Wednesday, September 19th

Last updateWed, 30 May 2018 11am

CSLN Members

This is a list of our current members. To learn more about what membership entails and/or declare your membership, please visit our membership page.

 


Network Members

Dick Alton

Richard Alton

Green Community Connections – Interfaith Green Network

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (773) 344-7172

Dick has been a part of the green movement for over five years, bringing his to passion to the One Earth Film Festival. He sees the festival’s expansion throughout Chicago as a lever for strengthening communities through network and collaborative efforts. Prior to working with One Earth Film Festival and Green Community Connections, Dick was actively involved in community development and supporting local non-governmental organizations internationally.

 

Simone Alexander

Simone Alexander

Enlace – Community Development Director

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Simone is currently the Community Development Director at Enlace Chicago in Little Village, where she has been working since July 2005. She is passionate about working with community leaders and stakeholders to create strong, sustainable communities through community-driven planning and development. 

 

Susan Ask

Susan Ask

Animalia Project – Founder
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Susan is an ecologist, educator, and founder of Animalia Project, a new endeavor that bridges science, action and education to create a better environment for all of us in the animal kingdom, with a focus on climate change and urban habitats. She has migrated between research and education—working as a conservation land manager, field ecologist and university extension agent— since receiving an M.E.S. in ecosystem science and management from Yale University. She appreciates the holistic view of sustainability that is embraced by CSLN.

 

Brock Auerbach-Lynn

Brock Auerbach-Lynn

Mission Measurement – Senior Associate
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Brock is a Senior Associate with Mission Measurement, a Chicago-based consulting firm that helps governments, corporations, foundations, and nonprofits to develop the measurement and strategy to grow their impact. Brock previously managed energy assessment and technical assistance for the State of Illinois, as well as sustainability programs at IIT. On his own time, Brock channels his inner design strategist and environmental guru to develop and sustainable practices, behaviors, and technologies, including an LED lighting retrofit program, an urban cyclist mentor program, and a workshop series at the Dill Pickle Food Co-op. Brock is always on the lookout for new opportunities to collaborate, hence the involvement in CSLN. 

 

Terry Bergdall

Terry Bergdall

ABCD Institute – Faculty Member

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Terry first worked with the Institute of Cultural Affairs as a university intern and returned in 2009 with extensive international experience in community development, organizational change, project design, and evaluation. He lived and worked in Africa for 18 years where his focus was village development. This included a period as the coordinator of an action-research project in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe while employed by the Swedish Cooperative Center. He is pleased to be a part of CSLN because of its emphasis on community initiatives and ways that bottom-up development can creatively interact with, and influence, top-down planning and programming.

 

Diane Burnham

Diane Burnham, MNA

South East Chicago Commission – Executive Director

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Diane was recently named the new Executive Director of SECC. She brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having become a familiar face in the mid-South region of Chicago over the past four years with the organization. SECC's sustainability programs include the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program, supporting the One Earth Film Festival, and recently completed work on the Green Healthy Neighborhoods Land Use Plan to educate communities on vacant land and sustainability practices.

 

Matt Cardoni

Matt Cardoni 
Green Lightning Marketing – Founder

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Matt runs Green Lightning Marketing, a vehicle for teaching and consulting on digital marketing. He aims to bring environmental awareness and activism to a wider audience through optimistic and engaging messages, and is particularly interested in the intersection of art and environmentalism. He has helped many environmental nonprofit organizations develop their digital marketing platforms, including Climate Cycle, where he volunteered for four and a half years and served as a board member for two of these years.

 

Romina Castillo

Romina N. Castillo

Openlands –  School Planning Coordinator

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Romina primarily works with Openlands and Slow Roll Chicago. She graduated from UIC Master of Urban Planning and Policy. Her goal as a planner and organizer is to contribute to the planning, design and development of healthy, sustainable and resilient communities through the implementation of asset-based community-driven initiatives, best practices, and through efficient public and private funding leverage strategies. Romina loves being a member of a network with individuals so passionate and committed to improving our communities through collaboration and active participation. She has also worked with Enlace Chicago and Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children.

