Liz Dozier of Chicago Beyond | Excavating and Rebuilding a New Society
Structural racism set the stage long ago for what we are seeing now. For example, in Chicago, Black Americans are 30% of the population but 70% of COVID-19 deaths, with the highest mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group. The virus is showing us where the fault lines lie. Beyond recovery, how do we tear down and rebuild? How do we collectively pivot and avoid “returning to normal?” More importantly, how much do we really care to? How much have we learned from past decisions, like the G.I. Bill and Hurricane Katrina response? How will we think and do differently so that all communities have the opportunity to thrive? If we don’t ‘call-out’ inequities in the face of Police Brutality and COVID-19 and ‘call-in’ something radically different, then with the best of intentions, we will reproduce the same inequities. We need to excavate. Let’s have a real discussion about what a whole future looks like, and the associated culture and practices to make it real.
From education to activism, Liz Dozier, founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, has spent her career working tirelessly to disrupt the culture of inequity that is often pervasive in urban neighborhoods. During her tenure as principal at Fenger Academy High School, Liz and her team turned the school from one of the most violent and underperforming schools in Chicago to a leader in restorative justice practices, academic interventions, and social-emotional learning. Liz holds her B.S. from Eastern Illinois University, her M.Ed. from National Louis University, and is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Mathematics. She formerly served as the Principal of Fenger High School; as the Turnaround Strategist at Harper High School; and as the New Leaders Residential Principal at Jones College Prep.