Working Board Expands its Expertise Further, Benefitting Aurora Area Nonprofits Serving Women
Commander Liz Robinson-Chan
AURORA, IL, USA, December 7, 2022. The Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation (AWEF), a Board-directed nonprofit foundation supporting other nonprofits engaged in female empowerment work in Aurora, announced the appointments of two Board of Directors—Commander Liz Robinson-Chan and Janice Baez.
“Our goal in 2022 was to expand our Board of Directors to better serve our community and we are thrilled with the addition of Liz and Janice,” said Amy Baudouin, Board Chair for the Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation. “As a working Board, each Board Member plays an important role in all decisions made, from grant funding to operational decisions. Their personal and professional perspectives are invaluable as we lend our support to nonprofits dedicated to empowering Aurora-area women.”
“I’m honored to support Aurora women and girls through my involvement with the AWEF Board and look forward to contributing to the organization’s mission to re-imagine female empowerment for the betterment of all,” said Commander Liz Robinson-Chan. Robinson-Chan began her work with the AWEF Board in March 2022.
Commander Robinson-Chan, a Florida native, started her career as a police officer at the Aurora Police Department in 1993. She earned her Bachelors’ Degree in Sociology on the Criminal Justice Track at North Central College in Naperville, IL (class of 1993). She then went on to obtain a Masters’ Degree at N.C.C. in Business Administration with a dual focus in Leadership and Management (class of 2006).
During her 29-year tenure at the Aurora Police Department, Commander Robinson-Chan has worked in the Division of Patrol, Community Oriented Policing, Field Training, the Crisis Intervention Team, Sergeant of the Evidence Unit, the Deadly Force Investigative Team, the Administrative Sergeant, Lieutenant of Patrol, and Administrative Lieutenant before being promoted to the rank of Commander in April of 2022.
Commander Robinson-Chan is a long-term member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (former Secretary and has been the current Vice President since March of 2022). She is a member of the Police Benevolent and Protective Association (Secretary of the local Unit from 2013 through January 2021). Commander Robinson-Chan was elected as a member of the Police Benevolent and Protective Association (PBPA) State Executive Board in October of 2021.
Commander Robinson-Chan currently serves as the Support Services Commander of the Aurora Police Department and oversees the Divisions of Central Services, Administrative Services, Telecommunications, Records, Training, the Office of Professional Standards, the Critical Incident Intelligence Center, the Aurora Jail, and acts as the liaison between the City’s Human Resources and I.T. Departments.
Janice Baez was appointment to the AWEF Board in November 2022. Janice founded West Aurora High School’s Empowered Women of the Future (EWF) Club in 2019. At the time, Baez, a junior, felt inspired to begin a focused and ongoing program at the school with support by teacher sponsor, Terri Shepard, to bring together young women who want to develop their opportunities, empower other girls and women, and create a world of equality and equity.
Janice has a strong belief that patriarchal cultural tradition, systemic racism resulting in academic and economic inequity, ignorance of educational and career opportunities, and lack of basic financial support limit the dreams and skills of young women in Aurora. Guided by Janice’s vision and ongoing support, the EWF Club continues to thrive. Currently over 100 high school girls are participating in club activities each month and another 200 middle and grammar school girls are participating in mentoring programs facilitated by EWF Club members.
Janice is studying at Aurora University and aspires to graduate in 2025 with a bachelor degree, double majoring in Political Science and Social Work. At school she maintains a 4.0 grade point average while working part-time and volunteering in the community. In 2022 she interned for the Office of State Representative Barbara Hernandez Aurora, Illinois, where she designed social media posts for important events and announcements, provided translation services, and worked closely with key constituents to keep them informed on Representative Hernandez’ community activities.
Said Janice, “I am grateful to serve the women and girls of Aurora through working on a Board that aims to positively transform the community by helping all women succeed.”
About Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation…
The Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation mission is to elevate and empower Aurora-area women and future women by making grants to tax-exempt nonprofits engaged in meaningful, measurable work that helps women over the hurdles of inequity and exclusion, propelling them forward with life-changing programs and services. For more information about grants made by AWEF, including our grant guidelines and online application, visit awe-foundation.org.