Why We Can’t Wait – 2021 Chicago Virtual Event Recap
On May 26th, 2021, buildOn hosted a virtual event featuring buildOn Chicago students, corporate leaders, artists, and supporters. We are still in awe of all the inspiring voices, performances, and support that we witnessed. Below are some of our favorite quotes, clips, and moments from this special evening.
We are so grateful to award-winning journalist and NBC 5 News Anchor Stefan Holt for co-hosting the event. His compassion, grace, and natural presence made him the perfect person to lead the occasion.
The global inequity gap is widening, and our future is on the line. We need to act now to ensure that every community has the opportunity to bounce back and to thrive once this pandemic is behind us.Stefan Holt
With her leadership, passion for service, and love for Chicago students, buildOn Chicago Program Director Kim Townsend served as a phenomenal co-host alongside Stefan Holt.
For me, an inclusive world looks like everyone working as a community to create positive and sustainable change. An inclusive world means everyone is able to express themselves without feeling judged. It’s a world where no one group shoulders the burden of justice more than others. Everyone has the same opportunities to live out their full potential. Achieving this inclusive world takes commitment, dedication, and hard work, but it is possible.Kim Townsend
Omar Arroyo, a junior at Schurz High School, shared his experience serving during the pandemic and Why We Can’t Wait to serve others.
That’s something I’ve really appreciated about buildOn this past year: while a lot of the community was closed off from each other, doing service kept students like me feeling connected and supported. Service helped keep the community together.Omar Arroyo
Yafae Cotton, a junior at Michele Clark High School, discussed the role service and buildOn has played in his life and Why We Can’t Wait to take action.
Through the crucial conversations at buildOn about race and identity, I learned that we are our ancestors’ wildest dreams — we have to make every opportunity worth it, just do our best and remember that they walked so we can run.Yafae Cotton
Alan Murray and Mellody Hobson
Another one of the night’s many highlights came when Alan Murray, CEO of FORTUNE, interviewed Mellody Hobson, President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments. Mellody and Alan had a truly inspiring conversation regarding corporate action, sustainable change, and how business can play a role in advancing racial justice, equity, and more.
The difference this time with the civil rights movement is that it is at the feet of corporate America.Mellody Hobson
Angel Lopez was our 2021 Chicago Constructive Leadership Award winner! Angel is a recent graduate of Benito Juarez High School and the former President of the buildOn Leadership Team. Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Angel!
buildOn has always been focused on helping to grow and build communities. Not just communities among communities, but communities among leaders – leaders who can rely on each other and grow and make an impact on society.Angel Lopez
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros.
Over the course of the event, we also had the privilege of hearing from some incredible musicians and artists, including Chicago-based singer-songwriter Katie Kadan, Andy Grammer, and Bob Weir and Wolf Bros.
Thank you to every person who showed up and expressed their support of building a more just and inclusive world. We are so grateful for all the amazing people that make up the buildOn Movement. If you didn’t get a chance to attend and would like to show your support through a donation, it’s not too late! Make a donation to buildOn Chicago here.