Board of Directors

picture of Agnes Meneses

Agnes Meneses, Board Co-Chair, is the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at Chicago Foundation for Women where she helps lead collaborative efforts to address issues impacting women and girls. Agnes spent twelve years as a Program Officer at Alphawood Foundation where she gained wide experience in supporting Foundation grantees ranging from arts, arts education and environmental organizations to those focused on addressing community needs and pressing social justice issues. Prior to joining Alphawood, Agnes served as a Manager of Annual Funds for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and worked in business and market development for PwC’s Chicago office.

picture of Henry Cervantes

Henry Cervantes, Board Co-Chair, is an artist, educator, and organizer who focuses on nonviolence and restorative justice and has trained activists from Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America. Currently, Cervantes serves as the Manager for The Peace Exchange, an organization that engages young Chicagoans from the west and south sides in training and trips abroad to study global nonviolence movements. Cervantes is passionate about building African-American and Latino coalitions and reducing youth violence. Cervantes has served on the Docent Council at the DuSable Museum of African American History and leads the Aztec Dance Group Xochil-Quetzal.

picture of Megan Cusick

Megan Cusick, Board Treasurer,  is the Assistant Director for State Advocacy at the American Library Association, where she advances information access and civic engagement through libraries. A former Chicago Public Schools teacher librarian, Megan remains involved in efforts to support fully-resourced neighborhood public schools in Chicago. She is a founding member of the Chicago Teachers Union Librarians Committee, a board member of Books on Benches, and a participant in the 2018 Giving Project.

picture of Emmanuel Andre

Emmanuel Andre is the Lead Attorney and Executive Director of Northside Transformative Law Center, and the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Circles & Ciphers. He is a New York native who calls Chicago home. Mr. Andre is an alumni of the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, and is passionate about creating spaces that acknowledge the lived experiences of a community heavily impacted by institutional violence. Mr. Andre has over 10 years of experience litigating some of the most complex criminal justice cases. As a restorative justice practitioner, Mr. Andre focuses  his work on conflict resolution independent of the courts, with a path towards healing.

picture of Kheira Issaoui-Mansouri

Kheira Issaoui-Mansouri is a program officer at the Irving Harris Foundation where she manages a network of grantees focused on early childhood mental health. In her role, she facilitates and supports grantees’ collaborative work, including advancing the integration of a reproductive justice analysis into the early childhood mental health field. Prior to working at the foundation, Kheira spent 6 years at Arabella Advisors where she guided foundation leaders in developing, implementing, and evaluating grantmaking strategies. She is passionate about power, facilitation, and understanding the connection between attachment and trauma.

picture of Mollie Anderson

Mollie Anderson is an experienced fundraiser with the majority of her career being in major gifts. She has helped advance the missions of the YMCA of Metro Chicago, the ACLU of Illinois, and the University of Chicago. She is currently the Director of Development at Girls on the Run-Chicago. Previously, she was the Chief Development Officer at the Chicago Literacy Alliance. Prior to her fundraising career she very nearly became an academic and holds an MA in Religion and American Politics from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Religious Studies from San Diego State University. She is an alumnus for the 2018 Giving Project.

picture of Muhammad Sankari

Muhammad Sankari, the child of Arab immigrants from Lebanon, is the current Lead Organizer at the Arab American Action Network where he has worked since 2010. Currently he helps guide the youth-led campaign to End Racial Profiling which focuses on combatting specific tools that law enforcement uses to surveil, entrap, and oppress memebers of the Arab & Muslim communities of the Chicagoland area. 

picture of Makkah Ali

Makkah Ali is a Director on the Managed Organizations team at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic advisory firm that works with partners to develop, structure, and maximize the impact of charitable projects. In this role, she provides operational and management support to non-profit organizations and fiscally sponsored charitable projects. Prior to joining Arabella, Makkah served as Grants Manager at the El-Hibri Foundation where she managed all stages of the annual grants cycle and facilitated learning and collaboration opportunities between grantees. In her spare time, Makkah co-hosts the Identity Politics Podcast which features new stories and perspectives at the intersection of race, gender, and Muslim life in America. She previously served as President of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative and was a proud participant in the 2019 Giving Project.

picture of Lee Andel Dewey

Lee Andel Dewey (they/them) provides sliding-scale-to-free accounting, bookkeeping, and consultation services under their business, LADhoc Accounting. They are an organizer, activist, and advocate for the trans/gender nonconforming, queer, and HIV+ communities, all of which they are a part, laboring in collaboration and support of those which they are not. Their activism is focused upon anti-racism, anti-bigotry, the abolition of the police, prisons, and related systems of oppression, and towards effecting positive radical change. Lee is the Lead Organizer/Facilitator for CommunityCave Chicago, the Treasurer of the Board for Upswing Advocates, and a Community Advisory Board Member for AIDS Foundation Chicago. They are a passionate, year round commuter cyclist, a fair weather artist, enamoured with the outdoors, and always in search of their next dance floor.

