Seasoned Organizer and Housing Advocate Gianna Baker Joins Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance as Co-Executive Director
The Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance is thrilled to announce the hiring of its first Co-Executive Director. Gianna Baker joins our team with nearly 14 years of experience in community organizing, community development, and policy advocacy.
Since 2013, with the hiring of its first full time staff member, CAFHA has steadily grown and deepened its impact in the Chicago region. As we contemplate our role within the broader fair housing movement, we recognize the critical importance of leadership by those most impacted by our region’s residential segregation. Through this new Co-Executive Director model and greater investment in our community organizing work, CAFHA charts a path toward more impactful fair housing advocacy.
Previously, Gianna worked at Housing Action Illinois where she co-chaired the Just Housing Initiative Coalition, advocated for policies that protect and expand affordable housing, coordinated fair housing trainings, managed the coalition’s members and AmeriCorps VISTA Network. In 2015, she was selected to participate in the Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership cohort, a joint effort of several Chicago-based foundations. Gianna also serves on the governor-appointed board of the Illinois Statewide Independent Living Council, which supports the community integration of people with disabilities.
Gianna’s unique skills and expertise greatly complement those of CAFHA’s current Executive Director, now Co-Executive Director, Patricia Fron: “Gianna and I worked side by side as co-chairs of the Just Housing Initiative Coalition, building a dynamic synergy that laid the groundwork for shared leadership and decision-making not only between us but among the coalition as well. As CAFHA works to identify and uproot the structures that lock our region’s residential segregation in place, we must also build our internal capacity in ways that promote innovation and fortify our staff, partners, and most importantly, directly impacted community leaders. I look forward to continuing to learn from Gianna and the CAFHA team and grow collectively as an organization.”
We are excited about this step in CAFHA’s trajectory and look forward to the new ideas, partnerships, and advocacy leadership Gianna brings to the table. As our Board President Kate Walz notes, “Gianna has consistently demonstrated her commitment to racial justice and to leading the work in partnership with individuals most impacted by the long-lasting harms stemming from discrimination. The CAFHA board is excited about CAFHA's future under the leadership of Patricia and Gianna.”
We hope you will join us in congratulating Gianna and the CAFHA team and stay tuned for the new and exciting work ahead!