Forum to look at how to help people living in poverty

  • Nationally acclaimed author, speaker and consultant Paul Schmitz will inspire local leaders at "Engage Lake County: A Community Conversation to Inspire Action" on Jan. 16

    Nationally acclaimed author, speaker and consultant Paul Schmitz will inspire local leaders at "Engage Lake County: A Community Conversation to Inspire Action" on Jan. 16 Courtesy of the Lake County Community Foundation

Posted1/6/2020 2:06 PM

It is estimated that approximately 9 percent of the population in Lake County lives below the poverty line.

In Waukegan, where The Lake County Community Foundation is headquartered, the poverty rate is almost 18 percent, while in neighboring North Chicago it reaches more than 23 percent.


In an effort to raise awareness of this devastating issue during National Poverty Awareness Month, and in recognition of Lake County Poverty Awareness Day on Jan. 23, The Lake County Community Foundation, in partnership with University Center of Lake County, College of Lake County and William Blair, is hosting "Engage Lake County: A Community Conversation to Inspire Action."

From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at the University Center, 1200 University Center Drive, Grayslake, LCCF and partners will welcome Paul Schmitz, nationally-acclaimed author of "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up," as the keynote speaker.

Attendees will leave the event with a new perspective on need in the county, as well as an opportunity to find ways to get involved and improve life for the most vulnerable neighbors during a volunteer fair featuring local nonprofits.

"The suburbanization of poverty is happening all around us and is something that communities are struggling with right here in Lake County," said Maggie Morales, executive director of LCCF.

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"Through this event, LCCF is continuing its efforts to bring attention to poverty in Lake County and identify ways each of us can take action to change our communities. With Paul Schmitz leading this important conversation, attendees will undoubtedly be inspired to transform their intentions into actions."

Schmitz is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant whose work focuses on leadership development, collaborative culture, racial equity, community engagement and result-based strategies.

In his roles as senior adviser at The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside Out, Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact. Schmitz is a faculty member of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, was a social innovation adviser to the Obama White House, and has been named three separate years to The Nonprofit Times list of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in America.

Schmitz's book, "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up," is based on lessons learned from 21 years leading Public Allies, an innovative leadership development program that helped more than 5,000 young leaders begin careers working for community and social change.


Schmitz will draw from his book during the Engage Lake County event and explore a new definition of "leadership," which highlights everyone's ability to harness his or her leadership potential and turn it into action.

In addition to Schmitz's keynote address, the event will feature a meet and greet with the author, a book signing, and the volunteer fair for participants interested in making a difference in their own communities.

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for a single ticket or $35 for two and include Schmitz's discussion, entry into the volunteer fair, drinks and light appetizers.

For more information about the event or to register, visit, email Emily at or call (847) 377-0520.

This event is intended for people who live or work in Lake County and who are interested in learning more about how they can become involved in their community.

To ensure that nonprofit community partners are able to participate in this conversation, a discounted nonprofit rate will be offered, which provides access to an overflow seating area where Schmitz's presentation will be televised.

Nonprofit partners interested in attending can purchase their discounted ticket at

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