Community Conversations - We Raise Foundation

Community Conversations

Interested in digging deeper and learning more about the complex issues at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality? Join We Raise Foundation as we host topical, interactive conversations on these issues via Facebook Live. We’ll hear from practitioners, researchers, and experts in the field, who will share their personal and professional experiences creating solutions to these issues in their communities.

Community Conversation: Holistic Re-Entry Support After Prison


Tuesday, July 23, 2019
12 – 1 p.m. CDT

The conversation will be streamed to the public on Facebook Live. You may view it without a Facebook account. Submit your questions and comments during the conversation if logged into Facebook or your questions before the event. RSVP on our Facebook event page now and we’ll send you a reminder right before the conversation begins.

There are many barriers and challenges for people coming out of incarceration including lack of access to housing, education, workforce development programs, mental health counseling, and primary health care. At times the challenges can seem innumerable and insurmountable.

Join our Community Conversation to learn about our partner, St. Leonard’s Ministries in Chicago, Ill., and the holistic support they provide to returning citizens as part of their unique campus-integrated health model. Joni Stahlman, Chief Program Director at St. Leonard’s, will be joined by Dr. Angela Moss, Assistant Dean of Faculty Practice for Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, and Dr. Michelle Anderson, Clinical Supervisor of Adler University’s Community Health Services, Chicago, to share more about how these partnerships began and how they see this community-embedded approach impacting both individual lives and changing the way institutions collaborate. Join us as we discuss:

  • How barriers for returning citizens are greatly reduced with this approach;
  • How supportive partnerships are built and are sustained;
  • How research supports this best practice and encourages paradigm shifts in our understanding of wrap-around services.



Dr. Michelle Anderson

Clinical Supervisor
Adler University Community Health Services, Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Michelle Anderson is a trained clinical psychologist with a minor in quantitative psychology. She is currently a staff psychologist and clinical supervisor as part of Adler University’s Community Health Services in Chicago, Ill. She is experienced in program evaluation, action research, and clinical trials studies. In addition to knowledge and skills with survey design and psychological assessment and analysis, Dr. Anderson has specialization in conducting large-scale needs assessments and community-wide surveys, focus groups, key informant interviews, case studies, archival data reviews, and community engagement-feedback. She has worked on projects addressing issues relevant to criminal justice, community safety and wellness, organizational well-being, and the intersection of race, ethnicity, and class on health and mental health outcomes.


Dr. Angela Moss

Assistant Dean of Faculty Practice; Assistant Professor
Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Angela Moss is Assistant Dean of Faculty Practice and Assistant Professor at Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago, Ill. She has almost 20 years of experience as a nurse educator and clinician. As Assistant Dean of Faculty Practice, Dr. Moss is responsible for the development and maintenance of over 30 diverse community-based partnerships whereby faculty nurses and nurse practitioners provide direct patient care to vulnerable populations across Chicago. Dr. Moss’ primary teaching responsibilities are in the Doctor of Nursing Practice nurse practitioner programs with a focus on health assessment, business and finance, and student advisement. She is a board certified, practicing Adult Nurse Practitioner and currently works one day/week in a primary care clinic serving formerly incarcerated men and women.


Ms. Joni Stahlman

Chief Program Director
St. Leonard’s Ministries, Chicago, Ill.

Ms. Joni Stahlman is the Chief Program Director at St. Leonard’s Ministries, an agency that supports formerly incarcerated women and men successfully return to their communities. She is responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and building programs that benefit individuals in their transition. Stahlman spent 23 years working for the Illinois Department of Corrections rising to the position of Assistant Deputy Director where she provided behavior modification programs that assisted individuals with their return back to society as useful citizens. For the last two years, she has served as a board member of the John Howard Association, which independently monitors correctional facilities, policies and practices, and advances reforms needed to achieve a fair, humane and effective criminal justice system. Stahlman is also actively involved with the Women’s Justice Initiative and participant of the Sentencing Reform Working Group.

This conversation will be facilitated by Joanne Otte, Director of Programs, We Raise Foundation.

Past Conversations

From Challenges to Celebrations: How Community Collaboration Serves Junior High Youth


This Community Conversation was held on June 20, 2019 and featured Elizabeth Galik, Executive Director, River City Community Development Center Chicago, Ill., and Y’Shanda Young-Rivera, Ph.D., Learning Sciences Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., who discussed building programs to work with junior high youth.

This conversation, focused on the work of our partner, River City (R CITY) Community Development Center, and how they are building a path from cradle to career, particularly for junior high youth in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood. Learn about their partnership with Y’Shanda Young-Rivera as she walked alongside a cohort of R CITY junior high youth during three turbulent, but important years.

Community Conversation: Mass Incarceration

Our first Community Conversation was held on June 13, 2018 and featured Ms. Onie Riley, Lawndale Christian Legal Center, Chicago, Ill., and Dr. Heath Carter, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind., who discussed the complex topic of mass incarceration.

Onie and Heath shared history, stories, and information about an innovative new approach to address this brokenness through the lens of the North Lawndale neighborhood in Chicago.

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