Creating a More Equitable and Inclusive Democracy in Illinois

March 1, 2019

Center for Racial and Gender Equity works to build the power of the Black women to advance a radical vision for liberation, through leadership development and political engagement. Thanks in part to Voqal’s support, Center for Racial and Gender Equity built an active grassroots base of members committed to achieving racial and gender equity.

In 2018, Center for Racial and Gender Equity reached over 200,000 Black voters in Illinois. In the areas where it was active, Black voter turnout increased by an average of five percent! Among other things, this increased turnout helped oust a corrupt, racially biased Cook County Circuit Court judge. This type of impact was seen up and down the ballot, playing a key role in vital progressive victories across the state.

And Center for Racial and Gender Equity’s success was not just limited to the electoral arena. In fact, at its August Forum for Safety and Liberation, organization members got Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and several mayoral candidates to commit to ending the use of the flawed Chicago Gang Database that promotes racially biased policing. This event helped set the tone for discourse around police accountability – a central topic during the 2019 Chicago mayoral race.

Center for Racial and Gender Equity held city officials accountable too. It released a Racial Justice Scorecard that graded Chicago City Council and its members on important racial justice issues. While it was disappointing to see the Chicago City Council receive an F overall, the scorecard attracted significant attention from the media, spreading awareness of important racial justice issues in advance of the February elections.

Center for Racial and Gender Equity’s tireless work to engage and empower the Black community in Chicago and Illinois is key to creating the more socially equitable society envisioned by Voqal. We are proud to support this work and look forward to the more inclusive democracy that will no doubt result from its continued efforts in 2019.