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Tonya King Harris

Tonya King Harris, Executive DirectorTonya Harris, Executive Director 

Tonya King Harris is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). A lifelong resident of Rhode Island, Tonya has decades of experience working to empower others, build relationships, and bring people together. She believes that diversity is our strength and that being kind and patient with one another is essential to creating a culture of respect. Prior to joining the RICADV, Tonya served as the executive director of the Center for Mediation & Collaboration RI. She also held leadership roles at the Providence Black Repertory Company, the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Rhode Island, and the YMCA of Greater Providence. Earlier in her career, Tonya served as an officer of the Providence Police Department for twenty years, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University. An experienced mediator and conflict resolution trainer, she has used her skills to train police officers and public officials in South Africa and throughout R.I. Tonya has an entrepreneurial spirit and embraces change, innovation, and continuous movement. She is devoted to family, is the proud mother of four children, and loves her granddaughter with all her heart. In her free time, Tonya enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her loved ones building lasting memories.

Brittany Ballantyne

brittanyjpgBrittany Ballantyne, Communications Manager 

Brittany serves as the Communications Manager at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). She works to strengthen media relations, community engagement, and public awareness through helping others tell their stories. Prior to joining the RICADV team, Brittany’s passion for justice fueled her career as a reporter/photographer for The Valley Breeze Newspapers, and later her role serving public schools and educational nonprofits as a communications director at Martin & Associates. She served as a volunteer for Intsikelelo in 2013, a nonprofit in South Africa empowering communities - an organization she holds close to her heart. Brittany, a Rhode Island native, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Keene State College in Keene, N.H. She loves live music, exploring the outdoors, and taking photos of her family and friends.

Sara Eckhoff

Sara Eckhoff, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator Sara Eckhoff, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator

Sara Eckhoff is the Law Enforcement Training Coordinator at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). Working alongside the chair of the Violence Against Women Act Law Enforcement Training Committee, Sara works to research, develop, and coordinate educational opportunities on topics related to sexual and domestic violence for law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals throughout Rhode Island. Prior to starting her work at RICADV, Sara worked as Advocacy Coordinator at Day One, a sexual assault and trauma resource center in Providence, where she provided advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and hate crimes. Additionally, she has served as a Law Enforcement Advocate, assisting survivors of violence through the criminal justice process at four police departments in Southern Rhode Island. Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about social justice and hopes that by using an anti-oppression lens in her work, she can have a positive impact on her beloved community. Sara loves pizza, books about body liberation, spending time with her friends and family, especially her niece and nephew, and spoiling her 30-year old box turtle, Shelby.

Ian Colomer

Ian Colomer, Policy SpecialistIan Colomer, Policy Associate

Ian Colomer is the Policy Specialist at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). Ian joined the RICADV team in 2016, shortly after graduating from Roger Williams University (RWU) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a concentration in Anthropology and Sociology. In his current role, Ian oversees the organization’s data collection system EmpowerDB and provides technical assistance to the RICADV’s member agencies and staff. During the state legislative session each year, Ian supports the RICADV’s policy agenda, which includes monitoring legislation, creating fact sheets, and conducting advocacy at the State House. Ian’s passion for social justice began during his undergrad years, when he participated in the creation of the Diversity Leadership Program (now the P.E.A.C.E. Program) at RWU. The program focused on mentoring underrepresented groups in their first year at university and developing programs based on inclusivity and equity. Ian finds his downtime filled with listening to and discovering new music, as well as watching anime and TV shows like The Office.

Krista D'Amico

Krista D'Amico, Director of PreventionKrista D'Amico, Director of Prevention

Krista D'Amico is the Director of Prevention at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). Born and raised in Rhode Island, Krista has been part of the RICADV team since 2013, when she joined the organization as a communications associate. In her current role, Krista coordinates initiatives to prevent intimate partner violence before it starts, so that future generations of Rhode Islanders never witness, perpetrate, or experience abuse. Such initiatives aim to address the norms and conditions in our communities that increase the risk for violence. They also aim to improve health, wellbeing, and quality of life for all people in order to build safe, equitable, thriving communities, where people are less likely to use violence. Krista's responsibilities include managing the RICADV’s primary prevention strategies and activities funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She provides training and technical assistance related to primary prevention, and she coordinates and supports the community-led projects made possible by Rhode Island's Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, administered by the RICADV. Krista graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Communications. She loves to read, cook, sing and play saxophone, and spend quality time with her partner Richard and their adorable dog Ava.

