Eddye Vanderkwaak is a member of the Social Justice and Well-being team with the W. Haywood Burns Institute. Eddye is a multi-disciplinary and socially engaged creative. Eddye has over a decade of experience working with issues of social justice, racial and ethnic equity, positive youth development, organizing, and community engagement.
Prior to joining the BI, Eddye served as the Lead Organizer for Foster Youth in Action, a grass-roots national organization seeking to build a movement led by young people to radically transform the foster care system, where she played a critical leadership role in the design, implementation and development of an international Organizer’s Fellowship.
As the Coordinator and Lead Organizer of Foster Youth in Action’s (FYA) Organizer Fellows Program, Eddye trained young adult organizers, coordinated the Youth Organizing Institute, facilitated community building & skill share opportunities, and provided ongoing leadership development to all members.
Previously, Eddye also served as a Child Protective Worker with the State of Iowa Department of Human Services, as well as the Restorative Justice Specialist with Iowa Juvenile Court Services (JCS). There she led the local efforts around Disproportionate Minority Contact and community engagement for JCS, including the coordination of JCS Courageous Conversations with the African-American families and youth who have experienced Iowa’s juvenile justice system.
Eddye served as a Jim Casey Fellow for the Annie E Casey Foundation, and continues to make meaningful contributions to the field in her pursuit of justice, fairness and equity.