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West Cook News

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Oak Park school official named to schools task force on gender-identity equality


By West Cook News | Sep 28, 2019

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Ginger Colamussi, prevention and wellness coordinator at Oak Park and River Forest High School, was appointed to the Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force by Gov. JB Pritzker this week.

Colamussi will serve as one of 25 members of the panel, which was created by executive order. The task force will recommend ways to make public schools safer and welcoming for transgender or gender-nonconforming students, or those who see themselves as not exclusively male or female.

“Public education is a right for all of our children, no matter their citizenship, race, sexual orientation or gender identity, and this task force will help ensure that our state always lives up to those values,” Pritzker said in a prepared statement. “The incredible group of leaders on this task force will focus on disrupting the patterns of discrimination we see too often in our schools and work toward guaranteeing inclusive school environments for students of all gender identities.”

The members are tasked with providing the governor with a report outlining the legal rights of “transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming students” and strategies for providing such public school students with a supportive and inclusive environment.


Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force

Task Force AppointeeHome City
Darren Reisberg, Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education, Co-ChairChicago
Jax Wokas, current high school student, Co-ChairNaperville 
Emily Jade Aguilar, recent high school graduateChicago
Nicki Bazer, Attorney at Franczek P.C.Chicago
Amy Biancheri, Teacher at Batavia High SchoolBatavia
Keith Brown, Principal of Illini Bluffs High SchoolGlasford
Marcus Campbell, Assistant Superintendent/Principal at Evanston Township High SchoolEvanston
Ginger Colamussi, Prevention & Wellness Coordinator at Oak Park and River Forest High SchoolOak Park
Brian Coleman, Counseling Department Chair at Jones College PrepChicago
Myles Brady Davis, Director of Communications and Press Secretary at Equality IllinoisChicago
Meghan Duffy, Principal at Audubon Elementary SchoolChicago
Nat Duran, Youth Engagement Manager at Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, a program of Public Health Institute of Metropolitan ChicagoChicago
Jordon Eason, recent high school graduateChicago
Jennifer Gill, Superintendent of Springfield Public SchoolsSpringfield
Jamie Gliksberg, Senior Attorney at Lambda LegalChicago
Benton Goff, recent high school graduateCarbondale
Tre Graham, current high school studentMarion
Ghirlandi Guidetti, Staff Attorney at ACLUChicago
AJ Jennings, Teacher at University of Chicago Laboratory SchoolsChicago
Jennifer Leininger, Associate Director of Community Programs and Initiatives at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of ChicagoChicago
Betsey Madden, Chief Legal Counsel & Ethics Officer at the Illinois Department of Human RightsChicago
E Marshall, Sexual Health Project Manager at the Chicago Public Schools Office of Student Health and WellnessChicago
Veronica Noland, School Board Member at Elgin School District U-46Elgin
Channyn Parker, Manager of Strategic Partnerships and External Relations at Howard Brown Health CenterChicago
Charlie Wysong, Attorney at Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.Chicago
Mika Yamamoto, parentChicago
Jordee Yanez, graduate student at the Illinois State University School of Social WorkSpringfield
Source: Illinois Governor’s Office 

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