Gail Schechter, who has led Open Communities for 22 years, is leaving the agency in mid-January to pursue new opportunities to advocate for social justice.

The first full-time executive director in the agency’s 43-year history, Ms. Schechter has shepherded the organization into a broader sense of mission that recognizes the imperative to advocate for justice in all aspects of community life so that our neighborhoods truly will become more welcoming.

“Gail has been a visionary, an un-flinching supporter to thousands in the northern suburbs who have endured unfair socioeconomic disadvantages, and a mentor to countless others who have sought to organize on their behalf,” said Dr. Liliana Fargo, board president of Open Communities.