Our work

ED Support Group

Chicago United LGBTQ/HIV/Social Justice Allied ED Group

Are you an Executive Director in search of peer support and coaching? Chicago United is a space for Executive Directors to share insights, problem solve and network in a casual supportive environment. The focus areas for this group are individuals or organizations that serve LGBTQ+, HIV+ populations or allied causes. Join us the first Wednesday of every month 8:30am-10am (central time zone) to find the community you’ve been looking for!

In September 2016, the LGBT/HIV/Social Justice Allied Executive Director Support Group was convened by the Arcus Foundation. The goals were to foster positive relationships and best practices among executive directors and ideally result in increased sustainability in their roles. The model is one of peer support, with a facilitator to ensure equity and coordinate logistics. The group has always prioritized racial and gender justice with regards to membership, focusing on the recruitment of people of color, women and gender expansive leaders.

For over five years, this group has consistently met monthly. Membership in the group has varied, but on average there were 20+ member organizations of varying sizes. The model has been extremely successful in providing practical tools, emotional validation and encouragement for executive directors at every level.

Every meeting starts with a check-in led by the facilitator to see how participants are feeling and to collect topics for discussion. Each individual then has an opportunity to present the challenge they are facing and ask their peers for solutions. Examples include:

  • Staff management and coaching
  • Board relationships
  • Funding and financial challenges
  • Self care and leadership skill building


If you would like to refer yourself or someone else to the group, please email the facilitator Jacqueline Boyd of The Care Plan at jacqueline@the-care-plan.com.