Chicago Abortion Fund increases its capacity to fight for abortion access by hiring Shailushi Ritchie as interim Executive Director.
The Chicago Abortion Fund is excited to announce that Shailushi Ritchie, MPH, has joined the organization as interim Executive Director! CAF works to reduce barriers to abortion access for people in Illinois and those traveling to Illinois for abortion services. CAF also works to address the range of issues that disproportionately affect low-income people, communities of color, LGTBQ+ and other marginalized communities in Illinois.
Shailushi comes to CAF with a deep personal passion and long professional history of advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice issues. Shailushi’s experience includes roles at the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF) and the Women’s Foundation of California. As Executive Project Director at CCRF, she managed the programs, operations and advocacy efforts of a coalition of 40+ organizations working to advance sexual and reproductive rights, and health and justice policies, including passage of California’s FACT Act and the California Healthy Youth Act. She was also responsible for key projects for the Women’s Foundation, including development of the Women’s Policy Institute curriculum and oversight of the Economic Development and Justice giving circle. Most recently, Shailushi was Director of Development and Communications at Renaissance Social Services, where she managed the organization’s HR, communications, and development functions.
Shailushi is a lifelong advocate for women’s and girls’ health and wellbeing. She has more than 20 years experience in applying systems-based approaches to program development, policy advocacy, and coalition development. Shailushi has served on state and local leadership boards, including the Advisory Board of the California Office of Health Equity/Office of Women’s Health and the Board of Directors of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice in California. She received her MPH from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a BA from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.
CAF is thrilled that Shailushi will join Brittany Mostiller to advance reproductive, economic, and racial justice and to deepen our commitment to communities of color and people who have had abortions. As Executive Director, Brittany strengthened CAF both financially and programmatically; under her leadership, CAF expanded its grants to clients and increased its advocacy efforts, including the signature of HB40 into Illinois law. Brittany will now move to the role of Program Director, where she will continue to develop CAF’s abortion support program, expand CAF’s leadership role within the reproductive health, rights, and justice community, and develop strategies that focus on the communities that are most affected by abortion access barriers in Illinois.
CAF will be better able to fight for people to choose if, when, and with whom to have children -- without judgment or coercion. We will expand our efforts to address the range of issues that influence these decisions, including pre- and post-natal care, stable housing, economic supports and affordable, high-quality health care. This change will allow us to intentionally address the systemic issues of racism and classism that make abortion access much more challenging for people of color and those who are poor.
CAF will continue to hold the line on abortion access and fight for reproductive justice in Illinois. More information will be available in the coming weeks about opportunities to meet Shailushi. For now, please welcome her to the CAF team! She can be reached at shailushi @ chicagoabortionfund.org.