Gregory Banks is an activist and a Learning Fellow with the Chicago Torture Justice Center. He experienced abuse and torture at the Chicago Area 2 . police station in 1983 and spent many years in the Illinois Department of Correction due to being tortured, and coerced into a false confession. Gregory is a former substance abuse counselor and avid reader. He spends his time going out into the community and educating Chicago Public School students on the topic of police violence and reparations. He also serves on the Survivor and Family Advisory Council and R.I.S.E. (Realizing and Implementing Strategies to End Police Violence) at the Chicago Torture Justice Center.
Mark Clements is a Chicago police torture survivor. At age 16 in 1981 he was taken to area 3 violent crime unit where he was tortured to confess to a crime. Mark was one of Illinois first juvenile’s sentence to natural life without parole in the state of Illinois. He remained incarcerated for 28 years before his conviction was overturned in 2009. In 2009 he was hired as administrator and organizer with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty in which he held other positions working from Chicago and Austin, Texas. He also helped to organize and establish the existence of the Illinois Fair Sentence of Youth through Northwestern University of School of Law, while sitting on the board of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Mark is with the Chicago Torture Justice Center as a learning fellow working in many complex areas of trauma and while attending court hearings and in support of others that were taken to police stations across the city of Chicago and tortured by members of the Chicago Police Department. While honored and privileged to be of assistance to other torture survivors, it’s a responsibility that requires many hours, learning, lots of reading, and much communication with men and women that are incarcerated.
Cindy is a Co-Executive Director at the Center, nationally recognized for her role in building local movements to end mass criminalization and improve the daily lives of individuals targeted by the criminal justice system. She organizes from the principle that the communities most affected by criminalization should lead the movement for change. Her leadership has produced bold, brave, and visionary efforts to rethink justice and center the inherent dignity of every person. Through her work with Generative Somatics, Cindy recognizes the many impacts of individual and systemic trauma and believes that centering peoples’ healing and transformation are integral for our movements to succeed. Cindy has organized in Boston, Chicago, New York, Texas and the United Kingdom and has focused both at the state and national level. She holds a graduate degree in Social Work and Community Organizing from the University of Chicago. Her family is from Venezuela, and Cindy is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Nathaniel Gilham
Nate is a Clinical Consultant at the Center, providing individual and group support. Nate has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor since 1996 and maintains a private practice in the south suburban area of Chicago. He is also the Director of Training of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Argosy University’s Chicago campus, teaching several courses at the masters and doctoral level. He is annual presenter at state conferences and focuses on issues that impact the quality of life for African American families. Nate earned a Masters of Arts at Northeastern Illinois University and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Argosy-Chicago.
Valerie serves as the Clinical Director at CTJC. She is a therapist (LCSW), an artist (actor & poet), a cultural organizer, and an organizer with BYP 100 Chicago. Through her therapy work, Valerie has previously served as a school social worker, has provided counseling for youth in an after school program in the Mississippi Delta, and has worked with incarcerated individuals and survivors of sexual violence. Valerie approaches her healing work as a collaboration with participants, working through a decolonized, holistic, trauma-informed lens. Valerie wholeheartedly believes in everyone’s capacity to heal and thrive. She is honored to do the work she does.
Aislinn is a Co-Executive Director at the Center, and a long timer organizer who has worked on a variety of campaigns including the Reparations Now movement to pass the historic 2015 Reparations Ordinance for survivors of CPD torture, campaigns for justice for families who have lost loved ones to police violence, defense campaigns to free political prisoners, and many others. Born and raised in Chicago, Aislinn founded the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter and was the youngest founding member of the cultural non-profit that used art for social change, Insight Arts. She was an organizer with We Charge Genocide, as well as a member of performance ensembles which include Visibility Now, which she founded for young women dedicated to ending sexual assault. Aislinn is an alumnus at Columbia College Chicago having studied graphic arts, and North Park University where she double majored in psychology and sociology.