Founder & President
Bea Young has been supporting educational equity since her teaching days in the 1960s. She spent the summer of 1964 in Mississippi helping develop the curriculum for the Civil Rights Freedom Schools. In 1965, she became the first Education Services Director for the Illinois Commission on Human Relations and was later appointed its Executive Director. After ten years with the State of Illinois, she became a consultant in the corporate world where she advanced diversity, inclusion, and cultural change efforts for many Fortune 500 companies for several decades.
In 2010, returning to her first love, education, Bea founded Bea Young Associates, LLC: Collaboration for Educational Equity focused solely on educational organizations. She has since consulted with many Illinois colleges and school districts, helping them identify practices to address systemic racism and achieve educational equity. The results have been achieved through her copyrighted process called the Equity & Cultural Audit. The Audit process provides anonymous perceptions of stakeholders at all levels, Board members, administrators, teachers, support staff, students and families. Using this Equity Audit process, outstanding results were achieved in two Illinois school districts and became the subject of the recent book Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap, co-authored with her colleagues Dr. Carmen Ayala, then Superintendent of North Berwyn School District 98 and business partner Michael Kilgore.
Bea and her colleagues have been invited to present new approaches to diversity, inclusion and equity for key educational organizations such as: Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Community College Trustee Association, the Statewide Annual Illinois Administrators Conference, Courageous Conversations in Race and Ethnicity Annual Conference, Illinois Women in Educational Leadership Conference, the IEA/ NEA Annual President’s/Superintendent’s Forum and the Annual Illinois Conference for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students.
Bea holds her BA and MAT degrees from the University of Chicago, where she also worked toward her doctorate in Social Systems. She completed advanced studies in Organization and System Development at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and has been a member of the National Training Laboratories since 1978.
As an alum, the University of Chicago awarded Bea the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. President's Diversity Leadership Award for Diversity and Inclusion on January 23, 2023.