The Great Cities Institute is launching the Latino Research Initiative so that it may become a hub for providing relevant data to policy makers, co-producing research with community partners, and creating a pipeline of trained Latino researchers.
The Latino Research Initiative provides 1) data regarding Latinos in Illinois available upon request by legislators, directors of agencies and non-profits, press, etc.; 2) a research training program to build a pipeline of Latinos who have the capacity to provide data and research; 3) workshops for Latino professionals on the use and interpretation of data; 3) programming on research reports.
Mujeres Latinas en Acción (Mujeres) is a bilingual/ bicultural agency whose mission is to empower Latinas by providing services which reflect their values and culture and being and advocate on the issues that make a difference in their lives. Mujeres and GCI are co-producing a position paper, with a demographic data review, focus groups, and interviews on Latin@ immigrant communities within the Chicago and Suburban Metropolitan region with a specific focus on issues of economic justice, immigration, women’s healthcare, and gender‐based violence. GCI is supporting the oversight of the finalized product ensuring accurate methodologies are used and the creation of a summary of policy analyses and recommendations based on data collected. Through this partnership arrangement, we are assisting focus group planning; conducting a needs assessment; analyzing data from focus groups and needs assessment; and conducting demographic data review.
Latinos have grown exponentially within the last decade and now account for 60 percent of the Chicago metro area. This growth has not led to equitable opportunities for Latinos to participate civically, even while the community has serious needs in terms of education, healthcare, and access to safe and well remunerated employment. The gap between the growth of Latinos on one hand and lack of civic representation and responsive public policies on the other underscores the need to examine and publicize data and information on the size and scope of the Latino population. The Great Cities Institute partnered with Healthy Communities Foundation and The Community Memorial Foundation to provide data on Latinos in the Chicago Western Suburbs that will equip community leaders to advocate for greater inclusion in public decision-making that affects Latinos, their families, and their neighborhoods. The individuals who will benefit from this data include local residents, elected officials, municipal employees, advocates, and the news media.
GCI maintains a collection of “fact sheets” on a broad set of topics including population dynamics, economic inequality, employment, and more. These fact sheets call attention to critical issues in Chicago, the Chicagoland region, and Illinois, and are utilized by advocacy organizations, grant writers, media outlets, and researchers.