December 19, 2022

Leading in Color Newsletter

December 2022

Chicago United - Leading in Color Newsletter
December 2022

Marching Into 2023

In 2022, Chicago United dug in deeper, inspired the conversations, and strengthened our foundation. There are so many positive reflections … Chicago United went to work! This work is not easy but at this most introspective time of the year, I am thankful, inspired and prepared for the great things to come in 2023.

Fully implementing our Three-year Strategic Plan, we leaned in harder and worked with a greater sense of urgency. Our CEO Roundtable Series, Diversity Officer Roundtable Series, and Employee Resource Group Symposiums brought leaders to the table to openly discuss the issues and collectively derive ideas to inspire change in the corporate landscape. 

We successfully implemented more inclusive programming, introducing the Emerging Leaders Series, the Mid-level Manager Series, and the Business Leaders of Color Series. In 2023, we will continue this work to make sure the corporate pipeline remains filled with candidates of color who are ready to lead corporate culture towards lasting change. 

This year, our Minority Business Partnership program, which includes the Five Forward Initiative, positioned itself for greater purpose. We reiterated our role as a convener and provided minority-owned businesses with previously untapped opportunity and greater access to our Member organizations. 

Our Corporate Inclusion Institute matriculated its fifth Cohort in 2022. Eighty-eight professionals are now ready to reshape the corporate landscape, ensuring the corporate pipeline remains filled with Professionals of Color. 

Chicago United’s membership broadened this year, strengthening our powerbase with the voices of non-profits and smaller organizations, while the 2022 Bridge Awards Celebration: The Power of Inclusion presented by BMO doubled-down on our mission by introducing two new awards: The CU Impact Award and The BLC President’s Award. That night, meeting Robert MacGregor, Chicago United’s first Executive Director, was pinnacle for me and was one of many highlights of the year. I remain inspired by his work to shape Chicago United's focus and vision. Robert, your outstanding leadership has proven invaluable and we will continue to make you proud.

The 55th Anniversary of Chicago United takes place in 2023 and we are prepared to carry the torch into the future and dig deeper into our mission. We will continue to be the convener, expand our position as the thought-leader, and recommit ourselves to lead transformative change throughout Chicago’s business ecosystem. There is much, much more work to be done.

Chicago United could not have strengthened its foundation in 2022 without you — our members, partners, and allies. We are grateful for your continued commitment and support. Cheers for a Happy Holiday Season and a Powerful New Year!


Business Leaders of Color

Business Leaders of Color 2023
Nominations Now Open

Over the last two decades, Chicago United's Business Leaders of Color has identified 470 board-ready candidates of color who have served in over 300 corporate directorships. In 2023, Chicago United will name 50 new board-ready candidates of color as BLCs. Nominations are open until February 28, 2023.

Download the Award Criteria and Nomination Worksheet →

To Do:
Enroll in Corporate Inclusion Institute
Cohort VI

Chicago United’s Corporate Inclusion Institute-Cohort VI remains open for registration. CU member organizations and companies are encouraged to contact Doris Salomon, Vice President of Programs and Initiatives, at, to enroll team members. Please share this opportunity with your network.

Chicago United President and CEO Tiffany Hamel Johnson hosted a Member Exchange Program at The Economic Club of Chicago. The conversation focused on the progress of DE&I initiatives in the corporate landscape.

Andrea Sáenz, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust and a Chicago United Board Member, was named to ALPFA, Inc. - Association of Latino Professionals For America’s list of “Latinas to Watch,” defined by their service and commitment to their communities.

Debbie Cortez, Chicago United’s Director of Minority Business Partnership, participated in a panel discussion during Chicago United Member Company Abbott’s Global Operations Council Business Diversity Champions Meeting.
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