Governor JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton announced on Tuesday Illinois’ “Healing Illinois Initiative to Advance Racial Healing.” Grants totaling $4.5 million, according to the press release, will fund activities in four areas:
- Promoting Dialogue: conversations to build understanding and empathy
- Encouraging Collaboration: activities that bring people together in person or virtually to connect and to act together on a project or idea
- Facilitating Learning: activities designed to build or enhance knowledge
- Seeding Connection: racial healing circles, peace circles, or restorative justice activities
“In order to truly fight inequities and build a better, more inclusive Illinois, we have to be able to articulate the history of personal, institutional and structural racism that got us here – and, just as importantly, the modern iterations of personal, institutional and structural racism that hold us back today,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton added, “We are dealing with two pandemics—COVID-19 and systemic racism. Healing Illinois will advance the conversation and shine a light on the process of collective healing. What we know is hurt people hurt people, and healed people heal people.”