Open Communities Board
Our service and advocacy programs are backed by the energy and vision of our Board of Directors and officers.
Open Communities Staff
Staff members provide direct housing services to individuals, community education and grassroots organizing in north suburban Chicago. Some members of the staff speak Farsi and Spanish as well as English.
Individual staff can be accessed via e-mail by [firstname]@open-communities.org.
Kourtney dedicated her career to increasing access and opportunity for young people from traditionally overlooked backgrounds. She has expertise in working with first generation college students, career advising, diversity facilitation, nonprofit management, talent management, and organizational change. She is currently the Director of Student Enrichment Services at Northwestern University. Prior to NU, Kourtney spent over seven years with The Posse Foundation. She is a member of the Diversity Council at Northwestern University and was honored as the Young Woman of Promise through the YWCA YWomen’s Awards Dinner in October 2014.
Anita works as an Administrator for NorthShore University HealthSysytem. She relocated to the North Shore from the western suburbs and has been a resident of Evanston for the past 8 years. She participated in the Leadership Evanston class and has stayed on as a volunteer for the steering committee. She has a passion for community involvement and looks forward to dedicating her time to serving north suburban communities.
Emily is an immigration lawyer based in Evanston. She has represented clients from countries all over the world in family-based and deportation defense cases, including asylum and other protection-based forms of relief. She also represents employees and companies throughout the U.S. in employment-based petitions. Throughout her career, she has been a passionate volunteer with various immigrant organizations and has handled many pro-bono cases. In late 2015, she spent a week in Dilley, Texas as a volunteer attorney representing detained mothers and children who had fled violence in Central America. Emily lives in Highland Park.
Loretta is a Retail Banking Officer with First Bank of Highland Park. She is also committed to serving her community through active involvement in the Community Reinvestment Act. Loretta is constantly expanding her knowledge base through continuing education courses specializing in retail lending and speaks fluent Italian. She lives in Deerfield.
Dilnaz Waraich, M.S.Ed. from Northwestern University is an educational consultant with Northwestern University’s Education Department and also has her own business, Envision Education Consultants. She also is Vice President of Winnetka Interfaith Council and is passionate about community activism and interfaith collaboration. She lives in Winnetka with her family.
Bilingual Housing Liaison
Liliana Salcido is a Mexican immigrant who moved the Chicagoland 12 years ago. With a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, she made the transition to nonprofit service to fulfill her passion to help others. As an outreach worker she connects people with needed resources. Her love is her 9 year-old daughter. Liliana enjoys hugging her and kissing her daughter whenever she lets her. During her free time, she pretends to cook, bake and reinvent meals… always with a glass of wine.
Testing & Education Coordinator
Ted has worked as a community organizer, organizational consultant, teacher, labor union researcher and organizer of community/labor partnerships, public policy director, and Uber driver. He lives in Skokie with his wife and two young adult children. He is a member of Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston. When not obsessing about politics, Ted loves music, reading, camping, and a good poker game.