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Just Action Racial Equity Toolkit

Tiff Beatty (2019 Fellow) and Vanessa Lee (2019 Fellow)

The Just Action Racial Equity Toolkit provided new standards of practice for racial equity work in order to reimagine Chicago’s civic power.

Equity means action. The Just Action Racial Equity Toolkit was co-created by a citywide community of practice to help Chicago-based civic organizations build new standards of practice for racial equity that acknowledge history, shift power, and embrace accountability. Together, we seek to reimagine how Chicago's civic power flows through three primary channels: Money, Narratives and Policy.

The Why

Racial Equity is achieved when one’s racial identity no longer determines one’s life outcomes. To shift life outcomes, we must shift decision-making power to those who are most impacted by current and historical inequities. The Just Action Racial Equity Collaborative offers a place to start, an opportunity to collaborate in committing to making meaningful change.

The Just Action Toolkit includes a racial equity assessment and resources for organizations committed to racial equity. The assessment is designed similar in concept to a 360 evaluation, and consists of two main components, for two different types of stakeholders.

The internal component is meant to be completed by a diverse group of internal stakeholders, including by position level, race/ethnicity, and other identities.

The external portion is to be completed by a person or group of people external to the organization. Ideally, this external person or group are stakeholders to whom the organization is accountable (we call this an Accountability Team or A-Team).

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The Collaborators

A citywide coalition of over 340 civic leaders and institutions.

A citywide coalition of over 340 civic leaders and institutions collaborated to create and support Just Action from 2020-2021.

The How

After signing the Just Action Racial Equity Pledge, organizations can complete the internal assessment, or individuals and groups can complete the external assessment.

Any organization can join Just Action by signing on to the Just Action pledge at After signing on, organizations are encouraged to organize an internal team to complete the Just Action internal assessment. Individuals and groups are also invited to sign on to Just Action to pledge their commitment to racial equity and help hold signing institutions accountable by completing the external assessment.

The Outcomes

Just Action can be a tool for assisting organizations through their racial equity journey with guided facilitation, assessments, and other resources.