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Bridge Awards and Leadership Conference
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Bridge Awards 

The Bridge Award represents the first national award that honors a CEO who is an advocate for multiracial diversity in corporate governance and executive level management. This award brings visibility to those who have driven change and inspires others to follow.

 Baxter International Chairman & CEO Robert L. Parkinson Jr. (L) accepts a 2015 Bridge Award from Chicago United Chairman Mark Furlong

The National Bridge Award honors the exemplary practices of a Fortune 100 company.

The Chicago Bridge Award salutes a corporation supporting development of a vibrant and richly diverse business community.


The Bridge Advocate Award celebrates the accomplishments of a public- or private sector citizen who actively recognize the importance of diversity to our country's economy and global competitiveness.


We applaud the Bridge Award recipients. They truly are the champions of diversity in governance, management, and business partnerships. Their leadership, vision, and commitment will continue to foster innovative approaches to achieving diversity in corporate governance throughout the business community.

Selection Process
To select recipients of the National and Chicago Bridge Awards, Chicago United focuses on the Fortune 100 and the Chicago Metro 100 to select recipients. Through a rigorous examination of publicly available company data, the search is narrowed to five national and five Chicago-area companies with diverse boards of directors based on a specific threshold of diverse board member participation. Each company is further evaluated on quantitative and qualitative data by an internal and external committee. The committees consist of corporate and non-profit executives, entrepreneurs and academicians, and are selected based on their neutrality and experience.

Click here to access a list of past Bridge Awards Winners and learn more about their commitment to diversity.


Click here to download programs from past Bridge Award Events.



Changing Color of Leadership Conference

Click to download the 2016 Conference Program

Chicago United is committed to creating an environment in which senior leaders can share common experiences to promote multiracial leadership in governance, management and business partnerships while delivering best practices for diversity practitioners and building relationships among leaders that share common values.

The Chicago United Leadership Conference has become the "go-to" forum for business leaders, diversity professionals, and minority business owners throughout the Chicago region.


It is where they discuss strategies that energize corporate leaders and create organizational change. Chicago United is the premier advocacy organization where Chicago's leaders convene to discuss methods that allow individuals of color to break through barriers to reach their full potential.


The hallmark of the Chicago United Leadership Conference is its thought-provoking plenary sessions that provide an environment where corporate executives and minority entrepreneurs share leading practices that leverage the value of difference and allow individual to achieve their professional and leadership potential.


Click here to view an archive of previous Leadership Conference Programs.


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