Listen to past discussions in our acclaimed Seven Strong Speaker Series —Why City Colleges of Chicago Matters: Empowering Black Lives — addressing Black equity and opportunity.

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We invite you to listen to past discussions in our acclaimed Seven Strong Speaker Series —Why City Colleges of Chicago Matters: Empowering Black Lives — addressing Black equity and opportunity. View each of the panel discussions by clicking here.  

Upon reflection we know that the past year was extraordinary in so many ways as the pandemic threw a glaring spotlight on racial inequities, that in turn, raised searing questions about what is justice, what is law, what is order, and why do we continue to live with institutionalized racism?

These questions formed the basis of the discussions that took place in our groundbreaking City Colleges of Chicago Foundation’s Seven Strong Speaker Series titled Why City Colleges Matter: Empowering Black Lives. These incredible webinars featured renowned experts in their fields of finance, civil rights, education, philanthropy, government, and technology. Below is what some of them said.

“City Colleges are a critically important part of our ecosystem in bringing Chicago where it needs to be.” ~ John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Ariel Investments. Series on Championing Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion.

“Community colleges are even better suited to prepare students for the most in-demand industries right now than any other schools are.” ~ David Clunie, CEO, Black Economic Alliance. Series on Championing Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion.

“We need every sector saying ‘our goal is every young person in Chicago is going to get a postsecondary credential,’ not just a high school diploma.” ~ John B. King, Jr., CEO, The Education Trust. Series on Reimagining Black Student Achievement and Economic Success.

“It’s sitting right in front of you – the data is totally clear that the community college system is the unsung hero of the economy and corporate training.” ~ Austan Goolsbee, The University of Chicago Booth School. Series on Reimagining Black Student Achievement and Economic Success.

The series also helped us raise funds for CCCF’s Black Excellence and Equity Fund. This fund creates a safety net for students, eliminating barriers to their academic success and ensuring an equitable space for students. To learn more or to donate, click here.

Established on August 20, 1971, the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation exists to secure philanthropic resources to support a wide array of educational programs and services available to City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). The Foundation provides private donors with the opportunity to support the students, alumni, faculty, and staff of City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) through various programs and initiatives.

The Foundation is a separate, not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization, governed by an independent board of directors. The Foundation focuses on providing financially for the needs of the City Colleges of Chicago that cannot be met through government funding or student tuition income. Governed by an independent Board of Directors, CCF has awarded millions in scholarships since 2010, which has helped support student persistence and completion. Rhonda K. Brown is president of City Colleges of Chicago Foundation. For 22 years, she has been working in the not-for-profit sector leading advancement initiatives that build capacity and awareness in the arts, healthcare and higher education.

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