The world has never needed ethical leadership more than it does right now. Our society’s most pressing issues have become increasingly complex and pervasive, and for many people, the future seems uncertain. Ethical leaders who use their power to change the world are desperately needed in order to transform a time of fear and uncertainty into a time of progress, hope and unity.
For Alec and Jennifer Litowitz, a powerhouse philanthropic husband-and-wife pair from Chicago, this unprecedented time in history is not a reason to be afraid. They believe that this is a moment where we can reciprocate the urgency of the times by recommitting ourselves to ethical leadership. Their zeal for creating a better world may be even more timely now, but it’s nothing new. Even in times of uncertainty, they rely on the same core guiding principles: insight, integrity and passion. Their commitment to those values has touched countless Chicagoans and will continue to rise to the occasion of a changing world, which is why they were fitting recipients of Perspectives Charter Schools’ 2020 A Disciplined Life® Award, a prize that honors exceptional, ethical leaders.
Jennifer and Alec credit their parents with instilling in them a dedication to personal development and ethical betterment. “Our parents are A Disciplined Life,” Jennifer explains. She and Alec describe the importance of raising their children and creating their companies and charitable efforts in that vision. Whether it’s their commitment to checking in with their kids at the dinner table, Jennifer’s amazing work at Northwestern University and within its literary programs, or Alec’s devotion to cultivating a culture of character and compassion at Magnetar Capital, the Litowitz family believes in making the world a better place at every turn. It’s no wonder that the couple strongly emphasizes that the best way to teach people is to lead by example.
Their work promotes equity and opportunities, whether through the scholarly endeavors that Jennifer works on at Northwestern or the innovative youth financial literacy program that Alec runs through Magnetar. The latter began after a young man commented that he was interested in buying stocks after seeing a Magnetar presentation. Realizing that the young man had no idea how to buy stocks, Alec and the Magnetar team recognized that many kids have no financial literacy education provided to them, despite their near-constant access to the mobile economy. Today, the Magnetar Capital-UChicago Financial Education Initiative provides crucial knowledge and opportunities to students across Chicago, including at the Rodney D. Joslin Perspectives campus.
When they look to the future, Alec and Jennifer encourage other leaders and executives to appreciate the principles that have guided them thus far.
“Our parents taught us to believe in lifelong learning,” they said. “We’ve learned a lot from this past year as a global community. The world needs more humanity than ever, and if we apply the lessons we’ve learned and work together, we have a chance to make even greater change more quickly now.”
Every year Perspectives Charter School holds a gala where they give out their A Disciplined Life Award. This years’ recipient will be Holly Copeland, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability & Impact at Horizon Therapeutics and Board Member of Perspectives with our 2021 Perspectives A Disciplined Life Award. Find out more and join the virtual gala here.