“I am drawn to work that supports individuals realizing their full potential. Too often, systemic barriers, long-rooted inequities —including deep-seated racism — and the false belief in our own limitations conspire to hold people back. I favor any work that removes those barriers so that together we can create a thriving society for all.”
David Sinski is first vice chair of the Travelers Aid International Board of Directors and vice president of Heartland Alliance in Chicago. He also oversees Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS), a division committed to ending poverty through a wide range of programs aimed at ensuring safety, stability and pathways for long-term success to over 500,000 persons each year, primarily in Illinois and Michigan.With Heartland for eight years, David has been on the TAI Board for the past four years.
Travelers Aid Chicago was Heartland Alliance’s first program, starting in 1888, and continues in the tradition of serving migrating populations through work with refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers, and through the “great work” of TAC at O’Hare International Airport.
“One of my prior jobs that really impacts my work today was at Mujeres Latinas En Acción, where I held various roles across 10 years and was immersed in women’s issues, feminism and the immigrant experience in the United States. Mujeres was founded in Chicago by vocal, courageous Latina women to uphold women’s rights and human rights. It has served as a fabulous foundation for my career ever since.”
David enjoys reading and recently started running, hoping to complete his seventh Chicago Marathon this year. “I grew up hating running. I was the slowest kid in my class and just didn’t feel like it was my thing. I am still slow but have discovered the wonderful peace and centeredness that running offers me. It reminds me every day to not be afraid to try new things.”
A few years ago, David and his husband joined a group of LGBTQ+ individuals on a trip to Israel to understand human rights in the Middle East and to celebrate the advances that Israel has made to support LGBTQ+ folks. “It was an amazing trip and we were exposed to many Israeli accomplishments, as well as many challenging issues. In addition to getting a profound education, we fell in love with Jerusalem and took some extra time to visit Jordan, where we were amazed by the beauty, history and splendor of Petra.”
David grew up in Milwaukee, the youngest of five. His father was a police officer and his mom worked as a nurse, part time. They scheduled their work hours to ensure one of them was always home with the children. “That meant that my dad had to become a great chef to satisfy five hungry kids every day. I still hope to be as good with the grill as he was.”