Tonya Harris

Tonya Harris, Executive Director 

Tonya 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. Over the past 30 years, Tonya has worked in executive leadership roles as an advocate for peace throughout the Rhode Island community. An experienced mediator and conflict resolution trainer, she believes that diversity is our strength and that being kind and patient with one another is essential to creating a culture of respect. Tonya holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University.

Lee Clasper-Torch

Lee Clasper-Torch, Men's Engagement Coordinator

Lee Clasper-Torch served on the faculty of the Moses Brown School (Providence, RI) for 25 years in the Humanities Department, teaching courses in comparative world religions, philosophy, and ethics. Lee is currently working as the Men’s Engagement Coordinator for Ten Men, a project of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). He is also currently an adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). Lee completed his undergraduate work in Comparative Religious Studies at the College of Wooster (OH) and received his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion (of the Graduate Theological Union) in Berkeley, CA. He sits on the Advocacy and Justice Commission of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches and has been speaking and leading classes/workshops in a variety of settings on the topics of comparative religion, philosophy, spirituality, and social action. Lee's study, teaching, travel, and life-journey have long involved both a concern for contemplative practice and active participation in peace, social justice, and human rights work.

Ian Colomer

Ian Colomer, Policy Associate

Ian Colomer is the Policy Associate for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). Prior to the RICADV, Ian participated in community work with the College Crusaders of Rhode Island and with the Diversity Leadership program at Roger Williams University, where he focused on mentoring underrepresented groups in their first year at university and developing programs based on inclusivity and social justice. Ian is a recent graduate of Roger Williams University (RWU), with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a concentration in Anthropology and Sociology. Ian's studies at RWU sparked his creativity in producing short stories on culture, self-discovery, and fantastical imagery.

Krista D'Amico

Krista D'Amico, Public Education & Outreach Manager

Krista D'Amico is the Public Education & Outreach Manager at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). She manages print publications and websites for the RICADV, oversees the organization's contact database, and supports the RICADV's statewide public awareness campaigns. Krista also convenes and collaborates with state and community partners around school-based prevention initiatives, with a current focus on the RICADV's 2018 Policy Evaluation Report recommendations to strengthen the implementation of Rhode Island's Lindsay Ann Burke Act. Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communications from the University of Rhode Island.

Somali Zai DaSilva

Somali Zai DaSilva, SOAR Coordinator

Somali Zai DaSilva is the Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR) Coordinator at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). Somali is responsible for campaign planning, project implementation, organizing and outreach, and membership and leadership development for SOAR. Prior to joining the RICADV, she was the Community Engagement Specialist at the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, a RICADV member agency. Somali is an alumni of the University of Rhode Island (URI), where she holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences and spent much of her undergraduate years at the URI Women's Center, working in advocacy and serving as the Student Coordinator for Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services.

Brandi Gbemisola

Brandi 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. 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.

Ezra Guay

Ezra Guay, Administrative Assistant

Ezra Guay is the Administrative Assistant of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). Prior to joining the RICADV, they volunteered at the Flagler Housing and Homeless Services of St. Joseph’s Villa in Henrico, Virginia.

Desiree Obimpe

Desiree Obimpe, Communications Associate

Desiree Obimpe is the Communications Associate for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). She supports the organization's communications initiatives, particularly in the areas of media advocacy, public awareness, and digital media, as well as working with the RICADV's member agencies. Desiree holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History and a minor in Studio Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Kate Porter

Kate Porter, Communications Manager

Kate Porter is the Communications Manager for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). She plans, implements, and oversees the organization's communications initiatives, including public awareness efforts, media advocacy, branding, digital media, and policy communications work. She also convenes the Public Awareness Working Group, which consists of communicators from the RICADV’s member agencies and affiliate members. Prior to joining the organization, Kate coordinated communications initiatives and special events for two RICADV member agencies – Women’s Resource Center, serving Newport and Bristol Counties, and Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College, where her passion for social justice was born. She has been actively involved in her community for years, coaching girls’ competitive soccer, advocating for issues which impact youth, and volunteering for various community organizations. She is also a graduate of the 2018 Xi II Leadership Rhode Island Class.

Carmen Recalde-Russo

Carmen Recalde-Russo, Director of Community Engagement

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, Director of Prevention and Communications

Lucy Rios is the Director of Prevention and Communications for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). At the RICADV, Lucy facilitates trainings for advocates, criminal justice personnel, service providers, and other allied professionals on the dynamics of domestic violence and related topics, such as children who witness and teen dating violence prevention. Since 2003, Lucy has been coordinating Rhode Island’s Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement Leadership through Alliances (DELTA) Project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through DELTA, Lucy provides technical assistance to state and community stakeholders on the primary prevention of domestic violence and has led a statewide strategic planning process for primary prevention. Lucy also represents the RICADV on several statewide networks, including the Sexual Violence Prevention Steering Council and the Healthy Kids Rhode Island Coalition.

Cynthia Roberts

Cynthia Roberts, Empowerment Evaluator

Cynthia Roberts is the Empowerment Evaluator at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), functioning as an embedded evaluator 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. Cynthia provides empowerment evaluation support to the Newport Health Equity Zone and technical assistance to local 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, 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, as they provide a sense of balance to her tendency to be overly serious and focused. 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 social justice-focused worldview.

John Wesley

John Wesley, Director of Policy and Advocacy 

John Wesley is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV). John received a Bachelor of Arts degree 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.

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