On today’s episode, Mike & Oteil are joined by Liz Dozier, who tells the story of how she turned a Chicago high school around, which led her to start Chicago Beyond, an organization that invests in youth equity. Liz discusses the challenges that kids face across the country, and why we need to think deeply about what they’re going through before we make any judgments.
From education to activism, Liz Dozier has spent her career working tirelessly to disrupt the culture of inequity that is often pervasive in urban neighborhoods. In 2016, Dozier launched Chicago Beyond, an impact investor that backs the fight for youth equity by fueling organizations, individuals, and learning. Since its inception, Chicago Beyond has invested more than $30 million in local nonprofit organizations and community leaders that fight for all youth to achieve their fullest human potential. Beyond funding, the team works hand-in-hand with their investment partners to provide the strategic support and thought partnership they need to achieve their goals and impact more young people. Because there is no single barrier to equity, Chicago Beyond invests in everything from education, to youth safety, to health and wellness, and beyond.
Dozier’s ambition is born from her experiences as an educator in Chicago Public Schools. During her tenure as principal at Fenger High School, which at the time was known as one of the most violent and underperforming schools in Chicago, Fenger experienced a decrease in its dropout rate from 19% to 2%, a 40% increase in Freshman On-Track to graduate, and double-digit increases in attendance and the school’s state graduation rate. Keenly aware of how traumatic events outside of the classroom were affecting her students, Dozier’s method to turn Fenger around also included the adoption of restorative justice and mental health and wellness strategies.
Dozier’s work has been featured in various outlets such as the New York Times Best Seller How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, CNN’s docu-series Chicagoland, and forums such as Aspen Ideas Festival, the Kennedy Center Forum on Mental Health, The Obama Foundation Summit, and SXSW.
Comes A Time is brought to you by Osiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Oteil Burbridge and Mike Finoia. Executive Producers are Christina Collins, RJ Bee and Kirsten Cluthe. Production, Editing and Mixing by Eric Limarenko and Matt Dwyer. Theme music by Oteil Burbridge. To discover more podcasts that connect you more deeply to the music you love, check out osirispod.com
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