Author: chicagobeyond

Chicago Tribune Editorial: A bungalow becomes sanctuary from Chicago violence

This editorial was written by the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board in response to this story about Chicago Beyond and IMAN’s safe house concept. It appeared online on August 9, 2019. 

On the Southwest Side, refuge comes in the form of a simple red-brick bungalow, with leather couches, a flat-screen television and an Xbox in the basement. The men who live there escaped neighborhoods in which a moment on a porch or a sidewalk could be a last moment lived. In those neighborhoods — Englewood, Roseland, Little Village, and others — they’re enmeshed in a world in which on any given day they can find themselves on either side of a gun.

The Tribune’s Madeline Buckley wrote about the sanctuary that the bungalow, jointly run by a nonprofit called Chicago Beyond and the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, provides to individuals entangled in South and West side street violence, with no way out. Some men, such as Talib Garner, 25, have witnessed violence from the time they were small boys.

Garner was 4 when he watched two people get gunned down. Two years later, he could load a gun. By 14, he had joined the Latin Kings street gang.

“If I stay in the ’hood, I’m going to kill someone,” Garner told Buckley. “Or someone will kill me.”

At the bungalow, Garner gets not only a respite from the gang wars that overshadow life in Little Village, but time to figure out what direction he wants his life to take. He has a 4-year-old son who lives in Villa Park and, perhaps, one day could be an anchor in his life. “I always wanted a family,” he tells Buckley.

There’s no cure-all for what ails the South and West sides. Fixes need to be multifaceted, and they can’t rest solely on the shoulders of law enforcement and the courts. Better schools, more jobs and reinvestment in neglected neighborhoods are top-shelf priorities. Providing a temporary refuge to pull at-risk youths out of corrosive environments is also a different, meaningful act. It’s nothing less than an extraction — a lifesaving rescue.

We’ve written often about youths cut down before they could escape. There was drive-by victim Jaylin Ellzey, the 15-year-old Roseland boy whose only wish was to, as his uncle said, “live another day.” And Jonathan Mills, 26, a North Lawndale basketball standout on his way to a career in international leagues when he died in hail of bullets in 2016.

And, as Buckley wrote, there’s the person whose death preceded the bungalow idea — Jason Barrett, 24, shot to death on the Far South Side in 2017. Barrett had been featured in the CNN series “Chicagoland” and was trying to turn his life around, with the help of former Fenger High School Principal Liz Dozier. Dozier founded Chicago Beyond, the nonprofit that two years ago linked up with Inner-City Muslim Action Network to buy the Southwest Side bungalow.

“There are how many hundreds of Jasons already this year,” Dozier told CNN in 2017, “and the sad thing is there will be how many hundreds more.”

Today, there’s always a waiting list to get into the safe house. That’s a sign of the program’s promise. But it also suggests that, if there were more bungalows, more at-risk individuals could be rescued.

Chicago Tribune: ‘I’m going to kill someone, or someone will kill me’: How a Southwest Side bungalow became a refuge from violent street life

This article appeared on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on August 8, 2019.

Mustafa Hawthorne tosses a spare house key into the air. “Please don’t lose it. You need to get it on a keychain.”

Talib Garner snatches it and stuffs it into one of the socks he wears with sandals. “It won’t get lost.”

The men have an easy rapport, despite the difference in their ages. Hawthorne, born Steven Hawthorne, is 52, and Garner is 25. Both lived intensely hard lives before winding up at this red brick bungalow on a quiet Southwest Side street that serves as a unique refuge for those seeking shelter from street violence.

Their housemates include a young man from Englewood whose mentor was shot and killed and a 24-year-old man from Roseland whose former principal found him this place after his best friend was slain in 2017.

“This is a safe house,” explains Hawthorne, who manages the home. “The house is designed to give them time to breathe.”

And maybe the break they need, something Hawthorne didn’t get when he was young. At 16, Hawthorne shot and killed two men and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was released in 2017, after serving 33 years, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such sentences for juveniles was unconstitutional.

Hawthorne’s job at the house is to enforce curfews, generally keep the peace and offer any advice he can to people like Garner.

Garner was born and raised in Little Village. He says he saw two people shot dead outside his house when he was 4, could load a gun by the time he was 6 and was pulled into gang activity when he was around 14. He joined the Latin Kings street gang after losing his brother to gang violence.

