For nearly ten years I served as the executive director of a Chicago pro-choice organization. I not only governed that organization, managed budgets, led strategic plans and raised significant revenue for reproductive health access, but rebranded the organization. My expertise in the field of women's health issues led me to chair meetings, sit on panels and a reproductive rights/health/justice "Think Tank" at the Guttmacher Institute, present at conferences, facilitate workshops, and work within coalitions and advisory councils to help craft, support and pass legislation in Illinois.
Additionally, I have 25 years of experience in other non profit, public and private sector work, along with direct experience in working within various communities across the Chicago land area. I have served on board for Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Midwest Access Project and Affinity Community Services; as well I worked under the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development for the City of Chicago. All this has provided me with a strong foundation in community service, finance and the workings of local government. I am THE STRONGEST and most accomplished candidate - a proven champion of social justice, equity, independent thinking and progressive values.Gaylon
Gaylon, mother, grandmother, activist and organizer, has been a champion of human rights for close to 25 years. As a lifelong Chicagoan, she attended both Chicago public and private schools and believes in equal education for all. Through determination, Gaylon has transformed her life from a 360 pound domestic violence survivor to a marathon runner and advocate for all people.
Gaylon’s activism began in high school as a member of the Christian Services Committee which provided outreach and support to disenfranchised families during the holidays. Deeply disturbed that many were without basic necessities, Gaylon made it her life’s mission to support the voiceless.
While an advocate for others, Gaylon found herself facing homelessness with the threat of the loss of affordable housing. The young mother went to Metropolitan Tenants Organization and began mobilizing the residents in an effort to rebirth the Ogden Corners Tenant’s Association/Resident’s Council. This was her introduction to working with HUD residents and other developments on affordable housing preservation. In addition to affordable housing, Gaylon has worked on a variety of causes including youth health and policy, LGBT, gender equality and reproductive rights.
A current professor/instructor at NEIU and PhD candidate at National Louis University, Gaylon’s continued mission is to change the world around her. Like most, she is frustrated and fed up with government that does not work for the people. She is seeking to change the policies and systems that lead to the injustice and waste throughout Cook County.
Professor & Instructor - Northeastern Illinois University - Current
Ph.D. Community Psychology – National Louis University – Chicago, IL - 2015 - Current
Doctorate of Education – Roosevelt University – Chicago, IL (1 year coursework completed) - 2013 - 2014
Master of Arts in Applied Professional Studies – DePaul University – Chicago, IL - June 2011
Bachelor of Arts – DePaul University – Chicago, IL - June 2008
AWARDS, RECOGNITION AND FELLOWSHIPS
National Louis University – McCray Endowed Scholarship Recipient – 2017-2018
Chicago Reader Newspaper: The People Issue – “The Activist” – 2014
Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective – Women Warrior – November 2014
City of Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame – Inductee – 2013
NYU Wagner Research Ctr for Leadership in Action – IGNITE Fellowship – Women of Color in the Social Sector – 2013
National Organization for Women – Women Who Dared – 2012
Chicago Foundation for Women – Impact Awards – 2010
Choice USA – Generational Award – 2009
National Organization for Women (Chicago Suburban Chapter) – Fay Clayton Award – 2008