Luana Lienhart, a licensed clinical social worker with a background in serving diverse populations, has joined YWCA Evanston/North Shore as community counselor.

She will serve as case manager and counselor for those affected by domestic violence and will also focus on outreach, working to educate area communities about domestic violence including its warning signs, how to help and available resources.

“I entered the field of social work after serving with AmeriCorps in 2003,” said Lienhart. “After witnessing how many people in the world are intentionally disenfranchised, I felt I had to work to dismantle it. I couldn’t pretend this injustice didn’t exist.”

Lienhart says she was drawn to YWCA Evanston/North Shore because its mission to eliminate racism and empower women aligned with her values.

“I looked carefully for the right fit and I felt I clearly belonged at YWCA,” she said. “I’m also excited to get more involved in the communities we serve and help people understand domestic violence and what they can do to help. I want to talk to as many people and as many community groups as I can.”

In addition to her new role at YWCA, Lienhart serves as an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University in the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies program, a position she’s held since 2014. She also is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, an organization of laypeople, single and married, who follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi through their work in the secular world.

Lienhart, who is originally from Grenada, received her bachelor’s degree from Stephen’s College in Columbia, Missouri, and her master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago.

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