“If I stay in the ‘hood, I’m going to kill someone,” Garner says. “Or someone will kill me.”

The men live together through a pilot program that houses young men in need of emergency lodging, a safe place to land, somewhere they can plan a future and maybe line up a job.

In other circumstances, they would have little to do with one another. But together under one roof, there is some sense of stability. Some slip back to their old lives but return after an arrest.

The house is furnished with leather couches, a dark wood dining table and a coffee table adorned with a vase of flowers. The men watch Hulu and Netflix on a large flat-screen television. They play “Call of Duty” on an Xbox console in the basement. They sometimes squabble about small messes around the house.

The young men are referred by outreach and caseworkers. They fill out an application and undergo an interview to see if they are a good fit. A bed or two is kept open for emergencies.

There is a constant waitlist.

‘You’re up next’

The idea for this safe house took hold with a chance encounter at a funeral.

Early in 2017, Jason Barrett was gunned down on the Far South Side by someone who stepped out of a silver SUV. The 24-year-old had been featured in the CNN series “Chicagoland” a few years earlier as someone who was hoping for a second chance and got help from his former principal at Fenger High School, Liz Dozier.

At Barrett’s wake, Dozier saw a young man lingering by the door of the funeral home. He was a former student and one of Barrett’s best friends. He had not yet made it inside the room where his friend’s body lay.

He was there when Barrett was killed. He knew he might be next. Dozier reconnected with him that day and they exchanged numbers.

“There were a couple of other people that had gotten killed up to Jason,” Dozier said. “You’re up next, let’s just keep this real,” she told him.

Dozier said she had helped other teenagers and young men escape the streets. Sometimes it meant helping parents send them out of town to stay with family members.

But in this case, the young man needed to get out of Roseland but had nowhere to go.

After leaving Fenger, Dozier had founded Chicago Beyond, a nonprofit that invests in organizations that “are fighting for all youth to achieve their fullest human potential,” according to its website.

Searching for housing opportunities for men like Barrett’s friend, the nonprofit teamed up with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network that works on the South and Southwest sides.

IMAN already provided housing for men reentering society after serving a prison term, but it did not supply shelter for high-risk youth. Together, the two groups bought a small bungalow on the Southwest Side. It opened two years ago.

The house is funded by Chicago CRED, an organization founded by former Education Secretary and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, and Chicago Beyond, which uses funding from private backers.

The groups are now working on the next phase of the pilot program: a safe home for a whole family so the men don’t have to leave children and other loved ones behind.

‘Certain things stick with you’

Rami Nashashibi, executive director of IMAN, remembers one of the first young men who lived in the home. He had barely survived a shooting on the West Side.

“For the first two to three months in the house, he was literally recovering his health,” Nashashibi said.

Earlier this year, the organization took on a young man after a man he looked up to as a mentor was killed. The young man had been a high-ranking gang member in Englewood but was a recent graduate of IMAN’s job program and was working to broker peace in the neighborhood, Nashashibi said.

The young man’s father pleaded with him to get him away from the block. “It was only a matter of time that he was drawn into the retaliatory circle,” Nashashibi said.

Now, living in the house, the man is working toward his GRE and participating in a weekend program that offers credits at City Colleges of Chicago.

One of his housemates is the man Dozier spotted at the funeral. He has lived in the house on and off since it was established. He recently returned after spending time in Cook County Jail for a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction.

On a recent evening at the house, the man tossed a basketball at a hoop as the sun sunk in the sky. He still struggles with memories of the day Barrett died.

“Certain things stick with you,” he said.

He has some goals, like learning a trade. But mostly he is thinking in the short term, like saving some money so he can live on his own. He hopes to build a life away from the streets.

“I kind of feel like I ain’t going to give up on that,” he said. He still worries about his safety and did not want to be named.

‘I was tired of watching people die’

Garner was born with the name Gregory but changed it to Talib when he converted to Islam. He is using his time at the house to plot his way forward.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office recently dropped a felony cocaine possession charge against him, giving him a fresh start. He visits his 4-year-old son and hopes to someday have shared custody.

His life now is markedly different than three years ago when he was at his lowest. He had spent the Memorial Day weekend in jail and had sunk into a depression after years of trauma.

