Mayor Brandon Johnson
Mayor Brandon Johnson


CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson announced four new appointees to the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees. The appointments are Rev. Dr. Marshall Elijah Hatch, Sr., Darlene Hightower, Oscar Sanchez, and Katya Nuques, who will be named the new Board chair.

“These leaders come from diverse but locally grounded backgrounds—we have a stalwart community and faith leader from the West Side, an experienced strategy and planning professional, a City Colleges of Chicago graduate and environmental leader, and an education leader,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “The one thing they all have in common is a firm belief and a commitment to our City Colleges. They understand that the City Colleges are a crucial pipeline for our students that are striving for a better life for themselves and their families at every stage of life. I am confident that, with these new appointees, the best days for City Colleges are still ahead of us.

"I also want to take this opportunity to thank Chair Walter E. Massey for his years of service to the City Colleges of Chicago. Your leadership has been vital to the success of City Colleges and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.”

Rev. Dr. Marshall Elijah Hatch, Sr.

Dr. Hatch is from the West Side of Chicago and has been the pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in the heart of Chicago’s West Garfield community since 1993. Dr. Hatch has been involved in a number of community development initiatives, including the Westside Isaiah Plan, Ezra Homes, and Pilgrim Village Homes-Washington Boulevard. Dr. Hatch has also initiated several service programs such as “Passports to the World,” a biennial overseas African mission trip for his church’s youth as well as a correspondence ministry for incarcerated individuals in the Illinois Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail. Dr. Hatch has had extensive experience in public service, serving on numerous boards including the Board of Trustees of Chicago State University where he was elected Board chairman in 2016. Dr. Hatch holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in ministry and theological studies from McCormick Theological Seminary. He also holds a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Western Illinois University.

Darlene Hightower

Darlene Oliver Hightower, J.D., held the role of President & CEO of Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), an independent planning and policy organization working to address built environment issues through the lens of racial and economic justice. Hightower led MPC’s strategic vision, shaping ambitious goals that will strengthen the impact of the organization’s work across the Chicago region. Previously, Hightower served as VP of Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center, where she was recognized as a U.S. News and World Report Health Care Hero for her leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic. Hightower also led the development of West Side United, a cross-sector, collaborative effort to improve health and economic vitality on Chicago’s West Side. She is a Leadership Greater Chicago Daniel Burnham Fellow, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow, and a Civic Leadership Academy Fellow. She also serves as a board member for the ACLU of Illinois, Allies for Community Business, and the Illinois Public Health Institute. Hightower's leadership and tireless advocacy for equity have led to inclusion in both Marquis and Crain’s Who Who.

Oscar Sanchez

Sanchez is a community organizer with extensive experience in projects related to environmental justice, anti-violence programs, youth empowerment, and community planning. Sanchez currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of the Southeast Environmental Task Force where he oversees strategic initiatives, fundraising, and policy priorities. Before becoming Co-Executive Director, Sanchez served as the Community Planning Manager where he oversaw the planning for revitalizing post-industrial communities in the Southeast Side, alongside a number of other policy initiatives and programs related to environmental justice and equity. Prior to his time at the Task Force, Sanchez founded and ran a small business specializing in branding, design, and web development for nonprofit and social justice organizations. Sanchez also served as the Director of Youth and Restorative Justice Programming at the Alliance of the Southeast where he co-led the effort to create alternative safety models for Chicago Public Schools by funding restorative justice programming. Sanchez holds an Associate in Science from Harold Washington College.

Katya Nuques

Nuques brings over two decades of experience in the philanthropic, government, non-profit, and community development sectors. Nuques currently serves as the Director of the Little Village Portfolio for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation where she is responsible for designing and leading grantmaking initiatives and strategic partnerships in the Little Village community. Prior to that, Nuques served as the Executive Director for Enlace Chicago where she led the organization and provided guidance in the areas of organizing, advocacy, program implementation, service delivery, community planning, research, and resource allocation. Nuques has been recognized for her work with a number of awards and distinctions including the Campeon de la Communidad Latina award in 2020 and the Cook County 7th District Women Leadership award in 2016. Nuques holds degrees from the University of Guayaquil and the National Conservatory of Music in Ecuador, as well as a Master of Science in Administration, International and Community Development from Andrews University.

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