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Meet the Staff of Channing-Murray Foundation

Emily McKown, Executive Director

Emily McKown currently works as the Youth Coordinator at Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign, and she is thrilled to continue her work as a U.U. She was the first baby born into the Dakota U.U. Church in Burnsville, MN, where she attended each week, and as a young adult she taught Religious Education. Emily completed her first bachelor’s degree at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she studied social pedagogy and political economics. Her Evergreen experience bolstered her resolve for social justice, and one of the biggest issues for her was dismantling mass incarceration. During and after college Emily managed an organic bakery all the while writing and performing her own music. Emily moved to Urbana in 2018 and worked for the Cunningham Township piloting their garden program. Emily continues to invest in the local folk music scene with her own music and lifting up others on the booking committee of the Folk and Roots Music Festival. She is very happy to call Urbana home.

Claire Szoke, Emeritus Executive Director

Claire has served as the Channing-Murray Executive Director and Co-Executive Director for years and prior to that, worked as a volunteer for Channing-Murray. A local Unitarian-Universalist, Claire's activism spans a diversity of social issues from immigration to worker justice, environmentalism to feminism. 

Rohn Koester, Facilities Manager

Rohn Koester serves as the Facilities Manager of Channing-Murray Foundation and is in charge of the overall care and maintenance of the building. He is a writer, artist, and activist who coordinates Education Justice Radio, teaches adult literacy through Project READ, and serves as an educator for student inmates at the Danville Correctional Center and Champaign County Jail teaching writing and GED. He is currently composing artistic projects with the School for Designing a Society. 

Lisa Haynes, Office Manager

Lisa Haynes serves as the Office Manager for Channing-Murray Foundation, handing financial and scheduling for the center. She also serves on the board of Mahomet Lions Club, Kalyx Center for Sustainability.

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