Staff, Boards + Teaching Artists


Operations + Program Staff


Alicia T. Vega,
Executive Director


Joanne Vena,
Director of Programs


Umeki Ramsey, Operations Director


Karen Shifflett,
Manager of Program Evaluation & Documentation


Robin Reid Drake,
Development Associate

Brenda Fineberg, Foundations of Music Consultant

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Jon Pierre (J.Prep),
Manager of Songwriting
and Music Production

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Loretta Medeiros, Manager
of School Partnerships

Board of Directors


JoAnn Beck
J A Beck, LCC

Kay Berkson
Founder of Changing Worlds

Linda Berna,
Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University

Patricia Borowiec

Kristen Conry

Michele Cardona
Northern Trust

Liz Davis
SPR Consulting

Joseph B. Glossberg
Gofen and Glossberg, LLC

Brian Hahn
Neuberger Berman

Sharon Hidalgo
Buck Global, LLC

Evelyn Keolian
Chicago Public Library

Vicki Woolner Samuels

Brad Sheftel
Valor Equity Partners

Claire Stevens


Sarvesh Soi, President  

Laurie Miller, Vice President
Anderson/Miller Ltd

Claire Stevens, Treasurer

Christen Bollig, Secretary
Adtalem Global Education

Jason Osborn, Immediate Past President
Winston & Strawn LLP


Associate Board

The Associate Board brings together emerging professionals to support Changing Worlds' mission of culturally inclusive youth arts and literacy programming. Through events and other activities, Associate Board members contribute time, resources, expertise, and guidance. This ensures board members attain outreach, fundraising, and community awareness goals, all while having a fun and enriching experience.

To apply for our Associate Board, please fill out our application.


James Harris
Cook County Bureau of Economic Development


Pietro Binchi
United Airlines

Margarette Rodriguez
The University of Chicago
School of Social Service Administration

Gabriella Thornton

Nicole Zeimis
IES Abroad

Visar Salihu
MB Financial

Gabby Garcia-Marquez

Honorary Board Member

Lindsay Alvis Cochrane
Delnor Hospital

Program Team

With an average of over 28 years of experience, program team members are veteran educators, artist and literacy leaders with a successful track record of working in public school or community-based settings. This diverse team has worked in various capacities to mobilize the arts as a social change strategy and improve student learning through teacher and student development programs and curricula that places students - their lives, communities, histories, concerns - at the center of the educational experience.

Teaching Artists

Yaasha Abraham
Mary Alden
Hector Alverez
Luciano Antonio
Anthony Barkley
Elise Barrington
Chris Brown
Maya Chandran
Stephanie Chavara
Jose Corcoles
Luis Crespo
Idris Daniel
Valroy Dawkins
Ishita Dharep
Sara Dickey
Luis De La Torre
Michael Driscoll
Idris Elba    
William Eller
Rhonda Gray
Andrea Hill
Susanna Hostetter
Cynthium Johnson-Woodfolk
Sharon Krome
Cecil MacDonald
Julia Mellen               
Sadira Muhammad     
Maya Odim    
Jean Parisi    
Amaniyea Payne        
Kristiana Rae Colón
Lee Roundtree
Martez Rucker
Mitsu Salmon
Assane Seck       
Diana Solis             
Michelle Stine 
Jamie Thome
Erika Valenciana
Solo Warren 
Damon Williams           
Avery R. Young
Avo Randruut
Cassandra Fox
Charlotte Rivard-Hoster
Melissa Grant
Mike Herrero



Literacy Specialists

Quraysh Ali-Lansana
Edie McLoud Armstrong
Ada Cheng
Bria Dolnick
Karen Doria
Reid Drake
Cynthium Johnson-Woodfolk
Jenn Morea
Molly Moynahan
Kristiana Rae-Colon
Avery R. Young


"I work hard, communicate and cooperate with others."