 

Richard Dobbins

Richard Dobbins, Jr.

South Side Roots – Principal and Founder

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (312) 485-0315

Richard founded South Side Roots, a sustainable horticulture and landscaping service firm. He has served as a landscape garden judge for the City of Chicago’s Community Gardening and Landscape Award program. He has also served as an instructor and faculty member with Openlands’ Community Garden Training program, at GreenCorps Chicago as a landscape construction supervisor and instructor, and at the Chicago Botanic Garden as the community and school garden construction supervisor, and as a horticulturist responsible for 3 of 23 gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden. He is most passionate about horticulture and its relationship to urban communities, particularly the rich conversation around the concept of “sustainability”.

 

Terry Edlin

Terry Edlin

New Community Vision – Founder
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | LinkedIn
Terry’s passion for joyful community living and shared housing has evolved since 2008, when she founded New Community Vision and launched its website and blog. She believes that safe, secure, affordable housing is ground zero for sustainability. No one can do their important work unless they are securely housed. Terry has been involved in the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, the National Housing Conference, the Center for Cooperative Housing Development, the Chicago Fair Housing Alliance, the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network, and more. She graduated from the GoodCity Chicago Fall 2015 cohort. She has BBA in Economics from Loyola University of Chicago. Terry moved to Chicago when she was 19 and has always loved this city. She lives in Buena Park.

 

Steve Ediger

Steve Ediger

Independent
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Steve works in facilitation, strategic management, information technology management, civic tech, and development of a commons-based economy. A veteran of sustainability efforts since the first Earth Day in 1972, he has expanded his concept of the word to encompass personal, community, and economic aspects, and understands that sustainability cannot exist without justice for race, gender, ethnicity and culture. Steve lives in the ICA GreenRise Intentional Community. 

 

CSLN
Nurul Eusufzai
Net Impact Chicago
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Nurul is a program, project, and change management practitioner with extensive business process design and improvement experience in the private sector. He is also a leader within Net Impact Chicago, a local chapter of the global network that brings together professionals from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Nurul is invested in creating a positive environmental, social, and economic impact across local, regional, and global communities by volunteering and building alliances. His interests include cultural and educational events, travel, and international food and culture.

 

Stef Funk

Stef Funk

Plant Chicago

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Stef is a South Chicago native who has worked with various nonprofits and farmers markets all around the city. After receiving her degree in Environmental Science from Clark University, she has been a strong advocate for environmental justice, sustainable policy, and food and water security in Chicago. She is extremely interested in learning more about how urbanized areas interact with their surrounding ecosystems.

 

Tim Heppner

Timothy Heppner

Ecotelligent Design – Executive Director

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (319) 321-7572

Tim is the Executive Director of Ecotelligent Design, where he expands knowledge, develops skills, changes attitudes and transforms habits which inspire people to become more sustainable. He is an international consultant specializing in sustainable performance metrics that identify opportunities for capturing and reducing energy, purifying and managing water, cleaning and improving air plus enriching and sustaining land. Tim is the designer, builder and curator of Charles Heppner Artist Studio, one of the most environmentally friendly homes in Chicago. 

 

Grant Kessler

Grant Kessler

Chicago Market Co-op – Board President

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Grant is a Steering Committee member at Chicago Market, an organizing food co-op on Chicago's North Side. Grant believes that change in our food system toward local and regional networks with an emphasis on diversified, sustainable farming methods can make a large impact on both human and environmental health. Grant is also a freelance food photographer and the Marketing and Outreach Manager for FamilyFarmed and their Good Food Festival & Conference.

