ICJIA VOCA 2021 Institute: Equity in Victim Services (July 2021)

ICJIA is pleased to announce its VOCA 2021 Institute: Equity in Victim Services. Held virtually this summer, the five-day Institute will challenge participants to address victim resource inequities and barriers to accessing existing resources.

Participants will address victim barriers to equity at all levels, including biases of individual service providers, unnecessary barriers created by agency policies and practices, systems level barriers, and structural/societal level factors. Using an anti-oppression framework, the Institute will challenge participants to move beyond “equal treatment for all” to actively anti-racist/anti-oppression policies and practices. Participants will be asked to critically analyze how the current service delivery models and systems are inequitable and identify strategies to address the issues. Participants will leave with a plan of action for both individual agency and systems change advocacy.  

CG&G, a cutting edge LLC consulting firm that helps organizations create and foster a culture of equity and inclusion, will facilitate the Institute, which will further ICJIA’s goals of improving VOCA service delivery for underserved populations and ensuring equity is a top VOCA programming priority. 

The five-day Institute will be held over two 2.5-day sessions and include homework assignments. Applicants must commit to participating in all five days of the Institute and completing homework assignments.  

Tuesday, July 6th | 10:00am - 3:00pm 
Wednesday, July 7th | 10:00am - 3:00pm
Thursday, July 8th | 1:00pm-3:30pm

Monday, July 26th | 10:00am - 3:00pm
Tuesday, July 27th| 10:00am - 3:00pm
Wednesday, July 28th | 1:00pm - 3:30pm

Carolyne Miller Abdullah


CAROLYNE MILLER ABDULLAH brings experience in working with a variety of informal and formal leaders from all backgrounds and sectors makes it possible for her to offer strategies of ways to bring people together to discover their own solutions. She brings leadership on equity – with explicit, though not exclusive, attention to racial equity – to the fields of civic engagement, democracy reform, and philanthropy. Carolyne’s background includes work with the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) as a paralegal where she designed and conducted "know your rights" forums for the elderly as well as forums on landlord- tenant law for families with low financial assets in Cleveland, Mississippi. She also served in the federal sector for ten years in Washington, D.C., as a program analyst, budget analyst, and management analyst. Carolyne holds degrees (BA, MA) in political science from Alcorn State University and Iowa State University respectively, a public administration (MPA) degree from Penn State University and is ABD in political science (public policy) from the University of Connecticut. Her research involved an exploration of the intersection of public dialogue and deliberation in the area of policing and community building.

Gwendolyn Poindexter Whiting


GWENDOLYN POINDEXTER WHITING Provides xpert coaching, facilitation, and mediation skills to support training and consulting work of staff and consultants. She is an accomplished consultant who specializes in organizational conflict resolution processes, including teamwork, diversity, cross-cultural conflict resolution, mediation, and facilitation. She has trained extensively in the United States and internationally. Gwen served as a conciliation specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service on its church burning response team under the Clinton administration. Her work with the United States Agency for International Development has taken her to more than 30 countries. She received her bachelor’s degree in education, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was also affiliated with the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, where she completed coursework and achieved candidacy level in its doctoral program.

Gwen Wright


GWEN WRIGHT currently assists community and organizational leaders; local and state governments; and other groups develop and implement systems for more effective engagement in collective decision-making. This includes improving communication between government and community residents; strengthening public and higher education programs; assessing diversity, equity, and inclusion social justice initiatives; developing non-profit agendas; creating state-wide reform initiatives; and research. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College, City University of New York.

Delrice Adams

Acting Executive Director

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

Providing Opening Remarks

Delrice Adams is a social service and public health administrator with over 25 years’ experience in management of non-profits and local government agencies. Her areas of expertise include criminal justice, violence prevention and racial equity. Ms. Adams has a wealth of experience in grant administration, program development, community and stakeholder engagement, and policy and planning implementation. Ms. Adams has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), nominated by Governor J.B. Pritzker pending confirmation from the Illinois Senate.

As Acting Director of ICJIA, she is responsible for the direction of the agency, determining agency priorities, and administering resources and programs needed to meet agency goals. She will also serve as liaison to the governor, General Assembly, ICJIA Board members, and state and national criminal justice officials and organizations.

Prior to ICJIA, Ms. Adams served as Executive Director of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC), where she was responsible for overseeing the public safety agenda for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. In that role, Ms. Adams was tasked with coordinating criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts in Cook County while preserving public safety and promoting fair and equitable access to justice. Ms. Adams also managed the counties grants for program services to address violence prevention, recidivism reduction and restorative justice.

Prior to Cook County, Ms. Adams worked for the City of Chicago Department of Public Health Office of Violence Prevention and Behavioral Health. As a Public Health Administrator, she oversaw the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) portfolio of Restorative Justice and Violence Prevention Initiatives for the office and coordinated multiple community partners and stakeholders as a committee lead for Healthy Chicago 2.0; the City’s 5-year Strategic Plan. Ms. Adams also served as a Local Office Administrator for the Illinois Department of Human Services, where she developed service delivery strategies and workforce programs to advance welfare reform efforts.

Ms. Adams is a 2019 Chicago United for Equity (CUE) fellow. She is a certified Trauma- Informed Trainer (CDPH, 2018). She is also a trained Circle Keeper. Ms. Adams received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Equity & Inclusion Institute

July 6th, 7th, 8th and 26th, 27th and 28th

Session A
Day 1, Tuesday, July 6th
"Personal Journey with Equity and Inclusion"
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT Exploring Equity & Inclusion
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT Going Deeper with Equity & Inclusion
Day 2, Wednesday, July 7th
"Organizational Journey with Equity & Inclusion"
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT Navigating Equity & Inclusion in Service Delivery – Holding Up the Mirror
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT A View of Inequity
Day 3, Thursday, July 8th
"Applied Learning"
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT “Walking the Talk”: Discussion; Activity; and Reflection
Session B
Day 1, Monday, July 26th
"Moving Towards Change I"
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. CT Recap of Session A
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT Fostering a Culture of Equity & Inclusion
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT Creating a Blueprint for Change (Part 1)
Day 2, Tuesday, July 27th
"Moving Towards Change II"
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT Creating a Blueprint for Change (Part 2)
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT Blueprint Presentation
Day 3, Wednesday, July 28th
"Carrying it Forward"
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. CT Blueprint Presentation
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CT Reflections & Closing Remarks
Components visible upon registration.