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Liz Dozier    

Founder & CEO of Youth Equity Platform Chicago Beyond; Star of CNN's Documentary Series "Chicagoland"

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. Her ambition is born from her experiences as a teacher and principal in Chicago Public Schools.

In 2016, Dozier launched Chicago Beyond, an impact investor that backs the fight against the inequities pervasive in Chicago’s communities. Today in our country, a child’s zip code is one of the biggest predictors of their life outcomes. For that reason, Chicago Beyond invests in leaders and organizations that are positioned to disrupt that harsh reality, while simultaneously driving towards systemic change so that zip codes are no longer what influences a young person’s fate. Since its inception, Chicago Beyond has invested more than $35 million in local nonprofit organizations and community leaders that fight for all youth to achieve their fullest human potential. Chicago Beyond’s initial investments include programs that strengthen young African American fathers, reduce youth recidivism through employment in the performing arts, and take holistic and trauma-informed approaches to healing and bolstering communities. 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 reach 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.

Since March of 2020, Chicago Beyond has launched several initiatives to respond in real-time to the COVID-19 pandemic and movement for social justice in the name of Black lives. Through Going Beyond, the team created a largescale, hyperlocal distribution network to deliver food and basic necessity items to thousands of families on the South and West Sides of Chicago through community networks and organizations. The Backing the Fight Fund was launched to stand in solidarity with those working on the front lines and deployed financial resources to 12 hyperlocal community organizations taking action and fighting for a more equitable future for Chicago’s youth and communities. Chicago Beyond also started a speaker series on antiracism that has been joined by more than 200,000 individuals globally and has provided entry points for people with the desire to learn what it means to be antiracist. In 2019, Chicago Beyond published Why Am I Always Being Researched?, a guidebook designed for funders, researchers, and community organizations on how to deconstruct harmful power dynamics when researching communities. Chicago Beyond also recently opened a new space, designed intentionally to serve as Chicago’s home for social innovation.

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