Niya K. Kelly
Title/s: Adjunct Professor
Niya Kelly is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a three-time graduate of Loyola University Chicago, receiving her Bachelors, Masters and Juris Doctor from the university focusing on political science, women studies, public interest, and public policy. She is currently the Director of State Legislative Policy, Transformation and Equity at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Her work focuses on the Illinois’ state budget, public benefits, youth homelessness and housing insecurity policies. In her work she has drafted and advocated several pieces of legislation including: the creation of liaison for student’s experiencing homelessness while in college; access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for community college students experiencing food insecurity; access to free birth certificates for people experiencing homelessness; removal of sanctions for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant recipients; and broadening mental health services for minors in need. She is a 2019 CUE Fellow.
Niya understands that homelessness is a direct result of racism and inequities in the United States. As a 2019 Chicago United for Equity (CUE) Fellow she helped create a Voter Equity guide for Chicago aldermanic and mayoral candidates, focusing on creating a more equitable Chicago through tangible policy changes. At CCH she created and now hosts a housing and racism workshop for impacted people to better understand that homelessness is not created by individual failings but by systematic and institutional policies and structures.
She believes that we can end homelessness when we adequately fund programs and listen to the people most impacted by homelessness. She teaches a course on legislation and advocacy in the Online Master of Jurisprudence in Children's Law and Policy.
JD, Loyola University Chicago, 2013
BA, Loyola University Chicago, 2007
Introduction to Legislative and Policy Advocacy