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NATHANIEL VAN WIENEN

Program Advisor

BA, Religion, Carleton College

Nathaniel is the Program Advisor for CMAA's Adult Education Consortium.  Eight partner agencies provide ESL classes to immigrant and refugee communities around Chicago with funding secured by CMAA.  Nathaniel entered adult education through refugee resettlement, teaching ESL at Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC), which is a CMAA Consortium Partner.  While coordinating the ESL program at ECAC, Nathaniel worked with many members of the CMAA Adult Education team -- collaborating and sharing resources with Consortium Partners quickly became his favorite part of the job.  Since taking on the Program Advisor role in 2019, Nathaniel has supported all Consortium Partners across the city, brainstorming with teachers and coordinators about how to improve classes, expand services, and best meet the needs of the students.

 

Nathaniel grew up in a family spanning diverse religious communities, motivating him to pursue Islamic Studies in college and conduct research on racism and discrimination against Muslim immigrants in Belgium.  After moving to Chicago, Nathaniel joined the organizing team at The Resurrection Project (TRP).  In Pilsen, Little Village, and Back of the Yards, Nathaniel facilitated a novel GOTV effort that empowered undocumented immigrants to drive election turnout.  With the National Partnership for New Americans, he conducted research and coordinated interstate advocacy in response to national workforce legislation.  In the 2016 election, he revisited family roots in the south suburbs while canvassing for public safety and accountability.  ESL brought Nathaniel back to his love of languages: he speaks French fluently and has also studied Spanish, Arabic, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Dutch.

 

FUN FACT | Outside of CMAA, Nathaniel is a pianist and singer, neighborhood organizer, and circle-keeper in training.