 

Ben Lau

Ben Lau

Chinese American Service League – Manager of Employment and Financial Empowerment

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (312) 791-0418 

Ben is the Manager of Employment and Financial Empowerment at Chinese American Service League, a nonprofit community-based and most comprehensive social service dedicated to serving the needs of people of all ages and backgrounds of the Chinese community in the greater Chicago area. CASL became a member of the Chicago Energy Action Network (EAN) in 2009. Ben employed a number of creative and culturally competent approaches to promote energy efficiency, energy conservation, and climate action, which helped CASL become recognized as a Local Climate Hero by the Chicago Climate Action Plan team in 2010. He is dedicated to raising awareness of energy saving and climate action in the Chinese community, and proud to be an ally of CSLN.

 

Belinda Li

Belinda Li
CiTTA Partnership – Founder and CEO
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 312-870-0822 | LinkedIn
Belinda is the Founder & CEO of CiTTA Partnership, a Chicago-based firm that helps socially-minded companies and organizations become more sustainable and create greater social impact. Belinda believes that we can collectively create a smarter world in which we can thrive economically while achieving positive environmental and social impact, which is her vision of sustainability. Before founding CiTTA, Belinda was the Program Manager of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, and a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the Illinois Environmental Council and the Social Enterprise Alliance in Chicago. She is thrilled to be a member of the CSLN, to help create a powerful platform that allows collaborations and best practice sharing between communities.

 

Lorena Lopez
Lorena Lopez
Faith in Place – Outreach Coordinator
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Lorena coordinates the outreach support staff at Faith in Place as they connect with and educate faith communities throughout the state around energy efficiency. She was a community organizer Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), where she led community mapping to demand a new, clean, safe park in Little Village. She and her team won major victories, including the clean-up of 171 homes from cancer-causing toxic chemicals and the addition of new infrastructure around a park site. Lorena’s passion for nature grew when she started her first community garden at age 10. She has been married for over 13 years and is the proud mother of three children.

 

Deloris Lucas

Deloris Lucas
We Keep You Rollin’  – Founder 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (773) 468-7941 
Deloris is the Founder of We Keep You Rollin’, and is also involved in F.R.E.S.H., South Side Trail Blazers, Calumet Underground Railroad Monument Committee, Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Councill, and Equiticity. "Sustainability, to me, means lasting forever or as long as it's feasible. And as you know, things change and I believe change is good! You just have to adapt to change, and adaptability complements sustainability!" At age 58, Deloris is passionate about her "quality of life". She appreciates CSLN because she believes in the "if you care, do something" approach, and therefore helps to educate the community—especially youth—to make better life choices.

 

Nicole Machuca
Nicole Machuca
Friends of the Parks  – Director of Environmental Education and Neighborhood Parks
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Nicole is Director of Environmental Education and Neighborhood Parks with Friends of the Parks, where she delivers youth education programming to students and builds capacity within adults to support their open spaces. As a native Chicagoan and the product of diverse households, she is deeply connected to various communities around the city and is invested in improving the quality of life of all its residents. Nicole is driven by empathy, compassion, fairness, and justice for all people. She has spent over a decade dedicated to creating social and ecological sustainability on a local scale via formal and informal education, social science research, and community engagement work, and looks forward to continuing pursuits as an environmental and social activist with CSLN.

 

Johnnie Owens

Johnnie Owens

Centers for New Horizons – Director of Community Building

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Johnnie is the Director of Community Building for Centers for New Horizons in Bronzeville, where he works with the Bronzeville Alliance and Bronzeville Urban Agricultural Collaborative, establishing an urban garden and organizing corner stores. He also serves on the steering committee of Place Matters and as a chairperson for the Planning and Zoning Commission of Hazel Crest. He has an MA in Urban Geography from Chicago State University, where he periodically teaches classes in Urban Planning, Environmental Geography, and Psychology of Urban Youth. His previously worked for the City of Chicago as a City Planner before transitioning to Friends of the Parks, where he worked with Barack Obama, who exposed him to community organizing. He has worked throughout the communities of Uptown, Roseland, Rogers Park, Andersonville, Chatham, Auburn Gresham, and more, and is a lifelong Chicago resident.

