When it comes to inequality in Chicago, we often hear that Chicago is a tale of two cities: West and South side neighborhoods have limited resources while neighborhoods on the North Side thrive.
To address this divide, Mayor Lori Lightfoot launched the city’s first-ever Office of Equity and Racial Justice to create and advance new policies and practices through the lens of equity.
Lightfoot named former attorney Candace Moore to lead the initiative.
As part of this new job, Moore will be tasked with “looking at the outcomes of policies and practices that the city is engaged with [and examining] how those outcomes lead to inequity,” she said.
“Some folks are getting benefits from the way things work now, and others are not getting many of the [same] benefits,” Moore added.
Under Moore’s leadership, the Office of Equity and Racial Justice will form partnerships with communities and city departments to “strengthen and promote equitable outcomes throughout city government,” according to a written release.
A native of Aurora, Illinois, Moore previously worked as a staff attorney with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. While there, she helped establish the Education Equity Project which “protects and promotes access to education by addressing the individual and systemic barriers that disproportionately impact historically disadvantaged communities” according to its website.
Moore was also a member of the inaugural class of the Racial Justice Training Institute at the Sargent Shriver National Poverty Law Center and the inaugural class of the Surge Fellowship program that focused on addressing the issues of race and class in urban education. She serves as a strategic advisor and partner to Chicago United for Equity and is a 2013 graduate of Loyola University.
“Candace has committed her career to advocating for change on behalf of our most vulnerable residents and communities,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “From her work to stop the inequitable plan to close the National Teachers Academy, to enhancing civil rights and educational rights for kids and families, Candace has my utmost confidence to lead our new Office of Equity and Racial Justice that will work to make government more fair and transparent for all residents.”
Chicago joins a host of other cities in the nation that are bringing on chief equity officers. And last year, Chicago Public Schools added a four-person chief equity office. In its first year, the office aimed to address disparities in academic achievement between black and Latino students and white and Asian students.