Board of Directors

Paige Azuma, Co-Chair

Bio coming soon

Shilpa Bavikatte, Co-Chair

Shilpa has worked in the nonprofit community since moving to Chicago in 2002. She has been with United Way of Metropolitan Chicago for over 8 years. Her career at United Way started in the area of diversity/inclusion where she worked directly with Asian American organizations. Through this work, she created culturally competent and inclusive language around the grant-making process. Developer of the Safety Net framework for United Way funding, Ms. Bavikatte is responsible for the local distribution of grants to programs that address housing, food, intimate violence and legal assistance. Outside of her work at United Way, Ms. Bavikatte is a long-time member and current Strategic Planning Co-Lead for the Asian Giving Circle. She is also a South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC) Core Member and has been twice a producer of SAPAC's Voices of Resistance, a visual and performance art show focused on social justice. Lastly, Ms. Bavikatte is also the Founder & President of the Kiran Bavikatte Foundation. KBF aims to support South Asian artists, as well as mental health awareness in the South Asian community.

Dr. Dan Cooper

Dan joined the board in 2012, and is currently the Assistant Director of the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. His work and interests include community and economic development, housing policy, community justice, youth empowerment, and program evaluation. He has a Ph.D. in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Keisha Farmer-MOORE

Keisha has partnered with organizations dedicated to supporting safe, healthy spaces for youth to participate in movement building work for over 15 years. A mother, professionally trained social worker, researcher and community organizer, Keisha has worked at several social service organizations including Alternatives, Inc., Family Focus Inc., and Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network. Currently, she is the Director of Club Programs, Impact and Outcomes at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. Keisha is a 2010 Berkowitz Award winner for Outstanding Service to Children and a founding board member of the Chicago Freedom School.  She also currently serves on the board of directors of Chicago Adventure Therapy.

Dr. James Manos

Dr. James Manos is currently the Community Justice Program Associate in the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice at Adler University. His work focuses on criminal and juvenile justice policy reform, with an emphasis on restorative justice implementation and evaluation. His research focuses on labor, mass incarceration, and segregation. Previously, James was a Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from DePaul University, his MA in Philosophy from Miami University of Ohio, and his BA from Appalachian State University. 

Mecole Jordan 

Bio coming soon

Candace Moore

Bio coming soon

Hina Mahmood

Hina Mahmood is a Program Officer at the Woods Fund Chicago. She is committed to making philanthropy work for and with communities in true partnership. While currently working in the field of philanthropy, her roots are in community organizing and social services. She served as an Education Organizer at Organization of the NorthEast and Grow Your Own Coordinator at Northeastern Illinois University. She also has experience in the public sector, having served as the Infrastructure and Social Service Coordinator for 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore. She received her Masters from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Hina serves on Chicago Freedom School’s Board of Directors, is a collective member of Chicago Desi Youth Rising, and is a co-chair for the Chicago Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

Alvin Schexnider

Alvin Schexnider is the Director of Operations for Greater Good Studio, a social innovation & design firm based out of Chicago. Previously, he was Director of Human Resources for Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.), a mid-sized direct service agency. Before joining Y.O.U., Alvin was the Director of Planning & Administration at UMI/Urban Ministries, Inc., a national social impact media firm, and he started his career in a two-year leadership program for Abbott Laboratories, holding roles in both Chicago and Shanghai, China. Alvin holds a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College, an M.A. in HR & Business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and is a former Luard Scholar. He is a member of University Church Chicago, a student of Capoeira at the Quilombo Cultural Center, and is an avid reader of Coates' writing run on the Black Panther comic.

Daisy Zamora

Daisy Yessenia Zamora Centeno received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in Latin American and Latino Studies. She was born and raised in Chicago. She received her masters from the College of Education in Youth Development rom UIC. She was a founding board member of the Chicago Freedom School and Women and Girls Collective Action Network/Females United for Action (WGCAN Daisy co-taught a course on Black and Latino Unity for Freedom Fellows at the CFS. As part of the WGCAN she developed a media justice toolkit for nonprofits. WGCAN testified at the FCC and launched a campaign to bring down La Ley's 107.9 pegaditas sexist and not culturally sensitive billboards
  Daisy is interested in Queer Latina Health and is a member of Brown and Proud Press. Daisy is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Chicana Studies and/or Public Health.


Founders & Key Contributors

Mia Henry, Founding Director

Alex Poeter, Founding Director  

Mariame Kaba, Founding Chair of the Board of Directors 

Nadeja Wesley, Founding Treasurer 

Micaiah Kline, Founding Secretary 

Kevin Brown, Founder

Lamont Boswell, Founder

Keisha Farmer-Smith, Founder

Linda Hannah, Founder

Lesley Kennedy, Founder

Mia Muhammad, Founder

Jobi Petersen, Founder

Pam Smith, Founder

Melissa Spatz, Founder

Daisy Zamora, Founder

Yasmin Ahmed

Chris Brown

Kristen Cox

Shonettia Monique

Edward Onaci

Jane Palmer

Ravi Ricker

Jonathan Stacks

Adaku Utah