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Data Informed Child Advocacy: Combatting Family Homelessness and Achieving Housing Security and Well-being
Speakers: Jennifer March and Bijan Kimiagar, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York is a nonprofit child advocacy organization based in New York City that works to advance policy and budgetary priorities that help to ensure that every child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. This presentation will provide an overview of what we know from data about pandemic impacts on children and families with a specific focus on housing insecurity and homelessness. The conversation will cover how data is collected, analyzed and disseminated as well as how data is used to engage the media, mobilize New Yorkers, and inform decisions made by city, state, and federal government leaders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened concerns around child and family well-being across New York City, with a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrate how housing insecurity has deepened during the pandemic, as 46% of Black renters with children and 55% of Hispanic/Latino renters with children report lack of confidence in meeting their next month’s rent. Action is needed at every level of government to ensure that investments are made in services and supports that respond to the heightened needs of homeless students who have experienced increased school disruptions and social isolation this past year. Policies also must be prioritized to keep children, youth and families stably housed, including offering rent subsidies of market rate value, and expanding affordable and supportive housing.
Jennifer March, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. Under her leadership, CCC creates coalitions and advances policy, budget and legislative solutions that result in historic victories including: achieving salary parity across NYC’s early education workforce, creating universal Pre-K for NYC four year olds and universal after-school for middle school students; raising the age of criminal responsibility in NY state; enacting local legislation to set aside a share of affordable housing units for homeless families; ensuring schools with high numbers of homeless students benefit from social workers; and achieving a moratorium on state budget cuts to children’s behavioral health care. She holds a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Fordham University.
Bijan Kimiagar, Ph.D., is Associate Executive Director for Research at Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC). He leads the research team who develops data-driven reports, conducts community-based assessments, and maintains an online database on the well-being of New York City’s children and families. These data resources provide elected officials, service providers, and New Yorkers at-large with information to shape state and local policies and programs. Prior to CCC, he served as a project director with the Children’s Environments Research Group at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he designed international participatory research projects with young people and their caregivers. He holds a doctorate in environmental psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
7:00 pm – 7:05 pm – Speaker Introduction
7:05 pm – 7:35 pm – Presentation
7:35 pm – 7:55 pm – Q&A
7:55 pm – 8:00 pm – Wrap up
Zoom Link to follow