Learn More about Together We Heal

Together We Heal FAQs

According to Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation [TRHT] racial healing recognizes the need to acknowledge and tell the truth about past wrongs created by individual and systemic racism and address the present consequences. Before transforming systems and structures, we must first transform ourselves. To heal is to restore to wholeness; to repair damage; and to set right.

From now until the end of January, we challenge you to:

  • ORGANIZE a healing event with friends, neighbors, colleagues, family members, congregations, or anyone in your network.
  • SHARE your experience with your fellow Chicagoans by completing the TWH Submission Form that allows you detail you event and leave a message of healing for your City.
  • EXPLORE how the journey unfolds by checking on the TWH Healing Map that will report the efforts that happened all across the City.
  • CELEBRATE with us at the end of January as we close out this leg of the journey and map out a course for our future.

From now until the end of January, we challenge you to:

  • Promote Dialogue – lead conversations to build understanding and empathy (e.g. group discussion).
  • Encourage Collaboration – engage in activities that bring people together (in accordance with public health orders/guidance) to connect, act together on a project or idea (e.g. community service/action)
  • Facilitate Learning – lead activities designed to build or enhance knowledge (e.g. book club, educational event/training)
  • Seed Connections – organize racial healing circles, peace circles or restorative justice activities

Note: This framework is part of the Healing Illinois initiative.

Want a ready to go idea? On-the-Table provides a great digital toolkit that anyone can use.


Together We Heal launches at the beginning of December 2020 and runs through the end of January 2021. However, the healing journey will never end. These are just the first steps of the work that will continue to grow in the months and years ahead.

While the pandemic surges, we anticipate most activities will happen virtually. To that end, activities will be geographically represented on the TWH Healing Map by either the location of the host (organization or individual) or the ideal location if the activity were held in person. We encourage everyone to follow local public health orders and prioritize health and safety.

ANCHORS: These six organizations joined us at the start and have helped us develop TWH.

PARTNERS- This is anyone (organization or individual) who steps up to host a healing event/activity and shares their experience to be displayed on the TWH Healing Map.

AMBASSADOR- This is anyone who joins us on this journey by attending an event or sharing a message of healing. 

Office of Equity and Racial Justice FAQs

Under the leadership of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the City of Chicago established an Office of Equity & Racial Justice (OERJ) in 2019, and hired its first Chief Equity Officer, Candace Moore. Candace and her team are tasked with examining systemic racism that exists in Chicago – particularly within City government operations – and developing policies to help correct those racial disparities.

The Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ) seeks to achieve equity in the city’s service delivery, decision-making, and resource distribution. We will do this by supporting City departments in normalizing concepts of racial equity, organizing staff to work together for transformational change, and operationalizing new practices, policies and procedures that result in more fair and just outcomes. 

OERJ oversees the development, coordination, and administration of racial and social equity policies and practices for the City of Chicago.  This includes working to change policies and practices in city government through engaging in training and support of city staff, cultivating engagement between city stakeholders and communities of color, and integrating racial equity analysis and accountability into decision-making processes. Below are the major categories:  

  • Support city departments in developing resources and strategies to infuse racial equity work into departments' workstreams on a permanent basis.  
  • Integrate racial equity analysis in major policies and initiatives generating from the Mayor’s Office.
  • Cultivate civic engagement, participation, and access amongst communities of color and those historically disconnected from City government.   
  • Build an infrastructure for tracking progress, measuring impact, and developing responsive and meaningful solutions.  


OERJ is committed to institutionalizing equity into how the City of Chicago does its business. Given the challenges presented throughout the last year, Together We Heal was developed by OERJ as a multi-pronged strategy, which, over the coming months, will support efforts to build community healing, collective reckoning, and institutional transformation.