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EY wavespace™ Inspires and Outfits Innovation Studio at Chicago Urban League

New Space Will Be Used to Support Advocacy and Community Engagement Work and Be Available to Small Business Clients

CHICAGO (December 15, 2020) – The Chicago Urban League (CUL or the League) announced that Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) is donating $25,000 in high-end media equipment to create a new studio space at the League’s office in the Bronzeville neighborhood. The innovation studio, which is inspired by the EY wavespaceTM network , will be available for use by clients of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) and can enable the League to deconstruct challenges through design-based thinking and produce higher-quality digital programming.

The League anticipates using the new space for multimedia efforts to support client programming and community engagement efforts. For instance, the space will be used for future recordings of the League’s podcast, which was created in 2017 as CULture, Race & Equity and aimed at engaging younger community members. The podcast was recently relaunched as Dear Black Voter. CEI clients will be able to book the space by appointment. Beyond the financial commitment, EY US will also have EY US professionals provide skills-based volunteering to CEI clients as part of its support of the space.

“EY has been a long-standing supporter of the Chicago Urban League, and its professionals have donated many hours of service to assist our clients and staff members,” said President and CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson. “This latest gift will help us take our communications efforts to the next level while also providing an additional resource to support Black-owned businesses. We are grateful to EY for this investment in our mission.”

EY US is committed to building a better working world and believes that begins with local communities. The CUL has been one of EY US Chicago’s community partners for many years, and EY US consultants, experience designers, innovation professionals and technologists have collaborated with CUL executives, offering their time and experience to support the innovation space’s purpose, design and technology enablement.

Equipment in the innovation space will include new computer stations, cameras and multiple monitors with sync capability for small-group ideation and collaboration. Monitors will feature large-screen formatted displays, touchless screens and wireless screen mirroring. The innovation studio is expected to be fully equipped by spring 2021.

“Similar to EY wavespace, the purpose of the innovation studio is to bring people together and provide the tools needed to navigate challenge circumstances and transition from ideas to execution,” said David Nichols, Ernst & Young LLP Partner and Chicago Urban League Board member. “Our hope is to embed an innovative mindset into everyone who convenes in the space.”

To learn more about the Chicago Urban League, visit


About the Chicago Urban League

Since 1916, the Chicago Urban League—through collaborative community, corporate and civic relationships—has helped people find jobs, secure affordable housing, enhance their educational experiences and grow their businesses. We are passionate advocates for economic and racial equity for Black Chicagoans. Visit and follow us on Twitter at @ChiUrbanLeague and Facebook at @ChicagoUrbanLeague.


About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit

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