Dwight Tillery grew up in Cincinnati where he was educated in its public schools and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School. Dwight has held a number of distinguished professional positions throughout his career. Mr. Tillery has been a licensed attorney for over thirty years and is licensed to practice in the state of Ohio and before federal courts. In 1991, Mr. Tillery became the first African American popularly elected Mayor of Cincinnati where he created the Mayor’s Commission for Children, Reshaping Youth Priorities; spoke frequently at public schools; and assisted in establishing a mentoring program for minority businesses. As a member of city council, he sponsored many pieces of legislation that benefited the poor and minorities by creating the surrogate-parenting program “It Takes a Village” and founding the GrassRoots Leadership Academy. Mr. Tillery also played a major role in creating the first neighborhood grocery store in Avondale.
Mr. Tillery is a recipient of many awards and honors including an honorary doctorate from the Cincinnati State Technical College, the Leadership Excellence Award from the office of the Governor of Ohio, the Award of Excellence from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio Civil Rights Dream Award, and the Gertrude E. Rush Award from The National Bar Association. Also, Mr. Tillery received the NAACP Theodore M. Berry Award and the Ohio Governor named Mr. Tillery to the Ohio Health Care Advisory Task Force. Currently, Mr. Tillery is the Founder and the President and CEO of The Center for Closing the Health Gap which works to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in Greater Cincinnati through advocacy, education, and community outreach. He has dedicated his life to community service.