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IMPACT will begin accepting applications for the 2021 cohort in September 2020. Please check back in September.


Since its launch in 2014, the IMPACT Leadership Development Program has assembled four extraordinary cohorts, each consisting of some of the brightest, most talented African American professionals in Chicago. These high-achieving leaders have gravitated toward IMPACT because of the professional advancement and networking opportunities that the program affords them.

Our cohorts are exceptionally diverse in terms of professional experience, educational background, and personal interests. We strongly believe that this diversity of thought and experience is crucial to our Fellows’ learning and development, and we openly welcome the different viewpoints and perspectives that each of our Fellows brings to the table.

IMPACT Fellows share the Chicago Urban League’s vision that a strong African American community is a better Chicago and are unified in their commitment to affecting positive change as their generation’s most influential leaders. Our hope is that this mutual commitment permeates the very fabric of our communities and inspires long-term social transformation.


“IMPACT is connecting talented emerging leaders with well-established ones. It is a really impressive program…and a critical leadership bridge.”

- James Reynolds, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Loop Capital

“IMPACT takes its Fellows to the next level. They get world class instruction from the Booth School of Business, hear personal stories from some of our best leaders, and reflect on the most important issues facing Chicago.”

- Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney

“This nine-month program combines leadership instruction from the University of Chicago, civic training from a variety of community leaders and one-on-one mentoring from respected and admired professionals. The IMPACT program provides significant value that will enhance the Fellows’ professional growth and civic engagement.”

- Kurt Summers, Treasurer, City of Chicago

“IMPACT is an amazing program that provides generational transfer of knowledge from experienced, established leaders to emerging leaders in an intentional, purposeful way. When you combine that with Booth’s training, mentoring and civic instruction… you hit a home run.”

- Terry Peterson, Vice President of Corporate and External Affairs, Rush University Medical Center

“As a former government leader, now serving as an executive at Allstate, I am really impressed by the talent the IMPACT program is attracting. They are building a powerful network of smart, innovative and inspiring African American leaders who will have a positive influence on Chicago today and into the future.”

- Stephanie Neely, Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, Allstate Insurance Company


For more information about IMPACT, contact Mavis Laing at