Eliza Solowiej


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Affiliation: First Defense Legal Aid

Eliza Solowiej has been Executive Director of First-Defense Legal Aid (Chicago) for over eight years.  She is dedicated to stopping the cradle-to-prison pipeline and replacing it with government accountability for human rights. For 20 years, she has focused her career on youth, community and organizational leadership development to this end. She is a Public Allies staff alumna, AmeriCorps alumna and management consultant for capacity building and social responsibility in the public and private sectors. She is a Chicago Community Trust Fellow Alumna, Civic Leadership Academy Alumna (at the Booth Business and Harris Public Policy Schools at the University of Chicago) and has served on boards for Southside Together Organizing for Power, the National Lawyers Guild, the West Side Justice Center and the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Further, Eliza is a graduate of University of Chicago and the UIC John Marshall Law School, and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.  She is a long-time resident, parent, foster parent, mentor, and historian on the south side.