Advancing Racial Equity Initiative update

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Over a year ago, in response to campus voices mobilizing for Black lives and against racism, UIC launched the Advancing Racial Equity Initiative. The comprehensive action plan, created with the recommendations of several taskforces made up of students, faculty and staff and external advisors, includes five goals: Centering Student Equity and Inclusion, Advancing Faculty and Staff Inclusive Excellence, Collaborating with Chicago Communities, Reimagining Public Safety, and Achieving Transparency and Accountability

UIC is committed to moving these goals forward to ensure that we are a campus where students, faculty and staff of color are heard and valued and can reach their full potential. We invite you to visit the Advancing Racial Equity webpage to view our progress, accomplishments and initiatives. 

Significant progress has been made during the past year, and we would like to share a few highlights. 

In the area of Centering Student Equity and Inclusionwe have increased scholarship resources for Black students, launched the DuSable Scholars Program to bolster the number of Black and Latino students studying STEM-related fields, strengthened the Inclusive Classroom Initiative with new modules for inclusive teaching, and launched implicit bias training for the campus community through the Office of Diversity and the Dean of Students. We also launched the Black and African Descent Resources webpage to support community-building initiatives. 

We conducted a planning retreat attended by over 60 community organizers from Greater Lawndale and Auburn Gresham as we prepare to launch two community hubs in these neighborhoods in 2022. The centers will offer adult education programs, college preparation education and workshops, dual enrollment classes and small business support to build upon our Collaborating with Chicago Communities goal. 

UIC is Advancing Faculty and Staff Inclusive Excellence, and by fall 2023 we will have increased the number of tenure-line Black faculty by 30%. This is the result of successfully recruiting 23 Bridge to the Faculty Scholars for fall 2021, compared with 10 for fall 2020. The plan is to launch a third cohort in fall 2022. Thus far, we have committed $2.7 million in recurring funds to support this program. 

The Public Safety Board is developing recommendations focusing on Reimagining Public Safety on campus. Once these recommendations are finalized, the plan will be shared in a follow-up communication.  

To establish Transparency and Accountabilitywe have required all academic departments and colleges to submit a plan for advancing racial equity, consistent with the university-wide initiative. A process to review the implementation of these plans on an annual basis will be initiated, and the results will be included in the annual evaluation of unit leaders. 

We value and recognize the commitment that many of you continue to make to embrace and create meaningful impact through the Advancing Racial Equity Initiative. This is a top priority for the university, consistent with our ethos, culture and history. We remain encouraged and energized by the strong support of academic departments, colleges and support units as we move forward. 


Michael Amiridis 

J. Rex Tolliver
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs 

Amalia Pallares 
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Engagement 

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