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Founder & Partner

Bea is proud to Partner with her former client, co-author, and state superintentent of schools, Carmen Ayala, to form Ayala & Young Associates, LLC.

Her passion for this work began in the early 1960s when she and her students at Thornton High School in Harvey, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, revised the curriculum to include Black history. Subsequently, she wrote her master’s thesis at the University of Chicago on African American history; then taught a graduate course at the Center for Inner City Studies of Northeastern Illinois University entitled, “The Educational Implications of African American History.” This work led to Mississippi where she helped design the curriculum for the Summer Freedom Schools of 1964.

Another milestone in her pioneering efforts occured in 1965 when she created the first Education Services Department at the Illinois Commission on Human Relations (ICOHR), providing race relations workshops and curriculum throughout many Illinois school districts.

Shortly thereafter she was selected by ICOHR’s Board of Directors to become its Executive Director, serving several Illinois governors. During her tenure, her staff developed proactive approaches to racial change in Illinois through departments of Police-Community Relations, Community Relations and Housing.

In 1976, she was invited to join Harbridge House, Inc., an international management consulting firm with corporate offices in Boston. Here she established their Managing Diversity Practice, once again pioneering diversity and inclusion work. Bea became the Executive Director of the Chicago office and a Sr. VP and member of the Executive team. 

When Harbridge House joined Coopers & Lybrand in l993, Bea opted to create her first entrepreneurial endeavor called Bea Young Associates and began to serve many profit and nonprofit organizations with diversity expertise. In 1997, she expanded her diversity and inclusion work through the creation of The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC, a racially diverse partnership introducing diversity and inclusion to such clients as Hewlett Packard, Owens Corning, Advocate Health Care, Northern Trust Banks, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, National Louis University, Moraine Valley Community College, the Illinois Association of School Boards and several Illinois school districts and communities.


Knowing that genuine societal change lies with the ability of schools to create educational equity for all students, Bea decided to focus all her efforts on education. In 2010, returning to her first love, education, Bea founded Bea Young Associates, LLC: Collaboration for Educational Equity focused solely on educational organizations. She has since consulted with many Illinois colleges and school districts, helping them identify practices to address systemic racism and achieve educational equity. The results have been achieved through her copyrighted process called the Equity & Cultural Audit. The Audit process provides anonymous perceptions of stakeholders at all levels, Board members, administrators, teachers, support staff, students and families. Using this Equity Audit process, outstanding results were achieved in two Illinois school districts and became the subject of the recent book Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap, co-authored with her colleagues Dr. Carmen Ayala, then Superintendent of North Berwyn School District 98 and  business partner Michael Kilgore. 

Bea holds her BA and MAT degrees from the University of Chicago, where she also worked toward her doctorate in Social Systems. She completed advanced studies in Organization and System Development at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and has been a member of the National Training Laboratories since 1978.

As an alum, the University of Chicago awarded Bea the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. President's Diversity Leadership Award for Diversity and Inclusion on January 23, 2023.

Bea Young is a 50-year pioneer in the field of Educational Equity, Racial Justice and managing complex Cultural Change efforts in organizations, and looks forward to the future of Ayala & Young Associates, LLC.

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