  

Oboi Reed

Olatunji Oboi Reed
Equiticity – President and CEO
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (708) 831-3570

Oboi is the President and CEO of Equiticity, a racial equity and mobility movement that seeks to “normalize, prioritize and operationalize racial equity as an equitably moving flow of resources contributing to reducing violence, improving health, creating jobs and ultimately making our neighborhoods and cities more liveable for people of color.” Oboi was previously the Co-Founder and President of Slow Roll Chicago. An active cyclist for over ten years, Oboi rides at the intersection of community, advocacy, economics, health, and technology, with an extensive background in both nonprofit management as well as corporate social responsibility. Oboi is an African-Brazilian by way of cultural adoption, a proud son of the Quilombo do Remanso, and now they call him "O Bahia". He is studying the health economics of Candomble traditional healing in the African-Brazilian population of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Beleza…

 

Jamie Ponce
Jamie Ponce
City Tech Collaborative – Director of Strategic Partnerships
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As Director of Strategic Partnerships with the City Tech Collaborative at UI Labs, Jamie works to make urban technology and infrastructure more relevant, useful, equitable, and sustainable. His previous Chicago-based roles with the Environmental Law & Policy Center, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and A.T. Kearney focused on clean energy, environmental innovation, corporate strategy, and economic development. Jamie has been involved with CSLN since the early days of the Accelerate 77 initiative, and he’s an avid hiker, adventure diver, local food advocate, and (aspiring) banjo player.

 

Emily Rhea

Emily Rhea
Eco-Achievers – Assistant Project Manager

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Emily's life passion is to help merge the built and natural environment and to uplift communities through sustainable design. While her main focus is currently on the consulting and performance-testing work she does with high performance buildings, she aspires to expand her efforts to incorporate more biophilic design aspects. She sees great value and importance in community and imagines all of Chicago as one community that works together to strengthen all of its parts.

 

Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa

Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa
Openlands – Neighborhood Programs Director

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (312) 863-6255
Elvia is the Neighborhood Programs Director at Openlands, where she works to support community gardens with training in the GardenKeepers program, as well as encouraging the growth of neighborhood garden networks. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and administrator, active for over twenty years. Steeped in community based practices, Elvia has helped foster the creative community in Chicago by collaborating with a variety of groups and individual artists.

 

Lesley Showers

Lesley Showers

Institute of Cultural Affairs – Property Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (773) 769-6363

Lesley is the Property Manager at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, where she oversees the transformation of the organization’s ICA GreenRise building into an energy efficient demonstration of a mixed-used landmark building. She is also a resident of the GreenRise community, and working towards a local solution to waste water management that will make the GreenRise even more sustainable. She became interested in sustainable design while studying architecture.

 

Angela Spinazze

Angela Spinazzè

ATSPIN Consulting – Principal and Founder

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Angela is a facilitator, change agent, project manager, curator, and information architect. Her gift is organizing around technology, agility, capacity building, working with stakeholders at all levels to collaborate and realize collective change. She is a leader in the community design and support of open source software for managing and providing public access to museum, archive, and library collections. Her methodology is grounded in the principles of user-centered design, agile development, urban acupuncture, and the Technology of Participation (ToP)®. Angela is a CSLN ally because of her desire to learn from others, to be more in tune and in touch with the earth, and to share her energy and skills to make our city more humane and natural. In addition, she supports CSLN's values that are grounded in collaboration, advocacy for equity and public spaces, sharing solutions to shared challenges, and respecting the roles of history and culture in our communities. Angela is passionate about slow food, slow architecture, and slow travel.

