21 BLACK WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP JOIN THE CHICAGO FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN'S 2023 COHORT OF WILLIE'S WARRIORS LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE
The Willie’s Warriors Leadership Initiative honors the legacy of the late Reverend Willie T. Barrow
CHICAGO (February 20, 2023)—The Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced the Willie’s Warriors Leadership Initiative 2023 cohort. Willie’s Warriors is open to Black women from all sectors, industries, and educational backgrounds interested in nurturing their leadership and relationships with other Black women leaders in the Chicago region. Cohort members are chosen based on their experience leading people, projects, or initiatives and have demonstrated a commitment to issues of equity and justice.
The Willie’s Warriors Leadership Initiative was established in 2018 by the CFW with support from the late Reverend Willie Barrow’s estate in partnership with African American Legacy at the Chicago Community Trust to honor Barrow’s legacy and continue her work. Now in its sixth year, Willie’s Warriors is designed to create a pipeline and network of Black women leaders committed to equity and justice in Chicago.
As a leader in Chicago’s civil rights movement and founder of Operation Push, Barrow believed in breaking barriers and challenging the status quo, mentoring an ever-expanding pipeline of leaders. She helped to build connections with others working for change, often saying, “We are not so divided as we are disconnected.
“Chicago Foundation for Women is proud to be one steward of Reverend Barrow’s profound legacy and forward our own mission by empowering women to be changemakers in their communities,” said Felicia Davis Blakely, President and CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women. “We hope to transform the traditional leadership landscape and elevate Black women in Chicago.”
Over the next eight months, the 21 Warriors of the 2023 cohort will participate in a curriculum that focuses on systemic change, economic empowerment, communications, and building alliances across movements and communities. They will also learn from experts who will share perspective and tools around coalition building, financial empowerment, storytelling, and building alliances as tools that drive impact, success, and growth—all while building a close-knit support network with their fellow Warriors.
The 2023 Willie’s Warriors Leadership Initiative cohort members include:
● Christina Armstrong, Program Director of Youth Mentorship & Compliance
● Pamela Bozeman, Chief Operating Officer, New Moms
● Crystal Braboy, Chief People, Equity, and Culture Officer, Planned Parenthood of Illinois
● Danielle Brown, Police Officer, Chicago Police Department
● Tasha Brown, Midwest Director, Small Business Majority
● Karli Butler, Director of Community Leadership, Evanston Community Foundation
● Bianca Cotton, Associate Director, Public Allies Chicago
● Courtney Everette, Development Specialist, O’Koon Psychology Group
● Anjylla Y. Foster, Research and Project Manager, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
● Porshé Gardner, Senior Administrator, A Long Walk Home
● Darice Goodwin, Associate Clerk of the Criminal Bureau, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County
● Tasasha Henderson, Special Assistant to the President, Grand Victoria Foundation
● Saroyan Hill, Senior Manager, Operations, Discover Financial Services
● Lola Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Family Partnership
● Wanjiku Kamuyu-Anderson, Chaplain, Advocate Christ Medical Center
● Kourtnee Palamore, Manager of Family Support Programs, City of Chicag
● Dedra D. Ries, MPH, Director, Community Engagement and Health Equity, University of Illinois Cancer Center
● Dr. Femi Skanes, CEO/Lead Consultant, Leadership EDGE, LLC
● Dorian Spears, Partnerships and Strategy Lead, GET Cities
● Walidah Tureaud, Manager of Community Relations, UChicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative
● Debra Vines, Founder & CEO, The Answer Inc. Autism Awareness & Support Agency
To learn more about the 2023 Cohort, visit www.cfw.org/get-involved-willies-warriors-2023-cohort/.