Home » Blog » 2018 Multicultural Leadership Academy Graduation

2018 Multicultural Leadership Academy Graduation

By Florencia Romero, Latino Policy Forum Communications Intern

Chicago has historically been considered the most segregated city in the United States, and its African-American and Latino communities have too often been in competition with each other in politics, education, business, etc. The Latino Policy Forum has taken steps to bridge these divides by building understanding and camaraderie among civic leaders from both groups. 

The 2018 Multicultural Leadership Academy is an initiative that strengthens these bonds between black and brown communities, and last month the Forum graduated its second cohort of this program at Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center.

“These leaders are the future of Chicago and Illinois, and this cohort already is busy planting the seeds to strengthen the cooperation and mutual understanding of black and brown communities for future generations,” Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente said.

The 24 civic leaders who were part of the second cohort brought a diverse line of career backgrounds to the Academy, stemming from community organizing to education to infant mental health. Since January these community leaders have demonstrated their passion and knowledge, and established bonds that will shape and advance the future of Chicago. During their time in the Academy they worked on social, community and policy change across predominantly Latino and African American communities.

The ceremony opened with a speech from the Forums’ Executive Director, Sylvia Puente, on the success of these individuals and the impact of their collaboration. The affinity groups of the Academy then shared their findings and work they undertook to strengthen Chicago’s neighborhoods and promote understanding of Illinois’ diverse communities.

“In this time when Latinos and African Americans are the largest ethnic minorities in Chicago, it’s critical that communities of color collaborate on issues that affect all of Illinois and Chicago,” Puente said. “Using the networks they have established in the Academy, these graduates are committed to collaborating and supporting each other with on-going projects to create impact that will be seen across Illinois.”

We would like to congratulate and thank the following individuals for completing the 2018 Multicultural Leadership Academy and wish them success on their future endeavors. Click HERE for a full listing of cohort graduates and a video explaining more about the Academy. 

The Forum would like to thank the sponsors of the Academy:  The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, The Reva & David Logan Foundation, American Express, and JP Morgan Chase & Co.