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Inaugural Cohort of Black Bench Chicago Graduates

Today, the inaugural cohort of Black Bench Chicago celebrated their graduation from the program. A ceremony will be held today, November 14, 2021, from 2-5 p.m. at Tree House, 149 W Kinzie St.

Black Bench Chicago was launched on Martin Luther King Day 2021 with the goal of providing talented millennials with a solid understanding of political and governmental knowledge, as well as insights and tools that they could apply to their careers and future endeavors.

Thirty rising leaders were selected for the inaugural Spring 2021 cohort, representing a variety of experiences and ideologies. The cohort was guided by the Program Advisory Board, composed of local leaders with extensive expertise in politics, government, policy, and advocacy.

“Black Bench Chicago represents the best our city has to offer and is committed to creating a new generation of inspired leadership,” said Alex Sims, Program Director. “I am so proud of our inaugural cohort and grateful for the opportunity to work with them, I can’t wait to see all that they accomplish.”

“It has been a distinct honor to serve as Program Chair for the inaugural cohort of Black Bench Chicago,” said Secretary of State Jesse White. “I’m proud to provide mentorship to this cohort of leaders who will create the world they want to see and seek lasting solutions to problems that have plagued our Black community for generations.”

After Black Bench Chicago’s launch, the program received 200 applications in a two-week application period.

The 2021 Cohort members included:

  • Tamara Allen
  • Sean Anderson
  • Crystal Bland
  • Steven Clark
  • William Collins
  • Tregg Duerson
  • Tai Duncan
  • Kimberly Egonmwan
  • Robert Emmons Jr.
  • Leaaron Foley
  • Chantal Grant
  • Maurice Green
  • Jauwan Hall
  • Ibienebo Hart
  • Consuela Hendricks
  • Michelle Jenkins
  • Maxwell Little
  • Tyrone McGowan
  • Arthur Mitchell
  • Ashley Munson
  • David Peterson
  • Shareese Pryor
  • Michelle Rashad
  • Shantenae Robinson
  • Kendra Spearman
  • Neal Stevens-Jackson
  • Michael Wilder
  • Kyra Woods


Visit https://blackbenchchicago.org/ for more information and future program updates.

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