, and her L.L.M. in Taxation from the New York University of Law.

Isabel Martinez is an Associate Professor of Latin American and Latinx Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her research and courses focus on unaccompanied Latin American teenagers, Teaching and Learning in Hispanic Serving Institution Classrooms, and Sociology of Education. Isabel is the Founding Director of U-LAMP, the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project, which is a research and service project that focuses on providing academic, social, and legal assistance to newly arrived immigrant minors in removal proceedings. She is also Faculty Director of ¡Adelante! Latinx Leadership Program for incoming first-year students interested in Latinx issues. Isabel is a founding member of John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Immigrant Student Success Center, the first immigrant student center in CUNY and New York City. Her manuscript, Becoming Transnational Youth Workers: Independent Mexican Teenage Migrants and Pathways of Survival and Social Mobility (Rutgers University Press 2019) focuses on unaccompanied Mexican teenage minors who arrived in the late 1999s and early-mid 2000s and she is currently developing an edited book project with her colleagues tentatively titled Beyond Digital Fronteras: Rehumanizing Latinx Education, which focuses on the use of digital tools in Hispanic Serving Institutions and Latinx Studies classrooms. She also has peer-reviewed articles and chapters in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Protecting the Migrant Child: Central Issues in the Search for Best Practice, Latino Studies, and Latinos and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia. Isabel got her B.A. from Rice University, her M.A. in Educational Policy, Practice, and Foundation from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her Ph.D. in Sociology and Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

About Safe Passage Project
Safe Passage Project provides free lawyers to child refugees who are being deported. Our mission is to ensure that every child in New York who is eligible for substantive immigration relief receives high-quality legal representation. We believe that no child should face the immigration process alone.

Under existing U.S. law, most immigrant youth have a path to legal status but, unlike in criminal court, in Immigration Court, the government does not provide defendants with attorneys if they cannot afford to pay. As a result, more than half of young people go through immigration proceedings without a lawyer. On their own, they have little chance of successfully navigating our complex immigration laws and 85% are ordered deported, according to data from Syracuse University’s TRAC. When they have a Safe Passage attorney by their side, the statistics are reversed: we win our cases more than 90% of the time. Right now, thousands of refugee children are facing deportation in New York Immigration Court without a lawyer to represent them. We have a plan to bring that number down to zero. To learn more about or donate to Safe Passage Project, call us at 212-324-6558, visit us at, like Safe Passage Project on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.