24th leadership group focused on community issues
June 10, 2016 | ECF Press Release
Leadership Evanston is an intensive ten-month experience, developing leaders for Evanston who have been exposed to our community's diverse perspectives.
Participants gain a deep and broad knowledge of Evanston, examine and practice key leadership skills, and work in project groups that tackle some of Evanston’s most challenging problems.
learning and experiencing
Jennifer G. Moran, Leadership Evanston Director, said, “This year, we applied Bryan Stevenson’s tenets of working successfully in community: a willingness to listen closely, get proximate to tough challenges, and create a space for possible solutions. The class projects reflected this, inspiring collective purpose and willingness to collaborate.”
This year’s small group projects addressed a wide range of major community challenges. The Career Awareness and Pathway Exposure (CAPE) project focused on providing an opportunity for D65 middle school students to begin exploring career options before entering high school. The Tiny Homes project proposed creative solutions to homelessness and affordable housing issues. The Accessible Mental Health – Text a Tip project proposed bringing an anonymous text message service which has had success in other communities, allowing teens to connect with professional social work services. The Equity project worked on building capacity for the Books & Breakfast organization. The Dear Evanston project created an online space to collect stories, interviews, art pieces and conversations for all who are affected by the ongoing challenge of violence in Evanston.
Reflecting on the year, Family & Community Engagement Coordinator at Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Ismalis “Izzy” Nuñez said, “You think you know Evanston. I have worked here for six years, and Leadership Evanston has opened my eyes to the real work that needs to be done.” Assistant Youth & Young Adult Program Manager for the City of Evanston, Porschia Davis said, “Leadership Evanston created an environment to expand my network, enabling me to think creatively about collaboration that will better our community.”
Class XXIV graduates include:
Fabiola Alfonso, YWCA Evanston/North Shore; Jennifer Arrington, North Shore Yoga; Brina Auguste, community counselor; Karena Bierman, Rotary International; Melissa Blount, psychologist; Juliet Bond, Literature for All of Us; Joan Casey, NorthShore University HealthSystem; Porschia Davis, City of Evanston; Elizabeth Feiertag, Mudlark Theater; Nicholas Gehl, Evanston Township High School; Linda Gerber, retired journalist; Josh Gilbert, Temperance Beer Company; Toni Goerhing, Cherry Preschool; Bobbi Goldman, Have Dreams; Willie Gregory, The Renaissance Collaborative; James Hagedorn, Bramer Animal Hospital; TeeNeka Jones-Gueye, Infant Welfare Society; Nina Kavin, activist; Dennis Leaks, Evanston Police Department; Aimee Long, Allowance for Good; Tracy Lawson McKeithen, Family Promise Chicago North Shore; Karen McLeod, Rotary International; Amy Monday, Evanston Community Foundation; Ismalis Nuñez, Evanston/Skokie District 65; Kathy Shaw, community volunteer; Abigayle Shay, Northwestern University; Sandra Smith, Evanston Public Library; Mitchell Smith, Ebenezer Primm Towers; Hannah Steinman, Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.); and Cynthia Wilson, Garrett Theological Seminary.
alumni and upcoming XXV cohort begins in the fall
This year’s class joins an alumni group of over 650 people, 80% of whom still live or work in Evanston. Applications are being accepted for the 25th class of Leadership Evanston now through mid-August. Individuals from all neighborhoods and sectors in Evanston are encouraged to participate. Payment plans and scholarships are available.
about the foundation
The Evanston Community Foundation, celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2016, helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community. It builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good. The Foundation builds endowments for current and future opportunities, fosters private philanthropy, focuses the impact of collective giving, finds solutions to community challenges, allocates grants, and provides leadership training. To learn more about the Evanston Community Foundation follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.