US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN Welcomes New Deputy Director Eliza Solowiej

May 12, 2021

As we continue to build toward our vision of a transformative shared leadership process, we are delighted to announce the newest addition to our Coordinating Center team. Please join us in welcoming US Human Rights Network's Deputy Director, Eliza Solowiej, Esq! As Deputy Director, she will work closely with the Executive Director on strategic planning and implementation, member and community engagement, and resource generation.

Eliza has been part of the Network for years, serving in member, board, and youth mentor roles, providing training and technical assistance for transformational Peoples’ campaigns. She has led local and regional activist teams deemed wildly successful at winning material improvements in conditions through the human rights framework infused by USHRN under founder Ajamu Baraka. 

Previously, Eliza served for 8 years as Executive Director of  First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA), facilitating a movement of survivors and civil society to end the use of incommunicado detention by Chicago police. They recently won universal public defense for all Chicago police captives through a service + struggle model, affecting a vast 99% of arrestees for up to 3 days. Her organization deployed legal aid 24/7 to the police stations for over two decades through volunteer attorney mobilization and training, while providing know your rights popular education and organizing for direct government accountability thus creating a national model for applying human rights at the city and state level.

Eliza 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 the 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 mother, mentor, historian, Kingian nonviolence practitioner and member of the National Lawyers Guild. 

We are thrilled to welcome Eliza to the USHRN Coordinating Center as we work to strengthen the US human rights movement and our Network in 2021 and beyond, together. Contact: