Although our nonprofit status was officially granted in May of 2016, 2017 was the first full calendar year for Data You Can Use. We’d like to share a timeline of our highlights with you. These events, milestones and projects are just a sampling of the work we did and the partners we collaborated with last year.
January: Release of first set of Neighborhood Strategic Planning Area reports
Data portraits for nine Neighborhood Strategic Planning (NSP) Areas were released in January 2017. The portraits were designed with input and involvement from NSP coordinators, in partnership with the Nonprofit Center. The data included was useful for several purposes, including planning, organizing and fund development. Since that release, similar portraits were requested by neighborhood- focused agencies and foundations. Now our website hosts twenty-one reports that follow this community organizer-developed template.
February: BYRNE Grant
Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR), formerly known as the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant, is intended to provide local governments with funding focused on community policing strategies and social cohesion. DYCU is the research partner on a grant awarded to the Milwaukee Police Department in the Amani neighborhood, with partners including: Amani United, COA, Community Advocates, DA’s Office, Dominican Center, Hepatha Church, LISC, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department, and Safe & Sound. DYCU helped residents co-create and administer a neighborhood survey.
Too often, people come into a neighborhood to fix an issue. Failure to acknowledge that services, agencies, people and businesses already exist in the area can be a missed opportunity to build existing assets. Matt Richardson and Carrie Koss Vallejo walked through an asset map with community members, and Katie Pritchard facilitated a discussion on ABCD or “Asset Based Community Development.” In March, we posted blog on the event and a “Identifying Neighborhood Assets” tool to our website, updated with feedback from the neighborhood changemakers at this event, community organizers and volunteers.
April: Hyper local health data from the 500 Cities Project
For a neighborhood organizer who knows that asthma is a big deal in their area, looking at County and State numbers can seem daunting and irrelevant at the same time. Finding small-scale data for neighborhoods is a challenge, especially for topics related to health. The CDC, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and CDC Foundation collaborated on data for 27 indicators related to adult health for 500 Cities in the US at the census tract level. We explored this data and shared it with partners throughout the Spring. In April, we were discussing adding appendices to our neighborhood portraits and Katie was preparing to share this data set at our Data Day.
May: Data Day! May 31st
Data Day is our signature event, when dataphiles connect to discuss all things data. We hosted 20 speakers, a Data Dream competition (congratulations again to winner ACTS Housing), and a discussion that lead to the founding of our Health data Users Group (HUG). We experimented with a new format including IGNITE sessions. For those not in the know, IGNITE presenters get 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes. IGNITEs will be back this year – the sessions received Excellent and Good ratings from over 90% of our Data Day survey respondents!
Save the date for the next Data Day coming up on Wednesday May 30th, 2018.
June: Project Central Voice
Over the summer, DYCU worked with a team of community researchers interviewing residents of central Milwaukee neighborhoods. Residents of the 53206 ZIP code were trained to conduct the interviews, a twist on the normal research method! The intent was to look for residents’ perceptions of community organizing and its relationship to crime control. During the second phase of the project, the focus is on documenting existing agencies, leaders, and assets in Milwaukee’s African American community. Partners in this work include the NAACP, the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Deborah Blanks from UWM.
July: A new workspace and team member –
DYCU moved into the UWM Zilber School of Public Health. Our offices within the school allow us to partner with staff and students and network with other agencies, including the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD), with whom we co-host Van Le, our LISC AmeriCorps Service Member.
August: First HUG meeting!
With a group of founding members, we successfully launched the first Health data User Group (HUG) meeting. The founding group set forth some operating guidelines and proposed topics for future sessions. The purpose is to bring together neighborhood groups, public health officials, health practitioners and academics to explore how health data can be used to improve neighborhood conditions.
September: Urban Institute recognizes DYCU as its official Milwaukee Partner
After review by the Executive Committee and approval of its full membership, the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP)welcomed DYCU as its newest member. NNIP is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policymaking and community building. Our partnership with NNIP has provided an effective forum to share and receive new ideas from organizations across the country.
October: Turning the Corner project
Turning the Corner is a national cross-site project that DYCU is involved in through NNIP and the Urban Institute. The project explores the post-recession housing market and looks for indicators of change, focusing on neighborhoods that have the potential to become unaffordable for current residents and businesses. The neighborhoods identified in Milwaukee for this project are Brewers Hill and Walker’s Point. In October, DYCU staff conducted a focus group and several interviews with residents of Walker’s Point. Look forward to our report which will be released in July 2018. The broader cross-site report is planned for release by NNIP in December 2018.
November: DASH Conference
Katie Pritchard and Bridget Clementi from Children’s Hospital, were invited by the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) to participate in a special Summit on Health and Housing. This day-long program in Chicago preceded the Midwest Forum on Hospitals, Health Systems and Population Health. It was sponsored by ALL IN and brought together “health doers” who are using and sharing data to improve communities. Most projects are multi-sector, collaborative efforts. It’s a network of collaborations from across the country that provide technical assistance webinars, affinity group calls, one-on-one connections and an on-line community to connect with others in this work where few roadmaps are available. Our plans are to make these resources available to our Health data Users Group. Let us know if you’re interested!
December: 30th St Corridor releases the Garden Homes Neighborhood Plan
DYCU promotes neighborhood-level data with agencies that have neighborhood level expertise, including the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. In December, the Garden Homes Neighborhood Plan was launched, and we are excited to partner with this organization (and many others) which work to improve Milwaukee.
Baker’s dozen bonus project:
On December 14th, the Community Development Alliance meeting took place at the Zilber School of Public Health. Katie facilitated a discussion on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Peer City Identification Tool. We had the opportunity to do a deep-dive into the data with community members who are actively involved in revitalizing Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and commercial corridors.