The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.
Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.
"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.
"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rolled out his second-term education agenda Thursday at an invite-only speech, saying he wants to expand the number of full-day preschool classrooms and increase the Chicago Public Schools' graduation rate to 85 percent.
One year after the Chicago Board of Education voted to close 50 "underutilized" public schools, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) says the district has not delivered on various promises to invest in the designated "welcoming schools" that took in displaced students.
“Shuttering our schools was touted as a hard and difficult choice by the mayor and the board, but this was the easy, draconian choice,” CTU President Karen Lewis said in a statement. “Parents, teachers, and the public demanded resources and supports for these education communities. Sadly, by making promises that remain unfulfilled, these schools and the students they serve have been dealt yet another blow — from failed policy to broken promises.”