Brandi Gbemisola

Brandi Gbemisola, Community Engagement SpecialistBrandi Gbemisola, Community Engagement Specialist

Brandi Gbemisola is the Community Engagement Specialist at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). She is responsible for developing and implementing the Training Calendar, as well as building and strengthening community collaborations. Prior to joining the RICADV, Brandi was the Volunteer Coordinator for the Domestic Violence Program of Crossroads RI. Brandi also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) member for two years within the Rhode Island community. Brandi loves exploring the world to eat delicious delicacies. She loves to dive into new worlds through reading, watching movies, and playing video games. Sometimes, she likes to create her own through writing. She is an alumna of Rhode Island College, where she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. She also received her Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. In her free time, Brandi enjoys volunteering at local organizations throughout the state.

Bethany Larrañaga

Bethany headshot 2019 webBethany Larrañaga, Communications Associate 

Bethany is the Communications Associate at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). A native Texan, Bethany earned a bachelor's degree in radio, television, and film at the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the RICADV, Bethany worked in a variety of media capacities, producing short films and managing social media accounts and working as the assistant director of Beyond the Sock, a puppetry workshop for television and film. She is passionate about utilizing media and communications as a way to serve her local communities, and aims to extend the reach of the RICADV's services through online platforms including social media. When she isn't at the office or on set, Bethany enjoys going to museums with her partner, cooking spicy foods, and going on walks with her cats, Chaos and Rubio.

Brandie Leach

Brandie headshotBrandie Leach, Fair Housing and Economic Justice Manager

Brandie Leach is the fair housing and economic justice manager at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)-led economic justice and housing related policy efforts in Rhode Island. Brandie joined the RICADV team in 2021 after working as the program manager at the Crossroads Rhode Island Domestic Violence Program and Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center as both a sexual assault counselor and law enforcement advocate. She began her advocacy while serving active-duty U.S. Army on special assignment as her unit’s sexual assault response coordinator in 2007, and has been passionate about supporting survivors of violence ever since. Brandie holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Rhode Island College and will be pursuing her master’s degree in 2022 with a focus on large systems change. Originally from Connecticut, Brandie settled in Rhode Island with her family in 2012 and has grown to love this state and the ways in which it reminds her of home. She is a mother of two girls, bonus mom of two boys and her beloved cats, Masha and Simba. In her spare time, Brandie enjoys reading, visiting new restaurants and quality time with family and nature.

Michele Marques-Pacheco

Michele headshot 2020 web Michele Marques-Pacheco, Finance Manager

Michele serves as the Finance Manager at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Working with the RICADV Executive Director, Michele ensures accuracy of grant reporting, enhances the RICADV's finance controls and processes, and increases business efficiency. Prior to joining the RICADV team, Michele worked in public accounting, year-end financials, and audits. She joined the RICADV with over 15 years of experience serving nonprofits. Previously, Michele had managed finance departments and staff members, and led the implementation of new accounting software in nonprofit mergers. Michele earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Bryant University, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Michele's husband and children are her greatest joy, and she enjoys spending time cuddling them on the couch watching movies and sharing popcorn, game nights, and going on family outings.

