On May 1, Yamani Hernandez will join the National Network of Abortion Funds as Executive Director. NNAF mobilizes its base of nearly 100 member abortion funds to eliminate economic barriers to abortion for low-income women, women of color, girls, and transgender and gender non-conforming people across the United States.
Yamani has been a tireless leader and spokesperson in the Reproductive Justice movement, making appearances on MSNBC Shift with Krystal Ball and sharing her story as part of the 1 in 3 Campaign. As Executive Director and spokesperson for the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Yamani has written articles and been heavily quoted on abortion access for young people in RH Reality Check, Progress Illinois, The Reader, Ebony and The Nation. She was awarded the 2012 Margaret Carr Wiley Bright Horizons Award by Planned Parenthood of Illinois, honored as an AmeriCorps Public Allies Alum, and presented with the Visionary Leader Award in 2012 by her own staff. Yamani has been a proud member of the Strong Families leadership team, and she recently became a writer for Echoing Ida, a program of Forward Together that supports the leadership and amplifies the voices of Black women.
More broadly, Yamani is a staunch advocate for the equity and self-determination and empowerment of all people, including youth. She has over a fifteen years of experience working from an asset based approach in program design, implementation, management and evaluation in non-profit organizations and public institutions in Chicago She holds a B.S. from Cornell University where she independently studied the intersections of politics and place and an M.Arch from University of Washington where she studied and developed a framework for activist architectural practice. Outside of school, she has studied leadership, community organizing, social entrepreneurship and non-violent communication. Throughout her inter-disciplinary work history, she has worked with diverse populations of people ranging from girls and women who are homeless to men who are incarcerated in maximum-security prisons, on topics ranging from art and culture to personal and community development, social change, work-force development, civic participation and philanthropy. She firmly believes in the inter-related nature of social justice issues and uses both a creative and analytical skill set to tackle some of the most critical challenges of our time.
Yamani lives in Chicago where she co-parents her 14- and 9-year-old children. In her spare time she runs, practices yoga and volunteers as a provisionally certified ICTC (now the NAABB) doula with Chicago Volunteer Doulas.