Who We Are
Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has a disability, yet individuals with disabilities are vastly underrepresented in professional and civic leadership roles. ADA 25 Advancing Leadership has a bold strategy and groundbreaking programs—the first of their kind in the nation—for bringing greater disability inclusion to tables of power and influence in the Chicago region.
What We Do
ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is creating a Chicago region where people with disabilities:
- LEAD - Our Civic Connections Project increases the number of people with disabilities in professional and civic leadership positions.
- CONNECT - Our Members Network: provides mentoring, support, and ongoing civic engagement opportunities for leaders with disabilities.
- GROW - Our Leadership Institute: is a year-long leadership development program for emerging leaders with disabilities.
144 Civic Advancements
113 Members and Fellows
Vision And Mission
OUR VISION: People with disabilities leading with power and influence for full participation and equal opportunity as a vital part of the civic fabric in the Chicago region.
OUR MISSION: To increase civic engagement and diverse leadership in the Chicago region by developing and building a network of leaders with disabilities — consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Board of Directors
- Ann Manikas, American Medical Association Chicago
- Karen Tamley, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
- Azeema Akram, Illinois Commerce Commission
- Laurie Dittman, City of Chicago
- Bob Eichinger, The Chicago Community Trust
- Daisy Feidt, Access Living
- Joanie Friedman, University of Chicago - Office of Civic Engagement
- Tsehaye Geralyn Hebert, Playwright
- Sarah Helm, Discover Financial Services
- Brian Heyburn, Ph.D. Student in Disability Studies
- Antonio Martinez, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation
- Melissa Reishus, Seaglass Group
- Jewel Ware, Jewels of Success
- Emily Blum, Executive Director
- Robin Burnett, Director, Education and Operations
- Risa Jaz Rifkind, Director, Civic Engagement and Marketing
- Alexandra Perez-Garcia, Associate Director, Development and Communications