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Community Projects

Each year, the MLA oversees new and continuing community projects in collaboration with Leadership Academy alumni. These projects address equity issues in Chicago by working toward social, economic, and criminal justice and reform in our Black and Brown communities.

Leadership Academy alumni interested in joining a community project can sign-up by completing this 

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Safe Space Cafés 

Formed in 2020, the purpose of this project is to provide opportunities to engage in a wide range of topics specific to BIPOC communities. By creating a multicultural, cross-community, safe conversational environment, we hope to have spaces for people to share and discuss beliefs free of fear, judgement, and retaliation.

Upcoming Projects 
Leadership Academy Podcast

Previous Projects and Ideas
Reflecting on the Past and Celebrating the Future, Black History Month: Looking Back and Moving Forward, and The Power of Our StoriesCircles and Bonfires, and LGBTQIA+ & BIPOC Healing Circle.

Black, Brown and Blue: Police Accountability / Community Policing 

This project began in 2020 with the goal to strengthen the relationship, trust, and opportunities with our Black, Brown and Blue Communities in the Chicagoland area. Since its creation, we’ve hosted activities to create safe environments of conversation between police officers, teens, and other community members.  

Public Service Announcement (PSA) Project 

Beginning in 2020, the mission of this project is to create resources that combat anti-Blackness in the Latino/x community. In collaboration with Univision, the Latino Policy Forum will produce a PSA, in English and Spanish, that describes common examples of anti-Blackness in the community’s rhetoric. Project members have completed a request for proposal to have people work on anti-Blackness research.

In 2018, Leadership Academy alum partnered with Healing Every Youth to further the organization’s mission to promote “peace, healing, and unity in the communities among African American, Afro-Latinx and Latinx by creating programming and events that destigmatizes stigma for mental health.” HEY collaborates with local artists and mental health professionals to increase mental health awareness through music and art.  

Upcoming Projects 

Achieving Economic Equity Group 

To combat the hardships that COVID-19 and civil unrest has brought upon black and brown businesses, this project was created in 2020 to support the economic development of Chicago’s South and West Side. Opportunities are created for businesses to connect with non-profit organizations and increase their consumer base in their local community, as well as the Chicagoland area. 

Previous Project
Her Stories, Our Songs 

Community Collaborations / Partnerships  

If you’re a Leadership Academy alum and would like to collaborate or partner with the Latino Policy Forum to address a community issue, please share your ideas and suggestions with NiCole Ward, MLA Coordinator, at nward@latinopolicyforum.org. 

Jewish United Fund Young Leadership Division – Gun Violence Prevention Panel 

One Heart One Soul – Called to Create 

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Reflecting on the Past and Celebrating the Future 

UCAN – Her Stories, Our Songs  

Chicago Park District Police Accountability and Unity Walk

Open Architecture Chicago – Poetic Platforms