When he was 4, his son’s age, he saw two men get shot and killed outside of his house. The men had been at a gang meeting at his father’s house. They were friendly with him, sometimes watching television with him. He remembers his uncle grabbing him from the window and his father dragging the bodies out of his view.

“It plays in my head,” he said. “Sometimes I dream about it.”

He recalls learning how to cook crack cocaine and load a gun at 6 years old and remembers spending days only eating small caramel candies. “I had four rotted teeth after that.”

He has good memories from school. He loved social studies, especially the story of Paul Revere’s ride. He gravitates toward learning about civil rights and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall.

Garner’s aunt eventually gained custody of him and moved him and a sister to Aurora. But as a teen, he would tell his aunt he was going to a party in the suburbs, and instead, drive back to the Little Village neighborhood where he was comfortable.

After his brother was shot and killed by his own gang, Garner joined the rival Latin Kings. He attended what seemed like a long string of funerals.

Then one day, it was too much. He was sitting on a swing at a Southwest Side park after being released from jail and saw a man with a kufi, a cap worn by some Muslim men. He asked where the nearest mosque was and encountered IMAN.

Eventually, he secured a spot in the house. “I was tired of watching people die,” he said.

Now, he is focused on building a better life for his son, who lives in Villa Park. He’s glad his son lives outside the city, though he wants the boy to someday know how he is privileged to be raised differently than he was.

He has rough patches, days when the old neighborhood seems to call him back, and days when pent-up anger builds. He feels he wasn’t protected as a child.

But he feels hopeful, too, finding peace in his relationship with his son. “I always wanted a family.”

The Chicago Crusader: Chicago’s Lei’Anna Young says that gun violence-related trauma is real

This article appeared in the Chicago Crusader on July 11, 2019. 

How gun violence impacts kids like 17-year-old Lei’Anna Young is not so obvious. Lei’Anna is quiet and spends most of her time alone. Unless she’s performing with her school dance team, she avoids attention. But if you give her time to trust you, she’ll open up and say a lot and her trauma will become all too real.

That’s what Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., Advocate Gia Cephas did back in March when she met the Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) junior. YAP’s paid advocate-mentors, recruited from the neighborhoods they serve, are trained to help young people identify and realize their strengths while connecting them and their parents/guardians to tools to help firm their foundation.

“Before YAP, I kept to myself; I didn’t like groups. I would have been a loner all four years,” Lei’Anna said. “I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was living a boring depressing life.”

YAP’s services are based on its core model, introduced more than 13 years ago in Chicago, as a community-based alternative to youth incarceration and other out-of-home placements. While YAP continues its partnership with local youth justice and child welfare systems, a growing number of schools and organizations working to reduce violence in the city also connect Chicago youth to YAP. Lei’Anna said she got involved when her school dean saw her potential. The referral came to the nonprofit through the school’s partnership with Chicago Beyond.

Lei’Anna said her grandmother, who is also raising her brother and sister, keeps the children inside as much as possible to protect them. “It can be really lonely,” Lei’Anna aid. “When it’s too quiet and I’m hearing or seeing something about murder, it’s depressing.

Gia heard and felt Lei ’Anna’s desire for opportunities to learn and grow and make connections. She also realized that the best way to support and mentor Lei’Anna was by ensuring that she had buy-in from her family.

“Gia met my grandmother the third week and my younger sister at the same time. She’s very open and she’s like family already. She’s easy to communicate with,” Lei’Anna said.

Gia connects Lei’Anna with resources to help her cope with her feelings and gives her outlets to  identify, explore and realize her gifts and talents. In addition to the one-to-one mentoring, Gia gives Lei’Anna opportunities to interact with other YAP participants in group sessions and field trips.

“Now that I’m in YAP, I have opportunities to talk to people and have fun,” she said. “I’m meeting a lot of kids and learning that whether we’ve been in trouble or not, we all want more. Other programs might take you off the streets by putting you in a youth center or something; but YAP gives you tools you can use all the time.”

Lei’Anna told Gia she loves cosmetology and dance — in particular, choreography.  Now she also realizes she wants to go to college so that she can learn how to bring both talents together and build a business where she can be her own boss and give jobs to others.

One of Lei’Anna’s most memorable YAP experiences so far was a recent visit to Springfield where youth and their advocates got an opportunity to use their leadership skills. It was a chance to show and tell lawmakers why they should support the intensive mentorship program.

