August 31, 2022


Introducing the First Round of CLOCC's 20 Under 20 Honorees

In 2022, CLOCC is excited to celebrate 20 years of obesity-prevention progress in Chicago. To mark this special occasion, we are honoring the vision of CLOCC founder and Lurie Children's Hospital pediatrician Kathy Kaufer Christoffel, MD, with an award series focused on the young, emerging leaders who are the future of childhood obesity prevention in Chicago and beyond.

Today, we are proud to introduce this first group of five recipients of the 20 Under 20 Award. Nominated by mentors and peers from across the Consortium, these young Chicagoans were selected for their efforts to lead future generations to better health. Through participation in school and/or community programs, or through their own individual initiatives, they are inspiring and supporting those around them to adopt healthier habits and strengthen the environments that support health in Chicago's schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Please join us in congratulating these individuals, and stay tuned for future announcements of CLOCC's 20 Under 20. 

Markisha Ford

Nominating Organization: Girls in the Game

As a part of Girls in the Game's Teen Squad, Markisha trained to coach numerous workshops for younger girls at local parks, schools, and community events. In a four-year span, she taught younger girls about healthy eating, emphasized teamwork, and led volleyball, kickboxing, and yoga workshops. She coached over 140 girls in 3rd-8th grade sports, primarily on the West and South Sides of Chicago. Markisha's passion and enthusiasm has empowered younger girls to try new sports and facilitated conversations on nutrition and healthy habits. She also contributed to Girls in the Game’s clean-up efforts at Union Park, improving her neighborhood's conditions for safe, active play. Her development into a young leader has supported Girls in the Game's nonprofit work to provide and promote sports and fitness opportunities, nutrition and health education, and leadership development to enhance the overall health and well-being of girls.

Ernest Willingham

Nominating Organization: Chicago Youth Programs

As the youngest of eleven children, Ernest grew up in North Lawndale after his home in Cabrini Green was torn down. He graduated from Crane Medical Prep High School in 2020, becoming the first male in his family to graduate from high school. As one of 13 international recipients of the prestigious Torch Scholarship, Ernest is now a Northeastern University (Mass.) student, studying Emergency Medicine/Critical Care & Preventative Healthcare. He is researching health disparities in underrepresented communities while working on an initiative involving inmates and emphasizing the significance of health literacy and education. This past summer, Ernest served as a medical assistant in Bronzeville, performing health intake duties, vaccine and immunization administration and other functions to improve community health. Over the course of his life, Ernest has seen his brother, father, cousin, and best friend become victims of gun violence and, earlier this year, he testified to a United States Senate Committee on "Protecting America's Children From Gun Violence." Ernest recounted how the trauma youth experience growing up in Chicago impedes their ability to lead healthy lives. Through his advocacy on reducing firearm violence, Ernest is helping to create safer physical environments for youth so they can safely play, walk, and exercise in their communities.

Northeastern University photo

Ana Perez-Acuna, Jai Li Hernandez and Angie Martinez

Nominating Organization: Namaste Charter School

Junior high school students Ana, Jai Li and Angie were nominated as standout members of the Namaste Charter School's Wellness Committee. These three students combined to help steer the committee's programs, activities and policies. These students also identified an external partner to facilitate work on a school garden grant. This group assisted the school's 8th grade class with hosting a healthy-food fundraiser by selling fruit cups as opposed to chocolates or gourmet popcorn. They also took the initiative to participate in the state legislative process by completing and promoting witness slip opportunities in support of Illinois schools being able to have more choices in food vendors for school lunches. Jai Li has also worked to promote physical fitness by taking part in a filming opportunity with the CATCH Global Foundation, demonstrating various fitness exercises. The Namaste School is grateful for their leadership and civic roles and hopeful they will continue this leadership in high school to support their communities.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, an opportunity for CLOCC partners to reaffirm the importance of children's access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities, and to identify and address the upstream factors which contribute to the health disparities in our communities. Below, find resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture, designed to inform and guide your obesity-prevention work this month and year-round.


Upcoming Events

The Importance of Child Nutrition Programs

Hosted by the Greater Chicago Food Depository

Kick off Hunger Action Month with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to learn about the prevalence and impact of child hunger, and the different upcoming policy opportunities to better connect Illinois children with the nutrition they need to thrive. Topics include the current state of child hunger in Illinois, an overview of child nutrition programs, key priorities for upcoming legislative opportunities, and what advocates can do to ensure that child nutrition programs get the support necessary to succeed.

Date: September 14th

Time: Noon-1:00 PM CT

Register Here

Racism and Food Access and Nutrition Culture: Discussion Series

Hosted by the Illinois Public Health Institute

The Illinois Public Health Institute is excited to present a two-part, virtual discussion series to explore how racism, oppression, and colonialism have shaped American food access and nutrition culture and what providers can do to challenge these systems. View the speaker bios here


One Bad Apple: How the Lack of Knowledge about Black and Indigenous Food Histories Informs our Nutrition Work

Date: September 15th

Time: 10-11:00 AM CT


Eating with Our Neighbors: How to Identify Injustices and Create Change in Food and Nutrition Programs

Date: September 27th

Time: 10-11:30 AM CT

Register Here

Exploring the Power of Youth Leadership in Creating Conditions for Health and Equity 

Join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on Population Health Improvement as it explores how young people are engaging in and leading efforts to improve the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the health and equity of communities and the nation.

