University News

Adler Honors Grace Hou,
 Woods Fund Chicago
 with 2016 Community
 Leadership Award 07.15.16
Adler Honors Grace Hou,
Woods Fund Chicago
with 2016 Community
Leadership Award

Adler University has presented the Woods Fund Chicago and its president Grace Hou with the University’s 2016 Community Leadership Award recognizing outstanding work for social change and social justice.

Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D., Adler University President, bestowed the honor this week at the University’s annual President’s Appreciation Reception, an annual event celebrating the generous community of Adler’s supporters.

In introducing the award, Dr. Crossman named Woods Fund Chicago among the University’s most valued partners in supporting work that fosters equality.

 “Woods Fund Chicago is focused on addressing inequality and structural racism,” Dr. Crossman said. “That is essential, and the foundation’s focus on it is unique in Chicago’s philanthropic landscape. Woods Fund Chicago supports community organizing, policy work, and edgy work with impact that wouldn’t get funded otherwise.”

Elena Quintana, Ph.D., Executive Director of Adler’s Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ), also spoke on how Woods Fund Chicago, under Hou’s leadership, has contributed significantly to restorative justice work in Chicago, in partnership with the Institute.

Dr. Quintana described Woods Fund Chicago’s significant contributions to Right on Justice, an IPSSJ program made in collaboration with Communities United. Through a coalition among 22 organizations, Right on Justice seeks to advance restorative justice, and to dismantle the punitive systems that result in criminalizing communities of color.

“This would not have been possible without the leadership of Grace Hou,” said Dr. Quintana. “The work that Grace and Woods Fund Chicago have led through Right on Justice is a fantastic example of what partnership can be for our city, state, and the rest of the country.”

Hou was appointed President of Woods Fund Chicago in February 2012. Her career has been dedicated to systems change improvement through public policy development and implementation, social services provision, community organizing and engagement, and philanthropy. She has served on multiple boards of trustees, including at Adler University.

On receiving the award, Hou said, “I want to thank all of you—the leadership and staff here tonight, board members, students, organizers, and of course, the donors. Without you as donors, there is no Adler University, no Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, no work on restorative justice.

“I feel like I am a student of Adler,” Hou added. “I’ve learned such a great deal, thinking about what restorative justice means in an academic setting and how we then apply it in communities. It’s so timely to be Woods Fund in Chicago at this time. Organizing in communities is where the trust is. Trust is built in communities. As Alfred Adler teaches us: Community is what makes us healthy as individuals.”

About Woods Fund Chicago

Woods Fund Chicago is a grantmaking foundation committed to the promotion of social, economic, and racial justice through the support of community organizing and public policy. The foundation seeks to help create a society where people of all racial and ethnic groups across all levels of social and economic status are empowered and have a voice to influence policies that impact their lives and where all communities are free of poverty and racism.

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.