 

Mike Strode
Mike Strode
The Kola Nut Collaborative – Founder and Exchange Coordinator
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Mike is Founder and Exchange Coordinator of the Kola Nut Collaborative, a Chicago based timebanking initiative. Its core mission is to promote and sustain a robust timebanking infrastructure which supports non-monetary transactions amongst individuals and organizations in Chicago allowing a greater sum of the realized value of work to be retained and shared within local communities. The Collaborative grew out of 7 years providing technical, operational and strategic support for Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living and its distribution subsidiary, Healthy Food Hub. Mike's community engagment work has included ride leadership with the Chicago chapter of Red, Bike & Green; editorial and archival oversight for Fultonia; and co-facilitation of Art Is Bonfire. His current practice draws upon all of these experiences to interrogate the intersection of timebanking, social economy and community resiliency with skill based asset mapping as an essential tool for understanding neighborhoood infrastructure. Mike's passions include experimental percussion, social dance, Emergent Strategy, and capturing the relationship between natural, social, and sacred places in poetry and prose. He is a writer, tech enthusiast, urban cyclist and kitchen alchemist who resides in South Chicago.

 

Joseph Taylor

Joseph Taylor

Urban Canopy – Farmers Market Lead

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (773) 401-9874

Joseph currently works with the Urban Canopy, which was a natural progression from years spent years coordinating urban agriculture projects, including the aquaponic and hydroponic systems, the rooftop garden, and the compost system at the ICA GreenRise. He first became passionate about sustainability as an intern with Institute of Cultural Affairs's Summer Youth Program in 2011, when he began to learn about the delicious potential of fresh, local foods. In addition to connecting him to partners for collaborative projects, he appreciates CSLN for its collective energy that motivates him and broadens his perspectives regarding sustainability work.

 

Alvyn Walker
Alvyn Walker
Windsor Park Lutheran Church – Property Team Leader
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (312) 995-9624
Alvyn is a Property Team Leader and member of Windsor Park Lutheran Church in South Shore, where is is involved in a number of projects that make the church a community hub, including a partnership with Leave No Veteran Behind and Cambium Networks that installed an antenna on the church to enhance wi-fi access for the neighborhood. He is a self-described gardening steward and civic tech advocate.

 

Orrin Williams

Orrin Williams

UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Partnerships – Food Systems Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (312) 937-9568
Orrin Williams is the Food Systems Coordinator for the Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Partnerships and Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Orrin is also a Founder and the Executive Director of the Center for Urban Transformation, and works with in an advisory role with organizations such as the Sweet Water Foundation, The THEN Center, and the Teamwork Englewood Health and Wellness Task Force. He has worked in the environmental and food justice movement and is interested in applying a whole systems approach to the development of healthy and sustainable communities. While focused on the African American community in particular, Orrin is equally concerned with the health and wellness of all beings. He is re-evaluating his position on "sustainability", which infers business-as-usual while the current path is woefully unsustainable. He prefers to think of regenerative and restorative design and development systems.

 

Ted Wysocki

Ted Wysocki

Institute of Cultural Affairs – CEO
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 773-769-6363 x232
Ted Wysocki is the CEO of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), whose mission is to “build a just and equitable society in harmony with planet Earth.” Based on his more than 40 years of community development experience, Ted launched his blog u2cando in 2014. He was CEO of the Local Economic & Employment Development Council, now called North Branch Works, in Chicago for 12 years. Previously, he was CEO of the Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations (CANDO) for 17 years. He started his community development career in 1974 with Gale Cincotta, the mother of the Community Reinvestment Act. Ted is a director emeritus of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

 


 GrassTops Members

Citizens Climate Lobby

Citizen's Climate Lobby Chicago

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Citizens Climate Lobby is an international non-partisan non-profit dedicated to solving the climate crisis by creating the necessary political will. Our mission is twofold: to educate the public about climate science and policy, and to lobby members of the U.S. Congress and Senate to enact legislation that puts an effective price on fossil carbon. 

