CCBF Welcomes Four to Our Team!

CCBF is tremendously excited to have welcomed four new staff members to our team in the last two months! You can learn more about them below.

Santera Matthews joins the Coalition to End Money Bond during a pivotal time in the campaign with the passage of the Pretrial Fairness Act.

Santera (she/her) is a queer mixed Indigenous Keweenaw Bay Annishanabee organizer and educator from Milwaukee, WI. Her work is informed by her Feminist Abolitionist politics. She is a founding member of Black and Pink Milwaukee’s chapter and lead organizer for the #FreeChrystul Self-Defense Committee and is overall dedicated to abolishing the PIC. Santera is very excited to join the Chicago Community Bond Fund as the Campaign Coordinator for Coalition to End Money Bond.

Bethany Dean and Matt Sugai joined CCBF to support us during our transition, providing essential temporary support for our operations and revolving fund teams.

Bethany (she/her) is the Operations Associate at Chicago Community Bond Fund. She has been a passionate volunteer for CCBF, supporting administrative tasks and paying bonds. She is an organizer with Chicago Community Jail Support and a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild.

Bethany previously worked with nonprofits providing direct services and housing advocacy to individuals and families. Her frustration with the gaps in resources available to families with very young children led her to launch Newbie Nest in 2020. Newbie Nest partners with other mutual aids and gives tangible support directly to families in our community to ensure they have the items needed to keep their little ones safe and healthy. 

Matt (they/them) is the Legal Assistant at the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Born and raised in Chicago, Matt became interested in the police and prison abolition movements in the summer of 2014, following the killing of Michael Brown by police and the subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, and they have had an active presence at protests against police brutality ever since. Matt’s relationship with CCBF began after their arrest at a protest in 2020, for which CCBF posted bond on their behalf. They are incredibly grateful for CCBF and their service to the community, and are excited to be part of their team.

Matt received their BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Knox College and previously worked as file clerk at a civil litigation law firm. They aspire to use their experiences with the Cook County court system and as part of CCBF to inform a future career in criminal defense.

In addition to new staff positions, we have a new law clerk for Summer 2021.

Joan Steffen (she/her) is the Summer 2021 Law Clerk at the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Originally from Elgin, Illinois, she became an advocate for prison abolition after her arrest at the J20 inauguration protests in 2017. Joan is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, ’14, and recently completed her second year of coursework at Harvard Law School. At Harvard, Joan served as the Policy Director for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, where she represented incarcerated clients at disciplinary and classification proceedings, testified at regulatory hearings, and led organizational efforts to help people incarcerated in Massachusetts access COVID-19 stimulus payments. Joan is also co-president of the Harvard Law School chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, where she helps to run NLG Massachusetts’ statewide legal protest hotline. Joan looks forward to learning more about community lawyering and working with clients incarcerated in Illinois jails. She is grateful to be part of a team advocating for abolitionist changes to Illinois’ criminal legal system.

Welcome to CCBF’s team, Joan, Matt, Bethany, and Santera!

(Photo collage shows new staff members clockwise: Santera, Bethany, Joan, Matt)

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