Dr. Natalie Bennett is the Director of the Women's Leadership and Resource Center.

Natalie D. A. Bennett, Ph.D. comes to Women’s Leadership & Resource Center as a scholar-activist whose research, teaching and activism centers the lives of black women and girls. Her interests are transnational in scope, located at the intersection of black feminisms, gender/class/sexuality and social policy in Jamaica, and migrations in the African diaspora.

Dr. Bennett has taught at Hunter College (CUNY), Long Island University, University of Nebraska, DePaul University and University of Illinois at Chicago. Her publications focus on transnational migration and Caribbean immigrant women’s labor, racial and sexual identities among African American lesbians and the politics of same-sexualities in Jamaica.

Dr. Bennett received her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology and Sociology from Union College (Schenectady, New York) and her doctorate (PhD) in Sociology from University of Michigan. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Director of Gender & Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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Iliana Figueroa is the Education and Outreach Specialist at CAN. She is a queer Latina born and raised in Chicago. Iliana finished her undergraduate in 2012 at UIC, where she double majored in Sociology and Gender & Women’s Studies. Since receiving her Bachelors she has been dedicated to anti-violence work, including 3 years as an advocate and educator at Rape Victim Advocates. Iliana completed the 56-hour training course for sexual assault victim advocacy and the 40-hour training for domestic violence victim advocacy, along with additional training in restorative justice practices.

For the past four years she has also been a core member of the Chicago Dyke March Collective and is passionate about creating visibility for queer and trans people of color everywhere.
Keisa Reynolds is the Special Projects Coordinator at the Women's Leadership and Resource Center. They are a certified rape crisis counselor in Illinois and California and have training in other areas including domestic violence, community violence, trauma, and restorative justice. They are also a writer and community educator working with organizations in Chicago and San Francisco Bay Area. They are a MA candidate in Women's Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago. They have a BA in Cultural Studies from Columbia College.

Sequoya Hayes is one of our advocates. Sequoya’s pronouns are she/her. She is a black feminist social worker, whose professional experience spans more than 13 years of clinical and community social work practice.

Sequoya graduated from East – West University with a BA in Behavioral and Social Sciences, and attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where she earned a MSW in Social Work. She is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Illinois and Indiana and certified as a Telemental Health Practitioner. In addition, she works for Virginia Commonwealth University as a Research Assistant to Dr. Tressie McMillan-Cottom, in the Department of Sociology.

She identifies as a grassroots organizer and independent researcher & scholar, that works in the intersections of anti violence advocacy, basic need insecurity, mental wellness and healing justice.