Tanya Watkins (she/her) is a mother, writer, Black womanist, community organizer, and prison abolitionist originally from Chicago’s South Side. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), a multi-issue, faith-based, social justice organization that assists residents in building power in the Chicago Southland, and its 501(c)4, SOUL in Action. Tanya serves on BlackRoots Alliance’s Executive Board and the Advisory Board for Black Lives Matter Chicago. As a leader with SOUL since 2010, Tanya has led a multitude of campaigns demanding criminal justice reform and police accountability in Chicago, including a recent campaign to end cash bail in Cook County and Illinois. She studied writing and the teaching of writing at Columbia College Chicago to bring innovative arts programs to schools in low-income communities of color, was an elected official in South Suburban Chicago, and served as a Presidential Delegate in 2016.
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