what makes Signature
a rich experience?

Leadership Evanston Signature Program uses four ways to change the world: get proximate, change the narrative, preserve hope, get uncomfortable.

This framework sets up our dynamic year in everything we do: interviews, research, readings, encounters, exercises, and discussions. View the photo gallery highlights from the 2017-2018 class.


During the 10 month, September to June program, participants meet with a large variety of Evanston leaders once a month. Our conversations with leaders are in-depth, forthright, and thought provoking. Speakers include elected officials, the superintendents of school districts 65 and 202, and leaders in human services, business, and the arts, as well as the founders of small nonprofits and grassroots advocates.


participants build a networkTwenty-sux years; 700+ graduates

Leadership Evanston builds relationships as a key benefit of the program.  Class member get to know one another and have the opportunity to share views, perceptions and feelings in a safe and respectful environment.


Every month the class meets in a different community space to broaden participants’ view and knowledge of community resources: Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, Evanston Ecology Center, Family Focus, Technology Innovation Center, McGaw YMCA, YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Rotary International, Evanston Hospital, ETHS, District 65 Hill Education Center, and many churches and synagogues.

Every month the food is ordered from a local business to spotlight local food vendors including Bagel Art, Feast and Imbibe, Curt’s Café, Boltwood, Dave’s Italian Kitchen, ETHS Catering, Chef’s Station.

participative exercises

Leadership Evanston is not just to learn more about Evanston but also to learn more about one's responsibility as a citizen leader and acquire techniques to be effective. Engaging in a variety of exercises that both help the group work together and learn skills to use after the program has ended the participant will bring this “tool box” back to their own work within the community. Whether it’s creating an identity molecule to examine our own attitudes about diversity, playing team building exercises to reflect on group process and collaboration, engaging in a role-play exercise with police officers, or drawing an icon of our own community spaces, Leadership Evanston participants learn by doing and by having fun!