Heartland Alliance



August 2018 E-News


Last month, our newest Illinois poverty data were released and showed that half of Illinois counties are facing significant barriers to well-being. These new data show that Illinois residents are faring worse on poverty, unemployment, teen birth, and high school graduation rates. 

To help you better understand what this data means and how to use it, we hosted a webinar to demonstrate how the public, media, government entities, and non-profit service providers can use the data to understand local needs and help combat poverty.

In addition to our demonstration, we were joined by Megan Craig, of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, who shared how her organization uses these data to support their work and bring healthcare screening to underserved and at-risk populations throughout the state. 

We hope that this webinar, and our data, help people working to making change in their communities understand the on-the-ground conditions and make better decisions about how to move the needle on poverty and create equity and opportunity for ALL.

HelloWelcome to the Team!

We are very excited to welcome HaYoung Jeong and Kaitlin (Katie) Pelech as the newest additions to the Social IMPACT Research Center. Join us in welcoming them to Heartland Alliance family!

HYoung-headshot-2018HaYoung is a Data Analyst with the Social IMPACT Research Center working with Heartland’s READI Chicago Program to support program implementation and continuous quality improvement. HaYoung is a trained social worker, researcher, and data analyst. She has experience working with marginalized populations in direct practice, program evaluation, and research on issues of homelessness, education, public health, and youth violence prevention. In addition to her prior experience in evaluation, quality improvement, and grant reporting, she also provided case management services at Heartland Alliance's Building Stable Communities program and worked abroad with diverse populations in Mumbai, India and the Dominican Republic.  

HaYoung received her Master's in Social Work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She enjoys coffee in the morning, tries to seize every opportunity to travel, and wants to become a better yogi.

Kpelech_2018_headshotKatie is a Research Assistant at Heartland Alliance’s Social IMPACT Research Center. Katie is pursuing a Master’s in Social Administration from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, with a particular focus on public policy research and advocacy. She earned her Bachelor's in Psychology in her home state of Georgia in 2014. Before starting at IMPACT, she worked at Broadway Youth Center serving LGBTQ homeless youth in the Uptown area. Her research interests lie at the intersection of public policy and human welfare, particularly in regard to housing and education equity. 

In her free time, Katie enjoys reading, exploring local Chicago bookstores, and scouting for storytelling and open mic comedy nights. 

rpteampic2018Blog: Working to Uphold Racial Equity at Heartland Alliance

The Research & Policy Team (which includes: The Social IMPACT Research Center, National Initiatives, and Policy & Advocacy) was fortunate enough to recently attend a full day of anti-racism training facilitated by the Center for Social Innovation. The training pushed us as a team to think deeply about the intersections of racism and poverty, have productive and real conversations about race, and develop strategies for integrating anti-racism work into our everyday ways of doing business. For those of us on the team who are white, the training pushed us to examine our privilege and experience, which was a welcomed and vital exercise.



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