Freedom and Dignity for All.
While her peers settled into tenured teaching positions, Tina was compelled to do something to bring the freedom she was teaching her young history students to persecuted communities worldwide. Her passion for helping others has led her to more than 30 countries. While working for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, she developed policies to improve religious freedom in several countries. And as a foreign policy advisor for various members of the U.S. Congress, she helped start and direct the bi-partisan Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus.
Whether crafting legislation, securing the release of imprisoned victims, or engaging foreign dignitaries, Tina has worked diligently to bring greater freedom and dignity to people of all faiths who do not have it. In 2013, she used her experience to create an organization that could address the root causes of religious conflict. Her strategy was simple: provide training to multiply the number of leaders across society defending religious freedom in countries where this freedom was most at risk. She has since trained hundreds of journalists, lawyers, religious leaders and teachers in countries such as Iraq, Sudan, Nepal, and Nigeria. The leaders she has trained are helping turn the tide against persecution and prevent the radicalization of youth in many communities. Tina’s work has provided a simple, inexpensive way to counter persecution and build respect for religious freedom globally that is working. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, the African Union, and has published several articles and books related to her work on human rights and religious freedom.
Tina was raised near her mother’s large, extended family in Powhatan County, Virginia where her father founded a medical practice and her mother ran a midwifery practice. Growing up in a diverse family – her parents were both second-generation descendants of Mexican and Czech immigrants – influenced Tina’s passion for freedom and work with people worldwide. Tina’s early career took her to Washington, D.C. and she returned to Richmond to start her family and launch an organization to bring religious freedom to people worldwide. For Tina, Richmond is more than home; as the birthplace of religious freedom in America, it embodies her life-long work and calling. Tina now lives in Richmond with her daughter, Abigail.