Leaders
PETER MARTINEZ
PETER MARTINEZ, , Director of the Center for Urban School Leadership University of Illinois at Chicago, MLI Program Advisor

Peter Martinez has been involved with the MLI since its creation. At the program's onset, Mr. Martinez was crucial in measuring participant feedback and overall program effectiveness. In its subsequent years, he has lent his expertise in community organizing to the annual training re t reats and monthly discussions, providing real examples for the analysis of power plays and organizing tactics, taken directly from his personal experiences. Mr. Martinez has over 40 years of experience in leadership training and organization development.

His organizing career began when he was hired by Organization for the Southwest Community (OSC), a Saul Alinsky Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) project, to organize in his own community on the far southwest side. Within three years he became the Executive Director of the OSC, started new organizing projects across the southwest, and also ran organizer and leadership trainings nationally.

After returning to Chicago, he was hired by the Latino Institute as their Associate Director, and continued to do leadership training for organizations including UNO. In 1987 he also conducted trainings in Johannesburg, Soweto, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth for the South African Council of Churches.

In 1987, Mr. Martinez became the first full-time Executive Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), where he increased the dues-paying membership four-fold, initiated paid affirmative action contracts as a way of funding the operating budget, and pioneered their annual banquet. In 1991, the MacArthur Foundation hired Mr. Martinez as a senior program officer in charge of their $40 million Chicago Education Initiative, focused on improving Chicago Schools. Ten years later, Mr. Martinez left MacArthur to design and lead a dramatically innovative urban principal preparation program called the Center for Urban School Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is currently the Director.

In the three and a half short years that the program has been in existence, it has prepared over 20 new transformative principals for Chicago Public Schools. One of those principals will be leading UNO's new high school in Archer Heights, set to open in 2008. Mr. Martinez and the Center will continue to consult on the design and development of UNO's high school plan.