In 2016, Niketa Brar and Elisabeth Greer met on the Local School Council of National Teachers Academy (NTA) and began working together to advance their shared interest in promoting educational equity in their neighborhood. The next year, Chicago Public Schools announced interest in closing their successful elementary school and displacing NTA's majority Black, majority low-income students. The two women began working with friends and neighbors to strategize on how to address this inequitable policy proposal with a systemic response.
That desire for systemic reform led to CUE's work to champion the use of a community-led policymaking process called the Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA). Since launching the REIA process to measure the burdens and benefits of closing National Teachers Academy and setting a national civil rights precedent in halting the closure, CUE has trained 200 people in the use of the tool, launched 4 more REIA processes, and has seen REIAs embedded in the blueprints of organizers and new government leaders across Chicago.
What we do
Our work is anchored in CUE’s central purpose of connecting and amplifying the power of individuals across sectors to build a just, equitable, and inclusive city. Together, we are working to:
We build a network of ethical and effective racial justice advocates across Chicago’s civic infrastructure.
We demonstrate tools and models for equitable policies and practices.
We develop citywide public accountability models for racial equity.
CUE is a community of racial justice advocates working together across neighborhoods, organizations, and policy issues. We're organizing, shaping narratives, leading advocacy, and reforming institutions to build the city we deserve. Our network connects across our Fellowship program, neighborhood and school reform efforts, and community events.