What We Do

The 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.

We prepare participants through rigorous, multifaceted training to

  • Evaluate major theories and models of leadership and their implications;
  • Foster an understanding of the history and strategies of leaders, with attention to Black leaders, internationally and domestically, in challenging injustice;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to social justice and accept responsibility for correcting societal inequities;
  • Create and implement a vision and practice of leadership that builds on core ethical principles and values;
  • Serve as a positive change agent who addresses local and urgent social problems.

We are looking for participants

  • Age 25 - 45
  • Black Community Leader
  • 2-6 years of leadership experience in the public affairs sector
  • Able to make all dates (Seven sessions between February - August; 1 Excused Absence)
  • Emerging leadership positions in Chicago. Examples of these positions include new executive directors, program directors, organizing directors, policy directors, lead organizers, etc.
  • Can commit to attending the orientation on February 27, 2021