About Evanston Latinos

Prosperity And Progress Through The Preservation Of Our Cultural Treasures

Our community group works to strengthen the community, build bridges, and advocate for equity and inclusion for the Latine community in Evanston. We have been meeting since the Spring of 2017 in an attempt to connect with the community. Our group is comprised of various leaders and members of the Latine community who live and or work in Evanston and have a passion for helping this specific underrepresented community. As a group, we have explored barriers, strengths, needs and wants by hearing directly from the Latine community in Evanston and their experiences

Board of Directors

Rebeca Mendozá

Executive Director

An immigrant from Mexico, she came to Evanston when he was 5 years old and attended District 65 and 202 schools. A successful non-profit professional with a vast network of business contacts and a deep passion for collaboration and meaningful partnerships.

Stephanie Mendozá

President

First Generation born in California and raised in Tennessee, attended Loyola Chicago University and is a resident of Evanston. Stephanie has two sons in District 65 and a young daughter. She has served in many impactful community service roles. Stephanie is Evanston’s current City Clerk and the first Latina resident to sit on the dais.

Alejandra Ibañez

Board Member

A Chilean immigrant, Alejandra arrived in the United States at the tender age of 5 and is a proud alumna of Evanston Township High School. Alejandra is a passionate bridge-builder, community organizer, and nonprofit leader. Alejandra was past Chair of Evanston’s Equity and Empowerment Commission and is the inaugural Executive Director of Illinois Unidos.

José López

Board Member

José López has dual citizenship: USA and Dominican Republic. First generation immigrant arrived at the age of 15. Has lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Michigan, and arrived in Evanston, Illinois in November 2021.Trained in conflict resolution and peace keeping. Has volunteered as trustee in various local community organizations and national associations boards.

Evelyn Ramirez

Board Member

Evelyn Ramirez, is a Latina native of Evanston, Illinois, is a first-generation American. Her family’s roots extend all the way from Guanajuato, Mexico, and they’ve been proud members of the Evanston community since the 1960s.

Evelyn’s impactful leadership and advocacy have left an indelible mark on the development of the Latino community in Evanston. Her tireless dedication to various roles at Saint Nick Catholic Church and with Evanston Latinos showcases her commitment to strengthening the community bonds.

Alongside her community work, Evelyn juggles the responsibilities of being a devoted mother. She guides her college student toward a bright future while ensuring her younger child thrives within the educational landscape of District 65.

Evelyn Ramirez’s goal is to drive positive change and unity within Evanston’s diverse and thriving Latino community.

Eduardo Roman

Board Member

First-generation born in Los Angeles to Ecuadorian parents. Eduardo was raised in Texas before moving to Chicago to attend Law School at Loyola University Chicago and is a resident of Evanston. He is a practicing immigration attorney with over 8 years of experience who is a partner at the firm of Dietrich & Roman, a boutique immigration law firm focused on removal defense, paths toward citizenship, and immigrant rights. Eduardo has shown a passion for Latine advocacy at every stage of his education and career. He hopes to establish strong community bonds and properly give back to the community in Evanston.

Nancy Castillo

Board Member

Nancy Castillo is a resident of the 5th ward in Evanston, Leadership Evanston Alumni, and board member for Evanton Latinos.

She is an operations and program leader that is committed to connecting ideas to action in the social impact and financial services spaces. She has spent over 15 years helping to build organizations and teams whose work focuses on supporting under-resourced people and communities in the United States and internationally. Nancy brings a passion for building high-impact teams, expertise in financial health, and holistic approaches that encompass strategy, structure, and people to help organizations do important work.

She is currently the Chief Operating Officer at FinRegLab, a DC-based nonprofit organization that is a driving force in advancing the safe and responsible use of data and technology for a more inclusive, fair, and equitable financial system.

Nancy earned a Bachelor of Arts in political studies and Latin American studies with a minor in economics from Pitzer College, a member of The Claremont Colleges. As a Fulbright Scholar, she conducted research into the connections between remittances and economic development in Ecuador.

Natalia Moreno Polomarkakis

Board Member

Natalia Moreno Polomarkakis was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. After graduating from Highland Park High School in 1998, Natalia pursued her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Montana. UM offered a unique experience for Natalia as the Latino population was practically non-existent. That didn’t stop Natalia from creating UM’s first Latino student organization called La Raza Unida.

Natalia returned to Highland Park after graduation and began her Social Work career as a home-visitor for the Right From the Start program. Right From the Start’s mission was to support Latinas who were expecting a child, or had children 0-3 years old. From there Natalia transitioned to working in after-school programs which encouraged her to earn her MSW (Masters in Social Work), which she did from the University of Illinois Chicago. Natalia then spent eight years at District 83 in Northlake, Illinois as a School Social Worker.

For the past 10 years Natalia has served the Evanston community as a bilingual School Social Worker in District 65 at Oakton and Willard Elementary Schools and the JEH Early Childhood Center. Natalia has been active over the years in the District 65 PTA Equity Project and the District 65 Climate Action Team.

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