picture of Brenda Hernandez

Brenda Hernandez is a Chicago-based Mexican educator and cultural worker. She is currently Co-Director of the Allied Media Conference and AMSeeds convenings of Allied Media Project. Brenda has curated neighborhood programming for Chicago Artist Month, Yollocalli Arts Reach, FMEL, Soul Togetherness and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She has written on the intersection of art, education and youth advocacy for A.R.E.A.  and Contratiempo Magazine. Brenda was a member of the Crossroads Fund Giving Project in 2018; and is a Board Member of the Public Media Institute.

picture of Cecile DeMello

Cecile DeMello is a community organizer, community developer, and policy maker working to uplift communities on the South and West side of Chicago. Currently the Executive Director of Teamwork Englewood, previously Cecile was Co-Executive Director of Blocks Together for 10 years, a Crossroads Fund grantee. She is also currently serving as the acting Englewood Quality of Life Plan Project Manager at Teamwork Englewood. She holds a Masters in Not for Profit Management and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from UIC.

picture of Tracie D. Hall

Tracie D. Hall is the Director of the Joyce Foundation's Culture Program. Prior to her appointment at Joyce, Tracie served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) for the City of Chicago where she oversaw the Arts and Creative Industries Division which included the Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music Industry, and Farmers Market programs, as well as the Chicago Film Office.

Deeply invested in the intersection of arts access, literacy, youth and economic development, Hall is a poet, fiction writer and playwright. Hall is a Cave Canem fellow and the recipient of various awards and residencies for her writing, creative and community work. Holding degrees from the University of California, Yale University and the University of Washington, Hall was born and mostly raised in South Los Angeles. She is Founding Curator of experimental arts space, Rootwork Gallery and continues to make time to serve on various non-profit boards and committees.

picture of Julia Klein

Julia Klein is an artist, arts educator, and publisher. She runs a small, non-profit publishing company, Soberscove Press, that publishes art books.  Julia participated in the 2015 and 2016 Giving Project cohorts.

picture of Ireri Rivas

Ireri Rivas is the Director, Student Support at the University of Chicago's Center for Identity + Inclusion. She has worked on various initiatives related to immigrants and education, particularly undocumented immigrants’ experiences in accessing and preparing for higher education. She holds an M.A. in Literature from The University of Chicago. She was a 2017 Giving Project participant.

picture of Jon Quinn

Jon Quinn is a Philanthropic Advisor with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors where he works with individual, family, institutional, and corporate donors across the Midwest and around the country. Previously, Jon was Donor Services and Initiatives Manager at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, where he managed the Foundation’s LGBTQ and Native grant programs, oversaw a project that uses crowd-sourced giving to support public school projects, and managed Foundation events and communications. He served on the planning committee for the 2013, 2014, and 2016 conference for Funders for LGBTQ Issues. He serves on the board of Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education organization that develops literacy and writing skills in Chicago Public Schools.

picture of Roxana Gonzalez

Roxana Gonzalez is a Chicago Public School educator in the Belmont Cragin community. She moved to Chicago after graduating from UCLA and has been teaching since. She leads a middle school social studies classroom and is committed to creating a social justice curriculum for her students. She was introduced to Crossroads in 2015 and participated in the 2016 Giving Project.

picture of Denise Ferguson

Denise Ferguson is an artist, a human rights activist, and skilled public servant with over 36 years of diverse professional experience. Her career is marked with honorable achievement around advocacy for women’s rights, education, health care, housing, and juvenile justice. Her leadership and commitment to sustainable solutions catalyzed the development and implementation of impact-yielding programs across agencies such as the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Library, and the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian. Denise is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s west side. Retired since 2011, she now lends her expertise to various organizations as an independent consultant and supports women in developing pathways to economic self-sufficiency. She enjoys time spent with her 5 grandchildren.

picture of Nora Kyger

Nora Kyger is the Executive Vice President and Partner at Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, a fundraising consulting firm serving non-profit clients across the country. Nora works with clients from a wide range of institutions seeking to improve their financial footing, their operations and expand their impact. Nora worked with Crossroads Fund helping to design and lead the Big Change Endowment Campaign. Prior to joining TW&B, Nora was the Associate Director for IIT's Insitute of Design and a consultant with AT Kearney in their Asian division. Nora leads the Annual Fellows Program of the Development Leadership Consortium, which introduces new development professionals to the philanthropic community in Chicago.