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Staff Profile

Geoffrey Banks

Senior Program Officer, Chicago Commitment

Geoffrey Banks


Geoffrey works with the Chicago Commitment team with a focus on the Advancing Leadership and Culture, Equity, and the Arts grantmaking areas.

A Chicago native, Geoffrey previously served as Senior Program Officer at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. He was responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking program in Investigative Journalism, and he co-managed the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. During his time at the Driehaus Foundation, Geoffrey served on the Steering Committee for the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development and as co-chair of Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP).

Geoffrey began his career as a community organizer with a Chicago grassroots organization called the Southwest Youth Collaborative. He led summer jobs for youth programs and organized a citywide Youth Summit on juvenile justice issues. Later, at the Children & Family Justice Center at the Northwestern University School of Law Legal Clinic, Geoffrey led Community Panels for Youth, a community-based juvenile court diversion program based on the principles of restorative justice. Geoffrey then held various positions in nonprofit development and programming.

Geoffrey holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he completed additional work toward the PhD with a concentration in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. As an Instructor, Geoffrey taught undergraduate level courses in Social Inequalities and Racial and Ethnic Groups. He received the American Sociological Association Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award, the UIC Graduate College University Fellowship, and the UIC Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. Geoffrey received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan with high honors in African-American Studies and History.

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