Brenda Delgado Als believes that Art is LIFE! She was born in Puerto Rico, where both her parents were teachers and taught her the value of investing in education, including her violin and piano classes since age of 6. Her father was a violinist and musician of 10+ instruments, laying a strong foundation for the love of music. Even though she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University Chicago, and a Masters degree in Health Policy from University of Illinois, she advocates for sustainability of all art forms as a critical piece of an engaged, educated society. As a believer in actively calling for change where Black and Brown children do not receive their fair share of public resources, she serves on her children’s schools’ Local School Councils. Continuing this equity battle, she serves as a board member of Raise Your Hand for Public Education, an advocacy group that empowers parents to demand a well-resourced public education for every child. Her 3 children have enjoyed SRBCC’s programming elevating and celebrating Afro-Latino culture for over 7 years, especially her daughter Nati who finds pure joy in her ongoing study of bomba.
Charlie Billups was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to Chicago in the early 90’s. Since then he has been working as a healthcare services executive, community activist and a published photojournalist, documenting the cultural aspects of the Puerto Rican and Latin American diaspora in Chicago. He loves living with his family [Lorena (wife), Sarah and Pachi (kids)] in Humboldt Park. Charlie Billups has been serving as president of the board since 2016.
James Ramos is currently the Deputy City Treasurer for the Office of the Treasurer of Chicago. Prior to that, he was the Chief-of-Staff for the 21 st Ward. He was previously the Associate Director of Community and Government Relations for the City Colleges of Chicago. He served as a Spokesperson for Cook County – the second largest county in the U.S. He also served as a Training Officer for Chicago Police Department where he developed and directed interactive community and police training programs, implemented neighborhood training projects and helped create nationally recognized crime reduction training programs that focused on diversity and community policing.
He is also founder of the American Training Institute of Diversity. He is on the Board of Directors for BUILD, Inc., an at-risk youth agency and is on the Board of Trustees for IDeaL Education Foundation. He is a member of the Black Perspectives Committee of the Chicago International Film Festival and serves as a board of directors for the Frankie Knuckles Foundation. In addition, James is on the Board of Directors for the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and is currently the President of the Alpha Phi
Alpha Fraternity Inc. Iota Delta Lambda Chapter.
James has a true love for the Arts playing the violin as a child and later percussion for a variety of genres such as Salsa, Latin Jazz, R&B, Neo-Soul, House, Rock, and other African and Afro-Latino music. James grew up in the northwest side community of Humboldt Park. He lived in Puerto Rico where he finished high school. He returned to Chicago and became the first member of his family to graduate from college. He went on to Northwestern University and received a Master’s in Communications and as a full scholarship recipient; he received a MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
With a career beginning in city government and subsequently bridging into the corporate world and entrepreneurial endeavors, Gina holds a broad range of capabilities founded on strategic planning, complex problem-solving, program development and client relationship management.
Gina has over 15 years of expertise in developing strategy for all levels of the marketing funnel, including long-term business strategy to short-term tactical requirements among both the general market, as well as the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, Latinos.
As a Creative Agency Partner at Meta, Gina collaborates with leading US creative advertising agencies, including multicultural shops, to build best in-class campaigns across the suite of Facebook products and services.
Before her role at Meta, Gina was a VP, Strategic Director at Leo Burnett where she managed the strategic needs for Kellogg’s portfolio of brands.
Gina comes with unique entrepreneurial experience as a Founder and VP of Marketing at Café Media. Recognizing that there are few English language media options that cater to the cultural interests and values of today’s Latinos, Gina helped create Café Media to fill the void. In her role at Café Media, Gina was the chief brand architect overseeing the company’s strategic vision of its content creation across various platforms (print, digital & experiential).
Ms. Santana holds a MA from the University of Illinois in Cross- Cultural Communications, is an avid gardener and mom to two teenaged sons, Sebastian & Lucas.
Lillian Gonzalez carries the spirit of Puerto Rico deep in her bones. Her connection to the island is tangible, born and raised in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood to Puerto Rican parents who were both born and raised on the island. Her father was a singer in various trio groups and his love of music has continuously fueled Lillian’s passion for music and art, as liberating and expressive forces. She has spent her life between Chicago and the Island; this dual perspective has helped shape Lillian’s values and spirit. She is a steadfast supporter of social justice issues, particularly affordable housing. She believes that this issue enormously affects black and brown communities, who work particularly hard to build up their communities, those most negatively transformed by gentrification.
She gives back to her community by volunteering with her church and believes that physical and spiritual health is crucial to a liberated Latino community. In this way she leads by example, diligently taking care of her family and herself.
Lillian graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Marketing, and works for Fieldwork Network, a marketing research field management company that manages market research in the US and across the globe, as their Field Operation Manager. She is very family-oriented, acting as a mentor to younger generations. Lillian loves taking in all the various cultures that Chicago has to offer, going dancing at local cumbia and salsa nights, visiting different neighborhoods, and supporting small Latino businesses. Puerto Rico’s traditions are kept alive in Lillian as she closes her eyes and takes herself back to the warm, sandy, divine beaches she belongs to.