Founded in September 2002, Families for Freedom is a New York-based multi-ethnic human rights organization by and for families facing and fighting deportation. We are immigrant prisoners (detainees), former immigrant prisoners, their loved ones, or individuals at risk of deportation. We come from dozens of countries, across continents. FFF seeks to repeal the laws that are tearing apart our homes and neighborhoods; and to build the power of immigrant communities as communities of color, to provide a guiding voice in the growing movement for immigrant rights as human rights.
FFF has evolved into an organizing center against deportation. We are source of support, education, and campaigns for directly affected families and communities -- locally and nationally.
JANAY CAUTHEN (Acting Executive Director)
Janay (Jani Cauthen) has been a long time member of FFF since 2005. Janay is the former wife of deported immigrant rights activist Jean Montrevil. It was Janay’s hard work that kept Jean free for over 13 years until he was unjustly deported during Trumps administration on January 16,2018 .They are both Co-Founders of New York’s New Sanctuary Movements. Janay has a love for advocacy against injustices. Janay is the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father who also struggled with the broken immigration system. Janay is the current board co chair of FFF. Janay has served many roles with FFF she was intern. She attended and successfully completed the speakers bureau. Janay has represented FFF for several years at DWN conferences in various states. She has also been very active in showing her strong love and dedication on serval news and media outlets. She volunteered on several occasions including putting together our last fundraiser. Janay has a BA in Liberal Arts and Social Work. She had already start us on the right path for our revitalization.
FANTA FOFANA (Senior Organizer) is a long time member of Families for Freedom since 2007 after her father was deported to Senegal. She and her family were very active in FFF through the years, participating in protests, vigils, speak-outs, and campaigns. Fanta was also a Youth Leader for several years in FFF’s Youth Leadership program and worked as an intern with us when she was in high school until she left for college. She came to work as an organizer and is now the Senior Organizer.
JANIAH HEARD (Development Coordinator) has been apart of FFF since 2005. Janiah is the daughter of deported immigrant rights activist Jean Montrevil.She grew up watching her parents fight the system to keep her father free for over 13 years. Sadly he was unjustly deported during Trumps administration on January 16,2018. Which turned her family upside down. Her parents are both Co-Founders of New York’s New Sanctuary Movements. Janiah has a love for business development and fighting for people who are treated unjust . She has a BA in Business Admin and is currently in Grad School to receive her MBA. She has goals of becoming a immigration lawyer; to fight for the families who can’t fight for themselves.
BINTOU FOFANA (Organizer) has been a member of Families for Freedom since 2007 when her family was torn apart by the oppressive immigration system with the detention and deportation of her father. She was a member of the FFF Youth Committee of the Youth Leadership Program and remained an active member by participating in rallies, organizational events and outreach. She recently graduated college with a BS in Accounting. She decided to return to FFF as an organizer and an addition to the financial team to help strengthen FFF grass roots commitment.
CARLA RICE-MATA became a member of Families for Freedom after her husband was deported to the Dominican Republic. She is a School Social Worker at a High School in the Bronx and has served as a Field Instructor for Social Work Interns for the past decade. In joining the Board, she hopes to return the support that the people, families and organization of Families for Freedom gave to her and to help FFF build bridges to the larger community.
KATHLEEN MCARDLE: is a longtime activist involved in issues spanning from environmental justice to immigrant rights. She joined FFF in 2004, after her partner was deported to Jamaica. She was a graduate of the first FFF Organizing Fellows Class. Kathy has worked tirelessly to develop FFF’s campaigns and community outreach. Born and raised in Brooklyn, and with a background in art and design, Kathy now lives in Brooklyn with her son Joshua, one of FFF’s youth members.
SHANADO PHILLIPS: My journey with Families for Freedom began in 2016 after facing deportation due to re-entry. This came as a major devastation to my three children and wife who stuck by my side along with Families for Freedom in entirety. As a result of the hard work, effort, and determination, put into my immigration case from not only my family and legal team, but Families for Freedom as well, I can proudly say that I am home in the U.S where I belong. I have a successful thriving home renovation business that allows me to help put a smile on peoples face the way Families for Freedom has done for me throughout my journey and I couldn’t be more grateful. My eldest daughter is currently in college and my two younger children are able to participate in extracurricular activities outside of school, joyful at the fact that they can all come home to not only their mother, but myself as well. Families for Freedom is not only a movement, but a legitimate family that provides the support and love I was able to benefit from during my encounter with immigration and I know they will continue to do the same for others the way they have for my family and I.
JANAY CAUTHEN: I have been a member of FFF since 2005. I found this organization to be very helpful and unique when my husband at the time was facing deportation. They assisted with advocacy and probono legal assistance for my family and many others facing deportation. FFF is an organization that supports equality for all regardless of immigration status which is very important to me. I'm against injustices against people based on their immigration status.
WENDY RODRIGUEZ: has been involved with Families for Freedom since 2018, first as a volunteer and now as a board member. Being a migrant herself, and having been exposed first hand to the crimigration system when her brother was detained for deportation, she feels passionately about supporting those that are facing similar hardships. By continuing to be involved with “Families” she hopes to support those in the front lines of this movement in their efforts to bend the arc of the immigration system towards true justice.