Erick “ROHO” Garcia

Painted a mural titled “Humanity” featuring each of the 17 TEDxWrigleyville speakers.
Thank you to Addison & Clark for donating this space at 3519 N. Clark St in Wrigleyville.

Award winning designer, Erick “ROHO” Garcia is one of Chicago’s most active artists. Garcia received his BFA in Illustration from the American Academy of Art and received a scholarship for his MA Degree in Painting, from Governors State University.

Garcia teaches high school students the experience of self-expression and artistic development. Garcia has been instructing classes for After School Matters, focusing on the fundamentals of art and design as well as Muralism.

For the past 5 years, Garcia has been focusing on developing EXPO Collective, L3C, as a Co-founder and Creative Director.


Resilience Panel

As the coronavirus is disrupting many aspects of our lives, Brian Johnson (CEO of Equality Illinois), Susan Frankel (CEO at National Runaway Safeline) and Ainsley Proffit (Athlete, US Ski Team) will share resilience stories to give us a glimpse of how local communities are coping with and responding to some key issues during the pandemic.

Ainsley Proffit

My name is Ainsley Proffit, and I am a member of the US Ski Team. My goal is to reach top athletic performance, so when the time comes I will be ready for the Winter Olympics. The competition season is mainly from November to April with the majority of race destinations held in Central Europe and North America. My hope within my career is to leave an impact on others that shows if you work hard enough at anything you can achieve greatness. Unlike most of my competitors, I do not come from a mountainous place and I do not have a lineage of ski racers in my family. Growing up, this made me an underdog in the skiing community. Nobody ever expected the girl from Missouri to set some of the fastest times down the race course. The reason for my successes was that I was able to out work my competitors in other areas including video analysis and building up my strength in the gym. These skills I learned from a young age turned into great habits that keep me on my trajectory for success. I am actively trying to improve myself every day, so that I can become the next Olympic hero.

unnamed (2)

Equality Illinois

Our Mission
Equality Illinois builds a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy and protection of the rights of the LGBT community.

Equality Illinois envisions a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Inclusiveness: Equality Illinois belongs to all those who believe in its vision and mission. Staff and volunteers will be accessible to and proactively engage others in EQIL’s statewide community as owners of the vision and mission.

Respect: Equality Illinois believes in the value of others — their opinions and their work. It is respect for others that builds collaborations and partnerships.

Fairness: Equality Illinois believes that everyone should have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities afforded to them regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Brian Johnson

Brian C. Johnson has served as the CEO of Equality Illinois, the statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, since 2016.  In this role, he leads efforts to build a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment & full acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

Prior to his time at Equality Illinois, Brian spent nearly two decades as a leader in social justice.  His passion for fighting for equity was catalyzed by having served as a first-grade teacher, and Teach For America corps member, in Baton Rouge, LA.  Seeing first-hand how systemic injustice impacted the lives of passionate and capable children, Brian committed his career to fighting to make sure America lived up to its promise as a fair and equitable country.

Head Shot - Susan Frankel - National Runaway Safeline

National Runaway Safeline

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is a national non-profit organization committed to ensuring that runaway, homeless and at-risk youth are safe and off the streets. Founded as Metrohelp in 1971, NRS serves as the national communications system for youth and families providing critical crisis intervention and resources 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each year, NRS makes approximately 100,000 connections to help and hope through hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY), online ( and prevention services. For additional information, visit or follow us @1800RUNAWAY on Facebook and Instagram.

Susan Frankel, MA

Susan Frankel, MA has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Runaway Safeline since August 2018. Prior to joining NRS, she served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Foundation for Education and prior to that she was President & CEO of Crayons to Computers, an organization dedicated to reducing childhood poverty in greater Cincinnati. She has worked with many other child/youth-focused organizations over the course of her career, including Prevent Child Abuse America, Voices for Illinois Children, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Frankel is not new to NRS, having served in the past as a crisis services center volunteer, a member of NRS’ Board of Directors, and NRS’ Board Chair.