Meet the Illinois Chapter State Team!
ILLINOIS STATE LEAD - Women's March on Washington Illinois Chapter
NATIONAL STATE COORDINATOR, Women's March on Washington National Team
Mrinalini, a 26-year-old doctoral student of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, immigrated to the U.S. from India, eight years ago. She left home at 18 to attend Knox College on an academic scholarship - an education that has instilled in her the importance of critical thinking, political activism, and social engagement. Surrounded by a diverse group of friends, her ethnicity and immigrant status have never held her back in her everyday life in this country. In the current political climate in this country, however, she is painfully aware that this sense of security and safety might be short-lived. Mrinalini has been politically active throughout her adult life and refuses to be a bystander as the rights and safety of immigrants, men and women of color, the LGBTQIA community, and other minorities are threatened. She is marching to give a voice to these concerns and to those who cannot march with her. She envisions the Women’s March on Washington as a galvanizing force for women throughout the nation, and hopes to return home to Chicago to head initiatives in women’s and immigrant rights advocacy.
“It's my duty to stand up for the people who may not feel safe to participate in political action and who need our solidarity the most!”
HEAD OF VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT & STATE SUB-CHAPTER COORDINATION
Amber was born and raised in Illinois and is proud to call herself a member of the Democratic Party. Amber has worked in the legal field for over 15 years and hopes to transition into a position with a not-for-profit organization related to one of the causes she is passionate about. She was inspired to become involved with Women's March on Washington when she noticed the increase of fear and concern that transpired during and after the election.
“Standing by silently is not a privilege afforded to us right now. It is situations like the one we are in when people must stand up for what is right and demand to be heard.”
HEAD OF OPERATIONS & STATE SUB-CHAPTER COORDINATION
Leni had no history of political activism before Donald Trump. The native Chicagoan and daughter of Filipino emigrants, is a mother of three and had little time for more than caring for her small business and family. But Donald Trump was something she never expected and the threats to women, people of color, the LGBTQIA community and many other vulnerable populations compelled her to get involved. A life-long dancer, Leni transitioned from the performing arts to physical therapy. Working in the Cook County hospital and jail system 1997-2001, Leni witnessed first-hand the desperate need for quality, affordable healthcare and preventative medicine for all. She is concerned what the future holds for our most indigent individuals and their families.
“At this time, I feel there is a danger in taking a let’s-wait-and-see attitude. I want to be a role model for my own kids and to show them there are powerful ways to be involved right now.’’
HEAD OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS
Julie is the owner of a small business in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked with social service organizations and in reformative criminal justice in both Chicago and DC. Julie has been involved with public policy research on the local and federal level, and has a passion for examining how systems fail the most vulnerable. Veraciously outspoken since childhood, she works to give voice to those who have been chronically silenced. Fighting against the pervasive complacency and denial surrounding sexual abuse is her primary motivation for marching on January 21, 2017.
“We are accountable for the world that is being created around us, and I refuse to be compliant through inaction.”
HEAD OF LOGISTICS
The daughter of a Mexican immigrant, Amanda Drenth is a wife and the mother of 3 who has participated in political activism since childhood, distributing literature and working phone banks in her hometown of Maywood, IL. A former platelet research scientist, Amanda is now an elementary school science teacher who has fought for LGBTQ students’ rights in her district, successfully making it the first school district to have protective policies in place for LGBTQ students.
“So many protections are at stake once Trump takes office. Everything from climate science to women’s rights to make reproductive health decisions. We must stand together to uphold these protections.”
AMANDA JANE LONG
HEAD OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
Amanda is worried about the rights and needs of women and all vulnerable populations. Long holds two degrees in theater and runs a small arts production company that connects artists with opportunities to use their talents for social good.
"I lost my mother as a teenager. Healthcare and resources for families are so important to me. It’s not enough for me to teach arts to kids facing such pressing issues at home. I have to focus on something bigger.''