Past Event

Chicago: Cloudy With a Chance of Democracy

The IHC is partnering with the young leaders from Chicago Votes to present Chicago: Cloudy With a Chance of Democracy, a stimulating conversation about civic engagement and today’s “millennial” generation.

A recent infographic released by The McCormick Foundation showed that Illinois millennials (18-29) fall near the bottom on key forms of civic participation such as voting, volunteering, and neighborhood engagement.

Chicago Votes is a dedicated group of youth who ask themselves the hard question: “How do I get my peers to be more civically engaged?” Chicago: Cloudy With a Chance of Democracy will be an inclusive, humorous, and engaging discussion to increase civic engagement among Chicagoans between the ages of 19 and 35.

At the event, four young leaders will each present their vision for democracy in Chicago through lenses unique to their diverse backgrounds, followed by a peer-to-peer discussion with the audience. A spoken word performance by Antonio Bacon will kick off this entertaining and informative evening.

The event is free and open to the public. However, registration is required and can be made online, via email, or by calling 312.422.5580.

Speakers and Performers:

  • Reema Ahmad is the Campaigns & Civic Engagement Manager for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Reema has been a longtime advocate for civic engagement across Illinois’ Pan-Asian communities. Reema is a foodie – sweet, savory, it doesn’t matter -, is trying to figure out how to play the oud, and loves discovering random street art across Chicago.
  • Christian Diaz is a youth organizer with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. His first organizing campaign led him to recruit 300 volunteers to register more than 1200 Latino voters through the New Americans Democracy Project with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. In his spare time, Christian writes creative non-fiction, looks super cute, and whips his phantom-ponytail to filthy dance tracks.
  • Mia Henry is the Director of Special Initiatives of Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs). Mia’s previous posts include the founding director of the Chicago Freedom School, a nonprofit organization that supports youth-led social change, Associate Director of the Mikva Challenge, and a high school teacher and International Baccalaureate (IB) program coordinator for Chicago Public Schools.
  • Todd Belcore is a staff attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law. He received the 2009 PSLawNet Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors one law student nationwide for their pro bono contributions to society. Todd was selected as a White House “Champion of Change”- an honor awarded to attorneys who dedicate their professional lives to closing the justice gap in America.
  • Antonio Bacon (spoken word performer) is a graduate of Rickover Naval Academy, where he was commanding officer of the Fox Trot Company, which supports students’ academic achievement. He has participated in the Louder Than A Bomb exposition, which includes art performances, slam poetry and short films/documentaries. When he isn’t studying or debating he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes. His signature dish is chicken parmesan.


We are pleased to partner with Chicago Votes, The Young and Powerful Group, and the Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee.

This event is part of Bridging Divides, a series that draws on the humanities to help local communities address seemingly intractable social, cultural and political divides. The Bridging Divides series is made possible in part by the generous support of The Boeing Company and is part of the IHC’s Conversations on Contemporary Issues program.


If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit