Grand Victoria Foundation
Sharon leads the Grand Victoria Foundation, which builds and sustains bold leadership to ensure Illinois communities are great places to live and work. She is also the board chair of Mikva Challenge, one of the top action civics organizations in the country. Sharon has a strong track record of collaboration and a proven ability to motivate individuals, influence organizations, and shape policies.
Vivianne leads HmntyCntrd, a professional growth community — focused on building more holistically human-centered leaders in UX & Tech through community, courses & consulting — that received a Most Innovative Design Company award from FastCompany. She is also leveraging her experiences in human services & UX to build a new business in the cannabis industry. Vivianne has a strong track record influencing executives, educating others on trauma-informed care, & empowering others to challenge the status quo.
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Sylvia is a dynamic leader who excels at strategic problem solving and managing high pressure situations with poise, competence and a sense of humor. Most recently Sylvia led the day to day operations of the Chicago Transit Authority as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff. Prior to CTA, Sylvia spent almost a decade working for the federal government in Washington D.C., shaping policy related to housing, community development, education, labor, health and transportation.
Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)
Ahmad Jitan is a community organizer, educator, and writer. At the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, he leads the Corner Store Campaign in addition to supporting IMAN’s other organizing and advocacy efforts. Like many other Palestinians and children of refugees, Ahmad has called many places home. An immigrant to the United States from a young age, he was raised predominantly in the U.S. South, whose culture of resilience and resistance he carries with him to this day. Ahmad has worked as an educator and community organizer advocating for young people, racial justice, and immigrant and refugee rights in Durham, NC; Brooklyn, NY; Beirut, Lebanon; and Nablus, Palestine.
Black Chicago Tomorrow
As the ED of Black Chicago Tomorrow, Danielle is responsible for leading the organization’s vision of creating a vibrant African American Community that benefits from and contributes to the region’s economy and society. Most recently, Harbison was an associate principal with Civic Consulting Alliance; prior to this, she served as the Chicago executive director for Peer Health Exchange, a non-profit focused on advancing health equity for young people. Harbison is a graduate of The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
Era is a leader at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, which protects the fundamental rights, liberties and dignity of each person whose case has been entrusted to us by providing the finest legal representation. Era is also a Chicago United for Equity Fellow where she works on various equity projects. Era has served in numerous leadership roles in criminal justice/juvenile justice reform, implementing policies that enhance positive outcomes for justice-involved people.
Ellen Ray serves as Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Cares, which mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger, more unified Chicago. She is also the President and Principal of Partners in Change, LLC, a vibrant consulting practice that brings coaching and facilitation to organizational development, leadership, and strategy. Ellen has a robust history building community and shaping organizational change. She coaches people and organizations to build a more just and equitable world.
Eugene Robinson, Jr.
Eugene Robinson, Jr., currently serves as the Assistant High School Director of The University of Chicago Charter School (UCCS). Prior to his role at UCCS he was the Director of Postsecondary Support and Strategy for the Office of Innovation and Incubation at Chicago Public Schools, where he supported over 50+ high schools. Over the course of his professional career he has held various positions within the K-16 educational setting. Eugene earned his undergraduate degree from Chicago State University and a master’s in Social Work from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice at The University of Chicago.
Sejal Shah-Myers is the executive director of Springboard Foundation, which improves the lives of students by supporting grassroots educational afterschool programs and their intrepid leaders. She also consults with corporations on creating mission-aligned philanthropy programs for their employees. Sejal has a unique 360-degree view of philanthropy as fundraiser, grantmaker, and consultant. She has a history as a strong relationship builder and creative problem solver.
Meet Our Team
We are researchers, creatives, facilitators and strategists. Together, we are evolving our practice to expand the definition of “design.”Learn More