Dawn Raftery is a mission-driven storyteller and strategist with a deep curiosity for the truth and a passion for racial equity and justice. As a journalist turned communication leader, Raftery brings nearly 25 years’ experience working in government, business, the media, and nonprofits to her role as Vice President of Communications. She leads a team that handles brand strategy, media relations, marketing, digital strategy, internal and external communication, executive communication, editorial, and creative design.
Most recently, Raftery oversaw a five-member communications team at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in charge of messaging and media relations, digital strategy, content development, and branding and graphic design. Before CMAP, she was director of communication at StriveTogether, a national network of communities focused on improving education and economic mobility outcomes for kids. Previously, she also led communications and rebranding efforts at IFF, the largest community development financial institution in the Midwest.
After starting her career at local newspapers, Raftery spent more than a decade in journalism, including overseeing the launch and management of more than 130 community magazines in 11 states while at a global marketing and internet services company. Previously, she was a board member at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago and the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in women’s studies.
Reflections on four decades of using the power of words to fight for racial and economic justice.
False narratives about the role of race in history hide inequitable outcomes and protect the status quo.
The first installment in our series Civil Rights at a Crossroads explore the link between spirituality and our fraught politics.
Get to know Joerika Stitt, our new staff attorney on the housing team.
Working across state lines to create collective, bold, and meaningful systems change.
More than 300 troublemakers gathered to celebrate the transformative work of the Shriver Center at our Homecoming Gala: Justice Reimagined.