Applications are now CLOSED for the 2019 Leadership Institute!

Recruitment graphic with a photo of a woman in conversation and the text - You. Lead. You are: passionate, driven, confident, civically engaged, a person with a disability, a Chicagoan, read to impact your community. Apply for the Leadership Institute.Applications for the 2019 Leadership Institute are now CLOSED!
Final deadline: October 23, 2018.

If you would like to make a contribution to support the work of this program, click HERE.

Welcome 2018 Fellows!

2018 Fellows seated at the front of the room.

On December 7th, 2017, Helene Gayle, CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, announced the 2018 ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Fellows class alongside Karen Tamley, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and Co-Chair of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership.

“When a society is able to recognize its talents, then that society is able to be vibrant.”
– Helene Gayle, CEO of The Chicago Community Trust

The 20 competitively selected emerging leaders with disabilities will participate in a first of its kind in the nation year-long Leadership Institute. See all of our members on the Advancing Leadership Members webpage.

"We welcome the 20 outstanding 2018 Fellows to our network and know this diverse group holds great promise for the future of the Chicago region. In ADA 25 Advancing Leadership's third year, we are delighted to see the level of talent, expertise, and passion by all of our Fellows who will push to accomplish our vision that people with disabilities will lead with power and influence for full participation and equal opportunity..." Click here to read the full blog post by Emily Harris

Thank you to our members, partners, and supporters for helping to create a more vibrant and inclusive society!

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Disability is a natural part of the human experience and more than 56 million Americans have disabilities. Yet, people with disabilities have the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the nation. We are guided by the equal opportunity principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that pointed to a future where people with disabilities fully participate in American society. Changing the paradigm means including people with disabilities in leadership

- and it starts in Chicago.

Collage of various photos taken during the 2017 Leadership Institute retreat

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:

Meet Our Members

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

Over the last two years, ADA 25 Advancing Leadership has seen huge growth. In this blog post, Executive Director, Emily Harris, highlights the impressive evolution of this one of a kind program. 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.

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