Grads honored for leadership, activism
(L-R) Tania Unzueta, co-founder of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, Cleo Wilson, former ACLU Illinois board member, and Ill. Rep. Robyn Gabel received the Civic Engagement, Community Service and Community Organizing award.
Three alumnae returned to campus to receive the gender and women’s studies program’s Civic Engagement, Community Service and Community Organizing Award.
This year’s honorees were Ill. Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, Tania Unzueta, co-founder of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and Cleo Wilson, former vice president of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
The award recognizes alumnae and affiliates who have improved the lives of women and the community through their activism and leadership.
Gabel (’79 MS, public health) began her career as an educator in a women’s health center, then training coordinator and co-director of other health centers. As legislative assistant to former Ald. Luis Gutierrez, she was responsible for the development of policy position and legislation for health care, housing and economic development.
For two decades, Gabel has been the executive director of the nonprofit Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition. She has represented Illinois’ 18th district since 2010.
Tania Unzueta (’04 BA, sociology and gender and women’s studies) is a graduate student in Latin American and Latino studies and co-founder of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, a Chicago-based organization working for immigrant rights.
Last year she left her job as assistant general manager for WRTE-FM, a bilingual public radio station, to advocate for the DREAM Act. She teaches journalism and broadcasting and mentors young radio producers.
Cleo Wilson (’76 BA, teaching of English) is on the advisory council of the Women’s Business Development Center. An active leader in civic and charitable activities, she was a board member and vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
She is a founding member and former president of Intuit: The Center for The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.
She was executive director of the Playboy Foundation, a corporate giving program of Playboy Enterprises Inc., for 25 years.