July 19, 2023

Leading in Color Newsletter

June/July 2023

Chicago United - Leading in Color Newsletter
June/July 2023
Insights from Leadership. Tiffany Hamel Johnson, President & CEO of Chicago United

Time For Action

I am at a loss for words regarding the Supreme Court’s decision ruling against affirmative action in college admissions…I had to catch my breath before speaking. But I have been ringing this alarm for months.

A headline from The Washington Post sums it up the best: “Affirmative action ruling puts targets on corporate diversity programs.” Let that sink in…the work we do to create access and equity is being dismantled—full stop.

Taking race into consideration is not taking away a spot from someone else. Full stop. It does not mean the person of color who is a student or employee is not qualified to go to the school they attend or get the job they have. Full stop.

The data shows that companies in the top quartile of racial and ethnic diversity see financial returns above national industry medians. Diverse firms have 2.3 times more cash flow per employee. Companies with high DE&I see a 45% improvement in market share compared to peers. A diverse and inclusive workforce increases a company’s innovation and shareholder value.

It is well past time for the business community to speak up…not just with a statement but to double down with definitive action.

Be well,

Chicago United Presents 2023 Business Leaders of Color

Chicago United presents the 2023 Business Leaders of Color, a cohort of 45 accomplished individuals ready for corporate board directorships. Chosen from an illustrious field of nominees, the selected honorees include a diverse array of accomplished Chicago-area business executives. View the video to meet the full list of 2023 BLCs.
The 2023 Business Leaders of Color will be presented during Chicago United’s Bridge Awards Celebration: Elevating Equity, taking place Thursday, November 16, from 5:30-9:00 PM at the Marriott Marquis Chicago.
To learn more, please click here
Chicago United Welcomes Our Newest Members
Andrea Zopp and Tiffany Hamel Johnson on set of Chicago Newsroom 2.0

Chicago United President and CEO Featured on CAN TV

Chicago United’s President and CEO Tiffany Hamel Johnson was featured on CAN TV’s “Chicago Newsroom 2.0” Program Hosted by Andrea Zopp. The segment aired Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

The discussion featured insight into the mission of Chicago United and introduced the work to achieve parity in economic opportunity for People of Color to a vast, citywide audience. Additionally, Tiffany Hamel Johnson provided an overview of Chicago United’s result-oriented Programming, explained the organization’s support of Minority-owned Businesses through the Minority Business Partnership Program, including the Five Forward Initiative™, and shared findings from the recently released “Inside Inclusion featuring the Corporate Diversity Profile.”
To view the full program, please click here
Chicago United’s biennial report “Inside Inclusion featuring the Corporate Diversity Profile”

“Inside Inclusion” Featured In Crain's Chicago Business 

Crain's Chicago Business recently featured Chicago United’s biennial report “Inside Inclusion featuring the Corporate Diversity Profile” and its findings. First coverage, “Chicago ahead of nation in diverse executive ranks at big companies in two editorials,” introduced the study and its finding. A following editorial, “Chicago scores some much-needed wins on one key front,” further analyzed the study’s findings of Chicago’s gains and the areas still unfilled.

Inside Inclusion is available on Chicago United’s website. 
Please click here to learn more
Chicago United’s 2023 Bridge Awards
Plan now to attend Chicago United’s 2023 Bridge Awards, taking place Thursday, November 16, at the Marriott Marquis Chicago. Themed Elevating Equity, the evening will include the presentation of the Chicago Bridge Award and the CU Impact Award, and will also honor two major milestones: Chicago United’s 55th Anniversary and the 20th year presenting the talented individuals named as 2023 Business Leaders of Color. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Gail Arrigo, Executive Vice President, for additional details.
Chicago United's Corporate Inclusion Institute Video Thumbnail


Preparing for its seventh Cohort in 2024, Chicago United’s Corporate Inclusion Institute (CII) has proven to build a community of inclusive leaders. Information Sessions, to be held virtually, have been scheduled for potential sponsors and enrollment: 

Wednesday, August 2 
Wednesday, August 16
Wednesday, September 13 
Wednesday, September 27

To register for a session, please contact
Doris Salomón, Vice President of Programs and Initiatives. 

Nichole Owens, Chicago United's Board of Directors Secretary Vice President, has been promoted to Vice President, Distribution Operations, Chicago Region at ComEd, An Exelon Company, (a Chicago United Member Company).

Chicago United Board Member Cristy Garcia-Thomas, has been promoted to President, Advocate National Center for Health Equity and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Advocate Health, a Chicago United Member Company.

Yasha Sterling, Senior Channel Program Manager at ComEd, An Exelon Company, (a Chicago United Member Company) and a Corporate Inclusion Institute Cohort V Fellow, has been named one of CIO Today’s “Power Women: Top Dynamic and Exemplary Women Leaders You Must Follow, 2023.”

The following programs are open only to employees of Chicago United Member Companies. Please click here to view our Event Calendar for additional details and registration links.

Diversity Officer Roundtable

Hosted by Kelly Jackson,
Chief People Officer, Archaea Energy (a BP Company)


Wednesday, August 9 | 9:00-10:30 am 

BP, 30 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 

Learn More →

Chicago United
300 East Randolph Street, Suite 40.200, Chicago, IL 60601-5075
312-977-3060 • www.chicago-united.org