Jennifer DeLeon, an educator, grassroots organizer and consultant with faith-based organizations, joins Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as director for justice April 9.
She fills the position vacated by Inez Torres Davis’ retirement in March 2017.
“I’m excited about the breadth of experience Jen brings to the position of director for justice,” said Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director of Women of the ELCA. “While the organization continues its longstanding commitment to racial justice, Jen will also be able to lead participants in justice areas that haven’t seen as much emphasis in recent years. I am especially excited about a re-emphasis on advocacy and renewed partnerships with the ministries of the ELCA Washington office and state public policy offices.”
DeLeon served at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) for 12 years as director of government relations and advocacy.
In that role she identified and tracked legislation important to LSSI and the ELCA; led advocacy events and strengthened coalitions; developed relationships that led to a new fundraising event and annual holiday appeal; and testified at legislative hearings, among other duties.
Prior to serving with LSSI, she was a community organizer for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago.
“Jen brings to the position direct experience with a wide range of social issues including hunger, immigration, housing, child welfare, human services, health care and faith-based responses to injustice,” Bushkofsky said.
A member of Trinidad Lutheran Church (Chicago), DeLeon is completing a master of arts degree in theological studies at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago this spring. She is a graduate of DePaul University with a bachelor of liberal arts degree in nonprofit management.
She has been involved with Women of the ELCA serving as vice president of the Metro Chicago synodical women’s organization from 2007-2008. She’s also worked with ELCA Glocal Mission Gatherings as a musician and keynote speaker.
She is bilingual and bicultural, fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.