Earlier this month, JCUA welcomed Tony Fuller (he/him) as our new (and first-ever!) Director of Operations & Finance. Tony is a Chicago native and has been involved in social justice organizations and campaigns for many years. We’re excited that he’s joined the staff where he’ll help grow JCUA’s organizational capacity to drive social change.
You can send him a welcome message at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, we asked Tony a few questions for you to get to know him!
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Chicago and have lived in Uptown for nearly 20 years. During this time, I have both worked and volunteered for a number of social justice related organizations. Most recently I was the Director of Finance & Operations at A Just Harvest in Rogers Park. There I supported their work to provide free, no-document-required groceries, meals, jobs, and educational opportunities to the community.
How did you get involved with organizing and social justice work?
I really got introduced to the power of organizing as a volunteer leader at the Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy group, and its successful campaign to close the two polluting coal-fired power plants that endangered the health of city residents. I saw how organizing can build power in communities and how they helped form a city wide-coalition to take on corporate greed and win.
Why are you excited to join JCUA?
I’m excited to be part of JCUA because it serves as a vital and effective voice for justice in Chicago and Illinois. I love Chicago; however it faces a number of challenges. I believe JCUA’s work to address community safety, housing and economic justice, antiracism, and antisemitism in a way that is rooted in Jewish values and experiences is needed for the city to successfully evolve and thrive.
What is your favorite thing about Chicago?
Lake Michigan. I like that it makes it easy to escape the concrete and asphalt of the city and reconnect with walks by the water or a quick visit to the Montrose Beach bird sanctuary.
How do you like to spend time outside work?
I like to spend my free time tending to my cherry and heirloom tomato plants and flowers at my organic community garden plot in Edgewater. When I’m not busy volunteering with the Sierra Club, I also dabble in digital photography, riding my bike and dancing salsa.