Patricia Fron, Co-Executive Director
Patricia Fron is the Co-Executive Director of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, jointly leading the organization’s membership programming, policy and advocacy initiatives, and providing individualized fair housing training and technical assistance to a wide array of stakeholders including counties, municipalities, housing providers, developers, housing counselors, and community based organizations. Patricia previously worked at the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing advocating for tenant rights and conducting original research and reporting including the region’s first Fair Housing and Equity Assessment, released in 2013. Patricia received her Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago. Contact Patricia: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gianna Baker, Co-Executive Director
Gianna Baker is the Co-Executive Director of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance. She has nearly 14 years of experience in community development, community organizing and policy advocacy. Previously, she worked at Housing Action Illinois where she was responsible for affordable housing advocacy efforts, managing the statewide membership program and Housing Action’s AmeriCorps VISTA network. In 2012, she worked as an adjunct professor at Loyola University of Chicago’s Institute for Pastoral Studies, where she taught a graduate course on the principles of community organizing. Gianna currently serves on the governor-appointed board of the Illinois Statewide Independent Living Council, which supports the community integration of people with disabilities. Gianna earned her M.A. in Community Development from North Park University and her B.A. from Howard University. Contact Gianna: email@example.com
Sarah Delgado, Community Engagement and Education Manager
Sarah Delgado serves as CAFHA’s Community Engagement and Education Manager. Previously, Sarah served as a Housing Counselor, then Condominium Program Manager and Interim Executive Director at Lakeside Community Development Corporation. She was responsible for facilitating housing education, technical assistance and counseling, including fair housing laws and best practices to landlords, tenants, homeowners, condominium boards, social service agencies, banking staff, and real estate professionals. Sarah received her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis on Social and Economic Development from Washington University in St. Louis. Contact Sarah: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maria Moon, Housing Justice Organizer
Maria Moon is CAFHA's Housing Justice Organizer and is a trained Peace Circle Keeper, film- maker, and spoken word artist, and oral historian. Previously, Maria served as a community organizer with Cabrini Green Legal Aid and worked with Growing Home, Inc. as their first Outreach Assistant in Englewood. Maria was also the facilitator of Visible Voices, a peer support group for formerly incarcerated women with Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers. Through this work, Maria was part of the successful passage of HB2373, the Illinois Record Sealing and Expansion Bill, and HB3904, the Women’s Correctional Services Act (WCA), passed in 2017. Maria currently studies Inner City/Urban Studies at Northeastern Illinois University. Contact Maria at email@example.com.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kate Walz, President
Kate Walz is a Senior Staff Attorney at National Housing Law Project (NHLP). She is a national expert on federally assisted housing preservation, fair housing, crime-free and nuisance property ordinances, the Violence Against Women Act, and the intersection of the criminal legal system and housing access. Prior to joining NHLP, Kate was at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law for almost 20 years, leading the Center’s advocacy and litigation efforts, including its housing advocacy.
Kate has significant housing policy experience, including working on legislation related to eviction reform, housing protections for immigrants, survivors of violence and persons with criminal records, public housing preservation, the preemption of crime-free and nuisance property ordinances, affordable housing preservation, and the 2013 and 2020 re-authorizations of the Violence Against Women Act. Kate has also served as counsel in several high-impact litigation cases and HUD fair housing complaints, including Davis v. City of Joliet and Joliet v. Mid-City Nat’l Bank, CAFHA v. City of Chicago, Hayes v. Aurora Housing Authority, Jones v. HUD, Blakemore v. Housing Authority of Cook County, Jenkins v. HUD, HOPE Fair Housing v. City of Peoria, Calumet Lives Matter v. East Chicago Housing Authority, and Cook County v. Wolf.
