The Governing Board
Naomi Tolentino grew up in a missionary family, enjoying meeting new people and learning about new cultures. She loves working with youth, which led her to be a high school teacher and work in the Youth Specialties office near her home in Puerto Rico. She has served her community all her life, she now works for USD 500 and serves as the AIRR Board Chair.
Rev. Rick Behrens
Grandview Park Presbyterian Church
Pastor Rick Behrens is an ‘original Dotte’ who has served Grandview Park Presbyterian Church for nearly 20 years. He is a founding member of the board of Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation (AIRR) and Pastor Rick and the church are leaders in the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2).
Trinidad Raj Molina
Trinidad Raj has previously served as the Lead Organizer for AIRR, working against Vision Quest's youth detention center, running the press conference that called out ICE's illegal arrest breaking into a car, and other virtual national actions. Before that he had founded the historic first VIA Immigrant and Refugee Ministry for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, where he accompanied many families victimized by deportations. He now lives with the Jerusalem Farm community, wherefrom he organizes in Northeast Kansas City. In his free time he has been working on a theology book reflecting on migration.
Sister Jean Anne Panisko
Sisters of Charity
Sister Jean Anne is serving her second term appointment as SCL Community Treasurer. In this role, she serves as an SCL Officer with members of the Community Council. Before assuming the Treasurer’s position in 2010, she spent 29 years as the principal at Annunciation School, Denver. Prior to that, she was an educator for several years. Sister Jean Anne has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Saint Mary and a master’s in administration from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio. She is a board member for Grand Junction, Colo.; the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth; and Advocates for Immigration Rights & Reconciliation.
Austin and Ferguson
Angela Ferguson holds a Bachelors degree in General Studies from Wichita State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kansas.She began her career working for Kansas Legal Services, initial working with victims of Domestic Violence and completing her work at KLS in the Wyandotte-Leavenworth Legal Services office working as the Elder Law Attorney.
Dr. Sofia Paredes
University of St. Marys
Dr. Sofía Paredes has a diverse background with graduate studies in both Literature and Linguistics, and an extensive undergraduate teaching experience at all levels of Spanish both in Ecuador and United States. She received her Ph. D. in Spanish Linguistics with an Emphasis in Second Language Acquisition from the University of California at Davis and her M.A. in Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies from the Universidad Andina Simón in Quito, Ecuador.
SCL Sister of Charity of Leavenworth
Before I joining the board of directors of AIRR, I was doing ministry service with immigrants in Sicily, Italy for three years. At that time there were thousands of immigrants landing on the shores of Sicily arriving from Africa. I worked at one of the welcoming centers for migrants. Prior to that I taught in a school of nursing in South Sudan for three years I first realized that advocacy work was for me during a sabbatical. I was fortunate to work as an intern for NETWORK, a national advocacy organization founded by Catholic Sisters, giving us a voice in Washington DC. I was allowed to participate in visits to Congress People and joined in advocating for issues we considered important. The top accomplishments of AIRR during the short time I have been a member of the Board, include being able to adapt to the pandemic and carry on with limited services we were able to do in lock down.
Editor/ Founder at 2más2KC