Devon Pinkus

Michele headshot 2020 web

Devon Pinkus, Men's Engagement Coordinator

Devon Pinkus is the Men’s Engagement Coordinator at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), where he manages prevention goals and activities related to men’s engagement, including Ten Men, a statewide prevention initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A native Pennsylvanian, Devon moved to Philadelphia after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. While in Philadelphia, he worked in the education field, first as an AmeriCorps City Year member in a public high school, and then as the assistant dean of culture at a K-8 public charter school. Upon moving to Providence, Devon began working with the Nonviolence Institute, coordinating programs for youth and young adults focusing on case management, social support and employment opportunities. In each chapter of his career, his work has emphasized conflict resolution and the importance of relationships at an interpersonal level, and an analysis of systemic oppression at a social level. He brings a passion for social justice to the work, and is active in community organizing efforts in Providence. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors, live music, spending time with friends and family and learning new things.

Carmen Recalde-Russo

Carmen Recalde-Russo, Director of Community EngagementCarmen Recalde-Russo, Director of Community Engagement and Communications

Carmen Recalde-Russo is the Director of Community Engagement for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). She joined the RICADV in 2007. Prior to joining the organization, Carmen worked for Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, a RICADV member agency, as the Latino Advocate. Carmen holds a law degree in Paraguay, South America, her country of origin. In Paraguay, she represented victims of domestic violence in family court cases and also represented and provided legal assistance to worker and farmer cooperatives.

Lucy Rios

Lucy Rios, Deputy DirectorLucy Rios, Director of Prevention & Communications

Lucy Rios, deputy director for the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), has been in the movement to end domestic violence for 18 years. Rios joined the RICADV to coordinate Rhode Island’s primary prevention-focused strategies funded through various iterations of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention DELTA Programs, creating notable initiatives to mobilize bystanders such as Ten Men. She also led the organization’s communications department, served on multidisciplinary committees and provided training and technical assistance to state and community partners. In her current role as deputy director, Rios supports the implementation of the RICADV’s administrative strategies through human resources coordination, grant writing and reporting, and supervision of the RICADV’s management team and evaluation staff to ensure a culture of support, accountability and strategic use of resources. Rios is a founding board member of the Segue Institute for Learning Charter School, serves on the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee of the City of Providence, and is a founding member of SISTA FIRE, an organization that seeks to build the collective power of women of color in RI for social, economic and political transformation.

Cynthia Roberts

Cynthia Roberts, EvaluatorCynthia Roberts, Empowerment Evaluator

Cynthia Roberts is the Evaluator for all programs across the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), with a primary focus leading evaluation planning and implementation for the RICADV’s federally- and locally-funded primary prevention strategies, particularly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded DELTA Impact project. Additionally, Cynthia provides empowerment evaluation support to the Newport Health Equity Zone and technical assistance to local, state, and national partnering organizations. Prior to joining the RICADV in 2014, she was evaluator for the RI Department of Health’s Statewide Tobacco Control Program. First trained in 1997 with the Program Evaluation and Research Group (PERG) at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cynthia’s evolution as an evaluator has been shaped by organizational and community-based colleagues, formal and personal experiences designing and implementing educational environments, leading community organizing where she lives, and via her love and appreciation of nature and ongoing spiritual practices. She cherishes the quality time she spends with her husband, Jon, and son, Kai, and aspires to embody spaciousness and whole personhood in her approaches to her collaborations and ways of being. Cynthia earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New Hampshire, a Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations from Lesley College, and a PhD in Behavioral Science from the University of Rhode Island. Cynthia counts her life experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer, student at Goddard College, and member of the RICADV staff and Unitarian Universalist Association to be among the most critical shapers of her ever-evolving anti-oppression/social justice-focused worldview.

John Wesley

John Wesley, Director of Policy and AdvocacyJohn Wesley, Director of Policy & Advocacy 

John Wesley is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), where he focuses on policy and systems advocacy related to domestic violence prevention and resiliency for survivors and children who witness violence. John received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wesleyan University and a Juris Doctor degree from New England Law in Boston, where he represented juveniles and clients with mental health disabilities in legal clinics. After law school, John worked as a staff attorney for several years at the Hiscock Legal Aid Society in Syracuse, New York, representing victims of domestic violence and indigent clients in trial court and appeals. He enjoys spending time with his guitar and playing outside with his family (humans and one large fluffy dog). He also likes hiking, biking, and Rhode Island beaches!

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