The commission will include Illinois lawmakers from both parties, non-elected state officials and representatives of African-American communities. It will study criminal justice, education, employment, health, housing and other issues.
"There's something wrong in America when we don't have everybody in, and nobody left out. When folks are left out, that's not the America that we believe in. That's not the America in our Constitution," Quinn said.
Commission members will serve without compensation. They are to report their findings and recommendations by the end of 2013.