About

Dr. Rafael Yanez has devoted his entire professional efforts and community activism to those issues since that awful day in 2003 when he stood at the spot where a neighborhood child had been shot dead.

That young boy had been participating in neighborhood clean-up when he died, making a contribution to his community. The stark contrast between his short but important life and those of other youth Dr. Yanez encountered struck him hard. “They were living a life without purpose, without hope,” he said of so many children he saw in his Back Of The Yards neighborhood. He vowed to change that.

Within a year, Dr. Yanez became a member of the institution he believed has the greatest capacity to effectively intervene in the lives of youth and their neighborhoods. As a Chicago police officer, he quickly advanced to roles in which his talents and commitment could best serve the community, coordinating the Police-Youth Mentoring Program in Englewood, instructing in measures to help young people at both the Chicago Police and Fire Training Academy and Harold Washington College. Currently, he is a Crime Prevention Specialist with the Department.

In 2007 he founded U.N.I.O.N. Impact Center, a nonprofit organization that has successfully offered more than 1500 youth from New City/Back of the Yards, Brighton Park, Englewood and other neighborhoods training and activities in sports, art, job skills, health, and community involvement.

Coordinating those activities among diverse neighborhoods and groups has focused Yanez on the need to knit together individual, organizational and institutional efforts into a strong, supportive fabric to sustain our young people’s futures.

His work is widely recognized, and he has received numerous professional awards from the Chicago Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Recently, he was named Englewood Man Of Service by the Children’s Home And Aid Society, and he serves on the board of the Neighborhood Housing Services for the New City/Back of the Yards-Garfield Boulevard areas.

Rafael Yanez was born in Chicago but spent his early childhood in Mexico, and he has lived in and around the 15th Ward since returning here at age 9. He is a product of our neighborhood schools, having graduated from Jose Clemente Orozco Academy in 1993 and Benito Juarez High School in 1997. He attended City Colleges of Chicago until his transfer to the Law Enforcement Administration Bachelors program and Public Safety Management masters program at Calumet College of St. Joseph, and he holds a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University.
He, his wife Leticia and their two children live in Back Of The Yards.
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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Black Progressive Women Are Repudiating Rahm Emanuel's Legacy on His Way Out of Office | Patriots and Progressives - March 6, 2019

    […] and tenants’ rights organizer from Puerto Rico. Yanez is a former Chicago police officer known for organizing youth violence prevention activities. Martin ran a campaign heavily focused on […]

  2. Black Progressive Women Are Repudiating Rahm Emanuel’s Legacy on His Way Out of Office - G20 Intel - March 6, 2019

    […] and tenants’ rights organizer from Puerto Rico. Yanez is a former Chicago police officer known for organizing youth violence prevention activities. Martin ran a campaign heavily focused on […]

  3. Tuesday is Election Day in Chicago - April 1, 2019

    […] Within a year, Dr. Yanez became a member of the institution he believed has the greatest capacity to effectively intervene in the lives of youth and their neighborhoods. As a Chicago police officer, he quickly advanced to roles in which his talents and commitment could best serve the community, coordinating the Police-Youth Mentoring Program in Englewood, instructing in measures to help young people at both the Chicago Police and Fire Training Academy and Harold Washington College. Currently, he is a Crime Prevention Specialist with the Department. Learn more: https://rafaelyanezforalderman.wordpress.com/about/ […]

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