 

Climate Reality Project Chicago

Climate Reality Project Chicago

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Climate Reality Project Chicago (CRP) is a nonpartisan group of local climate activists, comprised of trained Climate Reality Leaders and the public, working to support the international nonprofit’s mission of catalyzing a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. To CRP, the top sustainability issue is climate change. We combat climate change by working to make the transition to a clean energy economy a priority on the federal, state and local level and rally around Climate Reality’s organizational priorities. Additionally, we launch local projects and initiatives as developed by Chicago chapter members to accelerate climate action in our region. 

 

Lurie Garden

Lurie Garden

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (312) 228-1004

Lurie Garden, located in Millennium Park, is designed to combine naturalistic plantings and ecologically sensitive maintenance practices to create an urban oasis for city dwellers and wildlife alike. An urban model of responsible horticulture, Lurie Garden provides a healthy habitat for a wide variety of plants, animals, and insects. Lurie Garden is a leader in landscape architecture, garden design, responsible maintenance practices and dynamic public programming in an urban environment. 

 

Chicago Conservation Corps

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum & Chicago Conservation Corps

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (773) 755-5100 x 5309

Chicago Conservation Corps is a sustainability leadership training program specializing in community engagement best practices, sustainability content and skills, growing networks between engaged Chicagoans and organizations wishing to share their resources and expertise, and supporting community-based service projects.  As of spring 2018, C3 has provided over 20 hours of training to more than 750 Chicagoans and funded sustainability service projects in every ward, city-wide.

 


 CSLN Shared Leadership Team

Toni Anderson

Toni Anderson - Southside CSLN Liaison

Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab – Founder and Executive Director

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (773) 891-1967

Toni is Founding Executive Director of Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab. Toni is passionate about the speaking on the “outdoor divide” and promoting climate change education as a tool to create cohesive community classrooms for our youth and communities to learn and grow. She facilitates environmental workshops on sustainability, consumer economy, monarch and urban ecology.

 

Melanie Eckner

Melanie Eckner - Northside CSLN Liaison
Clarendon Park Advisory Council

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Melanie is an editor and consultant who specializes in community-based sustainability and publications, as well as an active volunteer with the Clarendon Park Advisory Council. She joined Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network as part of her work with Friends of Cuneo, a coalition of volunteers committed to the creative adaptive reuse of historic Cuneo Hospital in Uptown.

 

 


Network Organizers

Seva Gandhi

Seva Gandhi

Institute of Cultural Affairs – Program Director

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Seva is the Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, and facilitates the policy working group in CSLN. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from University of Michigan with a focus on community organizing within the international context. Throughout the years she has worked on various rural community development initiatives in other countries. In recent years, Seva's interest had come back to her native Chicago, and more specifically, focusing on access to local, organic, and affordable food within an urban context.

 

Samantha Sainsbury

Samantha Sainsbury

Institute of Cultural Affairs – Program Coordinator

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Samantha is the Program Coordinator at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, where she facilitates the collaborative projects and events working group of CSLN.  She is an alumnus of the Public Allies Chicago AmeriCorps program and graduate of Northwestern University. She was drawn to the ICA as an intern after learning about the participatory ways of engaging grassroots organizations in the accelerate77 project, and continues to value the realization of holistic, collaborative sustainability through the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network. She appreciates continuously learning about the city, the way organizations work within it, and the potential to strengthen collaborations within and across communities.

 

Caitlin Sarro

Caitlin Sarro

Institute of Cultural Affairs – Program Manager

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Caitlin is the Program Manager with the Institute of Cultural Affairs. She has been working on the accelerate77 project since in 2012, and currently facilitates the collaborative publications and storytelling group of CSLN. In addition to valuing the project's participatory process, she is most drawn to its inclusive definition of sustainability. Believing that community-led planning leads to more meaningful action, Caitlin is proud to work on a project that requires the collaboration of different approaches to make sustainable communities. Caitlin is a graduate of UIC's CUPPA program and alumnus of the Public Allies Chicago AmeriCorps program.