Chicago launches new racial healing and equity initiative 'Together We Heal'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The City of Chicago has a new initiative promoting racial equity and healing called "Together We Heal."

The city's Office of Equity and Racial Justice hosted a virtual summit Friday in support of the effort.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor JB Pritzker had a candid conversation about their leadership and navigating the reckoning on race.

"You and I are similar in this way we want to solve problems. We want to help and that's our reflex. We want to jump in but sometimes it's better to just listen," Lightfoot said.

The governor also spoke on the importance of listening to those around him following the killing of George Floyd.

"The fact that you mentioned listening and the thing I was thinking most about is the people who surrounded me, helped me along as I listened to them, and I did," he said.

The Office of Equity & Racial Justice was created under Lightfoot. Candace Moore, the city's Chief Equity Officer, said she has made it her mission to normalize discussions about race at City Hall.

"We know the tale of Chicago. We talk about it a lot in terms of the segregation, the historic disinvestment. That has a living impact," she said.

That's why Moore wants city officials to embrace data to understand how decisions can impact residents differently.

"I don't care if it's planting a tree. Having that context matters, so that you can really think about and then try to produce a result that really sort of meets the needs of that community," she said.

OERJ is asking Chicagoans to participate in a survey to share their vision for racial healing and equity. Click here to take the OERJ Race Healing & Equity Survey
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