The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is focusing the intellectual and scholarly talent of our university to examine systemic racial inequities and injustices that exist not only in our communities but in higher education itself. The Chancellor’s Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program provides support for academic research and the expansion of community-based knowledge to advance the understanding of systemic racism and generationally embedded racial disparity.
Supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the program leverages the intellectual and scholarly power of the university to address challenges, heal divides and create pathways for inclusion. Projects span a wide range of subjects, including the arts and public engagement, data equity, perinatal, youth and family programs, college access and success, racial equity in the legal system and language justice.
In 2020-2021, 22 projects were funded from the 91 pre-proposals submitted in three research focus areas: systemic racism and social justice, law enforcement and criminal justice reform and disparities in health and health care. These projects represented eight colleges and 17 departments and administrative units, with 70 percent of funded proposals collaborating with almost 20 different organizations in local communities.
Additionally, during the first year of the program:
- 45% of principal investigators represent people of color
- 82% of principal investigators are women
- 179 individuals engaged from the campus and the local community including faculty, staff, community members, graduate & undergraduate students.
The program will continue to help create a more equitable future by delivering powerful knowledge surrounding systemic racism and embedded racial disparities.