CCC’s Harold Washington College named a Citizen Leadership Center by The Citizens Campaign, and just in time to celebrate our first Black Mayor’s 100th birthday!

By Crusader Staff

Recently, The Citizens Campaign announced the establishment of 10 Citizen Leadership Centers based primarily at community colleges around the nation. The Leadership Centers aim to give citizens the tools and know-how to exercise their power beyond the ballot, equipping them with the pragmatic, problem solving skills needed to work together.

The initiative’s first wave of Citizen Leadership Centers is being established in eight states beginning with community colleges including Illinois’ Harold Washington College, a City College. Other include: Bakersfield College (Bakersfield, CA); Highline College (borders Seattle, WA); Hagerstown Community College (Hagerstown, MD); Houston Community College (Houston, TX); Mercer County Community College (Trenton, NJ); Middlesex College (Perth Amboy, NJ); Pikes Peak Community College (Colorado Springs, CO) and Trident Technical College (Charleston, SC). A Citizen Leadership Center is also being established at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ.

“Empowering students in our college community has been part of Harold’s Washington’s DNA for a long time,” said Harold Washington President, Daniel Lopez. “To be recognized for the work in service to the people of the City of Chicago and the broader community is significant and just in time to celebrate our late former Mayor’s 100th birthday. We appreciate the work being done by community colleges across the country and are thankful for the acknowledgement and inclusion on this list as we are in good company. It is our hope that our work will continue to inspire others to lead.”

The formal announcement of this recognition and how its leadership curriculum will be implemented into the classroom will be held at 10 am on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at Harold Washington College (30 E. Lake Street in Chicago) in Room 1115.

These pioneering Citizen Leadership Center’s goal is to pave the way for a new national public service, designed to add a new dimension to America’s top-down mode of leadership. Citizens who work together at these centers help solve our nation’s problems by developing and advancing their own evidence-based proposals while upholding a high standard of service.

Jennifer Mason, Vice Chancellor for the City Colleges of Chicago shared, “It is essential that we equip our students and our community members to be active citizens with the power to shape the future of Chicago and the Nation. Establishing a Citizen Leadership Center at Harold Washington College is important to this critical mission.” (Hear V.C. Mason speak at 15:42).

The Citizens Campaign is a community of citizen problem-solvers dedicated to adding a citizen driven dimension to the country’s leadership capacity and to restoring service, civility and pragmatism to America’s political culture. To view the recording, visit

Harold Washington College was founded in 1962 as Loop College and it was renamed for the first African American to be elected Mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington, (1922–1987). The college was renamed after his sudden death in office in November 1987. Harold Washington College, one of CCC’s seven colleges, celebrates our former Mayor’s birthday in  April. To learn more about our amazing former Mayor and his accomplishments, click here.