CCBF Welcomes Two New Staff Members

Chicago Community Bond Fund is excited to announce our new Legal Advocacy Coordinator and Operations Manager who joined staff this month! These two additions bring our team to a total of 10 full-time people. 

As of January 3, Michelle Velasquez is the Legal Advocacy Coordinator for CCBF and will support the revolving bail fund. As of January 10, Rachel Lyons has joined CCBF as the Operations Manager and will support the staff and general operations. Read more about them below!

Image Description: Michelle smiles in a headshot against a grey background. They have shoulder-length dark hair and are wearing a dark shirt with a white leaf pattern.

Michelle Velazquez (they/them) is the Legal Advocacy Coordinator at the Chicago Community Bond Fund. They have extensive experience in youth organizing, immigration legal advocacy and advocating for labor rights for low-income and marginalized communities in Illinois. Michelle’s direct service work with LGBTQ+ detained immigrants ignited their advocacy work to shift focus to prison abolition and decarceration.

They currently reside in the southwest side of Chicago where they also volunteer in youth-based organizations as a mentor. Michelle is excited to continue their role as an advocate for communities impacted by criminalization. Michelle received their BA in International Studies from DePaul University in Chicago.

Image Description: Rachel smiles while standing in the woods. She has short brown hair, glasses, and is wearing a green vest and a plaid shirt.

Rachel Lyons (she/her) is the Operations Manager at the Chicago Community Bond Fund. She became a volunteer with CCBF in 2017, and that led her to organize with Chicago Community Jail Support. Rachel has a decade of experience in social justice education, facilitation, and non-profit leadership. She has previously worked in faith-based organizing and advocacy in Chicago, and she led young adult formation programs in Baltimore and St. Louis. She is honored to have a role supporting the staff and mission of CCBF.

Rachel holds a BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University Chicago.

Welcome to CCBF, Michelle and Rachel! We are grateful to start 2022 with you both.

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