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Relatively little attention has been directed to documenting the experiences of racial discrimination and inequities for Asian Americans in Chicago. In this report, we examine the state of racial justice for Asian Americans in Chicago. The data in this report illustrate the diverse and often divergent experiences of Asian Chicagoans who have to navigate the complexity and contradiction of model minority and forever foreigner stereotypes. Asian Americans are both imagined as hard working and high achieving, and at the same time are often treated as permanent outsiders. A central finding of this report is that while diversity is a defining characteristic of this pan-ethnic group, racial inequities affect the opportunities and life experiences of all Asian American Chicagoans.


The State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report provides a comprehensive picture of the changing conditions of racial and ethnic groups in Chicago during the last half century. The report provides accessible data and analysis on how racial and ethnic groups in Chicago are faring in relation to housing, economics, education, justice, and health.
In keeping with IRRPP’s commitment to knowledge in the service of transformation, the scope and depth of the analysis increases awareness, attention, and discussion about Chicago’s racial and ethnic disparities and their intersecting dynamics. The report also highlights gaps in the data and the challenges posed by the use of standard measures to assess racial dynamics. The report’s accessible data and analysis amplifies its use and relevance for researchers, policy makers, and community organizers.

When faced with a large or complex social problem, a common belief is that “if only we could get the right people in the same room, then we could come up with a solution.” In May of 2017, we had just published our State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report. Its data and analysis offered a stark and troubling picture of racial and ethnic disparities between whites, blacks, and Latinxs in relation to housing, economics, education, justice, and health over the last half century. The report’s central finding was that racial inequity in Chicago remains “pervasive, persistent, and consequential.” Although the picture of racial inequity it presented was daunting, we knew that there were many smart and dedicated individuals and organizations actively working in Chicago to transform this reality. What insights could they offer ifRead more…