Farmworker Justice Staff

Bruce Goldstein, President

Bruce Goldstein is President of Farmworker Justice.  He is an attorney with 40 years of experience.  He joined Farmworker Justice as a staff attorney in 1988 after practicing labor and civil rights law in the Midwest.

Bruce’s activities have included advocacy in administrative agencies and Congress, building coalitions, advising grassroots organizations, litigating high-impact cases against employers and government, training of legal professionals, and shaping public opinion through publications and the media.  During his tenure, FJ has continued its longstanding role as a national leader in advocating for immigration reform legislation, improving labor and occupational safety protections, expanding access to health care, building capacity of farmworker organizations, and improving corporate responsibility in the food supply chain.  Bruce represents Farmworker Justice on the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 40 prominent national Latino organizations.  Bruce is a co-founder and Board member of the Equitable Food Initiative, an innovative corporate social responsibility project.

Bruce received his B.S. degree from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

David Damian Figueroa
Director of Development

Iris Figueroa
Director of Economic and Environmental Justice

Ms. Figueroa has worked at Farmworker Justice since 2016. She engages in advocacy and community education for farmworkers on issues related to immigration, labor rights and occupational health and safety. Previously, Ms. Figueroa worked at various civil society organizations throughout the U.S. and Latin America for the protection and advancement of economic and social rights, including in Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica. Ms. Figueroa is a native Spanish speaker and a graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia Law School.

Isabel Gross
Project Coordinator for Occupational Safety and Health

Isabel Gross joined Farmworker Justice in 2020 as the Project Coordinator for Occupational Safety and Health. She supports the health team by developing and translating educational materials, managing day-to-day communication with community partners, and assisting with project reporting. Before coming to FJ, Isabel served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, where she trained the leaders of community agriculture and women’s groups, and as an Americorps volunteer in Arlington, Virginia, where she connected immigrant parents with educational services for their children. Isabel holds a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in anthropology from Haverford College.

Alexis Guild, MPP
Director of Health Policy and Programs

Alexis Guild has been with Farmworker Justice since 2011. In her role as Director of Health Policy and Programs, she coordinates FJ’s health promotion projects and health policy advocacy. She works with advocacy organizations, community/migrant health centers, farmworker community-based organizations, and legal services organizations to ensure health care access for farmworkers and their families across the United States. Alexis co-authored “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Implementation and Impact of the Affordable Care Act in U.S. Farmworker Communities” published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (2016); and “The Neighbors who Feed Us: Farmworkers and Government Policy – Challenges and Solutions” published in the Harvard Law and Policy Review (2018). Alexis has extensive experience in public health and community organizing. She worked on political campaigns and grassroots organizations. She also served as a Health Education Volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala. She graduated from Wellesley College and has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Alexis lives in Oakland, California.

Nina Kanakarajavelu, MPH
Project Director, Health Promotion

Nina Kanakarajavelu joined Farmworker Justice in 2021 as the Project Director for Health Promotion. Previously, Nina has managed programs related to pandemic preparedness, global workforce development, and health systems strengthening. She is committed to a rights-based approach to expanding health access and improving health outcomes in farmworker communities.

Nina received her MPH with a concentration in International Health and Development at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and also holds a Masters in Human Rights from Brandeis University.

Candace Mickens
Chief Operations Officer

Merlyn Perez, MHA
Director of Operations

Merlyn Perez is the Director of Operations at Farmworker Justice. During her tenure, she has been responsible for financial management, human resources management and the management of office technology.  She assists project managers and the COO in monitoring and reviewing the tracking of grant funds, assists with the preparation of budgets for new grants and contracts and works to improve internal financial controls.  Mrs. Perez holds a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland University College.

Tessa Pulaski

Legal Fellow

Tessa Pulaski joined Farmworker Justice in 2021 as the legal fellow. She monitors policy developments on immigration, labor, and health issues and provides legal research for FJ’s initiatives on these issue areas. Prior to coming to FJ, Tessa served as an intern at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School where she contributed to the report, “Essentially Unprotected: A Focus on Farmworker Health Laws and Policies Addressing Pesticide Exposure and Heat-Related Illness.” Tessa is a graduate of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and the George Washington University Law School.

Mayra Reiter

Project Director, Occupational Safety and Health

Mayra Reiter began working at FJ as Program Coordinator with the Health Program in 2019, supporting its various health initiatives and outreach efforts. Before joining FJ, she was a science and policy researcher focused on environmental policy and human health. Ms. Reiter holds a Master’s degree in international service from American University in Washington, D.C. and joint Master’s  degrees in environmental sciences and public affairs from Indiana University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences with a concentration in environmental sciences from the University of Puerto Rico.

Trent Taylor
Staff Attorney

Trent Taylor joined Farmworker Justice as its Staff Attorney in October 2020, with ten years of experience in union representation and wage and hour law.  As a union-side labor attorney, Trent represented a diverse group of unions and bargaining units, including teachers, healthcare workers, pilots, truck drivers, mechanics, municipal workers, factory workers and communication workers under the National Labor Relations Act, Railway Labor Act and various state public sector bargaining statutes.  In connection with this work, Trent co-authored the Ohio AFL-CIO’s Law of Organizing, a handbook designed for union organizers. 

As a wage and hour attorney, Trent has specialized in represented low-income Latinx workers in the fields of food service, healthcare and farm work.  Trent developed his passion for advancing the cause of farmworkers in his first trial, where he aided four farmworkers in recovering unpaid wages from their employer. Trent is proud to be a member of Farmworker Justice and to represent farmworkers and their families. 

Andrew Walchuk
Staff Attorney

Andrew Walchuk joined Farmworker Justice as a staff attorney in 2021.  He engages in policy analysis, education, and advocacy on the broad range of immigration issues affecting farmworkers and their families. His previous work included advocacy and legal services for a variety of human rights organizations, with an emphasis on asylum and access to justice for immigrant communities. Andrew also has experience serving on political campaigns and in government, at both the state and federal level. He began representing farmworkers through his pro bono immigration practice while litigating at a law firm in California.  He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Yale Divinity School, and Yale Law School.

Rebecca Young, MA
Senior Project Director – Community Engagement

Rebecca Young joined Farmworker Justice in Washington, DC in 2010 and currently serves as Senior Project Director for their Health Promotion team. Rebecca’s had the opportunity to engage with farmworker communities across the United States and finds continued inspiration for her work through the stories the farmworkers and their families so willingly share. Through her work in program management and training and curriculum development she interacts frequently with promotores de salud (health outreach workers) on health content areas as varied as pesticide safety, heat stress prevention, and HIV/AIDS awareness to name just a few. Her work in these areas is steeped in the philosophy of popular education which allows for participants of a wide variety of educational, cultural and linguistic backgrounds to understand and interact with training content in a meaningful and memorable way. Prior to joining Farmworker Justice Rebecca spent 7 years living in the rural Western Highlands of Guatemala. There she worked at a language school and envisioned a bookstore/cafe which also provided space for after-school projects for kids and literacy projects for women. Rebecca holds a MA in Sustainable Development and Social Justice from the School for International Training and a BA in Anthropology and English from Bowdoin College.