Photo of Adela Carlin.

This month Illinois Partners highlights our new team member, Adela Carlin, Director of Grassroots Partnerships. Welcome, Adela! We are so glad to have you on our team!

“Change must be driven by the people doing the work and the people who are in need of the services to truly make an impact.”

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what you are looking forward to with your new role?: 
I am a Community Lawyer and for the past 20 years I have worked with individuals, families, and community groups in the Chicago area. I am an advocate for more equitable treatment and services for all communities and have worked with multiple populations, including but not limited to underserved populations, survivors of violence, families, youth and older adults. I used to work for what is now Chicago Legal Aid as the Director of Community Engagement and was responsible for building and sustaining partnerships. I heard about Illinois Partners for Human Service through a community partner who forwarded me the job posting on Linkedin and they felt like I’d be perfect for the role. As the Director of Grassroots Partnerships, I am looking forward to having more impact and mobilizing changing of policies at a statewide level. This new position is a journey for personal and professional growth for me because this is an opportunity for me to advocate for the human service sector as a whole along with individuals and communities.<

“My passion has always been to work with others who believe in access, equity, inclusion , and justice.”

How about something unique about yourself others may find interesting?: 
I love to talk to people. I enjoy learning and sharing information. I grew up in Little Village here in Chicago and come from a very large family. I am the oldest of 6 and my husband is the youngest of 9! All of my family stay within miles from me. I like to read about social justice. I have a little library and like to swap books with others who like to read. I like to travel when it’s safe to do so. Latin America is my favorite place to go. I am bilingual and became a lawyer because of something I realized as young as 5 years old; I was the interpreter for my family and that experience taught me that you absolutely need to advocate for yourself to get even your basic needs met. I decided that, as a lawyer, I could be the best advocate for myself, my family, my community and other communities like mine.


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