Chriseithia Collins

Administrative Manager
She / Her / Hers

Chriseithia grew up near Philadelphia and as a Musalimah, she chooses to follow the traditions and sense of order she learned through Islam that give her a sense of peace and fuel her passion to be a resource to her community. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the California State University, Fresno, she worked as an Advocate Supervisor for court-appointed advocates for children in the foster system over 5 years. After relocating to Los Angeles, Chriseithia became part of the FreeFrom team in 2017 as Administrative Assistant. During her time at FreeFrom, Chriseithia launched a line of essential oil blends, Ithiaely, which became one of the first featured small businesses at GIFTED by FreeFrom.

Diana Ayala

Director of Finance and Operations
She / Her / Hers

A native of Los Angeles, Diana has worked with and for grassroots and non-profit organizations since her teenage years. Over the last three decades, she has raised two daughters, graduated from the Chicano Studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles, held positions as financial and human resource officers, and served as the co-director of an agency that educated the community on trauma-informed care, parenting skills, and non-violent communication practices. She has also applied the knowledge gained over these years to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs plan and organize the financial aspects of their businesses.

An advocate for marginalized racial, ethnic, economic, and language communities, she uses her empathic and level-the-playing-field communication skills to make social justice accessible to these groups. Her warm smile and patience when talking with others has allowed her to serve as a bridge for others to a better understanding of the financial world, other cultures, or other individuals.

Amy Durrence

Director of Systems Change Initiatives
She / Her / Hers

Amy is a lawyer and social justice advocate from Atlanta who loves “all y’all!” and is passionate about identifying and dismantling systems of oppression, starting with her own cis white privilege. Amy’s advocacy for survivors of GBV started at Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as a student attorney in the Domestic Violence Law Clinic. Amy quickly realized that assisting survivors in getting restraining orders was simply not enough. Her clients needed income, clothes, diapers, groceries, and childcare. Simply put, her clients needed financial security. After law school, Amy returned to Atlanta where she continued her advocacy as a lobbyist for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Georgia Women for a Change. After joining the boutique litigation firm, Fellows Labriola LLP, Amy continued doing social justice work in her spare time as the policy director for the Junior Leagues of Georgia and a Fellow in the Georgia Women’s Policy Institute. In these roles, Amy was instrumental in the passage of Georgia’s Family Medical Leave Act. 

Amy moved to LA in 2017, where she was introduced to FreeFrom. For the first time, she felt like an organization was speaking to what she had learned in law school – to end the cycle of violence, we must prioritize financial security for survivors. Amy enthusiastically joined FreeFrom in January of 2019 and serves as the Director of Systems Change Initiatives. In her role, Amy leads FreeFrom’s work to advocate for the passage of survivor wealth-centered policies across the U.S. and to expand the ecosystem of support for survivors by making banks, employers, credit card companies, and others part of the solution to ending GBV in this country.

Sonya Passi

Founder and CEO
She / Her / Hers

Sonya has been an anti-violence activist since she was 16 years old. During high school, she started an Amnesty International Community Group, and, while working on their global violence against women campaign, discovered her life’s work. 

Before founding FreeFrom, she launched the Family Violence Appellate Project (“FVAP”) while earning her law degree at UC Berkeley. Based in Oakland, California, FVAP is the first and only organization in California to provide pro bono appellate legal services to survivors of intimate partner violence and has fundamentally transformed the legal landscape in California. 

For her work in the field, Sonya was listed in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 For Law and Policy and is an Ashoka, Roddenberry, Draper Richards Kaplan and New America California fellow.

Sonya lives in Los Angeles with her wife and is discovering what it is to have hobbies in her 30s. When she’s not at the beach, she loves solving puzzles, hosting brunches and dinner parties, writing letters, collecting stationery, sending care packages, and helping her friends and loved ones start and grow their creative ventures. 

Pamela Guerra

Data and Research Specialist
She / Her / Hers

Pamela hails from the foothills of Mount Makiling in Laguna, Philippines. She spent her undergraduate years on the Cumberland Plateau studying English literature, gender studies, and environmental studies at Sewanee: The University of the South. After a brief stint working in New York City, she moved to Southern California to pursue a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at UC Irvine.

Pamela has worked in both the public and nonprofit sectors to address a number of issues, including food access, sustainability, housing, land use, and economic development. Her experiences as a Filipino immigrant inform her work, and her approach to social justice is grounded in an intersectional framework. Pamela joined FreeFrom in 2021. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, writing essays, and trying to read too many books at one time.

Ana Zimmermann

Social Enterprise Manager
She / Her / Hers

Ana is an immigrant from El Salvador, a survivor and an entrepreneur who has always used her creativity as a way to thrive. After moving to the United States during her 3rd year of Law School in El Salvador, she began working at a retail store and quickly became the Supervisor of Specialty Installation, managing large-scale home and commercial installation projects. Ana began working with FreeFrom in 2017 when she launched her greeting card business as part of FreeFrom’s entrepreneurship program. In 2018, Ana became the Manager of the GIFTED by FreeFrom store, handling everything from order fulfillment, to customer service, etc. Ana is excited about the movement of change in the way we approach the work against gender-based violence. She loves to share her story and inspire others, building community and the networks of support that make it possible for all of us to thrive.

Em Jackson

Director of Peer Engagement and Support
They / Them / Theirs

Em is a queer, trans and non-binary person of color who thrives within social justice and human rights. They are a survivor of intimate partner violence and in deep support of survivor-centered outreach and programming that is inclusive of ALL survivors, including those who identify as trans and/or non-binary. Em received their Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and Master’s degree in Gerontology from Eastern Illinois University. Upon graduation, they were given the opportunity to work from the ground up within Chicago’s first LGBTQIA+ Affordable Senior Housing Complex, Town Hall Apartments. After relocating to California, their focus has continued to revolve around purpose driven work. Em’s journey has taken them from working with folks in the LGBTQIA+ community to working with youth, adults and families in personal and professional development, education, mental health, affordable housing and overall well-being. Em joined FreeFrom in 2019. Since joining FreeFrom, they have launched and currently run our Peer-to-Peer programming which seeks ways that we can work alongside survivors within their own communities. This includes our innovative Survivor Led Peer-to-Peer Financial Support Groups that focus on survivors pursuing financial freedom and building support systems amongst other survivors.  

Tannia Ventura

Director of Service Provider Engagement and Education
She / Her / Hers

Tannia Ventura is a daughter of immigrants, queer Latina, and survivor of intimate partner violence herself. Tannia is passionate about supporting service providers and survivors heal economic trauma and create meaningful wealth for themselves and their communities. She received her Masters in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University in 2016 and joined FreeFrom in 2017. Since joining FreeFrom, she has launched and lead survivor-centered educational programs related to financial capacity building and entrepreneurship.