Profound and persistent racial inequities, disparities, and injustices

are deeply rooted in the Chicago region and compromise the lives of thousands of people every day.

In partnership, ARJ and the Chicago Community Trust’s “On The Table” initiative are launching the inaugural program. Program participants will engage in formal learnings and discuss historic and current effects of racism across social economic and government practices and policies, as well as how to take meaningful actions to correct such policies.

How Does

The Program Work?

The program focuses on three critical areas affecting the Chicago region: Fair Lending, Transit-Focused Development, and Redistricting. 

Program participants will be assigned a “pod” (think: your working group). Your pod of 6 to 8 people, led by trained facilitators, will meet virtually to learn, discuss, and build meaningful action plans to advance racial equity and correct policies that have racially unjust results.

All participants will attend a 2-hour virtual orientation. Orientations are currently scheduled for June and July.  

So that everyone has valuable shared knowledge prior to being assigned a pod, participants will attend an orientation session and read roughly two hours of background material on U.S. racial history and current issues.

ARJ will provide participants with resources and materials to further learning and conversations, as well as a toolkit to help guide actions. 

What are the

Learning Outcomes?

  • Understand historical and current effects of racism across social economic and government practices and policies
  • Recognize alternatives to unjust systems and policies and how to implement action to advance change 
  • Build community and relationships with fellow participants

Who is this

Program Designed For?

Anyone who wants to confront and dismantle systemic racism and willing to work cooperatively with others to learn, grow, and take meaningful action.

What is the

Time Commitment?

Fighting systemic racism energetically (the only way it can be truly fought) requires a degree of time and effort. Beyond reading introductory materials (about two hours) and the initial orientation (about two hours), participants should be prepared to meet with their pods for 90 minutes each month and plan to spend a similar amount of time in advocacy outside of the pod meetings.

What is the


There is no financial cost to participate. The Chicago Community Trust and other generous donors are underwriting the initial expenses of the pilot program. While not required for the pilot, those in a position to do so are welcome to support the expansion of this work with a voluntary donation.

Sounds Great,

How Do I Sign Up?

We are glad you will join our team to take meaningful and effective action to dismantle systemic racism and build a more just society.  Please register and we will contact you as soon as the next group begins.