Data You Can Use
Press Release

Four Milwaukee-Area nonprofits receive the 2021 Data Dream Award which provides $10,000 in pro-bono research services to help agencies use data for better results

Data You Can Use, a nonprofit research group, also names their new president, Dr. Victor Amaya

By - Oct 21st, 2021 01:24 pm

(Milwaukee, WI, October 20, 2021) –  Data You Can Use (DYCU), a Milwaukee-based nonprofit research group, named four nonprofits as winners of their Data Dream Awards, and announced the appointment of a new president, Dr. Victor Amaya, during their 7th Data Day conference.

The Data Dream Award provides $10,000 in pro-bono services to help nonprofits gather and interpret data to improve the effectiveness of their programs. Pro-bono services are provided by Data You Can Use and the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute. Winners were selected through a competitive process and vetted by a panel of expert judges in data sciences and philanthropy.

“Data You Can Use is pleased to expand the Data Dream award this year by doubling our services to each winner. We look forward to helping the Data Dreamers get the information they need to make good decisions which support effective programs and services in the Milwaukee area,” said Dr. Kathleen Pritchard, President and Executive Director of Day You Can Use.

Winners and sponsors of 2021 Data Dream Awards include:

  • Southside Organizing Center (SOC) won their Data Dream, sponsored by the Zilber Family Foundation, to analyze census data to see what has changed in their southside Milwaukee neighborhoods since the last census. SOC would like to determine if their service boundaries should change to best support Milwaukee’s Latino/a/x residents, and particularly the low-income population. SOC is a neighborhood-based organization dedicated to the development and sustainability of Milwaukee’s near south side neighborhoods. SOC works with and for residents to create a safe, livable, and economically vibrant community.
  • Riverworks Development Corporation won their Data Dream, sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, to better understand the impact of small business development in the Harambee neighborhood. Riverworks Development Corporation drives social and economic development by aligning residents and businesses with specialized resources that strengthen Harambee, Riverwest and surrounding communities. Riverworks envisions a vibrant and diverse community of residents, businesses, and stakeholders who jointly create and maintain a prosperous neighborhood and quality of life.
  • JobsWork MKE won their Data Dream, sponsored by the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, to understand and quantify the annual cost of living in poverty in Milwaukee, both to individuals and to the greater community. The mission of JobsWork MKE is to prepare and encourage individuals living in poverty in the City of Milwaukee to achieve economic self-sufficiency through sustainable employment. They serve individuals coming primarily from Milwaukee’s north side neighborhoods that have the highest poverty and unemployment levels in the city.
  • United Community Center/Centro de la Comunidad Unida (UCC), won the People’s Choice Award Data Dream sponsored by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, to better understand how the social determinants of health can be impacted through their programs and to measure their impact. The UCC provides programs to Hispanics and south side residents of all ages, in the areas of education, cultural arts, recreation, community development, health and human services.

Data You Can Use announced the winners at their 7th Data Day, an annual conference for leaders, from neighborhoods to universities, who want to better understand the implications of data on community revitalization, and to increase connections between research and practice.

During the closing of Data Day, Founding Executive Director and President, Dr. Kathleen Pritchard, announced Dr. Victor Amaya as the organization’s next President. Dr. Amaya will start December 1, and Dr. Pritchard will retire on December 31st, 2021.

Appointed by the board of directors, Dr. Amaya will lead Data You Can Use’s strategy and operations with a goal of increasing the use of data to drive impact and improve conditions in the community.  Dr. Victor Amaya is a veteran educator, instructional coach, and school leader. Most recently, he led the Impact Department at City Year Milwaukee, the local affiliate of a national educational non-profit. Dr. Amaya was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and immigrated to Milwaukee when he was twelve. He is an MPS graduate of Riverside University High School and earned his BA in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Dr. Amaya holds a Director of Curriculum and Instruction license and a District Superintendent’s license and earned an MS in Administrative Leadership, and a Doctorate in Leadership in the Advancement of Learning from Cardinal Stritch University.

Data Day also featured keynote speaker, Dr. Emmanual Letouze, founder and CEO of the Data Pop Alliance, who shared his knowledge regarding using data as a “language, lens, and lever” for social change.

Two hundred participants, primarily from the greater Milwaukee area, attended the virtual Data Day, which also featured presentations from local agencies. All Data Day presentations are available at https://www.datadaymke.org.

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