The writers of BLOCK

In addition to our Community of Practice, we’ve invited others from the fields of housing and health to contribute pieces to this project.

Mikyung Baek

Mikyung is a research associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, working in the Opportunity Communities Program. She joined the Institute in 2005 and has been involved in various projects, particularly those related to children and youth. One of her recent accomplishments at the Institute involves the project, for which she worked extensively on mapping child opportunity index for 100 largest metro areas in the U.S.

She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology and an M.A. in Foreign and Second Language Education, both from The Ohio State University, and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Statistics from Pusan National University, South Korea.

Oxiris Barbot

Dr. Oxiris Barbot is First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the largest health department in the nation. She oversees a diverse portfolio that encompasses health equity, health policy, and operations, and leads development and implementation of agency priorities and citywide interagency initiatives. Dr. Barbot spearheaded the creation of the Center for Health Equity, which operationalizes the Department’s commitment to racial justice, meaningful community engagement, and internal reform.

Prior to returning to New York City, Dr. Barbot served as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City. She has also served as Medical Director for the New York City Public School System and Chief of Pediatrics and Community Medicine at Unity Health Care, Inc., in Washington, DC. Dr. Barbot holds a BA from Yale University and an MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Kierra S. Barnett

Kierra is a research associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. Her work focuses on the impact of social determinants of health on racial and ethnic health disparities. Kierra has collaborated with state and city public health departments as well as non-for-profit organizations to assess health outcomes, such as infant mortality, in order to make policy and practice-based recommendations to address the disparities.

Kierra is currently a PhD Candidate in College of Public Health at The Ohio State University (OSU). She holds a Masters of Public Health from OSU and a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health from the University of Illinois.

Heather Bromfield

Heather Bromfield is a Housing Research Analyst for the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, where she researches topics related to Fair Housing, neighborhood opportunity, and affordable housing policy.

Derek Carr

Derek Carr is a staff attorney at ChangeLab Solutions who works on issues related to air quality, healthy housing, tobacco control, healthy eating, and active living. Prior to joining ChangeLab Solutions, he was a legal fellow at the Network for Public Health Law — Southeastern Region, where he focused on drug overdose prevention.

Derek also worked on Medicaid advocacy issues as a legal intern at the National Health Law Program’s (NHeLP) Carrboro, North Carolina office. In law school, Derek spent multiple terms in the Civil Legal Assistance Clinic, providing direct legal services to low-income individuals on housing and employment matters. Derek received both his BA in public policy and political science and his law degree from the University of North Carolina.

Alexis Etow

Alexis Etow, JD, is a staff attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, where she works at the intersection of education and health. Her focus is on developing policy strategies and facilitating multi-sector collaborations and partnerships between key community stakeholders to create healthier school environments that support children, young people, and their families.

She has conducted research and policy analysis examining how federal tax credits can encourage healthy housing developments in low-income communities. And in law school, she worked on affordable housing issues, providing technical assistance and writing motions for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

George Kleb

George Kleb is the Executive Director for Housing and Community Development at Bon Secours Baltimore Health System. Employed at Bon Secours since 1987, he is responsible for the overall administration, direction and operations of all housing programs of the Bon Secours Baltimore including rental housing (729 units in service) management and new housing development (299+ units currently in development). He also directs local system-wide community benefit reporting and compliance.

He has been recognized as one of the chief architects of Operation ReachOut Southwest, an award-winning neighborhood revitalization initiative in southwest Baltimore that has resulted in more than $105 million in capital improvements and $18 million in grant funded programs to the neighborhoods surrounding Bon Secours Hospital since 1994.

George received his B.A. in 1982 from Western Maryland College and a Certificate in Housing and Community Development from the University of Maryland in 1998. He lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife Tina and their four children.

Mary McKay

Mary McKay, a graduate research associate and doctoral candidate in sociology, is a dedicated proponent of research promoting social justice and equity. Exploring the intersection of immigration and place, Mary researches how neighborhood context influences health outcomes among immigrants. Her latest project involves understanding the complexities that newly resettled refugees face when they arrive in the United States.

Eli Moore

Eli Moore is the California Community Partnerships Program Manager at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. He leads research projects on topics related to housing, displacement and gentrification at the local and state level, in addition to his work on environmental justice, mass incarceration, community economic development and community health issues.

Tram Nguyen

Tram Quang Nguyen coordinates economic and housing policy work with the Place Matters initiative of Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD).

Before joining ACPHD, Tram worked with the California Reinvestment Coalition on housing policy, economic and asset building policy, financial system reform and addressing the subprime mortgage crisis. She began her career as a journalist, and was the editor of ColorLines, a national newsmagazine about race and social justice. Tram holds a Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.

David Norris

David Norris is senior researcher and director of health equity at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, where he manages their Health Equity Mapping projects. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, David was a researcher at Community Research Partners, where he provided geographic information system support for numerous projects and managed their DataSource neighborhood data access website. He also has over 10 years’ experience in child advocacy and policy support with and Children’s Defense Fund–Ohio. Prior to that, he was a workshop instructor and journal editor with the American Chemical Society. David holds a master’s degree in public policy and management from The Glenn School at The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Ohio University.

Jillian Olinger

Jillian Olinger is senior research associate and director of housing and civic engagement at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. Jillian has spent her ten-year career working with and on behalf of marginalized residents in central Ohio and across the country. She joined the Kirwan Institute in 2007. As an engaged researcher, Jillian has deep expertise in a variety of social justice issues, including fair housing and fair credit, the intersection of child well-being and community development, and healthy neighborhoods. Jillian’s work has afforded her the privilege of traveling around the country, engaging with folks from all walks of life who are seeking to make positive transformations in their communities. Jillian holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning as well as a master’s degree in public policy and management from The Ohio State University.

Richard Rothstein

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America. The book recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation.

His several books and many articles on education policy also include Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008); and Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004).

Juell Stewart

As a former planner at ChangeLab Solutions, Juell focused on farmers’ markets, community gardens, urban agriculture, and mobile vending work. She also provided technical assistance and strategic planning guidance for food system projects. A proud Chicagoan by birth, Juell came to ChangeLab Solutions with a wide range of professional expertise, from racial justice advocacy to labor union organizing.

Juell graduated from Cornell College in Iowa and earned her MCP from the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in community and economic development.

Glennon Sweeney

Glennon is a research associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, leading the Institute’s food justice research. Her work focuses on issues related to food security and access, poverty, housing, civic engagement, and equity.

A member of the Franklin County Local Food Council and the Worthington Community Relations Commission, Glennon holds a Master’s in city and regional planning, a Bachelor’s in geography and political science, and is currently working on her Ph.D. is city and regional planning.

Susana L. Vasquez

Susana is associate vice president in the Office of Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago. She previously was vice president for strategic partnerships at IFF, a regional community development institution, where she developed program strategies to build nonprofit capacity and identified capital and grant opportunities to advance IFF’s mission. Prior to joining IFF, Susana served as executive director of the Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). During her 12-year tenure at LISC, she helped raise $100 million in grant and loan commitments from private and public sources and developed innovative programs to advance neighborhood development, civic technology, health, and education efforts across Chicago. She has also worked for The Resurrection Project, a community development organization, and for the Metropolitan Tenants Organization.

Susana has provided community engagement training to a range of institutions, including Studio Gang Architects, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Presence Health. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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