April 21, 2024

Illinois county injects ‘racial equity’ into criminal justice system with org steeped in CRT: ‘Unprecedented’

FIRST ON FOX – The most populous county in Illinois is currently bringing “racial… equity” into its criminal justice system using a consulting agency which promulgates critical race theory, calling the move “unprecedented.”

Cook County’s Justice Advisory Council announced on Jan. 24 that it would be working with Chicago Regional Organizing for AntiRacism (Chicago ROAR) which seeks to redress U.S. power structures, “dismantle systemic racism” and end “white supremacy culture.”

The council implements Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts and community safety policy development.Β 

Fox News Digital found that Chicago ROAR’s philosophy is deeply embedded with the tenets of critical race theory. Critical race theory is a lens that views individuals within an oppressor-versus-oppressed narrative and on the basis of privilege. It holds that America and its institutions are systemically and structurally racist.Β 


Some of the services Chicago ROAR offered puts its clients through a 9-12 month audit process to determine an “intersectional analysis of systemic oppression” within the institution.

“Our theory of change begins with understanding the root of the problem is white supremacy, enshrined in and reproduced by our systems and institutions. White supremacy produces a culture of domination that conditions systems, institutions, and people to uphold and legitimize whiteness and its ways as normal, standard, moral, and universal,” the organization said.Β 

It also seeks to destroy so-called “whiteness” in the institutions. “White supremacy produces a culture of domination that conditions systems, institutions, and people to uphold and legitimize whiteness and its ways as normal, standard, moral, and universal,” Chicago ROAR said.


Some of its trainings, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, “[e]xplore[s] the ways white cultural hegemony in the US is… institutionally transmitted… and conditions systems, institutions, and the people that populate them to uphold the ideology of white supremacy in intersectional ways.”

Fox News Digital previously reported that one of Chicago ROAR’s trainers, Emily Drew, said White people can be “damaging.”

The description of Drew’s recent speaking engagement said, “How can we who are White show up as more effective and less damaging participants in struggles to interrupt racism in our community? How can white people engage in efforts to dismantle racism in ways that do not reproduce or place unfair burdens upon people of color to be our teachers?”

It continued, “This conversation is for white people to reflect together on what it means to do our work as white people, which includes taking responsibility for one another, educating ourselves, and coming to view other white people as our partnersβ€”not competitionβ€”in developing antiracist identity.”


At Willamette University, Drew teaches courses about racism and social change. Her research is also focused on racism.Β 

One of her papers described “positioning people of color as knowledge producers about the institutional and interpersonal effects of racism,” “confronting the tactics of white denial,” and “promoting consciousness about systemic racism.”

Chicago ROAR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Β 

Cook County did not directly answer why it was using a consulting organization with ideology connected to critical race theory.Β 

The county received a 500K grant from the Justice Challenge and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation which will be used for “training,” among other aspects of the initiative, according to the press release.Β 

“Our analysis and responsive training will equip Equity Cohort fellows to actively engage with system partners on the issues that impact their communities,” said Derrick Dawson, program coordinator for Chicago ROAR. “To bring about authentic and effective change, we need to start with a shared language and understanding of the nature of systemic racism.”Β 

“Bringing more equity and representation into our justice system has been long awaited by our communities, especially our most disinvested and impacted communities,” said a representative of the Justice Challenge. “The Equity Cohort is an unprecedented initiative that has the potential to be transformative for our residents and communities. We’re excited to help lead this work and to see where it takes us.”

“While the Safety and Justice Challenge has been successful in reducing local jail populations, it has also taught us that this alone will not eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system,” said a representative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “By pairing the leadership of people most impacted by mass incarceration with the expertise of government partners, we hope this cohort of jurisdictions will challenge systemic racism in our justice systems and create policies and practices to sustain long-term change.”Β 

“The MacArthur Foundation has an ongoing commitment to invest in intentional and effective strategies to eliminate systemic racism in justice systems and center the voices of people most impacted by the system,” according to Cook County. “This commitment ties directly to the mission of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council which works to promote equitable, human-centered, community-driven justice system innovation and practice.”

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