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The Chicago Urban League Announces 2021 Fellows for its IMPACT Leadership Development Program

Photo Caption: The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Gleacher Center where the Fellows primarily meet. 


The Chicago Urban League has selected 38 emerging leaders for the 2021 cohort of its IMPACT Leadership Development Program, an intensive, nine-month program that helps African-American professionals advance in their careers while building a more diverse pipeline of leaders across Chicago.

The cohort, which includes talented individuals from the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors, is the program’s seventh since IMPACT began in 2014. Fellows are nominated by their employers and are selected through a competitive application process. More than 100 organizations in the Chicagoland area have sponsored IMPACT Fellows.

“As in year’s past, we had far more qualified applicants for the program than the number of spots available. That made for an incredibly competitive process, even amid uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson,  President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We believe this underscores the strength of the IMPACT program as well as the strong pipeline of emerging Black leaders who are eager to contribute to shaping the future of our city. We’re looking forward to an exciting program year.”

In partnership with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, one of the world’s leading business schools, the League invites prominent academics, subject matter experts, and industry leaders to share their knowledge and insights with Fellows through day-long classroom experiences and supplemental sessions. IMPACT Fellows will also receive leadership assessments and mentoring. This past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IMPACT shifted its efforts to a fully virtual experience.

“This year, we welcome 38 new Fellows into IMPACT. Each new cohort of individual achievers develops into a dynamic, connected group of African-American leaders,” said Mavis Laing, Vice President and Executive Director of IMPACT. “We are appreciative of the continued support from our academic, business and civic partners who help to make IMPACT one of the most sought-after leadership development programs in Chicago.”

Other program partners include the Field Foundation of Illinois, the Chicago Community Trust, and the MacArthur Foundation.

Sessions for the 2021 IMPACT class will begin in September. Applications for the 2022 class will be available in March 2021. For more information visit the IMPACT program page on our website.

The 2021 IMPACT Fellows are:

Olusola “Shala” Akintunde Chief Creative Officer, The Movement Worldwide, Inc.
Kristopher Anderson Director of Government & External Affairs, Chicago Association of REALTORS
Oluwaseyi Arokoyo       Director of Supplier Operations, Ulta Beauty
Christina Boisseau Associate Professor, Northwestern University
Khara Bolton Resource Development Manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Maya-Camille Broussard Owner + Creative Director, Justice of the Pies
Charles Calloway Associate, Chapman and Cutler LLP
Lincoln Chandler President, Chandler Decision Services
Azurii Collier Management Consultant Manager, Accenture
Tiffany Davis Department Chairperson, Chicago State University
Raven DeVaughn Director, Community Development Initiatives, University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagment
Kristen Evans Accounts Director/Director of Insights & Strategy, RLM Media
Shawn Evelyn Priest, St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church
Carlton Gordon Jr. Regional Managing Director, Catalyte
Annette Guzman Budget Director, Cook County
Danisha Hall Director, Corporate Communications, Peoples Gas
Aaron Harris First Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff For Legislative Affairs, Illinois Office of the governor- JB Pritizker
Tytannie Harris Owner/CEO, TMH Behavioral Services P.C.
Antoine Jennings Global ISV Manager, Salesforce
Chardai Johnson Assistant Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank
Tenisha Jones Senior Director of Strategy and Operations, West Side United
Jamie Jones Ezefili Vice President, Senior Project Manager, The Northern Trust Company
Rodney Jordan Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Operations, Global Communications, McDonald’s
Erica King President, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group
Brittany Lanier Senior Marketing Manager-Innovations, Molson Coors
Renee McIntosh Senior Credit Product Manager-Vice President, BMO Harris Bank
Jasmine Neal Lead Program Specialist (Team Lead), United States Department of Agriculture- Food and Nutrition Services
Danielle O’Neal Associate, Kirkland & Ellis
Stacey Pitts Caldwell Center Director, IL Small Business Development Center | Director, Small BusinessWorld Business Chicago
Brian Riddick Principal, Butler College Prep, The Noble Network
Christopher Rudd Instructor and Community Design Lead, IIT- Institute of Design
Joseph Rutherford Solutions Architect, UltraCommerce
Ida Samuel-Clay Clinical Program Supervisor, Metropolitan Family Services
Jasmin Searcy Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Near North Health Service Corporation
Ulric Shannon Director of Partner Engagement, Academy for Urban School Leadership
Sean G. Veal Information Security Specialist, Cook County Government
Erin Washington Network Operations Manager, Chicago Public Schools
Dinai Yelverton Founder and Lead Event Planner, unDINAIable Events