Chicago Leaders Class FAQ

By Malik Alim |

Who is eligible to participate in the Chicago Leaders Class (CLC)?

While Roosevelt Institute activities are open to all undergraduate college students across the country, the Chicago Leaders Class is available to undergraduate students at any two year or four year college within the greater Chicago region. The class involves in-person participation on a weekly basis, and as such students need to be able to travel within the Chicago region.

Students with at least one full year remaining on their campus are encouraged to apply. The class is intended for students who are interested in policy change and is designed to help students build a Roosevelt chapter on their campus while working with students across the city on policy research, writing, and making lasting change.

What is the time commitment for the class?

Total time commitment: 12-14 hrs per month (3 hours per week) for 3 months, not including travel time to meetings or events. We will take final exams into account and adjust schedules accordingly.

  • The Chicago Leaders Class will meet once a week for approx. 2 hours at a time.
  • In addition, there will be 1 on 1 check-ins (about one-half hour each) by phone or in person 1-2x per month.
  • There will also be site visits 1-2x per month, approx 2 hrs each, depending on availability of the stakeholders we visit (elected officials, org and movement leaders etc).
  • Additionally, students are asked to spend 1-2 hrs per week outside of CLC working on a chapter or issue on their campus.

Where will CLC meet?

Classes will meet at the Roosevelt Institute office, located at 125 S Clark, 17th Floor. Our office is accessible by public transportation, conveniently located in the middle of the Chicago Loop. However, the class will also involve travel to site visits and schools within the Chicago area to meet with local policy stakeholders or to visit Roosevelt chapters. We can help build out transportation plans for the full group of students to these events if they are outside what we consider to be easily accessible downtown Chicago.

How can I apply for the Chicago Leaders Class?

[The application can be found here]. Applications are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, February 16, 2018. Our application process involves providing information about yourself as a student, short essay questions regarding your interest in Roosevelt, your policy area interests, and a resume. We expect to admit between 10-20 students depending on interest and application quality.

What does the CLC program involve?

As a participant, you’ll be part of a small cohort of emerging leaders across several Chicago area institutes of higher education. You will participate in conversations, debates and trainings around the policy issue areas identified as priorities by you and your peers. Participants will learn and practice Roosevelt methods for researching and writing public policy, while also working to organize students around specific policies on their campus.

Our program is designed for students who are interested in the kind of opportunities that the Roosevelt Institute provides. As part of the class, students will actively work to organize students on their campus and form a new Roosevelt chapter to continue the policy work they begin in class. Learn more about Roosevelt and the work we do [here].

Additionally, participants can expect to participate in several site visits with area stakeholders on topics we follow in the class. Whether local elected officials, advocacy organizations or impacted residents, students will receive a direct understanding of the impacts of policy decisions. In past semesters, students have been attendees at invite-only events with Roosevelt Institute fellows Ellen Chesler and Joseph Stiglitz.

What happens after the Chicago Leaders Class is finished?

Students who complete the Chicago Leaders Class and are working towards policy change on their campus through Roosevelt will be invited to attend a first of it’s kind local student conference in Hyde Park, Chicago in Spring of 2018. Modeled after our annual student conference in Hyde Park, New York, this conference will  bring together Roosevelt student leaders from across the state to set direction for Roosevelt’s local work. Students who go on to become chapter leaders on their campus will be invited to attend our annual student conference in Hyde Park, New York in August of 2018. The conference, held annually in the first week of August at the FDR Presidential Library and site of the historic home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, brings together Roosevelt student leaders from across the country. Roosevelt students and alumni come together to train and prepare for successful policy work on their campuses that reaches across school and state lines. Transportation, housing and most meals are provided for invitees.

Can I get credit for the Chicago Leaders Class?

The Chicago Leaders Class is a new policy and professional development opportunity available only to students in the Chicago area. It is more similar to an honors or discussion course than to an internship. The course is designed to help prepare students who are interested in working in government or public policy, and also to connect emerging leaders from across campuses. We offer many paid internship opportunities to Roosevelters all across the country, and participants in the Leaders Class will also have the opportunity to apply for any of these as they arise. We would be happy to work with students to see if course credit is applicable for their participation within their university.

What is the Roosevelt Institute?

The Roosevelt Institute is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Inspired by the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt Institute reimagines America as it should be: a place where hard work is rewarded, everyone participates, and everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity. We believe that when the rules work against this vision, it’s our responsibility to recreate them.

We bring together thousands of thinkers and doers—from a new generation of leaders in every state to Nobel laureate economists—working to redefine the rules that guide our social and economic realities. We rethink and reshape everything from local policy to federal legislation, orienting toward a new economic and political system: one built by many for the good of all.

The Roosevelt Institute is based out of New York, and has opened it’s first local office here in Chicago. Learn more about our work here.

Are you affiliated with Roosevelt University?

No, we are not affiliated with Roosevelt University. 

Who can I contact with questions about the Chicago Leaders Class and application process?

Email Malik Alim, Illinois Organizer at [].

Malik Alim is the Illinois Organizer at Roosevelt Institute. He is responsible for cultivating a diverse network of students and developing new Roosevelt chapters at colleges and universities. As a trainer, facilitator, and organizer, Malik provides students with the tools and resources to mobilize their peers around policy issues, build strong chapters, and develop conscientious leaders. Malik has previously been involved in several grassroots campaigns in Chicago, including the demand for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC), the Chicago Police Torture Survivors Memorial, and the Coalition to Save Dyett High School. He also serves as the Chicago chapter Membership Co-Chair for the Black Youth Project 100, a national collective of young Black organizers. In his spare time, Malik enjoys taking road-trips, reading, and having spirited debates.