Tanya Watkins

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Tanya Watkins

Tanya Watkins
Executive Director
Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL)

Tanya Watkins (she/her) is a mother, writer, Black womanist, community organizer, and prison abolitionist originally from Chicago’s South Side. She studied writing at Columbia College Chicago and is a former South Suburban Chicago elected official. Tanya began as a leader with Southisiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) in 2010, a multi-issue, faith-based, social justice organization that helps residents power in the Chicago Southland. Since being with the organization, Tanya has led numerous campaigns to re-imagine community safety and transform the justice system in Cook County, most recently leading SOUL as an anchor organization in the movement to end cash bail in Illinois. In 2023, after the election of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, Tanya was asked to serve as the Co-Chair of the Public Safety Transition Sub-Committee. Currently, Tanya is the Executive Director of both SOUL and SOUL in Action and on the Executive Board of the BlackRoots Alliance.

Netroots Nation participation