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About Chicago United
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Our Mission

To achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color by advancing multiracial leadership in corporate governance, executive level management, and business diversity. 


Our Vision

To transform 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. 


Our Strategy

To have the greatest beneficial impact in the business environment, we take a holistic view in developing sustainable diversity. For that reason we focus on three key interrelated areas of multiracial leadership:

  • Produce primary research and programs that model actionable strategies to advance inclusive diversity within the business community.
  • Provide a platform that advances strategic relationships between corporations and local minority-owned business enterprises.
  • Introduce board-ready individuals of color to the  business community as vetted candidates for corporate board positions.

It is critical to understand the interrelated nature of corporate governance, executive level management, and business diversity, and why they impact sustainable diversity and inclusion in corporate America.


Governance determines the directives that focus on the economic well being of the corporation, including the markets served, vision of the supply chain, workforce development policies and social investment policies. Diversity brings depth and richness to the board decisions, which ultimately benefits the corporations.


Executive level management implements the directives of the corporation as determined by the board. Diversity brings real world sensitivities to the demands of human resource development, marketing, supply chain development, and social responsibility. A diverse leadership group, in conjunction with a diverse board, can affect the types of business decisions necessary to position corporations for sustainable success in the global business environment. As these businesses succeed, the city's social and economic fabric is strengthened, and as the city gets stronger, the corporation's foundation for continued growth and success also gets stronger.


Finally, diverse business partnerships provide business trading partners that mirror the customer base, as well as the demographic environment. It is beneficial for the corporation to develop relationships that add value both in cost containment and market penetration. As corporations and minority business enterprises forge strong business partnerships, the City of Chicago's economic infrastructure gets strengthened by the building of wealth in diverse communities. The enhanced flow of money improves the property tax base, increases employment and earnings, ignites business activity and creates the multiplier effects of local firms and residents spending dollars with other local firms. Chicago United’s Forward Five Initiative, is one example of a strategic effort designed to build a stronger regional economy and minority businesses of scale.


Our history

The 1968 riots that followed the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. prompted top business leaders to discuss solutions to local economic instability and racial unrest thereby launching Chicago United.

For 50 years, Chicago United has maintained the dialogue among multiracial senior leadership driving corporate and minority-owned businesses, civic and non-profit leadership in the common goal of creating a stronger social and economic climate for all races.


Click here to access an archive of our Annual Year in Reviews.


2014 Year in Review Cover
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