Let’s Catch Up: Stand Staff News

Four news flashes about members of the Stand Illinois Team.

Tommorrow Snyder, Stand’s Regional Organizing Director, has been appointed to the statewide Work Group for implementation of the Jett Hawkins Act. This Act bans hair discrimination in schools. Tommorrow brings a rich perspective to this issue – in addition to leading Stand’s community and family engagement partnerships, she is a licensed cosmetologist. The Jett Hawkins Law Work Group is working with the Illinois State Board of Education to create a model toolkit and resource guide for schools.

The Springfield Business Journal has selected Jessica Handy, Stand’s Government Affairs Director, for its annual 40 Under 40 list. Jessica’s inclusion on this list of movers and shakers highlights the dedication and impact she has across the state and in her hometown. She has been a leader in advocating for increased school funding, a more equitable funding formula, and access to advanced coursework. When asked for her proudest professional accomplishment, Jessica cited legislation that stopped millions of federal funds from being siphoned each year from classrooms serving low-income students and students with disabilities. Jessica is a mom, a foster mom, and an affordable housing advocate.

For a few years now, the Stand Illinois office has had the tremendous help of Brandi Watts, a colleague who would travel back and forth from our Texas affiliate. We’re thrilled that she has now moved to the Prairie State and joins us as Stand’s Educator Partnerships Director. Brandi leads our educator engagement strategies and will be helping shape state and district education policy, while continuing to play a key role in our organization’s national Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.

To commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Chicago honored 12 individuals for their contributions to their communities and the entire city. Mimi Rodman, Stand’s Executive Director, was one of these honorees and was selected for her support and advocacy for the Chicago’s youth. Mimi is a first-generation Korean American. Chicago has the fifth largest population of Asian Americans in the country.

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