The weight of racism shows up across public policy and other fields — but how do we measure it? Racial Equity Impact Assessments are a tool designed to acknowledge historical context, shift power in how we engage with communities, and build accountability for the future. This assessment model is used to move us past debates about if racism exists — and toward a future where we work on undoing the harm we see.
In this two-day series, we’ll review the background and history of this tool, then participate in an applied simulation and analyze the use of the assessment in different contexts.
- Facilitator Bio: Niketa Brar is a policy strategist, activist, and organizer working to grow the community-led policymaking movement in Chicago. In her role as co-founder and executive director of Chicago United for Equity, she works to transform civic systems to be designed by the communities they serve. She organized Chicago’s first public Racial Equity Impact Assessment, a community process that set national precedent for stopping a school closure on the grounds of racial discrimination, designed the Vote Equity Project, an award-winning citywide voter guide built by thousands of residents, and co-created the People’s Budget Chicago, a popular education model and community budgeting process. Niketa’s approach comes from her experience working in communities harmed by top-down and ineffective public policy, which she observed working in the criminal punishment and public education systems, as well as advising government leaders in school districts, city government, and state agencies. She is a proud alum of the Ford School of Public Policy, where she earned her Masters in Public Policy and also holds a Bachelors of Arts in Public Policy and International Affairs from George Washington University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics from American University.