Adler University is honored to announce that former YWCA executive and women’s rights advocate Audrey Peeples will address this year’s graduates at the 2021 Commencement Ceremony for the Chicago and Online campuses. This in-person event will celebrate students who have completed their degrees in 2020 and 2021. Peeples will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony held on Sunday, October 24.
Audrey Peeples is one of Chicago’s first women executives and CEOS. She is a pioneer in advancing women’s rights and advancing the organizations she led to pursue anti-racism agendas. Ms. Peeples served as CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago for 14 years, retiring in 2001. Prior to joining the YWCA, Peeples was the Executive Director of the Girls Scouts of Chicago and Associate Regional Director at Girl Scouts of the USA.
Under Peeple’s leadership at the YWCA, the organization made significant improvements to their programming, including ending racist practices and expanding their childcare initiative. She is a proven leader in social justice, as she has sought to expand programming in youth violence and pregnancy prevention, as well as health programs for women.
Audrey has served on the Board of several prestigious institutions, including Adler University since 2016, the United Way of Chicago, the Chicago Foundation for Women and the ACLU of Illinois. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust, is a trustee of Turnstone Development Corporation, and serves as a member and past Chair of the Chicago Network, an International Women’s Forum affiliate. She served as a Commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Women’s Issues in Illinois under Jim Edgar and Governor George Ryan.
She has received several honors, including being one of the 100 women honored with a “rock” as part of Sculpture Chicago and the Thomas and Elanor Wright Award from the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations for her work in developing racial justice programming.
Adler University 2021 Commencement Ceremony will also feature a student speaker, Eddie D. Burks, a Doctoral in Clinical Psychology graduate. Follow along with the 2021 Commencement Ceremony and follow Adler’s posts with #AdlerClassof2021 and #AdlerClassof2020.