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City Announces ‘Racial Healing’ Campaign To Help Residents Reconnect, Learn From One Another

The city is encouraging residents to have candid conversations and virtual healing circles about race as part of its Together We Heal campaign.

Lawndale residents cleaning up at the North Lawndale Plaza in Homan Square after unrest in June.
Pascal Sabino/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The city is challenging Chicagoans to have candid conversations on race to learn and rebuild connections with one another.

The campaign, called Together We Heal, will run through the end of January. Residents are asked to organize virtual healing circles and other activities where people can talk about race and share their experiences so they can learn and make connections with one another, according to a Mayor’s Office news release.

Participants will be able to share information about their activities through an online form. A “healing map” will show related virtual events around the city.

To learn more and participate, go here.

At the end of January, the campaign will culminate in a virtual summit where participants will reflect on the progress that was made and “envision a path forward for the coming year,” according to the Mayor’s Office.

Together We Heal is being organized in light of the “nation’s current racial climate — exacerbated by COVID-19; the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others; and the civic unrest that followed, loss of jobs and businesses, and destruction of community assets — as well as the decades of racial inequities in Chicago,” according to the Mayor’s Office.

Since protests began over the summer, Lightfoot’s office has been criticized for not doing enough to address police misconduct in the city.

Prior to her 2021 budget announcement, an overwhelming majority of survey respondents called for the city to move some funding from the police budget to other social programs, something the mayor refused to consider. The mayor has also been criticized for failing to crack down on police misconduct during summer protests.

Last month, 60 protesters filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court, alleging Chicago Police officers engaged in “abusive tactics and excessive force” during summer protests against police violence and in support of Black lives.

Police Supt. David Brown and 20 police officers are also named in the suit, which alleges officers struck and choked protesters with batons, arrested them under false pretenses, pointed guns and committed other violent acts “without justification.”

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