Black Bench Chicago announced today its inaugural cohort. The Black Bench brings individuals together to build community, foster creativity, develop leadership skills, and encourage more progress. During the program period, participants are challenged to think critically about leadership theories, traditions, and models to create, communicate, and carry out solutions to social justice and other challenges in Chicago’s Black Community.
After a 14-day application period and competitive evaluation process, the inaugural members of the cohort include local activists, business leaders, radio personalities, law partners, and more.
THE BLACK BENCH CHICAGO 2021 COHORT
- TAMARA ALLEN, Co-Founder & Executive Director, BE! @ Community Initiatives
- SEAN ANDERSON, Principal, Kivvit
- KENNEDY BARTLEY, Legislative Director, United Working Families
- CRYSTAL BLAND, U.S. Dept of Urban Development, President AFGE 911
- STEVEN CLARK, General Member, 8th Ward Young Democrats
- WILLIAM COLLINS, Vice President of Development & External Affair, Surge Institute
- ANTHONY DRIVER, Political and Legislative Coordinator, SEIU HCII
- TREGG DUERSON, Chief Operating Officer, Rebuild Foundation
- TAI DUNCAN, Vice President of Community Integration, Cresco Labs
- KIMBERLY EGONMWAN, Attorney & Host, WVON 1690 The Talk of Chicago
- ROBERT EMMONS JR., Executive Director, Our Everyday
- LEAARON FOLEY, Director, Government & Community Relations, Lime
- CHANTAL GRANT, Founder, Level up & Vote
- MAURICE GREEN, Director of Public Affairs, Illinois Dept. of Human Rights
- JAUWAN HALL, Sergeant, Illinois Army National Guard
- IBIENEBO HART, Women’s Business Development Manager, DCEO Office of Minority Empowerment
- MICHELLE JENKINS. Deputy Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs, Illinois Dept. of Juvenile Justice
- MAXWELL LITTLE, Critical Educator, Community Advocate, and Political Consultant Level up & Vote
- TYRONE MCGOWAN, Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ
- ARTHUR MITCHELL, Deputy Director of Litigation and Policy, National Democratic Redistricting Committee
- ASHLEY MUNSON, Senior Manager of Advocacy, Greater Chicago Food Depository
- DAVID PETERSON, President, National A. Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
- SHAREESE PRYOR, Senior Staff Counsel and Director of Justice Reform, BPI
- ARIEL RAINEY, CEO, and Founder, Hustle Mommies
- MICHELLE RASHAD, Executive Director, Imagine Englewood
- SHANTENAE ROBINSON, Chief of Staff, Cook Co. Government
- KENDRA SPEARMAN, Attorney and Executive Director, Spearman Law, LLC & The Justice Initiative
- NEAL STEVENS-JACKSON, Digital Associate, Kivvit
- MICHAEL WILDER, Chairman/Co-Founder, Black Men’s Lawyer’s Association
- KYRA WOODS, Chicago Clean Energy Policy Advocate
The Black Bench received over 200 applications and increased the size of its inaugural cohort to 31 from 15. During the program period, participants are challenged to think critically about leadership theories, traditions, and models to create, communicate, and carry out solutions to social justice and other challenges in Chicago’s Black Community.
For more information on The Black Bench Chicago, visit their website https://blackbenchchicago.org/.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.