Andrea Juracek, Vice President
Andrea Juracek, Executive Director at Housing Choice Partners, has worked in fair and affordable housing advocacy for over 10 years in the Chicago area, beginning as a tenant organizer and policy specialist with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing. She previously served as Director of Fair Housing for Open Communities, where she conducted client intake, fair housing discrimination investigations and test coordination, and provided fair housing trainings and educational seminars to a variety of audiences. She also served as Deputy Director of HOPE Fair Housing Center, where she advised on fair housing investigations and complaint filings, and assisted with program and organizational management. Andrea is trained in conflict resolution, fair housing investigation, and fair housing law. She is currently a member of CAFHA’s Events and Marketing Subcommittee. Andrea received her BA in Women’s Studies from DePaul University and her MA in Contemporary History from University of Bristol, UK.
Michele Rodriguez Taylor, Treasurer
Striving to create an environment and community that is welcoming and engaging to everyone has been a driving force for Michele Rodriguez Taylor. She has over 20 years of experience working in community based non-profit organizations primarily focused on addressing inequities in access to housing. Having served as an executive director and independent consultant, she has a broad range of experience covering strategic planning, development, financial oversight, and professional development training. Michele is currently at the School of Public Health at UIC providing support and guidance to students as they embark on their public health careers. She is a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) circle practitioner in Chicago, is a trained Koru Mindfulness instructor, and is an advocate of self-care and wellness for individuals as well as within work settings.
Betsy Shuman-Moore, Secretary
Betsy Shuman-Moore is an attorney and is the Fair Housing Program Director for Northside Community Resources in Chicago. Before that, she served as the Director of the Fair Housing and Bias Violence Projects at the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. Betsy’s work includes providing legal representation to housing discrimination victims, educating tenants and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities, and working to eliminate discrimination and break down entrenched segregation in the Chicago area through changes in laws and policies. Betsy has tried dozens of civil rights cases, brought some of the first sexual harassment in housing cases in the country, and participated in Bloch v. Frischholz, in which the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Fair Housing Act covers discrimination that occurs after a housing contract is entered into, reversing a harmful decision to the contrary. Before joining the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, she served as legal director for the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. Betsy has a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and a law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. She is on the board of directors of Metropolitan Tenants Organization.
Adam Ballard, Director
Adam Ballard is currently the Associate State Director of Advocacy and Outreach at AARP and was previously the Manager of Organizing and Policy at Access Living in Chicago. Adam served as a Fellow in Access Living’s Leadership Training Program in 2012. Since then, Adam has proven to be an emerging leader in the disability community. He has co-facilitated a number of local and national trainings on disability housing advocacy, including for the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU). He is also featured in Not Home, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Narcel Reedus about children and youth living in nursing homes. Adam has received a number of awards including Progress Center for Independent Living’s Advocate of the Year award in 2013, which recognized his work to amend the County’s Human Rights Ordinance to prohibit discrimination against Housing Choice Voucher holders, especially people with disabilities.
Leone Jose Bicchieri, Director
Leone Jose Bicchieri is the founder and Executive Director of Working Family Solidarity. The proud son of Mexican and Italian immigrants, Leone has worked for 30 years organizing workers and working families of all backgrounds for economic and racial justice, including farmworkers in the Northwest, poultry processing workers and chicken farmers in the Southeast, meatpacking workers in the Midwest & Plains states, janitors in Midwestern cities, & temp staffing workers in the greater Chicago area. He was national staff with the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride, and also worked as a long-term volunteer in Nicaragua during the Contra War. Leone was recently Executive Director of the Chicago Workers Collaborative, a Chicago-based worker center, where he founded the “Bringing Down Barriers” program to unite African American and Latino temp staffing workers to win more rights at work. Leone was also a Founding Board Member of Raise The Floor, the alliance of eight worker centers in Illinois.
Juliana Gonzalez-Crussi, Director
Juliana Gonzalez-Crussi is an accomplished public service leader with a solid understanding of the housing industry. She currently holds a governor-appointed position to the Advisory Board of the Illinois Housing Development Authority Trust Fund, as well as Chicago mayoral appointments to the Advisory Council on Equity and Language Access Advisory Committee. She is the Director of Housing Counseling & Advocacy department at the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA). Previously she worked as Senior Policy Analyst on housing issues at the Latino Policy Forum, Senior Housing Research Analyst at the DePaul University Real Estate Center’s Institute for Housing Studies and as Director of Housing for the Illinois Migrant Council. Juliana also taught English as a second language in Mexico, France, and China. Juliana serves as a board member for the Farmworker Landscaper Advocacy Project and the Illinois Association of Agency and Community Organizations for Migrant Advocacy. She received her B.A. in International Studies and a M.S. in International Public Service from DePaul University.
