Social Innovation and Community Change

Can any one description encompass the vastly diverse field of social innovation and community change? Whether you are interested in environmental advocacy, policy research, community organizing, or immigration law, you can engage in social change in many different sectors and forms. This is a field dedicated to improving human and social welfare, through any level of engagement: within communities, through private for/non-profit institutions, or in government offices. With extensive experience in law, consulting, administration, academia, social services, and policy, our alumni have all taken unique paths to further social progress. Join us and discover the incredibly varied ways to pursue and build a fulfilling career in community building and social change.

Panel Participants

Youssef Kalad, AB'12

Program Director, NYC Mayor's Office of the CTO

Youssef is a 2012 graduate with a degree in Public Policy. As an undergrad, he was involved with Eckhart Consulting, Questbridge Scholars, and Student Government, serving as President his senior year. He jumped into strategy consulting after graduation, helping companies test risky concepts and scale successful ones over time. He took his experience to Uber, where he was a Senior Operations & Strategy Manager overseeing large-scale North American experiments & initiatives spanning product design, user growth, and profitability. He's now Program Director of NYCx, the world's first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, & testing. More simply, he focuses on making tech work for working people. As an immigrant and Odyssey Scholar, he's passionate about expanding access to high-quality education, mentorship, and professional development to under-served students across the country. He lives in NYC, and enjoys talking basketball, BBQ, and hip hop. (Table 100)

Allen Linton II, AB'11, AM'13

PhD Student, Political Science, University of Chicago

Mr. Linton graduated with honors from the College in 2011 with a degree in Political Science. As an undergraduate, he as involved with the University Community Service Center, CHOMUN, WHPK, and was the first Community and Government Liaison in Student Government. Mr. Linton obtained a Masters in Political Science in 2013 from UChicago and is currently completing his PhD in Political Science on the influence of new/social media on youth politics at the local level. Additionally, Mr. Linton is a member of the Chicago Global Shapers, initiative sponsored by the World Economic Forum. (Table 101)

Jonathan Lykes, AB'12, AM'13

Policy Analyst and National Youth Organizer, Center for the Study of Social Policy

Mr. Lykes is a Black queer artist, activist and policy analyst. He currently works at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) as a Policy Analyst and is the National Youth Organizer for the getR.E.A.L Initiative, addressing disparities that affect Black/brown LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth. He is the former artistic director of Performing Arts for Effective Civic Education (PAECE) Program at UChicago. He works to create awareness, promote personal healing, surmount institutional barriers and generate systemic change. Mr. Lykes' current position has him merging his multidisciplinary artistic background with public policy reform, community engagement, and systems change work. He is also currently serving as Co-chair for the C4 Board for Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). He's also the current Artistic Director for BYP100' freedom song and chant album, The Black Joy Experience. He earned his degree from the College and his master's degree from SSA. (Table 99)

Christian Mitchell, AB'08

State Representative, 26th District, Illinois General Assembly

Mr. Mitchell is the State Representative for the 26th district. As a legislator, he makes it a priority to improve schools, make our streets safer,and create jobs. He is a leader in fighting for education funding reform to make sure all children get their fair share of resources. He passed a law requiring universal background checks for private handgun sales to prevent criminals from buying guns illegally. He helped to create a program that provides low-interest loans to local small businesses to help them create more jobs. He played an important role in the recent passage of bills surrounding police body cameras, independent investigations of officer-involved deaths and decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and has relentlessly defended critical programs for our seniors, the disabled, and struggling working families. Christian graduated from the College with a degree in Public Policy. He's currently working toward his Juris Doctor at Loyola University.