Reimagine Retreat

Reimagine Retreat

A Space for District Equity Leaders to Re-Envision Systems Change

Space to Reimagine

Earlier this year, Chicago Beyond brought together 22 school district equity leaders from across the country to attend Chicago Beyond’s Reimagine Retreat. Led by our Chief Innovation Officer and former inaugural Chief Equity Officer at Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Maurice Swinney, the gathering created space for leaders to collaborate and learn together to advance equity in education nationwide. 

In April, the equity leaders reconvened to share the educational equity initiatives that each leader will drive in their respective districts. Participants supported each other in driving systems change by providing feedback on their chosen initiatives and helping to ideate tangible paths to move forward.

“For me, this retreat was at the crossroads of intersectionality and allyship. It strengthened my approach towards dismantling systemic barriers in different ways,” said Candice Castillo, Houston ISD. “[It was also about] what I should consider when finding a better way to amplify voices and perspectives of the communities I am serving.”

The cohort will continue to meet throughout 2023 and harness the power of collaboration to continue driving equity initiatives in school districts across the country. Dr. Swinney will be leveraging his learnings to develop a roadmap to kindle a national movement to support equity in education. 

The retreat explored approaches and tools to drive equity for young people through policy change and a sense of connectedness for future collaboration. Retreat participants grappled with questions such as:


How to see barriers as opportunities?


How to build pathways to address policy changes and resource allocation?


How to decide what leadership moves to make in any given context? ​

About Chicago Beyond

Chicago Beyond is an impact investor that works to ensure all young people have the opportunity to live a free and full life. Since its inception, Chicago Beyond has invested more than $40 million in ideas, individuals, and organizations that support all young people in achieving their fullest human potential. Because there is no single barrier to equity, Chicago Beyond invests in everything from education to youth safety, health, wellness, and beyond.