Calling all Core Members! Every year we have the chance to celebrate and honor the leaders among us who have gone above and beyond to promote, support, preserve, and champion their cultures and their institutions. Outstanding Community Leaders are nominated by Core Members, and voted on by Core Members. Tell us who deserves to be celebrated!

For a great example of how the Outstanding Community Leader Award can have an impact, check out this article on Sherry Williams from last year: “A Bronzeville Historian Is Making Black Chicago History More Accessible — And She Wants To Hear Your Family’s Story”

An Outstanding Community Leader Award can be used to generate a press release (I’m happy to help with that!), to spur excitement with your own organization’s donor network, to use in your year-end fundraising efforts, to promote your credentials when applying for grants, and so on!


The nomination application must be sent as a Word or Google Doc to Abby Foss at [email protected] no later than 11:59pm CST on Friday, March 4. 

Your application should include a short biography of your nominee (max 100 words), and an explanation of how they are an example of an Outstanding Community Leader for your community or your organization (max 1000 words).
Examples of their work could include how they:
1. Help shape a more genuine and encompassing representation of his/her community
2. Bring more visibility to the community by adapting to changing neighborhood and city demographics
3. Embrace the values of inclusion and tolerance in making a more culturally vibrant city
4. Pioneer new ideas and experimental practices
5. Exemplify being an empathetic & understanding leader towards ALL people

Use any of the above in your narrative, but most importantly just speak from the heart on why this person is an important leader who goes above and beyond for their community!

Please read the full details of what to include in the application here.

You will be asked to present a short presentation (5 minutes max) on your nominee at the in-person Activating Heritage event on Monday, March 21 at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, 4740 N Western Ave. If you cannot attend this event but want to nominate someone, please let us know and we will read a short presentation in your place.

Short bios of all nominees will also be emailed to all Core Members of the Alliance, so everyone who could not attend in-person will also have the opportunity to learn about the nominees.

After the presentations and the bios have been shared, all Core Members will have the chance to vote for an Outstanding Community Leader via a Google form. Voting will be open from March 21-25. Results will be announced in the MemberWire newsletter on April 1, and we can celebrate together at the Virtual Town Hall on April 1 at 3pm!