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Multicultural Leadership Academy

The 2020 MLA cohort has been selected. Congratulations to the 25 new members!

The Latino Policy Forum is proud to launch its fourth cohort of its Multicultural Leadership Academy (MLA), intended to bring the state’s largest minority communities together. This year, the Forum also celebrates 10 years of leadership development, which began with the Illinois Nonprofit Latino Leadership Academy and then evolved into the MLA.

The 25 civic leaders of the 2020 cohort have a diverse range of professional backgrounds, including community organizing, policy, art, and culture. In coming together through the MLA, their mission is to bridge Latinos and African Americans, encouraging intercultural collaboration and social action. The Academy draws on a range of experiences to increase cross-cultural understanding and develop a network of leaders who will be able to call upon each other in the future.

2020 MLA cohort:

Barbara Goodall Meschino

Malcolm X College

Jonathan Fair

University of Illinois at Chicago

Carina Ruiz

Audubon Great Lakes

Lisette Arzuaga

Latin United Community Housing Association

Cason Brunt

Chicago Scholars Foundation

Lyzeth Mondragon

American Heart Association

Cecilia Mendoz

Family Focus

Maria Pike

Chicago Survivors

Cesar Nunez

Enlace Chicago

Militza Pagán

Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Diana Rubi

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Paul Callejas

Chicago Center for Arts and Technology

Ernesto Saldivar Jr.

Acero Schools

Ray Arroyo

Enlace Chicago

Farah Dioro Tunks

Chicago Park District

Roberto Mendez

La Casa Norte

Floyd Stafford

Heartland Alliance

Samantha Sherrod

Mars Wrigley Foundation

Ja’Neane Minor

Advance Illinois

Shelby Chaney

Cary Comer Youth Center

Janella Curtis

16th Ward Administration

Te’Aira Malone

Metropolitan Family Services

Juanita Pye


Yaacov Delaney

Community Renewal Society

Meet the 2019 MLA group by clicking on the video below
 View the 2019 MLA Cohort Face Book

Learn more about the MLA and the 2018 cohort by clicking the video below

 View the 2018 MLA Cohort Face Book