“Being with other YAP kids, I don’t worry about whose around. I feel safe and I’m happy. I can see myself being who I really am,” she said. “I’m a good person, especially when I have the chance to do things that let me share and open up.

Beyond the fun and learning, Lei’Anna said her time in YAP makes her feel healthier, stronger and more empowered.

“With YAP — with Gia — life is just better. Every day is a session,” she said with a giggle.

Investing in Fatherhood: The Dovetail Project

“1 in 3 black men will go to prison in his lifetime. 67% of black children grow up in a single parent home. 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes.”

These statistics appear in rotation on the homepage of Chicago Beyond’s partner The Dovetail Project, and they tell the story of the cycle that plagues fatherhood nationwide; when a child, particularly a black child, grows up with an absent father, they are lacking stability in the home, a consistent male role model, and are often times at high risk of incarceration.

In 2016, Dovetail was one of three winners of Chicago Beyond’s inaugural Innovation Challenge, which sought innovative, early-stage ideas from nonprofits backing the fight for youth equity. In the past three years Chicago Beyond has watched Dovetail double its reach and impact the lives of hundreds of young fathers. Chicago Beyond invested in Dovetail for its triple bottom line: impacting young fathers economically changes the trajectory of their lives, their children’s lives, and ultimately strengthens the entire community ecosystem. 

Dovetail is an organization that gives young black fathers the skills and resources they need to fortify relationships with their children. Throughout its 12-week program, designed by founder and Executive Director Sheldon Smith, Dovetail’s curriculum teaches its participants how to be present, through felony street law education which helps them avoid incarceration and stay in their children’s lives; how to be a provider, through financial literacy and job interview preparation; and how to be a parent, through basic and individualized parenting skills. Beyond the curriculum, the fathers receive holistic support from Dovetail’s case managers. 

Each class of Dovetail participants is called a “cohort,” with each cohort made up of about 50 fathers. Dovetail recruits its participants by sending a team consisting mostly of Dovetail alumni go into communities around Chicago, clad in bright orange shirts. They strike up conversations with young men on the street, asking if they’re fathers and inviting them to Dovetail.

“They’re meeting these young men where they are. They’re bringing together men from different cliques, different blocks, but when they’re together as a cohort, they’re all Dovetail dads,” said Chicago Beyond’s Director of Growth Nichole Wilson. “They’re coming together to be there for their kids, and they’re realizing for the first time that they’re not alone.”

Sheldon’s goals for Dovetail transcend race, class and neighborhood; according to him, the problems that fathers face are universal.

“Fatherhood is not just a black issue,” he said. “It’s not a white issue, it’s not a brown issue, it’s not an orange issue. It’s a people issue. It’s a global issue. It’s a national issue. It’s an issue that we all need to pay attention to. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what background you come from, we all have those issues within our family, and family is everything.”

On June 13, the Spring 2019 Dovetail cohort graduated, which marks the fourth cohort since the Dovetail Project and Chicago Beyond partnership started

“You see this room?” said Sheldon at the graduation ceremony. “We call these young men mythbusters. [The Dovetail Project has] been in existence now for 10 years. This is our 20th graduation. We’ve graduated 476 young men. And it’s a major accomplishment. I never thought at the age of 21 when I launched the Dovetail Project that we would be here today at this moment.”

Sheldon also surprised Chicago Beyond with an award to show his appreciation for Chicago Beyond’s investment in fatherhood, and for the approximately $1 million investment made into Dovetail.

“This philanthropic organization believed in the mission and vision of [Dovetail],” he said about Chicago Beyond. “We would not be able to serve as many fathers as we serve, we wouldn’t have the three campuses across the city, we wouldn’t have been able to scale up to 18 staff across the board– none of these things would have happened without that initial investment into our infrastructure.”

In its three years of working with Dovetail, Chicago Beyond has supported four cohorts of young fathers through the program, and partnered with them on strategic initiatives. As Dovetail works to disrupt and change those rotating statistics on its website, Chicago Beyond is excited to enter a new chapter of our partnership with them and find new ways to continue working together to empower young fathers to reach their fullest potential.   

