Young Leaders' Network

The Young Leaders’ Network (YLN) launched in the aftermath of the alarming rhetoric of the November 2016 election cycle. Capitalizing on the increased interest in protecting and promoting civil rights, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee formed YLN to help young lawyers and young leaders in other fields connect, learn, and act. The YLN Steering Committee includes Asif Bhatti, McKinsey & Company; Rose Clouston, National Democratic Training Committee; Ahmadou Dramé, Safer Foundation; Greg Schweizer, Eimer Stahl LLP; and Andrew Stulce, McGuireWoods LLP,

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If you are a young professional passionate about advancing racial equity and economic opportunity, you can help Chicago Lawyers’ Committee by joining our $40 under 40 campaign! Your monthly gift makes a big impact over time, ensuring our fight for justice continues.


YLN is an interdisciplinary space for young leaders across fields and sectors to network, build relationships, and nurture shared values underlying civil rights, including fairness, race equity, economic opportunity, dignity, respect, and community empowerment.


YLN provides opportunities to learn about the history of the U.S. civil rights movement and how it links to contemporary civil rights issues in our city, state, and nation. Through interactions with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee staff, board, and partner organizations, YLN members gain a deeper understanding of civil rights laws and the current threats to roll them back in education, housing, voting rights, criminal justice, and community economic development.


Self-organized by its members, YLN supports the mission of Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights by creating opportunities for young leaders to act through pro bono legal work to assist the organization’s clients and fundraising events to support Chicago Lawyers’ Committee. YLN also hosts public educational events that include community activists and leaders from a broad range of disciplines, and develops concrete resources to support communities most impacted by poverty and racial inequity.

YLN Public Events

YLN continues to host public events, including a series of Crucial Community Conversations that explore Big Questions related to root causes of violence and develop concrete resources to support community-based leaders working towards solutions. Past events include:

Chicago’s Fight for Education Equity | In July of 2019, YLN hosted another Crucial Community Conversation at the Bronzeville Incubator, a locally-owned event space focused on supporting innovators with social missions, that centered around a discussion of Chicago’s past and present fights for education equity. This discussion featured speakers Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of “A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago since the 1960s”; Elisabeth Greer, the lead plaintiff in the successful lawsuit blocking the closing of the exceptional National Teachers’ Academy (NTA) elementary school; Rosie Simpson, a longtime Chicago activist from the Englewood neighborhood who joined the 1963 boycott of Chicago Public Schools to challenge what she coined as the “Willis Wagons”; and moderator Candace Moore, former staff attorney at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the city’s first Chief Equity Officer.

Discussion on the Roots of Community Violence | In April of 2018, around 75 community organizers, lawyers, bankers, architects, public health officials, and educators gathered downtown at Motorola Solutions to discuss the roots of community violence and holistic approaches to healing with Quinn Rallins of the Illinois Justice Project, Dr. Selwyn Rogers of UChicago Medicine's adult trauma center,  artist and organizer Jasamine "Tweak" Harris, and Motorola's Sirisha Yadlapati. 

Mayoral Forum on Civil Rights | In January of 2018, YLN hosted a panel discussion with Chicago’s mayoral candidates to discuss their big ideas for a more just and equitable city. Alden Loury, Senior Editor for WBEZ’s desk on race, class and communities moderated the forum. Candidates Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti, John Kozlar, Lori Lightfoot, Garry McCarthy, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson addressed issues of education equity, voting rights, and police reform.