2018 LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

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A big thank you to all of our ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Fellows and Members who joined over 100,000 people in the region by participating in On The Table. The Acting Up award is now open until May 31st, so be sure to submit an application here.


We’re excited to announce that applications for the 2018 Leadership Institute open June 6th! We hope you will consider applying or nominating someone you know for this unique program.


Over the last two years, the program has seen huge growth. In a new blog post, Executive Director, Emily Harris, highlights the impressive evolution of this one of a kind program. Additionally, be sure to continue to check back in the coming weeks for new updates to the Leadership Institute, the Members Network, and the Civic Connections Project.

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Image featuring two rows of our 2017 ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Fellows


ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, a signature initiative of the Chicago Community Trust, is the first program of its kind in the nation designed specifically to ensure that Chicago’s vibrant civic and professional life fully includes leaders with disabilities.

The initiative is composed of three facets:

It directly addresses two critical needs: the desire of public officials, non-profit boards and other appointed civic leaders for a pipeline of qualified people with disabilities; and the perception of many people with disabilities that they lack access to the networks that facilitate entry to leadership positions. Click any of the links above to learn more about our program.

Want to learn more about how to get involved and support people with disabilities? Check out this Microsoft blog post written by Shelley Stern Grach from our Executive Committee.

Special thanks to our contributors and partners: lead supporter The Chicago Community Trust, legacy supporter Exelon, and contributors BMO Harris Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Microsoft, and Hyatt Hotels Foundation.

Meet Our Members

Image featuring three of our members from ADA 25 Advancing Leadership listening in a meeting

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is thrilled to report a significant increase in membership in its first year. A new class of Fellows was officially announced at the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit on October 21st, 2016. The summit was hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. In 2017, 16 new emerging leaders with disabilities will participate in our program's second Leadership Institute retreat. An additional 19 Members were invited to join the Members Network in 2016. For the complete list of program Fellows and Members visit the Members page.