Learn how CRGE leverages Black voting power to elect candidates and enact policies that advance the movement for Black liberation and gender equity.


Learn more about the people behind CRGE's campaigns and initiatives.


Learn more about the funders that make our work possible.


The Center for Racial and Gender Equity works to build the power of the Black women most directly impacted by the intersections of violently racialized and gendered capitalism to advance a radical vision for liberation, through leadership development and political engagement.

CRGE runs grassroots policy and electoral campaigns, engaging Black voters and building Black women’s leadership to advance a legislative agenda and candidates that explicitly support Black women’s Liberation.



CRGE is staffed by a team of talented activists who offer a diversity of skills and experiences to further our movement for Black Liberation and gender equity.


DeAngelo has worked as both a community and labor organizer for over 15 years, mobilizing a diverse set of leaders, from nurses in rural Wisconsin to public housing residents in New York. He led local, state and national organizing campaigns around issues such as educational equity, preservation and expansion of affordable housing, re-entry, and increasing access to living wage jobs for Black workers. In 2014, DeAngelo led the fight to pass statewide Ban the Box legislation that covers both public and private sectors employers. In 2016 DeAngelo led CRGE's effort for to unseat police Superintendent McCarthy and State's Attorney Alvarez. DeAngelo also serves as Executive Director of the Workers Center for Racial Justice.

Executive Director

DeAngelo Bester


Yolanda is responsible for CRGE operations and provides support to the Executive Director and Staff. She brings her knowledge, skills and great work ethic after being a loyal public servant for the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). During her 35 years tenure with IDHR she was the Legal Division Manager, where she was responsible for the daily operations, supervised staff, and assisted constituents that filed charges against employers for discriminatory practices. Yolanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Bishop College (now, Paul Quinn) a historically black college in Dallas, Texas. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Yolanda Godwin


Yolanda Godwin



CRGE's staff draws upon a wide range skills and backgrounds in the areas of leadership, organizing, movement building, policy, communications and fundraising.


Joi is an alumna of Western Illinois University where she earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Political Science. As an activist, she has dedicated her research to labeling Black oppression as genocide in order to completely liberate Black communities and dismantle systems of racism and white supremacy. A lifelong Chicagoan, Joi is passionate about organizing and advocating around issues that plague Black communities, including police brutality and accountability, mass incarceration, and negative public opinion. She brings experience in policy and legislation research on Capitol Hill and has supervised multiple student organizations in field organizing and program development.

Power Building & Strategy

Joi Wells


Since 2014, Antonio has been organizing in disinvested Black neighborhoods in his hometown of Chicago. As Lead Organizer at the Workers Center for Racial Justice and Center for Racial and Gender Equity since 2017, Antonio mobilizes community members around issues he is most passionate about, including Black equality, police accountability, and reinvestment for the formerly incarcerated community in Chicago and across Illinois.


Antonio Lightfoot

Ethan Viets-VanLear 

Ethan Viets-VanLear is an Abolitionist Poet and organizer born and raised on the far Northside of Chicago. For the last 10 years he has used tools like restorative justice and grassroots organizing models to build people power and confront systems of oppression. 

Ethan Viets-VanLear

Team Lead


Louisa joined CRGE in 2017, with over 10 years of experience working in community based organizations across Chicago. Louisa supported programs and advocacy initiatives at homeless resource centers across Chicago, including the Broadway Youth Center and Inspiration Corporation. She also served as the Associate Director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. Louisa is passionate about supporting movements that dismantle systems of  white supremacy and patriarchy and advance structural equity.

Policy & Communications

Louisa Manske


Sarah Wilson has been fundraising for Black-led, social justice-focused organizations since 2011. She presently divides her time between CRGE and the Workers Center for Racial Justice in Chicago, and MOSES in Detroit. She has assisted in raising money for work around issues including public transit access, water equity, safety net program protection, criminal justice reform, and equitable community development. She helps to run an urban garden in her neighborhood of Rogers Park, Chicago, and is also involved in fundraising for several local performing arts organizations.


Sarah Wilson


The Center for Racial and Gender Equity gratefully acknowledges the allies and supporters who make our work possible. We are generously funded by the following organizations.

Voqal Fund

Solidaire Network

Movement Voter Project 

More Equitable Democracy 

Tides Foundation 

SEIU International 


SEIU Local 1