Black Bench Chicago 2024 Cohort Celebrates Graduation

Black Bench Chicago 2024 Cohort Celebrates Graduation
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Black Bench Chicago 2024 Cohort Celebrates Graduation (Chicago, IL) — The Black Bench Chicago 2024 Cohort celebrated the completion of its six-month program in a graduation ceremony hosted at Taste 222 on March 16, 2024. The first Black Bench cohort, advisory board, module moderators, and program supporters joined the celebration. Program chair Jacky Grimshaw and Vice Mayor Walter Burnett gave words of encouragement to the 2024 cohort.

This year’s cohort included 28 emerging Black leaders across government, politics, labor, community development, business, and other sectors. Over the course of the program, the fellows completed modules covering Chicago’s history, recent trends in politics and campaigning, communications and advertising strategy, fundraising, and political analysis.

The module moderators have included Stacy Davis-Gates, president of the Chicago Teachers Union; Michael Strautmanis, executive vice president of the Obama Foundation; Jason Lee, senior advisor to the mayor of Chicago; and Julian Green, senior vice president of communications and community engagement for the Chicago Cubs.

“What made this cohort so special was their willingness to share ideas and work together. We made sure that each module presented the opportunity for participants to break into smaller groups to discuss different topics and it created a space for exploration of ideologies,” said Alex Sims, President of APS & Associates and co-founder of Black Bench. “I’m eager to see each participant continue to pivot and grow into more success.”

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John Heiderschedit, Criminal Defense Attorney; Subscription Lawyer; Chicago Lawyer

In decades past, Chicago’s Black community had a system of political organizing to wield power from City Hall to Springfield. Today, Black Bench Chicago is the platform for new relationships and shared power to emerge so Black people remain central to the city’s leadership.

To learn more about Black Bench Chicago and information on applying for future cohorts, visit www.blackbenchchicago.org.

Black Bench Chicago 2024 Cohort Celebrates Graduation

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