Inspiring Inclusion: Ignite’s 1-Day Chicago Leadership Immersion

Chicago has been my home for 22 years. It’s the place I started my first company, met my best friends, and dove deeply into my own diversity and inclusion journey. I love this city for its incredible skyline and lakefront, its array of cultures and unique neighborhoods, and its midwestern yet progressive values. For two decades, this city has shaped me, my ideas, my work. The people here have informed my purpose and passion, and they’ve challenged my privilege and politics. My development as a person and my growth as a leader are significantly tied to this place...and that is why I am so excited that Ignite is launching a leadership experience right here in Chicago.

Chicago: Foster Inclusion is a one-day leadership immersion to deepen cultural competence. The same elements of our multi-day and international journeys (cultural immersion, community engagement and leadership development) are woven into one powerful and productive day. The highlights include two training sessions focused on active listening and cultural awareness for diversity, equity and inclusion, a unique community engagement with Upwardly Global helping skilled immigrants and refugees prepare to enter the workforce, and lastly, an immersive ethnic cultural celebration with storytelling, music and some of the best food this city has to offer.

Why bring it local? For those who are familiar with Ignite or my background, you know I’ve been creating and leading these journeys internationally for more than a decade, and on some level, every journey I’ve facilitated has sought to elevate purpose, promote inclusion and cultivate leaders - now the core tenets of Ignite’s work. While four days in Mexico or nine in Africa have increased potential to lean into those tenets, the opportunities to create experiences that do the same in this country (and even our own backyard), are endless. Purpose, inclusion and leadership are enhanced through our experiences because we take people out of their routine, connecting them with new communities and cultures, which become the context for robust experiential learning.

Learning and development is a primary focus for this experience. We’ve collaborated with leadership experts like Alida Miranda-Wolff, who will facilitate the diversity and inclusion trainings. Individuals and teams will leave with a 30-day action plan and tangible application to their job, team and company. And our experiences have proven to yield critical business and brand equity ROI with participants indicating:

81% are more motivated & Prepared to lead in a complex workplace

92% have a stronger connection to their company

86% are more culturally aware & globally minded

This is only the first of Ignite’s local one day experiences. In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out additional Chicago immersions around communication, emotional intelligence and innovation… all with our signature integration of cultural immersion, community engagement and leadership development. My co-founder Ryan Jeffery and I want to thank you for your support on this journey - we are here because of you...and for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more as we hope to be working with many of you in the near future.   

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