Meet Upswell Chicago’s community organizers

Meet Upswell Chicago’s community organizers

// By Christian Clansky

Community immersion is a core part of the Upswell identity. And every changemaker knows that you can’t learn with (or from) a community by just reading or hearing about it. Besides, what would be the point of Upswell visiting a new place each year if you didn’t have the chance to explore the context, culture, history, energy, wisdom, suffering, triumph, and spirit of the local community?

To show you the real Chicago – the authentic conditions and elements that shape the daily lives of its residents – we’re excited to introduce three community organizers who are each curating a locally focused part of your Upswell experience.

Lauren Pacheco | Chicago Inside & Out Tours

A third-generation Mexican-American from the southwest side of Chicago, Lauren Pacheco is an award-winning arts and culture practitioner who grounds her work in public engagement. She’s collaborating with an impressive network of diverse Chicagoland changemakers to design a series of unique half-day tour experiences. No matter which tour you choose, you’re guaranteed to see Chicago in an unexpected and enlightening way. Just make sure you’re in town by the morning of November 13 so you don’t miss this part of Upswell! [Read Lauren’s Bio]


Yvonne Judice | Community Dinners

With a career that has included managing Chicago-focused CSR initiatives for McDonald’s and building corporate partnerships for Feeding America, Yvonne Judice understands the powerful connection between cuisine and community. On the first night of Upswell, you’ll have the opportunity to break bread with your fellow changemakers at some of Chicago’s tastiest local establishments. But don’t expect to simply get shuttled to an iconic restaurant and handed a menu. At each meal that Yvonne is planning, you’ll get a taste for how place and purpose mix together to catalyze meaningful change. [Read Yvonne’s Bio]


Xavier Ramey | Upswell Accelerator

Changework is complex. There’s a powerful diversity of opportunities and challenges, innovations, and approaches for strengthening our communities. So how do you build connections and leverage collaboration to have the biggest impact? That’s where Xavier Ramey comes in! As an expert facilitator working at the nexus of racial equity, philanthropy, and community engagement, Xavier is guiding the work of the Upswell Accelerator. The Accelerator is a group of dozens of Chicagoland changemakers who are leading on two fronts: elevating Chicago’s best ideas and learnings into the national conversation in November and channeling the energy of Upswell to create transformative, long-term change in Chicago. [Read Xavier’s Bio]


In the weeks ahead, you’ll learn a lot more about Lauren, Yvonne, and Xavier. And in November, you’ll get to see Chicago through their eyes.

We’ll also be announcing the tour and dinner sites in coming weeks, but if you’re ready to save your spot for one or both, head over to our registration page. We’ve recently unveiled our new registration structure, which includes six different ways to register, all designed with the aim of democratizing access to the Upswell experience.

1600 600 Christian Clansky
1 Comment
  • Civil and spirited dialogue from On the Table 2019 – Upswell

    […] the help of Lauren Pacheco, one of our three local community organizers, Upswell hosted a Mexican buffet in Pilsen, a southwest Chicago neighborhood with a majority Latino […]

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