November 17, 2021

Ariel Investments Co-CEOs John W. Rogers Jr. and Mellody Hobson to be honored by Chicago United for extraordinary leadership in diversity and inclusion at the board level

50 corporate board-ready Business Leaders of Color will be introduced

CHICAGO, IL – November 16, 2021 – Ariel Investments Co-CEOs John W. Rogers Jr. and Mellody Hobson are this year’s Bridge Award honorees at the 2021 Chicago United Bridge Awards Celebration to be held on Thursday, November 18 th at Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. Ariel will be recognized alongside Chicago United’s 2021 Business Leaders of Color, a diverse group of board-ready leaders and game-changers in the business world. The Bridge Awards Celebration is the premier diversity and inclusion event in Chicago, celebrating excellence in diversity within corporate governance and fostering multiracial leadership at the highest levels of corporate America

Established in 2004, the Bridge Award recognizes a corporate CEO  who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in achieving diversity and inclusion, especially at the board level. The selection process includes a rigorous review of publicly available data by prominent executives who are highly respected members of the Chicago business community. Ariel has continually demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the business world, and Chicago United is honored to recognize their extraordinary efforts

“Ariel’s leading the charge towards advancing an inclusive and diverse business culture,” said Tiffany Hamel Johnson, President and CEO, Chicago United. “Ariel stands out for managing change and inspiring others to follow. We couldn’t be more excited to recognize Ariel’s accomplishments at the upcoming Bridge Awards.”

The theme for this year’s Bridge Awards Celebration is “A Movement not a Moment.” Chicago United is and has always been a respected thought leader, convener, and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Chicago United will also salute the 2021 Business Leaders of Color at the Bridge Awards Celebration. A group of 50 dynamic executives, these individuals hold a vast range of experience in a variety of industries and are among the most influential, diverse and inclusive leaders in the Chicago business community. These exceptional corporate and civic leaders are ready to contribute, as board directors for Fortune 1,000 companies. They provide shareholder value in our ever-changing business environment and inspire others as they continue to progress, innovate and lead. Since 2003, the Business Leaders of Color publication has featured 420 board-ready candidates have served in more than 300 corporate directorships.

The 2021 publication featuring profiles and photographs of these 50 individuals will be available for download on Chicago United’s website, and printed copies will be available at the Bridge Awards Celebration on November 18 th. A sneak peek of the publication was also included in the October 25 th edition of Crain’s Chicago Business for subscribers.

The celebration, presented by BMO Harris Bank, will be an in-person event. Sponsorships are available for the Bridge Awards Celebration. For details, contact Melanie Sillas, Chicago United Vice President of Membership and Philanthropy, at .

About Ariel Investments

Ariel Investments, LLC is a global value-based asset management firm founded in 1983. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York City, San Francisco and Sydney. As of January 31, 2021, Ariel’s firm-wide assets under management totaled approximately $15 billion. The firm serves individual and institutional investors through five no-load mutual funds and 11 separate account strategies.

About Chicago United

Chicago United is a corporate membership and advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color by advancing multiracial leadership in corporate governance, expanding the talent pipeline for executive level management, and growing minority businesses.

Founded in 1968, the organization is focused on transforming the Chicago region into the most inclusive business ecosystem in the nation by engaging the top publicly and privately held corporations in leading talent management and inclusive diversity practices. Chicago United’s signature programs include its Business Leaders of Color publication, which showcases a diverse pool of corporate director candidates, the Five Forward Initiative™, designed to invigorate job creation in communities of color by increasing the scale of large Minority Business Enterprises in the Chicago region, Inside Inclusion featuring the Corporate Diversity Profile, and the Corporate Inclusion Institute, the first-ever citywide business talent development program. Learn more at

Media contact:  Blake Goble,