Andre Johnson, Director
Andre Johnson is the founder and CEO of LiveEquipd, a comprehensive web-based platform that simplifies equipment procurement for healthcare professionals and their patients with paralysis related disabilities. The user-friendly interface and search tools allow providers to get the most relevant medical equipment, supplies, and assistive technology available to suit their patients’ individual needs. Centralized management and impactful resources provide a supportive landscape to better advocate for the patient’s needs. LiveEquipd is a Chicago-based, health tech start-up headquartered in the 1871 incubator space. Andre also holds the role of Client Success at Kaizen Health, a fast-growing venture-backed technology startup that strives to constantly improve access to healthcare through dependable non-emergency medical transportation. He has obtained his certificate in Advanced Management from the Kellogg Executive Education Program. He attended DeVry University – Chicago where he earned a Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Electronics Engineering. Andre received the DeVry Innovation/ Impact Award for his teams Senior Project. The Wireless EMG Wheeler Interface Prototype, which enhanced the technology to assist those individuals suffering from Tetraplegia. Andre utilizes a wheelchair after suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury as an innocent victim of Chicago violence.
Maria Krysan, Director
Maria Krysan (Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1995) is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Senior Scholar at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For more than 25 years, she has conducted research on the causes of racial residential segregation and racial attitudes, drawing on a range of different methods (experiments, focus groups, in-depth interviews, surveys). Her co-authored (with Kyle Crowder) award-winning book, Cycle of Segregation: Social Processes and Residential Stratification (Russell Sage Foundation, 2017), proposes an innovative framework for understanding the causes of racial residential segregation and draws heavily on studies of the Chicago metropolitan area. Krysan regularly engages with the media, and frequently presents her work to community leaders, government agencies, advocates, and the like, both sharing her expertise with, and learning from, her conversations with these audiences. Prior to joining CAFHA’s board, she served for 15 years on the Board of Directors of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, and is also currently the Vice President of the Board of the Folded Map Project.
Jawanza Malone, Director
Jawanza Malone is the Executive Director of the Wieboldt Foundation. Jawanza comes from the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), one of the oldest Black-led grassroots membership-based community-organizing groups in Chicago, where he served as Community Organizer, Coalition Builder, and Executive Director. Jawanza’s extensive background in community organizing and program development has led him to work in both the public and private sectors, philanthropy, and with communities on five continents. Jawanza received a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of the Arts degree in Community Counseling from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. Jawanza seeks to live in accordance with the Kenyan proverb, “Treat the world well for it was not given to you by your parents, it was lent to you by your children.
Lynnette McRae, Director
Lynnette McRae serves as the Director of Neighborhood Strategy for Black Chicago Tomorrow. Her role revolves around bringing the civic, public, private, and philanthropic sectors together in support of that community-driven priorities and needs, and identifying opportunities to influence systems-wide change that drives equitable investment and wealth in black communities. McRae is a community development professional who is passionate about economic justice and eliminating the racial wealth gap. She has worked as a community development practitioner at the federal, nonprofit, and municipal level and has received degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Michigan.
John R. Petruszak, Director
John R. Petruszak is the Executive Director of South Suburban Housing Center. He is an Illinois licensed attorney who has worked in fair housing and civil rights professionally for the last thirty-two years. He has been a presenter at a number of fair housing conferences and seminars for a variety of civil rights, realty, legal and civic groups. Due to John’s level of expertise, he has testified before the U.S. House Budget Housing Subcommittee regarding evidence of FHA mortgage product steering by race in the Chicago area. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Washington D.C. based National Fair Housing Alliance for eight years and was Chairman of NFHA’s National Enforcement Advisory Committee for three years. John has been a dedicated board member of Housing Choice Partners of Illinois since 1995. He is also the past President of CAFHA and currently serves on the Enforcement Subcommittee.