WBEZ: Chicago Beyond Creates Toolkit To Address Research Bias

This interview aired on WBEZ on June 12, 2019

Chicago Beyond has unveiled a new guidebook they say will help make research “more authentic” and equitable by breaking down the power dynamic between funders, researchers and community organizations.

Morning Shift talks to Liz Dozier, founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, for more on how the toolkit could shape the future of urban research.

GUEST: Liz Dozier, founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond

LEARN MORE: Why Am I Always Being Researched? (Chicago Beyond guidebook)

More from the Morning Shift Podcast

 

Undoing The Bias Of People Studying Bias
Morning Shift Podcast

When people say there are “two Chicagos”, they’re talking about inequities: the way resources are distributed among schools, the way neighborhoods are policed, grants and other monies given to help small businesses flourish, a difference in city services. A new study documenting many of those inequities, and offering some solutions, has just arrived from the Chicago Urban League. Plus, the researchers and the money people looking to identify and erase inequity are often subject to the very biases they’re trying to eliminate. We’ll talk to one woman who’s recognized it, and is doing something about it.

 

Philanthropy News Digest: Why Am I Always Being Researched?

This article appeared in Philanthropy News Digest on May 28, 2019

Evaluations and research projects intended to increase programmatic impact must be designed to address the unequal power dynamic between community organizations, researchers, and funders, a publication from impact investor Chicago Beyond argues.

Based on lessons learned by Chicago Beyond, the guide, Why Am I Always Being Researched? (112 pages, PDF), outlines ways to address inequities in seven areas — community access to conversations around the research; sharing of information about research options, methods, inputs, costs, benefits, and risks; validation of the expertise of community organizations and community members; community ownership of the research process; analysis of the value generated by the research, for whom, and at what cost; the accountability of researchers and funders; and full community representation and authorship of the narrative.

The report offers separate recommendations for community organizations, researchers, and funders to ensure equity at every stage of the research project, including designing and planning the study, recruitment of participants, implementation, working to improve the lives of participants, and sharing the findings of the research. 

Read more here

Chronicle of Philanthropy: Research Can Perpetuate Inequity: New Guide Shows How to Change That

This article appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on May 16, 2019
By Michael Theis

A new guide for grant makers, community-focused nonprofits, and the researchers who study their efforts calls for a fresh approach to research. The power imbalance between grant makers and the smaller charities they support can result in research that fosters resentment and suspicion among the individuals they hope to help.

The guide, “Why Am I Always Being Researched?” comes from Chicago Beyond, a nonprofit that since its founding in 2016 has given more than $30 million to Chicago-area charities. Focused on advancing equity among minority communities in one of the most segregated cities in the nation, the group is a “startup-style philanthropy fund” that seeks to maximize its impact by funding smaller groups that hold promise, says founder and CEO Liz Dozier. It also runs some programs of its own.

Like many grant makers, Chicago Beyond seeks to inform its giving by gathering data and quantifying a nonprofit’s impact or the potential of programs it may support.

Dozier and her staff at Chicago Beyond realized their well-intentioned desire for data was met with skepticism by the subjects of that research. In their guide, they outline inequities they say exist among major grant makers, grantees, and the people nonprofits serve — and offer ways to minimize these.

For example, potential grantees, eager to receive a significant sum, are often asked to test different ways of delivering services before they get a grant from a foundation.

“Research, and what comes out of that, really drives dollars. It drives decisions that people make,” said Dozier. “But sometimes our nonprofit partners can’t afford a research study. It’s literally out of reach. Who can afford a … $600,000 research study to quote-unquote validate what you’re doing?”

And even if they could afford it, nonprofits would have to make tough decisions about which program participants are slotted into a control group versus the group receiving the experimental approach. What may start as a well-intentioned effort to validate a charity’s approach can end up hurting the communities it seeks to serve.

“There was a young man who literally wanted to be in an after-school program but didn’t sign up because he was in the control group for a research study, completely unrelated,” said Shruti Jayaraman, director of learning at Chicago Beyond. “He thought that by signing a paper saying ‘I’m in a control group’ that what he was signing his name to was saying, OK, I won’t get services anywhere.”

Jayaraman said that kind of unintended error is common enough that grant makers and charities need to be vigilant about preventing it.

“This is not just one kid. It’s many, many kids we know and many, many kids we don’t know,” said Jayaraman. “There’s a policy and decision-making impact that’s really big, and then there’s a very human impact.”

