For the Promotion of Social Justice and Legal Empowerment of the Immigrant Community

Centro de Apoyo a la Communidad Inmigrante


Promote social change, development, and Immigrant Rights through legal empowerment activities and programs.


1. Engage the immigrant community of North Carolina in the implementation of the programs aimed to achieve the organization's mission through community organization and leadership activities.

2. Implement educational programs aimed to instruct the immigrant community in knowing their rights and the process of exercising these rights;  prepare the immigrant community to confront abusive actions and to protect their rights; and encourage immigrants to formulate their own development initiatives. 

3. Provide legal services at low cost and pro-bono according to the immigrants' needs. The main goal of service is to fill the gap between immigrant rights and the ability of the immigrant community to exercise these rights effectively. 

 4. Build and strengthen relationships with governmental agencies, private sector, media, faith-based and civil society organizations.

Board of Directors


Estefania Cavallo,  President

I'm from South America, Uruguay. I came to this country in 2004 graduated in Athens High School, in Raleigh North Carolina. I'm a very perseverant and positive person who is always willing to help others and specially in our Latino community. I know that we are here in this country for an important reason and that is to grow and have a better future. For some of us it has been really difficult to be here and we keep on pushing but all that matters is that we never give up and we will keep fighting for our dreams.


Johanna Kelley, Esq., Vice-President

Johanna was born in Colombia and came to the United States in 2005. She studied law in Colombia and graduated in 2001. Johanna is a dreamer and a very passionate woman who believes in empowering vulnerable communities through education and social justice. In Colombia, she represented and supported victims of the internal conflict. In the United States (US), she has served the immigrant community for about 10 years, and the US government for about 16 months. In the US, Johanna went to Duke University and graduated from the Sanford School of Public Policy, MIDP'12, and Duke Law School, LL.M'13. She has a license to practice law from the State of New York.  Johanna is married to an U.S. Army Officer and they have two children together. She is living in Virginia where she has a law firm and is practicing only immigration and international law. Johanna was the founder of DEAR and former Executive Director from November 2013 to July 2016. 


The D.E.A.R. Foundation Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in November 2013 to promote and protect immigrants rights. Since its opening, D.E.A.R.  served thousands of low-income immigrants in North Carolina.  Unfortunately, D.E.A.R. is no longer providing services to the community.

The nonprofit is ceasing operations. D.E.A.R. is currently working with its attorney, Mr. Steve Monks, to properly complete and finish with all pending cases. Attorney Monks is located at 3824 Barrett Drive, Suite 307-308, Raleigh, NC 27609.   Active clients can keep working with Mr. Monks until the case is done or secure another attorney. D.E.A.R. will keep the old files in storage.       

D.E.A.R. wants to thank everyone for the support received for almost five years. Unfortunately, it has been very difficult to raise enough funds to keep providing services to the immigration community.     

Please feel free to contact us at 919-401-1111 (Steve Monks), 919-246-6124 (D.E.A.R.'s volunteer) and/or

Monks photo.jpg

Steve Monks, Esq

Director of the Legal Program and Senior Staff Attorney

Steve received a BBA, Marketing,  from University of Houston in 1984, and his JD from South Texas College of Law in 1987. He has license to practice law in Texas and in North Carolina. Steve is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, American Association of Immigration Lawyers (AILA), Wake County Bar Association and the 10th District Bar. 

Steve enjoys working with the immigrant community in North Carolina, and he was very excited to have the opportunity to work with DEAR protecting immigrant rights.

He has been at DEAR since February of 2017. Currently, he is part of the management team.