Leslé Honoré was recently appointed CEO of Urban Gateways in 2022. Leslé is a Blaxican poet, activist, and published author. In her poetry and personal life, she helps youth find their voices through the arts. She helps marginalized communities stand in the gaps that social, economic, and racial inequalities create. Her community leadership is weaved into her artistic work. As part of Elevated Chicago’s Co-Chair Leslé infused her expertise in poetry and art into youth engagement and leadership style into governance and programming. Her past work threads seamlessly into Urban Gateways’ mission to inspire creativity and impact social change.
She attended Xavier University in Louisiana, where she studied English Literature and Spanish, before moving to Chicago in 1999. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, WBEZ (NPR), WVON/The Kendall Moore Show, and ABC7 Chicago and other major Chicago TV news stations. She’s been a featured speaker at numerous events such as; Obama Foundation convenings and events, the City of Chicago’s 19th Amendment Commemoration; Latino Progresando’s 2020 MEXtalks, and the University of Illinois Chicago’s Speaking Anarcha’s Name.
Born and raised in Gardena, California, she remains deeply rooted in the heritage and culture of her father, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana; and mother, who was born in Sinaloa, Culiacan, Mexico, and immigrated to the US at age 15. Leslé lives in Chicago with her three phenomenal children: Sage, Solomon and Scarlett. She believes in HBCU’s and says that “tacos and gumbo without kale can save the world.” Her forthcoming Children’s Book, Brown Girl, will be released soon. You can learn more about Leslé on Facebook and Instagram, and on Twitter.