Other hazards that can occur when philanthropists shape research without input from community members: The wrong questions are asked, the data is gathered improperly, or the results are misinterpreted, Dozier says.

For instance, a study using data from police-operated gunshot detection systems, intended to quantify the impact of gun-violence prevention efforts, may falter due to decisions about where to place the detection equipment or an inability to discern who fired the shots or why.

In minority communities subject to more frequent police shootings and police surveillance, those factors matter, but the data can produce misleading conclusions.

“If you are in that community every day, whether you are a community member or a cop, the question comes back to you: Well, whose gun was it?” said Jayaraman. “If you’re not living there, that question doesn’t come to you.”

To guard against pitfalls like these, Chicago Beyond’s guidebook encourages donors and charities to engage the communities they hope to impact.

Oftentimes, that means pounding the pavement, identifying the most vulnerable people you want to research and inviting them not just to participate in the study but to participate in its design: determining which questions to ask and how to ask them, for example.

The authors also stress the importance of sharing the results of studies with members of the group that was examined.

“Evidence and research can end up being a crutch that works in service of inequity if we’re not conscious of it,” said Jayaraman. “The natural thing is to turn to evidence and to say, Let’s look for something evidence-based and that will guide us. But to the extent that you know of the inequities built into that evidence, you are just recreating the problem.”

For more on how to ensure research advances equity, see the full Chicago Beyond report here.

Chronicle of Philanthropy: 5 Steps Nonprofits Can Take to Make Research More Equitable

This article appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on May 16, 2019 

In the report “Why Am I Always Being Researched?” published by Chicago Beyond, the authors call for an “equity-based approach to research.” Since its founding in 2016, Chicago Beyond has given more than $30 million to mostly small Chicago-area charities. 

Here are five steps, adapted from that report, to help nonprofit researchers incorporate the views and experiences of those being studied, whose firsthand experience can often lead to better solutions.

The guidance is written for researchers but also applies to big grant makers, grant recipients, and nonprofits involved in the research.

The way a nonprofit approaches a problem depends on the institution, the kinds of research it uses, and the experience of the researchers.

It’s important to reflect individually or as a group on how biases can flow into the research but it’s also helpful to get the perspective of community members to help you shape the study and come up with the research questions.

Construct timelines with room to build trust among community members, solicit their input, and test the survey.

When the research is complete, think carefully about which numbers and stories you highlight.

Changing your approach to research requires a willingness to break old habits and an openness to new perspectives. Humanizing the research process enables you to find the right fit between purpose and research design.

Here are five ways to make research more equitable.

Build trust. Spend time in the community you will study. Share what motivates your research and what you hope to accomplish. Be willing to share your data as much as possible during the study and after it is published. For many nonprofit managers, the instinct, based on previous experience, is “never give data to someone I don’t really know.”

If you skip this step in the rush to meet a deadline, your results could be flawed.

Share your agenda. Explain how the work fits into your research agenda and discuss the other types of research you conduct. Talk about your intentions for the work and your research institution’s priorities.

Share your previous experiences. Stories from past research can help illustrate how you will work with members of the community and the nonprofits that serve them.

Set goals for the research. Determine a few statements to help your organization “fill in the blanks” at the end of the work, and outline what you hope to achieve in doing so. Not all programs have immediate benefits. Establish methods for determining the benefits your study may have over the long term.

Identify the target audience. Determine whom the study is intended for and which type of data and research design serve your purpose, while placing the least burden on the organization or its participants.

This checklist is adapted from “Why Am I Always Being Researched?” published by Chicago Beyond. Download the full report.

Watch: Moving From Charity to Justice at the Collective Impact Convening

On May 16, 2019, Chicago Beyond’s Founder & CEO Liz Dozier joined the Collective Impact Convening to share a keynote on “Moving from Charity to Justice.” So often, individuals and organizations aiming to do good fall into a trap of doing charity work where the social change work is happening to a community rather than with the community. When collaborations for impact approach the work with that traditional mindset, it can uphold existing power dynamics, structural barriers, and inequities. At the convening, Liz, a former high school principal, shared “how” to shift mindsets and actions from charity to justice work in our communities and introduced “Why Am I Always Being Researched?” as a tool to help guide action. Watch below!