Date: September 19th

Time: 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT 

This event will include presentations and discussions that highlight case examples from select domains in which young people engage (e.g., education, climate justice, community safety); consider the types of civic infrastructure and resources that support youth participation and leadership of change efforts; and explore the available evidence on how young people themselves (and society at large) benefit from being involved in this kind of work. 

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Career Opportunities

Research Scientist 4 (Epidemiology, Obesity Surveillance)

Department of Health, State of New York

The Research Scientist 4 will engage in research and data analysis activities supporting New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) chronic disease prevention and control initiatives. The incumbent will be responsible for overseeing the Student Weight Status Category Reporting System, a surveillance system for measuring obesity in school age children and adolescents. The incumbent will oversee and coordinate between the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Electronic Health Record surveillance projects as well as cannabis, tobacco, alcohol surveillance systems/programs and other behavioral risk factor surveillance as needed. The Research Scientist IV will be expected to analyze data from NYSDOH, state, and federal data sources and to conduct surveillance in support of chronic disease prevention and control initiatives. The incumbent will contribute to the evidence base in chronic disease prevention and control, summarizing the findings from data analysis projects to members of the DOH project team, internal, and external stakeholders, and disseminating findings through presentations, reports and manuscripts.

This role requires a bachelor’s degree in epidemiology, public health, biology, infection control, statistics/biostatistics, biomedical science, environmental health, environmental science, or a related field and five years of professional scientific research experience in an appropriate field; or a Master’s degree in one of the above fields and four years of such experience; or a Doctorate in one of the above fields and two years of such experience. Learn more or apply here

Medical Assistant - Mobile Health

Lurie Children's Hospital

The Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities, housed at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, is hiring for a Medical Assistant - Mobile Health.  This individual is responsible for daily clinical work in the outpatient/primary care setting, and assists Physicians and other staff under the direction of a Registered Nurse. Learn more or apply.

Forty Acres Fresh Market - Multiple Positions

Forty Acres Fresh Market, in the Austin neighborhood, is hiring the following positions right away. Please note, all positions require a driver’s license. 

Submit Job Openings and Future Events to be Listed

on and in the CLOCC Newsletter

Connect with CLOCC's network of nearly 3,000 childhood obesity prevention advocates by listing your organization's upcoming events or current job openings on the Consortium's website. Upon submission, postings will be approved by CLOCC staff; events and careers applicable to the CLOCC network may also be featured in this newsletter. If you have questions or are not able to access the webpage, contact CLOCC will not publish for-profit services or events, or products for sale.
Click here, or the image above, to view the latest job opportunities in obesity prevention and public health. Are you looking to fill an opening? Submit your listing using the button below.
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Click here, or the image above, to view upcoming events targeted for child health and obesity prevention, as well events hosted by local partners. Submit your own event using the button below.
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Focus Upstream
CLOCC focuses upstream to identify the fundamental root causes of obesity, and to broaden the scope of our obesity prevention strategies. This work draws from local and national attention to health equity and social influencers of health, such as immigration, education, poverty and racism, all of which have an impact on people's ability to eat healthy and be active where they live, work, learn, and play. If you have comments or questions about this focus, we invite you to reach out to


Childhood Obesity in the Media

Funding and Recognition Opportunities

  • The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is seeking community-based organizations to apply to the new Community Alliance for Regional Equity program — an initiative to improve CMAP’s investment processes to better serve people traditionally excluded from transportation planning. CMAP will recruit up to 12 community-based organizations and pay $10,000 for one year of their time and expertise. You can find more information on the Community Alliance for Regional Equity webpage and access the application here.
  • Program highlights include:
  • Ability to influence decision-making that impacts your community, including how federal transportation dollars reach your community
  • Networking and relationship-building opportunities
  • $10,000 unrestricted honorarium, half paid upfront
  • Potential for a multi-year commitment
  • If you have questions about the program, please contact CMAP at or call 312-454-0400.

  • Laureus USA is pleased to announce a $4,000,000 funding opportunity for sports-based youth development organizations operating in the state of Illinois. This program is funded by the American Recue Plan Act through Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s (ICJIA). Laureus USA funds non-profit sport-based youth development organizations that intentionally address a particular and relevant social issue facing youth, while increasing physical activity and enhancing social-emotional development. View the application here. The application deadline is September 19th. This grant opportunity will focus on organizations creating impact in the following two ways:
  • Organizations working on violence prevention and intervention services/ focused on creating access to safe spaces, building protective factors for youth through positive relationships, and developing transferrable life skills/competencies
  • Organizations with expertise in providing training and technical assistance (TA) on sports-based youth development program quality, healing-centered coaching/programming, and/or restorative justice practices and implementation

  • Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is funding research focused on how pandemic-driven social and economic programs and policies related to poverty reduction impact child obesity, diet quality, and food and nutrition security. Applications are open now hereDeadline, October 12th. 
  • 5-4-3-2-1 Go!
  • fiveSMART
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