The Iguchi Initiative: Connecting Policy with Social Justice
Announcing Our Inaugural Iguchi Initiative Fellow
Patrick Hendricks, director of development for West Side United—a nonprofit organization dedicated to building community health and economic wellness on Chicago’s West Side and build healthy, vibrant neighborhoods—is the inaugural Iguchi Initiative fellow at RAND.
“RAND’s Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy is excited to collaborate with Patrick and explore innovative approaches to health equity research that center social justice and positively impact the individuals and communities we work with at RAND,” said Rhianna Rogers, the center's director.
During his fellowship, Rogers said Hendricks will work with RAND and the center to identify new ways to sharpen health equity policy from a social justice perspective.
She added, “RAND research has shown us that social determinants of health, such as income, education, employment, housing, and access to healthcare, significantly impact health outcomes. Addressing social determinants of health is a key component of social justice and promoting health equity.”
Anita Chandra, RAND Vice President of Social and Economic Well-being, noted, “Too often as policy analysts, we are limited in our understanding of how community organizations use and apply our research for social impact. The Iguchi Initiative is an important opportunity to close that gap and ensure that communities, particularly those often underrepresented, have an input in and are served by policy research.”
More about Patrick Hendricks
With more than 15 years of experience building and managing high-impact partnerships across the public, private, and social sectors, Patrick Hendricks has worked in roles of increasing responsibility at four large health systems: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Regional One Health Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Rush University Medical Center, primarily raising funds for hospital-based initiatives designed to improve health outcomes for underserved populations.
Currently, he is the Director of Development at West Side United, a coalition of hospitals based in Chicago charged with reducing the life expectancy gap between Black and white residents by 2030. In this role, he is responsible for garnering public and private commitments to advance the organization’s ambitious mission. Previously, he worked at the Obama Foundation, where he raised private-sector capital for its Equity and Sustainability initiatives and the Obama Presidential Center.
As a native of Memphis, Tennessee, Hendricks worked for the City of Memphis Mayor’s Office, managing a $5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies focused on increasing neighborhood economic development and reducing violence through public-private partnerships. He is also a Founding Board Member for Believe Memphis Charter School, Memphis Music Initiative, and Just City Memphis.
About the Initiative
The RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy launched the Iguchi Initiative in memory of Martin Iguchi, a groundbreaking leader who pioneered work on issues of racial equity and underserved populations. Iguchi was a true humanitarian who deeply understood the importance of diversifying the field of policy analysis and the need to apply RAND research to real community issues.
The initiative builds on Iguchi’s legacy to champion dialogue and engagement between social justice leaders, underserved populations, and RAND policy analysts. Social justice leaders design and mobilize social change that can bring insights to policy analysis, but too often, these voices are not included in policy research.
Iguchi's wife, Beth Iguchi, explained, “I wanted to honor Martin’s dedication to meeting the needs of those populations most marginalized in our society, through the lens of research and social justice. Through this initiative, we are honoring Martin’s lifelong work.”
About the Fellowship
The Iguchi Initiative Fellowship is a three-month engagement with the RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy during which the fellow will work with the center director and relevant RAND researchers on a racial equity policy topic of interest.
Each year, RAND will select a fellow with a different topical or thematic equity focus. Our inaugural fellow is focused on health equity. Subsequent fellowships will focus on other equity topics.
To foster new exchanges on a critical equity topic, the Iguchi Initiative fellow will:
- Meet with RAND researchers in the given health equity area to develop creative ways to translate policy recommendations and diversify dissemination practices.
- Meet bi-weekly during these three months with the center director (or designee) about ways that to foster better connections and dialogue with social justice leaders and develop new, innovative ways to build impact and equity in RAND projects/products.
- Hold an Iguchi Initiative event at the end of the tenure about the fellow's social justice work (i.e., what has been learned, what are the issues, and what RAND should tackle).
Fellows should expect to spend about two to three hours per week on these activities, but the commitment is relatively flexible based on the fellows' level of interest and engagement.
The center also provides a $5,000 stipend to the individual fellow or their community-based organization.