President & Executive Director

Debra Walker Johnson is 20-plus-year nonprofit executive. 

She has dedicated the bulk of her career connecting individuals to resources and services that enable them to participate in society fully. Her extensive background includes fund development, marketing and communications, advocacy and government relations. She has successfully designed and implemented programs and services that address systemic barriers affecting underserved communities, including access to financing for community development, legal services, technology access, and employment and training.

She has also held a variety of other leadership roles including Director of Development and External Affairs for the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Vice President of Marketing and Development for National Able Network.

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Portrait of Erika Soria, Development Director

Erika C. Soria, Development Director

Erika Soria brings over ten years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, particularly focused on annual individual giving, special events, and alumni engagement. Most recently, Erika served as Director of Alumni and Individual Engagement at Chicago State Foundation where she developed the foundation’s Alumni Council Advisory Board and the Champions Mentoring Program for first year scholars. Prior to that, she worked as the Director of Resource Development at the Albany Park Community Center, leading the organization’s fundraising strategy from concept to implementation. Before joining the Albany Park Community Center, Erika served as Development Officer at the Chicago Urban League (CUL), where she led the development and execution of the organization’s first Donor Recognition Program, and two of the region’s top annual fundraising events—CUL’s Golden Fellowship Dinner and the SUMMIT Luncheon.

Erika received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University in 2005, and her Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Leadership Development in Social Services from Loyola University Chicago in 2008.

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