Edith Avila Olea serves as the Policy Manager at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In this new role, Mrs. Avila Olea works to increase ICIRR’s policy and research capacity in collaboration ICIRR’s coalition members and partners. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication. Mrs. Avila Olea is originally from Mexico, though she has spent most of her life in the Southern state of Georgia. She moved to the Chicagoland area in 2013.
Mrs. Avila Olea previously served as the Justice and Peace Associate Director for the Office for Human Dignity at the Diocese of Joliet. She covered a wide range of social justice issues including immigration, restorative justice, poverty and hunger, and advocacy. Mrs. Avila Olea serves on the Board of Directors for the Spanish Community Center in Joliet, IL. She is also a board member for Bread for the World, a national organization dedicated to ending hunger. Mrs. Avila Olea was awarded the 2019 Reverend Arthur Simon Award for Faithful Service to End Hunger by Bread for the World. In 2015, she received the national Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to a young adult dedicated to social justice.