Past News Updates


Help Us Hold The FOP And Chicago Police Department Accountable 

Chicago has a serious problem with violent and unaccountable policing, and one of the biggest obstacles to accountability and reform is the Fraternal Order of Police, and their contract with the city. Police should not be above the law, but provisions in their contract have allowed them to assault, brutalize, and kill Black people without any real consequence...(Read more)


We're Getting Closer To Making Major Changes To The Chicago Police Department

Over the past few years we have worked hard to hold the Chicago Police Department accountable for their history of racism and abuse aimed primarily at the Black community and other communities of color...(Read more)


Demand Justice For Laquan McDonald

On October 20, 2014, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was brutally gunned down by 16 shots from Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Even though the police had the dashboard camera the entire time they did not arrest Van Dyke until over a year later and only after overwhelming pressure from grassroots organizations...(Read more)


Help Us Fight To Make Sure Every Family In Illinois Has Access To Quality And Affordable Childcare 

Today WCRJ leaders traveled to our state capitol with allies from SEIU to demand that members of the State Legislature restore funding to the Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP). CCAP provides working families with a subsidy for childcare, without which many of them would have to pay more than a third and in some cases half their income for childcare...(Read more)


Join Us In Chicago October 22-24 For A Summit On Policing And Criminalization, Followed By A March On The International Association Of Chiefs Of Police Conference

The Workers Center For Racial Justice and allies at SOUL, BYP 100, OBS, SEIU HCII, SEIU Local 1, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the Ella Baker Center, and the Advancement Project are planning to disrupt the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in October. On October 22-24 we are holding a counter conference to the IACP annual conference, culminating in a massive 10,000-person march on the organization and their allies...(Read more)


WCRJ Co-Releases A National Report Entitled "Who Pays? The True Cost Of Incarceration On Families"

On Tuesday, September 15, WCRJ leaders and allies held a press conference to unveil the findings of our Who Pays report, which highlights the hidden economic costs and emotional toll of incarceration on individuals, families and communities across the country. Spearheaded by our partners at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Forward Together, and Research Action Design, this grassroots-led research project was a labor of love for the leaders and staff at WCRJ, as well as the 20 other community-based organizations across the country that participated. (Read more)


Our Governor Has Hit A New Low

In November 2014, the people of Illinois elected Bruce Rauner to be our Governor. Since his first day in office he has conducted strategic and systematic attacks on immigrants, workers, seniors, and people of color. Governor Rauner has rescinded a previous executive order which prevented state police from cooperating with ICE. He tried to strip collective bargaining rights from public sector workers. (Read more)


WCRJ Executive Director Squares Off Against Juan Williams Of Fox News Around Policing In Communities Of Color

The Workers Center For Racial Justice had the privilege of being invited to speak on a panel at the NALEO Conference (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) discussing policing in America Post-Ferguson. Over five hundred Latino politicians from across the country got the opportunity to see WCRJ's DeAngelo Bester go toe-to-toe with Fox News host Juan Williams around transforming our system of policing in this country...(Read more)


Today The Illinois House Passed Legislation That Would Decriminalize Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Illinois is once again poised to join the ranks of the few progressive states committed to ending the criminalization of race and the ridiculous War on Drugs. HB 218 would change the law in Illinois so that anyone caught with small quantities of marijuana would receive a ticket instead of being subject to arrest and jail time. While not perfect, this is still an important piece of legislation that can help reduce the over-criminalization of Black communities...(Read more)


Join Us Saturday February 7 at 1:00 PM For A Candidates Forum on the Criminalization Of Race And Police Accountability In Chicago

In the wake of high profile deaths at the hands of police, and subsequent protests of those deaths, coupled with the racial composition of the growing US prison population, the Criminalization of Race has been brought into the national discourse as a major social issue and problem. So many young people - particularly the young Black people facing harsh and disproportionate responses from the police - are bravely putting their bodies and freedom on the line to protest the injustices associated with the criminalization of race, including police brutality, aggressive police tactics, disproportionate arrests and disproportionate incarceration rates...(Read more)


Governor Quinn Signs Ban The Box Legislation Into Law

This past Saturday, Governor Patrick Quinn of Illinois sign legislation that would require employers to remove the question asking about a person's criminal background from most job applications. The bill, also known as Ban the Box, is the culmination of nearly two-years of work for our organization. Click here to listen audio of WCRJ Executive Director DeAngelo Bester saying a few words at the press conference...(Read more)


Now The Hard Work Begins

Last week the WCRJ received the best Valentines Day gift when the Ban the Box bill we wrote was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. HB 5638 would require most public and private sector employers to remove the question that asks about a person's criminal background from their job applications. This commonsense piece of legislation is a first step in removing one of the many barriers faced by formerly incarcerated Black workers in obtaining sustainable and living wage work...(Read more)


Illinois Governor Issues An Administrative Order That "Bans The Box" On State Job Applications

As most of you know, on August 7 a representative from Governor Quinn's office came to our Jobs Not Jail forum to announce the Governor's commitment to issuing an administrative order that prohibits state agencies from asking job applicants about their criminal history when they initially apply for a job. Last Thursday the Governor finally made good on his commitment and issued the order. Starting early next year formerly incarcerated job seekers in Illinois will no longer have to check that box on state job applications...(Read more)


Governor Quinn Agrees To Issue An Administrative Order To Ban The Box On State Job Applications In Illinois

Yesterday over 100 people attended our forum on ending discrimination against formerly incarcerated Black workers. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent one of his top deputies to the meeting to tell us that the Governor shares our values, and that he believes discrimination against the formerly incarcerated is wrong. The staffer also announced that within the next several weeks the Governor will issue and Administrative Order that will remove the question asking about a person's criminal record from State job applications...(Read more)


Beyond Trayvon Martin

The entire nation was shocked by the acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering Trayvon Martin last year. By now most of us have had the opportunity to grieve, reflect and engage in public actions to express our anger at the injustice of the verdict...(Read more)


Statement on Trayvon Martin

First we must start by saying that our thoughts and prayers are with the Martin family as they deal with the aftermath of the Not Guilty verdict for the murderer of their son Treyvon. They have carried themselves with the utmost dignity and class throughout this entire ordeal...(Read more)



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