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Bea Young, our founder and president, is a 50-year pioneer in the field of Educational Equity, Racial Justice and managing complex Cultural Change efforts in organizations. 

Her passion for this work began in the early 1960s when she and her students at Thornton High School in Harvey, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, revised the curriculum to include Black history. Subsequently, she wrote her master’s thesis at the University of Chicago on African American history; then taught a graduate course at the Center for Inner City Studies of Northeastern Illinois University entitled, “The Educational Implications of African American History.” This work led to Mississippi where she helped design the curriculum for the Summer Freedom Schools of 1964.

Another milestone in her pioneering efforts occured in 1965 when she created the first Education Services Department at the Illinois Commission on Human Relations (ICOHR), providing race relations workshops and curriculum throughout many Illinois school districts.

Shortly thereafter she was selected by ICOHR’s Board of Directors to become its Executive Director, serving several Illinois governors. During her tenure, her staff developed proactive approaches to racial change in Illinois through departments of Police-Community Relations, Community Relations and Housing.

In 1976, she was invited to join Harbridge House, Inc., an international management consulting firm with corporate offices in Boston. Here she established their Managing Diversity Practice, once again pioneering diversity and inclusion work. Bea became the Executive Director of the Chicago office and a Sr. VP and member of the Executive team. 

When Harbridge House joined Coopers & Lybrand in l993, Bea opted to create her first entrepreneurial endeavor called Bea Young Associates and began to serve many profit and nonprofit organizations with diversity expertise. In 1997, she expanded her diversity and inclusion work through the creation of The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC, a racially diverse partnership introducing diversity and inclusion to such clients as Hewlett Packard, Owens Corning, Advocate Health Care, Northern Trust Banks, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, National Louis University, Moraine Valley Community College, the Illinois Association of School Boards and several Illinois school districts and communities.

Knowing that genuine societal change lies with the ability of schools to create educational equity for all students, Bea decided to focus all her efforts on 2010, forming Bea Young Associates, LLC: Collaboration for Educational Equity. She and her diverse and experienced associates have since worked with educational and community organizations such as the Denver Public Schools, the Village of Addison, DuPage High School District 88, Elgin Community College, Oakton College,  CityYear Chicago, the Illinois Association of School Boards, District 201U Crete-Monee, Plainfield District 202, North Berwyn District 98 and the Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska among others.


Read more about Bea Young →


Q&A: Educational Equity

Illinois School Board Association Journal

December, 2019

As answered by Bea Young Associates, LLC: Collaboration for Educational Equity and compiled by Theresa Kelly Gegen.


Forthcoming: “Equity: An Educational Imperative” 

IASB Presentation, Triple I Conference

November 22, 2019

“Building Bridges of Equity” 

IASB Presentation


“Achieving Educational Equity at Two Illinois School Districts”

IASB Presentation


“Changing Our Lens: Examining the Intersection of Higher Education, Administration and Classroom Educators Devoted to Social Justice.” 

National Association of Multicultural Educators (NAME) - Annual Conference

November 4, 2011

“The Processes Necessary to Create Continuous Improvement: A School District’s Journey”

ESEA-NCLB 2011 Annual Statewide Conference

February 8, 2011

“Developing an Equity Action Team for Accountability and Sustainability of Diversity”

Walking the Walk of Diversity Conference: Richland Community College

June 10, 2011

“A Fearless Journey to Achieve Educational Equity”

34th Annual Statewide Conference for Teachers of Linguistically & Culturally Diverse Students

December 7, 2010

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