Black Leaders United: Boldly Championing Chicago’s Black Community

United Way of Metro Chicago is proud to announce our newest affinity group — Black Leaders United! While the Black Leaders United (BLU) Council has already been hard at work behind the scenes for several months, the group is making big moves and extending an invitation to join in this work.

Studies have shown that the zip code a person grows up in can have a profound impact on their opportunities in life. This means that some of our neighbors in Chicago will not have the same doors opened to them. Black Leaders United is dedicated to eliminating differential outcomes that disproportionately impact Black communities.

This group of innovators and collaborators are advocating for programs and initiatives that stabilize black communities throughout the city and suburbs. By establishing committees focused on United Way’s impact areas of health, education, financial stability and safety net, BLU is supporting United Way’s efforts to ensure that every family across our region has access to the wraparound services needed to succeed.

“I chose to join Black Leaders United because of the opportunity to direct resources to the communities that matter most to me,” said Tanya Anthony, BLU financial stability impact lead and budget director for Cook County. “ I am excited to work with like-minded people who are dedicated to devoting their time and talent to uplifting and ensuring equity in OUR communities.”

With an active group of professionals from a variety of backgrounds and industries, members bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Networking events provide opportunities to learn more about the work and meet the people who are driving the change. Grow your network by working alongside a diverse set of leaders to address the issues that impact our region.

“Being a part of Black Leaders United is important to me because it generates a space in my life to provide a pathway; a pathway that will help lead the charge of enabling racial equity in our Chicagoland communities for our children,” said Jessica Caffrey, BLU executive administrator and director of real estate for Cook County.

Darnell Johnson, BLU Chairman and spiritual & social architect for Humanity Solutions Group added: “Many see the social inequity and ask ‘Why?’ Black Leaders United sees its racial equity advocacy as a catalyst to a social revolution and asks ‘Why not?’”

If you’re interested in learning more about this dynamic group, click here and RSVP today to join us for the Black Leaders United Open House on Tuesday, February 19 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm at the United Way of Metro Chicago offices. For more details, email

If you’re ready to amplify United Way’s impact through fundraising, advocacy and leadership opportunities, join BLU today!