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New Leaders Council

Our Mission

Our Mission: NLC Chicago catalyzes the next generation of diverse, progressive leaders to create change and build more inclusive and equitable communities.

Our Values: We recognize that in impactful, progressive movements, process is just as important as outcomes. With that in mind, we commit to six core values by which our chapter comports itself – collectively and individually:


We believe in equity over equality – giving everyone what they need to be successful versus treating everyone the same. We believe in active and ongoing interrogation of existing power dynamics.

Diversity and Inclusion

Our policies and procedures will center dignity for all. We acknowledge that addressing diversity without addressing the power imbalance that results from racism perpetuates systemic inequities in all institutional systems. Our organizational processes, selection of fellows, selection of speakers, and curriculum content are inclusive of the communities and knowledge that lie outside traditional power structures, and they do not center dominant-identity experiences.


We believe in individual accountability for actions, behaviors, commitments; and awareness of one’s social location, privilege, and enactment of fragility. We believe in organizational accountability for fellowship content and training, past decisions of the board, past actions of the chapter and national organization; and our chapter’s effect on the environment and our impact in communities. We believe in accountability to differences; that consensus among the board is not the goal in all cases, but that there’s value in understanding points of disagreement and still working collaboratively in a way that is informed by that.

Humanity Over Expediency

We see difficult conversations as valuable and we give them space. We maintain an appreciation for inquiry and we encourage thoughtful clarification of issues and systems that may not be fully understood by all. We give others the benefit of the doubt and focus on impact rather than speculate on a person’s intention.


We will maintain clarity around organizational decision-making, and uniform and consistent application of policies and procedures. We will be upfront about individual and group norms and expectations. 


We take calculated risks, identify problems that need to be solved, and test ideas. We balance sustainable growth and take advantage of opportunities. We advance our fellows’ ideas to improve their community, city, state, country, or world, and provide resources to bring their vision to reality.

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North Carolina - Oakland - Omaha - Orlando - Palm Beach - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Rhode Island - Sacramento - San Antonio - San Francisco - Silicon Valley