Growing up, my father told my sister and I we could be anything we wanted to be, and our parents made sure we had the tools we needed to make our dreams possible. I have always been a strong advocate for women and girls, but my life changed when I decided to take action as a volunteer at Apna Ghar, which provides services and advocacy for immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. It led me to not only a new career, but a life dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.
From volunteer to executive director of Apna Ghar, Director of Programs at the Eleanor Foundation, and now President/CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women (with a few other nonprofits in between), I have witnessed the transformative power of women and men when we take action for gender equity, as service providers, funders, Champions of Change and philanthropists. In this work, every day brings a new opportunity to take action: to speak up and to challenge gender bias when you encounter it; to mentor a young woman; to call an elected official to advocate for a law or policy; and to support local causes and organizations.