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Posted by Allegra East on Oct 4, 2017

Polis Center to Host National Conference on Democratizing Data

On October 11-13, the Polis Center at IUPUI will host the semi-annual meeting of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a network of independent data intermediaries across the US that have a shared mission to help community stakeholders use neighborhood-level data for better decision-making.

Eighty people representing 34 cities, along with other national leaders in community information, will gather in Indianapolis to learn how data are being used to improve the quality of life for residents in Indianapolis and other partner cities. The Polis Center at IUPUI has been a member of NNIP since 1999 and hosted the conference previously in 2007. Polis developed one of the first comprehensive online and interactive neighborhood indicators systems created for any city called SAVI. SAVI (Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators) is now one of the nation’s largest community information systems and allows people to explore and map social issues such as poverty and education across neighborhoods and other geographies. Its goal is to provide actionable data to inform local decisions and policies.

Highlights from this year’s event include presentations from partner organizations from Rice University in Houston, TX and The Data Center of New Orleans discussing the critical role of data in the immediate aftermath and long-term recovery from hurricanes and other natural disasters. An Indianapolis panel of leaders from United Way of Central Indiana, John Boner Community Center, City of Indianapolis, and Parkview Health will share challenges and successes in their move toward a data informed culture.  Attendees also will learn how to build a data-driven community and how to employ user-centered design.

NNIP combines local expertise with the power of a national peer-learning network to strengthen communities. The local partner organizations are skilled in organizing and transforming data and have developed neighborhood indicators across many topics that are kept to date.  All partners have a focus on assisting organizations and residents in low-income communities. With expertise on a range of issues, NNIP partners act as conveners to connect nonprofits and government agencies across policy domains. NNIP is supported and coordinated by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington DC. All the network activities are grounded in Urban’s decades of social and economic policy analyses. Urban elevates the collective experience from NNIP to inform local and national policy.

 

 

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Posted by Allegra East on May 10, 2017

Sharon Kandris Appointed Associate Director at Polis Center

Sharon Kandris, Polis Center Associate Director

Sharon Kandris, Polis Center Associate Director

The Polis Center at IUPUI is pleased to announce that Sharon Kandris has been named Associate Director. In this role, she will lead center-wide initiatives, cultivate the development of new initiatives and project opportunities, expand community partnerships to further the Center’s mission, direct the community informatics area as a special focus of attention for the Center, address operational issues, and oversee strategic planning.

“This is an exciting time to take on fresh challenges because The Polis Center is undergoing a new strategic planning and restructuring process in order to be more responsive to community needs and to build on our many and diverse collaborative partnerships,” Kandris said. “I look forward to developing even deeper connections in our communities and helping them build a better future.”

Kandris joined The Polis Center 18 years ago, serving most recently as Director of Community Informatics.

“For more than a decade, Sharon has provided great leadership in securing grants, contracts, and scholarships for the Polis Center,” said Executive Director David Bodenhamer. “She has directed large community-based projects, fostered strong relationships with organizations in Indiana, and has been a strong advocate for community-focused change in the National Neighborhoods Indicators Partnership. She brings great talent, vision, and energy to new role, and I am delighted that she will continue to be a model servant-leader for Central Indiana.”

Kandris serves on the United Way of Central Indiana Community Impact Committee, is a partner with the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (Urban Institute, Washington, DC), is a member of the Indiana Geographic Information Council, and is a member and volunteer at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. She was named a Hoosier Fellow of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence in 2014. Kandris earned a Masters’ degree in geography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, concentrating in geographic information systems and community planning, and received a B.A. degree in geography from Northwest Missouri State University.

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Posted by Allegra East on Oct 25, 2016

A Healthier Place to Live: A Community Conversation on Public Health

Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area

Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area

In Indianapolis, wealth determines health. If you live in a low-income neighborhood in our city, there’s a good chance you’ll die earlier – 15 years earlier, in fact in some neighborhoods. We can do better.

Join WFYI, Side Effects Public Media, and the Indianapolis Public Library  on October 26 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Central Library, 40 E. Saint Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204, for a conversation with community leaders and public health experts about how we can make Indianapolis a fairer, healthier place for everyone to live. A light breakfast will be served at 7:30. The discussion, moderated by Carmel Wroth, Managing Editor of WFYI’s health journalism initiative, Side Effects Public Media, will start at 8:00 a.m.

Panelists include:
Christie Gillespie – Vice President of Community Impact, United Way of Central Indiana
Tamara Leech, Associate Professor, IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI
Ron Gifford, CEO, Jump in for Healthy Kids (childhood obesity, food, etc)
Virginia Caine, Director of Marion County Health Department
Alfie Ballew, Chief Deputy Coroner, Marion County Coroner’s Office

The Health Inequality Project data release earlier this year cited health disparities by area, ranking Indianapolis near the bottom of the top 100 most populous metro areas for the life expectancy of its poorest citizens.  A report on a similar topic was published in Indianapolis in July 2015, World’s Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area. The Indianapolis report was produced by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in partnership with The Polis Center at IUPUI for the SAVI Community Information System. Report authors included: Tess D. Weathers, Tamara G.J. Leech, Lisa K. Staten, Elizabeth Alice Adams, Jay T. Colbert, and Karen Frederickson Comer. Health gaps in our communities are an ongoing, important issue that cannot be covered up; we’ve got to find solutions!

Please RSVP to Paige Bova at pbova@wfyi.org or call 317-614-0502.

Event made possible with support from BioCrossroads.

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