Dr. Litesa Wallace was born on the Southside of Chicago and raised in the south suburb of Country Club Hills. Her parents, a law enforcement agent and postal worker were both union workers and she attended Western Illinois University, becoming the first person in her immediate family to complete a college degree.
Dr. Wallace is a therapist and educator by profession; however, she was the first appointed Chief-of-Staff to former State Representative Charles E. Jefferson. She started volunteering in Representative Jefferson’s office in 2007, and ultimately in 2011 she was fortunate enough to become his chief of staff. It was during her time as chief of staff that she began to reflect on the role of policy-making and legislation in impacting the issues she’s been so passionate about as an educator and therapist.
Before going to work for Representative Jefferson, she spent more than a decade counseling children and adults in need of mental health services – including child abuse victims and families in crisis. She assessed nonviolent criminal offenders to determine how their substance abuse problems were contributing to their criminal history, and worked to treat their addictions in order to get at the root cause of the problem instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on incarcerating them.
Wallace subsequently completed a Masters in Applied Family & Child Studies and went on to complete doctoral studies in Educational Psychology. Her dissertation is entitled “The relationship between racial identity, perceived racial discrimination, and the academic self-concept of African American college men: A mixed-methods examination”. Wallace has also taught college and graduate-level psychology courses focusing on middle school children- at NIU.
Wallace is the proud parent of an elementary school-aged son, Isaiah, and knows firsthand how challenging it is to raise a child on your own while working several jobs to make ends meet, like many families in the 67th District.