RYH's new Executive Director

Please welcome Jianan Shi as the new Executive Director of Raise Your Hand! Jianan has worked across several Chicago communities as a high school teacher and as an organizer. We can’t wait for you and your community to get to know him as the RYH ED! Jianan will be busy meeting with various people and organizations over the coming months. You will hear from him very soon. Here’s a quick bio:


Jianan Shi taught for six years, organized around immigration & Asian American and Pacific Islander civic engagement, including youth organizing, and brings a racial equity lens to his work. He is an educator and organizer from Boston who relocated to Chicago three years ago. Jianan is finishing his third year as a science teacher at Solorio Academy High School, a CPS neighborhood school. Previously, Jianan taught three years at Codman Academy, an expeditionary learning charter school in Boston.


Jianan fell in love with Chicago because it developed the activist inside of him. He has volunteered with local organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Chicago United for Equity, and Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. Jianan received both his undergraduate and masters degrees from Boston College. He was part of the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars cohort, a Robert Noyce Science Educators for Urban Schools scholar, and a 2018 New Leaders Council fellow.


Raise Your Hand was founded in 2010 during a budget crisis that threatened to increase CPS class size to 37 and has now spent 9 years working to strengthen and protect public education by elevating parent voice. Campaigns on adequate & equitable funding, democratic & transparent school governance, a reduction in standardized testing, appropriate special education services, safeguards for student privacy, and a moratorium on school privatization have involved 1000's of CPS and Illinois parents. Often in coalition with groups from across the city and state, RYH has laid the groundwork for the ideas and solutions that will lead to true systemic change at the CPS district level and throughout the state. With a new mayor, a new school board, new aldermen, new legislators, and a new governor, RYH has even more work to do now to make sure the solutions we have been proposing for years are implemented with fidelity and with racial equity. Our work is far from done and we are excited to get moving into the next RYH chapter. Join us!
How to reach us:
Jennie Biggs, Communications & Outreach Director, jennie[at]ilraiseyourhand[dot]org
Mary Fahey Hughes, Special Education Parent Liaison, spedhelp[at]ilraiseyourhand[dot]org

Jodi Lacy, Administration & Finance Assistant, admin[at]ilraiseyourhand[dot]org

Jianan Shi, Executive Director, jianan[at]ilraiseyourhand[dot]org

Since January, we have been led by Joy Clendenning as RYH Interim ED. We have great appreciation to Joy for stepping up during this time of transition. Thank you, Joy! She did a wonderful job with our coalition work and in navigating several new RYH projects while keeping all other RYH work moving forward. We wholeheartedly thank Joy and know we’ll still see her partaking in all sorts of public education advocacy in Chicago and beyond!

We are so thankful to the many RYH parent leaders, the RYH staff, and the RYH founders who have played such important roles in RYH's first 9 years; honor their work by donating today to sustain and grow our work!