Tag: fight

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.


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! 

Who Do You Really See?

Chicago Beyond believes in the importance of mental wellness for young Chicagoans and so much more needs to be done to ensure equitable access to supports for all of Chicago’s youth. Join us at events across Chicago to learn and discuss how trauma & mental health supports are crucial for our city and our youth. Come out and back the fight, learn, and engage with us in conversations throughout the month of May. #WhoDoYouReallySee

MAY 8 Standing Together: A Conversation About Equity Hosted by The Heartland Alliance

7:45AM – 9:45AM  – Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street, Claudia Cassidy Theater

Hear a panel of women leaders discuss how gender shapes people’s life opportunities and outcomes and what more we can do to bring about equity and opportunity for all. Chicago Beyond’s Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia will talk specifically about incarcerated women and the trauma that led them to incarceration and the additional trauma they experience while detained. Click here to register.

MAY 14 JPA Premiere Screening of Broken Places, A New Film About Equity

6:30PM – 8:30PM  – Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln Avenue

Watch Broken Places, a film that poses questions about the complex impact of trauma on children and how it effects their lives as adults. Stay for a community discussion with Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia and Karen G. Foley, CEO of Juvenile Protection Agency, as they talk about how everyone can get involved in helping children who experience trauma, abuse and neglect so they can heal and go on to lead productive lives. Click here to register.

MAY 17 UNICEF Unite for Children Summit

10:30AM – TechNexus, 20 N. Upper Wacker Dr #1200

The summit aims to educate and empower anyone who wants to make the world a better place for our children. Join Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia in a panel discussion about how gang violence is claiming children’s lives and causing irreparable trauma in Chicago and worldwide. Find out how you can get involved with what UNICEF and its partners are doing to stop the spread of violence. Click here to register.

MAY 20 Who Do You Really See? A Conversation with Alex Kotlowitz and Liz Dozier

6:00PM – 8:00PM – You Are Beautiful HQ, 3368 N. Elston Avenue

Join Liz Dozier, Founder of Chicago Beyond in conversation with award-winning journalist Alex Kotlowitz about his latest book, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. They will discuss the other side of a Chicago summer for youth living in some of the city’s turbulent neighborhoods, what inspired Kotlowitz to write the book, and stories of the young people he profiled throughout. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Also tour You Are Beautiful’s new space. Click here to register.

Chicago Magazine: The New Do-Gooders

Chicago Magazine: The innovators at these five upstart nonprofits are bringing out-of-the-box thinking to tough problems. And they’re getting results.

This article was featured in the November 2018 issue of Chicago Magazine. By Kim Bellware and Joel Reese. Photo by Ross Feighery.

THE PROBLEM: The do-more-with-less financial reality at many local nonprofits

THE FIX: A startup-style incubator fund

THE BACKSTORY: There’s one word that Liz Dozier wants to banish from descriptions of the nonprofit she started in 2016: charity. “What charities do is set this really unhealthy system of how you’re giving people fish,” Dozier says, alluding to the adage about teaching someone to care for themselves. Rather, she characterizes Chicago Beyond as an incubator-meets-venture-capital fund for community- and justice-focused groups that nurtures them with holistic support including professional development, guidance on strategic planning, and, most important, meaningful financial resources.

The former principal of Christian Fenger Academy High School and a star of CNN’s 2014 docuseries Chicagoland, Dozier knows the impact that deep coffers can have. At Fenger, she injected new life into one of the city’s poorly performing schools with the help of a federal grant totaling $4 million over four years. “Not that I didn’t appreciate a $500 grant,” Dozier says, “but in the grand scheme of things, that’s just a Band-Aid.”

In two years, Chicago Beyond has given $30 million raised by a small group of private donors to 13 local groups that target at-risk youth and young adults. Among them: the Dovetail Project, which provides young black fathers with life-skills training and parenting resources, and Storycatchers Theatre, a musical theater program for kids involved with the court system.

This summer, Chicago Beyond launched an 18-month fellowship for individuals whose research or projects are youth oriented and address community, justice, health, or education issues. The inaugural recipient, Nneka Tapia, the former executive director of the Cook County Department of Corrections, will focus on developing strategies for supporting the mental health needs of kids whose parents are in prison.

WHERE YOU COME IN: Volunteer your professional services (such as legal, consulting, communications) to help Chicago Beyond partners by emailing info@chicagobeyond.org.