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Monday, April 30, 2012

DOING WELL BUT ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Martha Thompson, IMPACT Chicago Director and Instructor
IMPACT Chicago is committed to ending violence and building a non-violent world in which all people can live safely and with dignity. By teaching self-defense, we provide women and girls with the tools they need to prevent, minimize, and stop violence. With that, IMPACT Chicago is committed to making its programs accessible to people of all economic, racial/ethnic, and social groups.
            One thing that keeps IMPACT strong and growing, even with limited resources, is our regularly gathering information about our programs and then assessing how well we are meeting our mission and what we can do to improve. An important part of this process is also letting graduates, donors, and the public know how we stack up.  In this blog, I reflect on how well we are doing in terms of making IMPACT accessible. Thanks to Naomi Love, IMPACT Chicago Workshop Leader and former office staff, for compiling age and racial/ethnic demographic data for 2011 Workshops and Core Programs.
IMPACT Chicago met our goal of making our programs accessible to people of all economic and age groups, but did not adequately meet our goal of reaching all racial/ethnic groups. The median income of people served in IMPACT Chicago in 2010 (latest income data available) was similar to the median household income in Cook County ($46, 911). The median income for IMPACT Chicago participants in the Core Program was $40,001-$60,000 and for Core Skills participants $20,001-$40,000. We served women and girls in a wide income range, from under $20,000 to over $140,000.  IMPACT Chicago served a wide age range in 2011, from 11-60+. The majority of participants, however, are 20-50.
As you can see in the Table below, in 2011 women and girls from a spectrum of racial groups participated in an IMPACT program, however, overall White Americans areoverrepresented. IMPACT is proportionately serving Asian Americans and Native Americans, but falls short in bringing IMPACT to Latinas and African American women.

IMPACT Chicago Programs & Chicago Demographics by Race/Ethnicity, percentages
Race[1]
Population
Workshops[2]
Core Program
White
(non-Hispanic white)
45% (31.7%)
65%
78%
Black or African American
32.9%
17%
11%
Other race
13.4%
NA
1.5%
Asian
5.5%
6%
4 %
Two or more races
2.7%
NA
NA
American Indian
.5%
NA
1.5%

Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino
28.9%
17%
4 %

How can IMPACT Chicago improve?
·         Because Chicago is a highly segregated city, IMPACT Chicago must continue its efforts to offer programs in every part of the city.
·         IMPACT Chicago must also expand making connections with organizations and organizational leaders in all communities.
·         IMPACT Chicago must also continue its commitment to diversifying its volunteer and instructor groups.



[1] Census categories
[2] Does not total to 100% because of overlap between White and Hispanic/Latino

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