1. Winning the fight to stop the closure of National Teachers' Academy, the first case in the country where a school closure was stopped based on racial discrimination. This took 20 months of organizing, where we trained 75 Chicagoans in how to use the Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA), used a re-invented town hall process with 300 people to put the REIA into action in its first public use in Chicago, and then published a final report to create the grounds for legal action.
2. Supporting 28 winning candidates for Local School Councils, impacting over 17,000 students. We opened up candidate training to anyone who sought to use a racial equity lens in the most local body of government in Chicago, governing at their local schools. Candidates who completed our training won 89% of their races, compared to 64% of those who didn't work with us. Most importantly, we saw voter turnout increase 225% in the schools where we were active. Since election, these candidates have been vocal advocates for racial justice, as seen here, here, and here in their advocacy efforts.
january: Reported racial disparities in school closures
Our team completed two Racial Equity Impact Assessments in January, one at National Teachers' Academy and one for the four Englewood high schools slated for closure. Both were published with community leadership to the Chicago Board of Education. No action was taken for NTA. The Englewood plan was revised to make some adjustments to issues raised in the report.
Photo: A West Englewood resident reacts to data about population shifts with the personal impacts he's felt during the REIA community workshop in Englewood.
trained racial justice advocates to run for lsc
CUE launched 8 community meetings that activated 45 residents in Rogers Park, Uptown, Logan Square, Pilsen, South Loop, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, and Englewood to run for Local School Council with an emphasis on ethical, effective, servant leadership. Candidates who completed our training won 89% of their races, compared to 64% of those who didn't work with us. Of the winning candidates, 80% identify as women, 66% as people of color, and 54% as women of color. We saw voter turnout increase 225% in the schools where we were active. Since election, these candidates have been vocal advocates for racial justice, as seen here, here, and here in their advocacy efforts.
Photo: Ballots are counted at a Bronzeville high school on election night.
june: celebrated our fellows and filed a lawsuit
In June, we brought over 200 people into our Fellows Showcase, where our first cohort of citywide leaders shared their stories of impact across Chicago. Later in the month, we brought newly elected LSC members who believe in racial equity together to gain inspiration for racial justice advocates brought change through their LSCs. We also launched a civil rights lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools for their plan to close National Teachers' Academy based on a race based claim.
Photo: IL Senator Mattie Hunter speaks at the Fellows Showcase about the impact of the Fellows' work on racial disparities in the school closures proposed for five schools in her district.
august - november:
building a network of racial justice leaders
We launched the second CUE Fellowship cohort as a nine-month curriculum with 30 brilliant advocates for racial justice. We also brought together the Schools for Racial Justice summit, bringing together nearly 50 local leaders working in school leadership to develop equity plans for their schools. We trained 100 dialogue facilitators in conjunction with the nationally acclaimed documentary America to Me. We worked with the Chicago chapter of Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation project to train 60 more racial justice leaders in the use of the Racial Equity Impact Assessment tool.
Photo: Our 30 new CUE Fellows were announced in September.
december: celebrating a win and planning for 2019
We won an injunction to stop the closure of National Teachers' Academy, leading to the school district revoking its plan. Looking forward, we also launched the Vote Equity Project and collected 200+ ideas for racial equity that we will vote on as a city to set a course forward for the new leaders we elect in spring 2019.
Photos: The Chicago Sun-Times front page cover announcing that National Teachers' Academy will be saved from closure. The Vote Equity announcement.