Field Foundation Announces Its First Leaders For A New Chicago Award Recipients

By June 12, 2019Field News

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CHICAGO — The Field Foundation today announced the 14 recipients of its inaugural Leaders for a New Chicago award, supported by a $2.1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to expand the definition of leadership in Chicago.

“In Chicago we have no shortage of brilliant minds working every day to change lives and reshape our city,” said Angelique Power, president, the Field Foundation. “We are so honored to be in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation as we hand over a megaphone, share resources, and then sit back and watch as these incredible people continue to soar, bringing our city to more just and beautiful places than we could’ve ever imagined.”

Although more than 60 percent of Chicago residents are from African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities, the city’s civic leadership does not reflect these demographics or the influence of other individuals and communities whose voices are often not heard.

The Leaders for a New Chicago award recognizes a range of established and emerging leaders who work across boundaries to build a Chicago that is responsive and equitable to all.


Monica Cosby, a leader of the participatory defense work at Westside Justice Center and one of the leading advocates for incarcerated women and the fight for post-incarceration rights in Chicago.

Luis Gutiérrez, founder of Latinos Progresando, which helps Latino immigrants navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and is the largest, Latinx-led immigration legal clinic in the state.

Darryl Holliday, co-founder and News Lab director at City Bureau, a civic newsroom based on Chicago’s South Side that has created a community-centered model for accountability journalism.

• Aymar Jean Christian, a scholar, producer, and writer/director, started Open Television in 2015 as a platform for intersectional media programming by Chicago-based artists.

• Tonika Lewis Johnson, a visual artist/photographer from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, who explores urban segregation and documents the nuance and richness of the black community.

• Page May, advocate, community organizer and co-founder of Assata’s Daughters, which creates a space where Black youth can learn political education from Black women and gender non-conforming people.

• Heather Miller (Wyandotte Nation), executive director of the American Indian Center, also serves as a Chicago-based advocate for the American Indian community through an art-centered focus.

• Emmanuel Pratt, co-founder and executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation, which practices Regenerative Neighborhood Development to transform vacant spaces and abandoned buildings in the Englewood and Washington Park neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.

• Viveka Ray-Mazumder, manager of youth organizing and the KINETIC program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, works to mobilize, coordinate, and encourage civic engagement and grassroots organizing among Asian American and immigrant youth in Chicago.

• Analia Rodriguez, a lifelong advocate for immigrant, labor, and women’s rights and executive director of Latino Union of Chicago. Rodriguez develops the leadership capacity of low-wage, immigrant workers so they can lead the fight themselves.

• Sarah Ross, co-founder and co-director of Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, which works at the intersection of art and justice, collaborating with incarcerated artists and writers to exhibit their work and engage in dialogue.

• Imelda Salazar, a longtime champion for justice in Southwest Chicago, first as a fully engaged community resident, then as a leader and now as an organizer with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP).

• Carlos Tortolero, a former Chicago Public Schools educator, is the founder and president of the National Museum of Mexican Art, a platform for driving civic dialogue through art exhibitions in Chicago’s Pilsen community.

• J. Gibran Villalobos, Partnership and Engagement Liaison with the Museum of Contemporary Art, who develops relationships with community-based organizations and artists through outreach and community engagement to amplify ALAANA voices in the arts.

“The city is eager for broader perspectives and new ways of telling our collective story,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “These awards will ensure more voices contribute to the decisions that shape our city. MacArthur is proud to partner with Field to increase access for innovative and effective individuals and organizations that reflect the city’s diversity. This is an opportunity for philanthropy to begin to reimagine how we recognize the leadership and power that exists in communities.”

Based on the Field Foundation’s innovative grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment, no-strings attached awards of $25,000 go to each of the 14 leaders, and an additional $25,000 goes to the general operating funds of their affiliated organizations.

As Chicago redefines itself, the Leaders for a New Chicago award will advance equity and access to opportunity. It will foster conditions that recognize and promote individuals who bring a broad diversity of backgrounds and experiences to civic debate about the city’s future.

The awardees are leaders who impact the civic and cultural life of our city. Whether they are well known or on the rise, the awardees all work to achieve a vision of a more equitable and just Chicago.

About the Field Foundation
Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for more than 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grantmaking toward the goal of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment. With racial equity at the center of its giving, it directs dollars to critical organizations working to address systemic issues in Chicago and aims to directly benefit some of our city’s most divested communities. Learn more at Field Foundation.

About the MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk and corruption in Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago. MacArthur has invested $1.4 billion in over 1,500 organizations and individuals across the Chicago region, more than any other place around the world. The Foundation’s Chicago Commitment is focused on strengthening organizations, contributing to civic partnerships, investing in vital communities, advancing influential and diverse leaders and cultivating creative expression and art.


For full 2019 Leaders bios, visit Meet the 2019 Leaders or click here:

Meet the 2019 Leaders


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