Niki Maldonado is a Queer Fat Femme from Skokie/Evanston, the northern bordering suburbs of Chicago. Niki was raised “Jew-ish” with cultural and cuisine based knowledge of Judaism. Niki is the Tzedek Fellow at the Asheville Jewish Community Center. She works to fight white supremacy and anti-blackness, and to bridge the Jewish community with communities of color and queer communities.
Niki was awarded cum laude honors in both her major and minor this May 2017 when she graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor’s in Gender and Women’s Studies. She was a member of UIC’s first graduating cohort in their new Social Justice minor. Niki’s believes that many professors at UIC “raised her and saved her”—for without them, she would not be this path of healing and helping.
Niki believes in liberation for all people, specifically Black and Brown folx who face systemic injustice. Niki’s feminism is rooted in Black feminist praxis and believes feminism must be intersectional or it will not be effective. Niki understands that being a white ciswoman of Puerto Rican ethnicity grants her white privilege, so she fights to put her body on the line for her black and brown comrades. Niki is excited to continue her social justice work in a professional capacity with the JCC through the Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship for the 2017-2018 year.