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.
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.
Office of Congresswoman
Ellen Ray has worked in Chicago as a community organizer and nonprofit leader for two decades. In her previous role as Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Cares, she reshaped the organization’s approach to civic engagement, launched their community investment strategy, and developed innovative approaches to help Chicagoans find their place and their power to advance social change. Prior to her role at Chicago Cares, Ellen served as Center for Changing Lives’ (CCL) Executive Director. In addition to her full-time job, Ellen has a vibrant consulting practice, Partners in Change LLC, that brings coaching to organizational development, strategy, and change efforts.
Eugene Robinson, Jr.
Eugene Robinson, Jr. serves as Director of Student Engagement, with a focus on strategically managing all student engagement activities across 500+ CPS schools impacting over 100k+ students. Before this role, Eugene served as the Sr. Program Manager for Mentoring and Out of School Time. As manager, he oversaw a portfolio of over 365+ CPS schools engaging over 75k+ students annually in out-of-school time programming and an OST catalog of 170+ Community Partners. Prior to returning to CPS, he served as the Interim School Director of The University of Chicago Charter School High School, Woodlawn Campus. Eugene earned his undergraduate degree from Chicago State University and a Masters in Social Work from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at The University of Chicago. He also completed Culinary Arts education at Washburne Culinary Institute and is an alumnus of City Year Chicago (an AmeriCorps program).
Sejal Shah-Myers is the executive director of Springboard Foundation Fund, which improves the lives of students by supporting grassroots educational afterschool programs and their intrepid leaders. She also consults with family foundations and corporations on creating nonprofit-centered philanthropy. Sejal has a unique 360-degree view of philanthropy as fundraiser, grantmaker, and consultant and has taught at several universities. 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