Meet the Leaders!

A group photo of about 20 people with visible and invisible disabilities pose with State Senator Robert Peters.
A group photo of about 20 people with visible and invisible disabilities pose with State Senator Robert Peters.

On December 12th, ADA 25 Advancing Leadership announced its class of 21 Fellows for 2020, the largest class in its five-year history. These accomplished leaders represent a cross-section of professionals from the region’s nonprofit, government, corporate and philanthropic sectors.

The event also welcomed the 17 individuals who are graduating from the 2019 Leadership Institute as well as 7 individuals to the Members Network, comprising 142 diverse leaders with disabilities.

The announcement was attended by more than 100 Members, supporters, and allies, including State Senator Robert Peters, who keynoted the event. In his remarks to our incoming and graduating classes, he remarked, “By joining Advancing Leadership, you are now part of a vision that people with disabilities will lead with influence, and the state of Illinois needs that voice at every table possible. Congratulations for taking the step to lead with your whole self and sharing your needed voice with communities around the region.”

The class of 2020 comes to Advancing Leadership from more than 17 neighborhoods and communities to build their leadership acumen, explore and define their disability identity, and engage with different perspectives and worldviews.

Throughout the course of the year, these new Fellows will participate in an immersive learning experience that prepares them to collaborate and to lead with their disability identity, supported by the power of a large, effective network. Past Fellows have called the program “transformative,” “of the highest value,” and “like a master class in pride.”

Meet the Class of 2020

Our 2020 Fellows Include…

  • Brianna Beck:
  • Keidra Chaney:
  • Brianne Coleman:
  • Candace Coleman:
  • C. Richard Costes:
  • Derrick Dawson:
  • Deborah Decker:
  • LaShon Gurrola:
  • Whitney Hill:
  • Shantinel L. Howard:
  • Christopher Huff:
  • Laura Isaacs:
  • Michelle N. Johnson:
  • Adero Knott:
  • Edison Lopez Jr:
  • Alex Perez-Garcia:
  • Brian Rhode:
  • Eugene Skonicki:
  • Suhail Tariq:
  • Hugo Trevino:
  • John Tuhey:

Our New Members Include…

  • Kate Caldwell:
  • Michelle Friedman
  • Vanessa Harris:
  • Phil Mungai
  • Benjamin Salentine:
  • Carrie Sandahl:
  • Karen Sheley:

In addition to the announcement, Advancing Leadership’s Board President, Karen Tamley, who also serves as Chicago’s Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, recognized key founder and former Executive Director, Emily Harris, in recognition of her extraordinary service and leadership. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, we express our deepest appreciation for all of Emily’s outstanding contributions. She helped launch and guide this organization, and for that, we are both grateful and commit to continuing her legacy.”

Disability Power & Influence

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has a disability, yet individuals…

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Written by

We connect Chicagoans with disabilities to leadership positions throughout the region. Learn more & apply for the 2020 Leadership Institute at ada25chicago.org

Disability Power & Influence

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has a disability, yet individuals with disabilities are vastly underrepresented in professional and civic leadership roles. ADA 25 Advancing Leadership imagines a Chicago region where everyone has access to lead with power and influence.

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Written by

We connect Chicagoans with disabilities to leadership positions throughout the region. Learn more & apply for the 2020 Leadership Institute at ada25chicago.org

Disability Power & Influence

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has a disability, yet individuals with disabilities are vastly underrepresented in professional and civic leadership roles. ADA 25 Advancing Leadership imagines a Chicago region where everyone has access to lead with power and influence.

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