2019 Conference


Next Generation of Political Leaders Running for Office | Recap

This panel will feature a group of exciting young Illinois politicians who represent the next generation of political change in the state of Illinois and the nation. Panelists will tackle questions about the importance of political participation, the challenges facing young people who hope to break into the political system, and the ways that younger Americans might transform our gridlocked politics for the better.

Will Guzzardi, Democratic Illinois state representative, 39th District
Erika N.L. Harold, 2018 Republican candidate for Illinois attorney general.
Lamont J. Robinson Jr., Democratic Illinois representative, 5th district.

Stephanie Farmer, associate professor of sociology, Roosevelt University.


Nonpartisan Leadership in Difficult Times | Recap

What does it take to be an effective leader in today’s polarized world? Policy experts will discuss the future of nonpartisan leadership and how to promote opportunity for all — regardless of race, gender or income.

Julianne Malveaux, founder and president, Economic Education.

Ralph Martire, executive director, CTBA and Arthur Rubloff Endowed Professor of Public Policy.


The New Architecture of Violence Reduction in Chicago | Recap

Violence in Chicago is a topic of local and national concern. While we have seen significant decreases in violence — the Austin community had a 47% reduction in violence from 2016 to 2018 — violence continues to plague Chicago. Past efforts have made some progress in some communities. More is needed. In 2016, the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago was established. Along with other partners, we began building a collaborative architecture of grassroots organizations working to reduce violence.

Miguel Cambray, director of employment, READI Chicago.
Ernest Cato III, 15th district commander, Chicago Police Department.
Ric Estrada, chief executive officer, Metropolitan Family Services.
Teny Oded Gross, founder and executive director, the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago.

Vaughn Bryant, director, Communities Partnering 4 Peace.


Activism and Grassroots Change | Recap

Our panel on activism and grassroots change will feature nationally recognized grassroots activists and nonprofit leaders who spend their days working to make positive change on important social, economic and political issues of the day. Panelists will share their expertise on how to organize national campaigns, discuss the intersection of politics and social justice and talk together about the lessons of the past several years of activism, contentious politics and electoral outcomes.

Sheerine Alemzadeh, cofounder, Healing to Action.
Ben Wikler, chair, Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Bethany Barratt, professor of political science, Roosevelt University.


A Conversation with Melissa Conyears-Ervin | Recap

Melissa Conyears-Ervin, treasurer of the City of Chicago, discusses the value of mentorship, the commitment of being mentor/mentee, persistence in education, overcoming the challenges in building a professional career, and seeking help and advice along the way — because no one achieves success alone.

Moderated by Justin Shea, visiting assistant professor of finance for the Heller College of Business.

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