The DREAM Project


The DREAM Research Program, with support from the Institute for Genomic Biology, uses state-of-the-art genomics to explore how aspects of the urban environment “get under the skin” to affect health and wellness. We propose to track changes in gene expression as one way of testing whether and how our intervention helps to ameliorate the long- term effects of chronic stress, often due to racial discrimination, felt by Black single mothers and daughters living in the high poverty, high crime, racially segregated neighborhood of  Englewood,  located on the South Side of Chicago.

The DREAM Program Intervention was developed by our interdisciplinary and cross-sector team of University of Illinois faculty from life, behavioral, and social sciences in conjunction with UI extension and  community-based organizations in Chicago. Our DREAM program seeks to a) increase resiliency and coping skills of low-income African American women and girls in response to daily stressors, and b) improve physical and mental health and well-being.