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's far Southeast Side residents are applauding progress in their campaign against petcoke storage in their community, but say they aren't done fighting for a complete city ban on the oil refining byproduct.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, members of the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke said they secured a major victory now that, under a city order, a company storing petcoke in their community can no longer have uncovered outdoor piles of the material.
A coalition of early childhood education advocates spoke out Thursday morning against plans at the City Colleges of Chicago to consolidate child development programs to a single location at Harry Truman College in the North Side Uptown neighborhood.
Four Chicago aldermen joined the advocates at a morning press conference before the City Colleges Board of Trustees meeting. Coalition members, including representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, said consolidating the educational programs could adversely affect early childhood education students living on the city's South and West Sides, where several programs are closing.
"This will have an enormous hardship on students trying to get to the North Side. It will devastate these programs, and it will take needed support services out of these communities," said Tony Johnston, president of the Cook County College Teachers Union, which represents full-time faculty and other City Colleges staffers.