Chicago Votes Education Fund Board Of Directors

10639441_559943757461727_7784428947867902722_nJauwan Hall

Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, and a current resident of the Englewood community, Jauwan Hall is committed to becoming a change agent in civic engagement and corporate social After graduating from Leo Catholic High School, Jauwan served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps and deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon completing eight years of active duty service in the Marine Corps, Jauwan attended and graduated from Kennedy King College with his associate’s degree. He then enrolled at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where currently, he is a senior majoring in political science. At UIC, Jauwan serves as the Student Member of the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees representing the Chicago campus. Since joining the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees, he has been an advocate for making the University of Illinois more accessible and inclusive for underrepresented students, staff, faculty and administrators, as well as combatting sexual assault on campus. Jauwan works with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E), to educate Englewood’s community members about civic engagement and the political process. Jauwan currently serves in the Illinois Army National Guard.


Sam is the Vice President of Business Development for a local education technology (EdTech) company and an Associate Producer at Groundswell Educational Films, a nonprofit production company that specializes in impact filmmaking for social justice. In his professional career, Sam builds strategic partnerships between industry leading education technology firms to promote more open, interoperable software systems for schools. In addition to his work in the EdTech industry, Sam is also the writer, director, and co-producer of The Greens, a crosscultural documentary and storytelling workshop about race and place in urban America. He and coproducer Teddy Williams have presented the film at dozens of institutions from the University of Oxford in England to the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, and been featured twice on CNN as part of the Chicagoland series. Sam is also active in Chicago politics as a fundraiser for progressive candidates like Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Sue Sadlowski Garza, Tara Stamps, and Harish Patel. Prior to his professional career, Sam earned his Masters Degree in American History at the University of Oxford. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Colgate University in 2013. Sam began his college career as a football player at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Laura Garcia is an advocate for immigration and social justice who specializes in developing, implementing and managing programs that touch the lives of individuals and communities while also creating statewide and national impact. Laura has worked nationally and locally in various positions focusing on immigration and social justice. Laura is currently working with the City of Chicago in the Mayor’s Office of New Americans. In this position she manages the Cities for Citizenship program in partnership with the Chicago Public Libraries. Prior to her work with the City of Chicago, Laura directed statewide integration programs for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. In these positions, Laura developed statewide immigrant-focused initiative that incorporated program services, community organizing and community development. Laura worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement prior to her time in Chicago where she managed national refugee resettlement programs. While in D.C., Laura also worked with the Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration in areas of Workforce Development. Laura began her refugee work while at World Relief International Development Corporation in Baltimore.


Veer Kothari

Veer is currently financial analyst and consultant. With a background in accountancy, Veer advises socially conscious and civically minded organizations in all financial related matters. In the past, Veer has organized around labor and income inequality, but he plans on increasing his scope to include education and campaign finance reform. A Chicago native, Veer currently lives in Logan Square and holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an avid reader, budding cook, and life-long flâneur.



Erana Jackson

A native Chicagoan, raised in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Erana has worked in political organizing for over twenty five years, serving on numerous grass roots organizations in Hyde Park, Washington Park, and Bronzeville. Erana is an Urban Farm Educator teaching how we are connected to the environment around us and climate change. Getting the message to the people how voting connects everything in our neighborhoods: how we live, where we go to school, and how we feed ourselves is my passion for what I do.

imanIman Kort

Iman was born and raised in Bridgeview, a Southwest suburb of the city. She is currently a senior at DePaul University, studying Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies. Iman is the president of UMMA-United Muslims Moving Ahead-a student organization on DePaul’s campus that fosters community through spiritual, social and service-oriented events.  Iman is committed to a path of social change, one that involves organizing community members around issues most relevant to them. Her passion lies in being an activist and fighting injustice in its many forms. Iman is an alum of Democracy Corps 2014, a ten week political training for young leaders. This past summer, she organized alongside 12 of her peers, registering voters, launching an Elected Representative School Board campaign, and planning a fundraiser.  Iman is an obsessive organizer, keeping her planner with her at all times. When she has time to herself, Iman enjoys taking long walks, sipping cups of tea, reading thought-provoking texts and spending quality time with friends.

amyAmy Hermalik

Amy was born into a military family and spent her childhood moving around the country. She chose Chicago as her home after law school and has lived and worked here ever since. She unabashedly believes in the power of people coming together to work towards making the world a better, more just place and thinks government and politics, at their best and loftiest, are examples of this. However, she believes achieving ideal outcomes in a democracy requires robust, broad, and active participation from everyone and sees multiple ways people are excluded and disempowered in the current system.  Currently a corporate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Amy focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. She also has a robust pro bono practice in which she assists U-Visa and DACA applicants, non-profits, veterans applying for benefits related to their service, and people with Social Security Administration and food stamp related matters. Previously, Amy worked at the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., a legal clinic serving low-income entrepreneurs on the South side of Chicago, a teacher policy organization in Chicago, and a middle school in South Los Angeles. She was a Teach for America corps member and teacher prior to law school, received a Symantec Award for Innovation in Education, and remains actively engaged in K-12 education issues in Chicago.  Amy earned a B.A. with honors in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Arizona, a Master of Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.