Equity and Transformation's unique strategy to mobilize the informal workforce consists of research, community organizing, advocacy, and policy development.
The city of Chicago experienced 775 homicides in the year 2020. Over 90% of the homicides were caused by gunshots, and roughly 75% of all victims are Black. It's no coincidence that the majority of violent crimes take place in Chicago's most economically disadvantaged and most segregated Black neighborhoods, such as West Garfield Park. West Garfield Park has a per capita income of $11,739, approximately 70% less than Chicago's average per capita income of $38,105.
Our research study presents an innovative solution to economic inequality and recidivism by providing a guaranteed income of 500 USD per month for 18 months for 30 previously incarcerated individuals in West Garfield Park. There will be no work requirements or restrictions on how the money can be spent. We only ask participants to provide regular self-reported updates on the variables we're tracking.
To keep the selection process fair and maintain scientific integrity, we designed a randomized control study. We will randomly select 30 individuals from the pool of eligible applicants to receive the guaranteed income. 60 individuals from the same pool will also be randomly selected to participate solely in data collection activities as members of our control group.
We recognize that guaranteed income is not a universal remedy for centuries of oppression, criminalization, and neglect. $500 a month won't solve the pervasiveness of systemic racism. However, we believe a guaranteed income can humanize poverty, reduce recidivism, and ultimately build a stronger and safer community in Garfield Park.
November 1, 2020
Open baseline survey for applications.
June 15, 2021
Inform selected recipients.
July 8, 2021
Launch orientation sessions.
July 22, 2021
August 15, 2021
First observation point.
November 1, 2021
February 15, 2023
Last observation point.August 1, 2023
Release evaluation report.
February 15, 2023
We want to guarantee the financial resources are going to those most in need. All participants must:
Be 18-35 years old
Reside in West Garfield Park
Be formerly convicted or incarcerated
Have an income of less than $12,000 per year
Every 3 months, participants will be required to participate in data collection surveys. Our researchers will analyze the effects of guaranteed income on the following reported variables:
Recidivism: arrests, charges, imprisonment
Income volatility: household income, employment
Physical functioning: food security, housing, health
Psychological wellbeing: depression, anxiety
Your financial support would go directly into the hands of those who need it most.
65% Guaranteed Income
31% Research Staff
3% Contingency Fund
Unconditional cash meets people's most urgent needs, which isn't always limited to food, housing, and health security. Removing all restrictions mitigates unprecedented costs and provides a safety net amid life's chaotic events. We want to ensure that our recipients can use the money whenever and however they need it.
A guaranteed income of $500/month isn't going to make anyone rich, but it will provide a lifeline to someone on the verge of drowning. $500/month allows folks to focus on their families, careers, and overall wellbeing without having to worry about unexpected expenses.
We will provide regular updates on the participants and how the money is being allocated throughout the program. Every other observation point, we will release a newsletter to our donors showcasing individual stories and updated findings from our research team.
Richard Wallace is a Chicago native and dually an organizer and artist in the fight to end anti-Black racism and economic violence. He has led numerous campaigns ranging from public health initiatives to policy reform efforts to build power and equity for Black and marginalized Chicagoans.
Richard is a graduate of Roosevelt University, where he received their prestigious Matthew Freeman Social Justice Award and where he founded
Roosevelt University’s student chapter of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. He has received many honors throughout his young career, most
recently by Atlantic Philanthropies, who inducted him into the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, their inaugural cohort of Atlantic Fellows (2018-2019).
Rachel Pyon is currently a graduate student at the University of Chicago's School of Public Policy. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Diversity Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Rachel has a strong background in policy reform work. Her experience in research, policy analysis, legislation, and campaigning has equipped her to lead several initiatives to build a safer and more equitable society.