The State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report was published on May 19th in conjunction with a leadership summit that brought together thought leaders, political leaders, scholars, and community organizers from Chicago to discuss and grapple with the findings from the report. At the leadership summit, IRRPP director Amanda E. Lewis provided an overview of the report, offered highlights from the findings, and explained the importance of the report’s central finding that racial and ethnic inequality in Chicago is pervasive, persistent, and consequential.
The summit included two panel discussions reflecting on the report’s findings and its implications for social policy. In the morning, Natalie Moore (reporter, WBEZ) moderated a panel composed of Tara Magner (Director, MacArthur Chicago Commitment), Beth Richie (Professor, UIC), Rob Winn (Director, UI Health Cancer Center), and Sylvia Puente (Director, Latino Policy Forum Executive). In the afternoon, Barbara Ransby (Professor, UIC) moderated a discussion by Grace Hou (President, The Woods Fund), Derrick Clifton (independent journalist), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (Cook County Commissioner), and Ricardo Estrada (CEO, Metropolitan Family Services).
Between panel discussions, IRRPP partnered with the Chicago Community Trust and their On The Table project to hold 14 dynamic roundtable conversations involving over 100 summit participants. Themes that emerged throughout the day included: the tension between government practices / policies and grassroots programs and activist practices to address racial and ethnic inequality; the importance of data and barriers of access to data; how to expand the dialogue on racial inequality and collaborations to address it; the urgency of the problem of racial inequality; and the importance of determining “next steps.”
IRRPP is expanding and deepening the conversations from the leadership summit in a series of public events held throughout Chicago. Information about these and other IRRPP events can be found on their website.