Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

New Associate Director of UI Health Affairs Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Cassandra Solis

We are pleased to announce that Cassandra Solis has joined us as associate director of health affairs diversity, equity and inclusion, effective October 30. In this new role, Solis will partner with Adriana Black, MPH, MAT, director of health affairs diversity, equity and inclusion to help develop, coordinate and launch DEI programming and initiatives across UIC’s seven health sciences colleges and schools. She will also be responsible for managing the Odehmenan Health Equity Center, which recently opened in September.

Solis is a lifelong diversity, equity and inclusion champion. As a practitioner with eight years of results-driven diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) expertise, she has led and scaled DEIB initiatives and teams at various influential companies, nonprofits and schools around the United States.

Most recently, her role as associate director of equity tools & programming at Beloved Community focused primarily on uncovering organizational pain points through qualitative and quantitative measurements that translated to guiding organizational leadership teams to build sustainable multi-year equity work plans.

Much of her experience lies as a facilitator and educator aimed at making the most complex social justice and DEIB concepts digestible and actionable by audiences of various entry points to the work. Prior to Beloved Community, she held a DEIB manager position at Planned Parenthood of Illinois tasked with bridging staff retention to DEIB concerns in relationship to health equity outcomes of patients.

As a DEIB coach, consultant and leader, Solis has worked to facilitate and build equitable spaces and learning opportunities for whom she serves, but also asks important questions of fellow leaders to ensure equity and inclusion is at the forefront of every decision being made.

Prior to her work in the DEIB sector, Solis worked as a workforce development professional, as well as a union organizer for Service Employees International Union Local One.

Born and raised in the south side of Chicago, Solis is bilingual and identifies as Mexican/Chicana. She received a double Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Critical Ethnic Studies from Kalamazoo College. She is the inaugural graduate of the Critical Ethnic Studies program at Kalamazoo College where she was instrumental to the creation of the program at the institution. The Cassandra Solis Prize in Critical Ethnic Studies is given annually to a graduating senior in the major who exhibits academic excellence, leadership and commitment to community-building and is named in her honor.

Please join us in welcoming Solis in her new leadership role in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the health sciences at UIC.

For more information on the Odehmenan Health Equity Center, please visit: