Mare Ralph (they/them) became a Housing Policy Organizer with Housing Action Illinois in October 2022, after first joining Housing Action Illinois as a National Service Program Associate in June 2021. Mare completed a year of service as a VISTA at Kentucky Youth Career Center in 2018, building youth leadership and service-learning opportunities. Mare also worked as a teacher, mentor, and restorative justice facilitator while in Kentucky, before returning to Chicago for graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Before joining the Housing Action team, they interned at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and worked at UIC’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement while earning a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy. From 2021-2022, they participated as a member of the Housing and Neighborhoods Research Team for We Will Chicago, the first citywide framework plan since 1966.
Mare has organized space for queer and transgender youth as a co-founder of Out Loud Louisville and sits on the boards of Girls Rock! Chicago and the Girls Rock Camp Alliance. They practice mutual aid distributing fresh food to South Side neighbors with Market Box and live in South Shore with their partner, dog, and cats.