Our mission & role in the community
DataWorks is a 501 c 3 serving neighbors, neighborhoods, nonprofits, researchers and local governments. Our mission is to democratize data to facilitate an empowered, productive, and equitable community.
We work with partners in social benefit to advance community programming and public discourse. We provide comprehensive neighborhood indicators with the Neighborhood Compass, technical assistance and custom data analysis, and collaborative learning opportunities.
John Killeen is an urban planner and the executive director of DataWorks. Since 2012 John has managed the Durham Neighborhood Compass, creating indicators of neighborhood change for public use. His work with neighborhoods and community organizations includes mapping and other data visualization related to demographics, housing, health, economic development and the intersection of these in communities.
Research Action Design (RAD)
Research Action Design (RAD) is a worker-owned collective which uses community-led research, collaborative design of technology and media, and secure digital strategies to build the power of grassroots social movements. RAD partners with DataWorks to support research, design and development for the Neighborhood Compass and the Neighborhood Health Indicators projects, as well as to support community-based research and engagement around equitable development.
Your neighborhood troublemaker and imagemaker. I am an activist, animator, graphic designer, illustrator, and graphic facilitator based in the South. I came into my work as an artist and designer through community organizing. I discovered joy and fulfillment in creating visual content that compelled people into action and ignited powerful emotions. My artistic work is colored by my identity as a Black, immigrant, butch lesbian, Muslim, and comic book nerd; and I bring my boldness, quirks, and convictions to every project I work on.
Board of Directors
Nick Allen, board vice-chair
I’m in love with the idea of providing community with the knowledge and resources that empower their participation and authority at decision making tables where data is the dominant language. DataWorks turns this idea into action.
Jessica Aylor, board secretary
Jessica has more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, higher education, the arts, and community economic development in North Carolina and Virginia. She is now Co-Chair of the Chapel Hill Funders Network; and on the board of directors for PTA Thrift Shop in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC Data Works, the Wilkins Corporation, and Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool. She has also served on the boards of the Institute of Political Leadership, NC Center for Women in Public Service, and NC State Theatre Endowment; and on advisory committees for the Chapel of the Cross, NC Network of Grantmakers, Forward Cities & the Durham Innovation Council, MDC, Triangle J Council of Governments, United Way of the Greater Triangle, and Kidznotes.
As the child of a first generation college student, Alexandra believes education has the power to be a revolutionary agent for people and communities and a means to create a just and equitable world. To act on those beliefs, Alexandra has worked in partnerships with students, parents and the Durham community here at Student U for the past 7 years. Alexandra’s vision for the world is one where organizations like Student U no longer exist and every person is able to reach his or her full potential because our systems and institutions are just and equitable. Until that vision is reached, she is thankful to do work that is meaningful, urgent and necessary alongside an incredible personal and professional community.
Why DataWorks? I am energized and inspired by John and DataWorks’ vision of empowering citizens and communities with the data they need to tell true and honest stories about their own communities. My highest aspiration is that DataWorks becomes a mechanism that all Durham citizens can use to hold our city accountable for doing right by all members of our community.
Gayle has served as the Public Health Director for the Durham County Department of Public Health since February 2009. With more than 41 years of service with the Department, she is committed to promoting health in underserved populations. Gayle earned a BSN from Duke University and a MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Frederick S. Johnson, board treasurer
(Fred) is a Chapel Hill-Durham resident since 1993. He is an Assistant Professor and currently serves as the Vice Chief of Duke’s Division of Community Health in the Department of Community and Family Medicine. Fred grew up in the Mid-Atlantic United States in the state of Maryland, in a large urban city, Baltimore. He completed his undergraduate studies at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from Wake Forest University Babcock School of Business with a Master degree in Business Administration.
He is a former community organizer with several unique accomplishments including the Community Reinvestment Act and while working for The AFL-CIO put 10,000 seniors on the Mall in Washington DC in opposition to President Ronald Regan’s proposed cuts in Social Security.
Thomas Nechyba, board chair
As Director of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and the Masters in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) at Duke, I am deeply interested in the project of growing data resources that can be employed for evidence-based decision making in Durham. My research background in local public finance adds to my interest in the important work of DataWorks.
This group maintains the prominence of community interests in our operations and ensures accountability of service. It is comprised of residents and representatives of partner community groups.