CARBONDALE, IL — An area law professor is being tapped by Illinois' governor to serve on a state commission tasked with identifying and uprooting sources of discrimination and bias in the state.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is appointing Southern Illinois University School of Law professor Cindy Buys to the Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes, pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.
Announcing the appointment in a news release Tuesday, Pritzker's office says Buys previously served as an attorney for the United States Department of Commerce. She was an attorney at the law firm Sher & Blackwell before that.
At the SIU School of Law, Buys teaches international law, international business transactions, constitutional law, immigration law and other international law and study abroad courses.
Pritzker also appointed 15 other individuals to the commission. The commission has 21 members, including a chairperson and 20 other members. Members serve four-year terms.
Other appointees to this commission announced Tuesday and their qualifications highlighted by Pritzker's office include:
- James Bennett: He is the director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and previously served as the Midwest Regional Director at Lambda Legal, the nation's largest legal organization dedicated to the civil rights of LGBTQ individuals and people with HIV.
- Hilda Bahena: She is the department director of the Catholic Charities Legal Assistance Department. Previously, she was a senior attorney at LAF and an attorney for the Chicago Board of Elections.
- Anita Banerji: She is a consultant with Indo-American Center, and previously served as director of the Democracy Initiative at Forefront. Before that, Banerji worked as an independent consultant and also served in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service as Legislative Director.
- David Goldenberg: He is the midwest regional director at the Anti-Defamation League. Goldenberg previously served as executive vice president at Resolute Consulting, after serving as the chief of staff at the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Julie Justicz: She is the chief advancement officer and director of Hate Crimes Project at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Before that position, she was an external consultant to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and served as an independent consultant. Justicz has also worked at Health and Disability Advocates, the American Bar Association and AIDS Legal Council of Chicago.
- Andrew Kang: He is the Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago. Kang previously worked as an attorney at the Legislative Reference Bureau, advising Illinois General Assembly members on drafting legislation.
- Melineh Kano: She is the executive director of RefugeeOne, which is the largest resettlement agency in Illinois.
- Brendan Kelly: He's the director of the Illinois State Police, and previously served as the state's attorney of St. Clair County and as an assistant state's attorney. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, during which time he conducted research on Israeli-Palestinian joint police patrols. When he was an assistant state's attorney, Pritzker's office says Kelly served on the Illinois State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Council.
- Seth Limmer: He is the senior rabbi at the Chicago Sinai Congregation. He was previously rabbi at Congregation B’nai Yisrael of Armonk. Limmer is also the co-chair of the Jenner-Ogden Community Steering Committee.
- Amy Meek: She is the Civil Rights Bureau chief at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Before taking on that position, she was senior counsel at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Before that, she was a senior attorney at the ACLU of Illinois.
- Mona Noriega: She previously served on the Chicago Commission on Human Rights, and was recently one of Comptroller Mendoza’s 2020 LGBTQ Pride Honorees.
- LaDon Reynolds: He serves as the Village of Oak Park police chief. Pritzker's office says Reynolds has extensive experience serving as guest lecturer and professor in criminal justice.
- Dilara Sayeed: She is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit vPeer. Previously, Sayeed was the Golden Apple Foundation's chief education officer and prior was a special assistant on strategic projects to the chief administration officer.
- Karen Tamley: She is the president and CEO of Access Living. Before that, she served three Chicago mayors as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.
- Molly Uhe-Edmonds: She is the director of student care for the Illinois State Board of Education. Previously, she was deputy director of education at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the principal of the Capital Area Career Center.