Unpacking Series


Unpacking and reflecting on what it means to be antiracist.

When we choose to be antiracist, we become actively conscious about race, racism, and anti-Blackness and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives. Being antiracist is believing that racism is everyone’s problem, and we all have a role to play in stopping it. There is no neutral.

In June of 2020, Chicago Beyond launched the Unpacking series to engage cross-sector leaders in dialogues on unpacking their own privilege, and how race, wealth, and power have driven decisions and policies that perpetuate bias, discrimination, and racial disparities that many communities of color are facing today.

Below you will find video and blog recaps, along with toolkits full of resources to guide and support your own journey to unpack these issues.  

Session 1: Unpacking White Privilege: How to Be a White Ally and an Anti-Racist

On June 11, 2020, we hosted our first conversation in the series with Chicago Beyond Founder and CEO Liz Dozier, former U.S. Secretary of Education and current Managing Partner of Chicago CRED Arne Duncan, and the Founder of Free Radicals Project Christian Picciolini, about their own anti-racist journeys and the actions others can take to be a White ally and take action now.

Session 2: So, You Want to Be Antiracist. Now What?

On August 10, 2020, we hosted the second conversation of our antiracism series titled, “So, You Want to Be Antiracist. Now What?” During the hourlong conversation, Chicago Beyond Founder and CEO Liz Dozier, Professor and author Ibram X. Kendi, and Chicago Public Schools’ Chief Equity Officer Dr. Maurice Swinney, discussed the obstacles that stand in the way of being truly antiracist in thought and in practice – and what we can do about it.

Session 3: Unpacking Race, Wealth, and Individual Power​

On September 23, 2020, we hosted the third conversation of our Unpacking series titled, “Unpacking Race, Wealth, and Individual Power.” We were joined by Brookings Institution Fellow and author Dr. Andre Perry and the Director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics David Axelrod to discuss racial wealth inequality in America.

Session 4: Unpacking The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart

On Monday, December 14, in partnership with Family Action Network, we hosted the final installment of Unpacking, a four-part series with cross-sector leaders designed to unpack issues such as privilege and bias that drive racial discrimination. We were joined by Alicia Garza, to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and its origins, to respectability politics, to the “culture wars” that we see today.