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About Us

About Us

In 2021, University leadership wondered how to harness the best of Loyola in a unified effort for racial justice and equity. IRJ was the answer — an interdisciplinary hub for research, education and community engagement.

Mission, Vision & Core Values

Mission, Vision & Core Values

We are the interdisciplinary hub for racial justice work across Loyola University Chicago and beyond. We build deep relationships, accelerate transformational research and education, and catalyze social impact toward racial justice and equity.

Our Strategic Goals

[1] Operational Excellence

We aim to ensure organizational capacity, effectiveness and sustainability to deliver on our mission.

We don't want to just make big promises, we're going to deliver. By hiring the right people, providing necessary support, creating solid organizational structure, and scaling up with intentionality, we are ensuring we can live out our mission for many years to come.

[2] A Trusted Voice

We aim to become a trusted advocate, partner and resource on intersectional racial justice issues at Loyola, in Chicago, and beyond.

While all American Jesuit Catholic Universities have solid social justice missions, Loyola is the first to take a targeted, comprehensive approach to the fight for racial justice via a large-scale, well-resourced academic hub. We aim to leverage the University's longstanding relationships and international reputation to bring a collective focus to this work.

[3] Change-Making Research 

We aim to build pathways for generations of scholars who advance intersectional, interdisciplinary research that centers racial justice and drives structural change.

Our work will produce solutions that will address a national and global imperative. It will engage faculty, staff, and students across Loyola, creating partnerships that wouldn't have existed otherwise. We're collaborating with our partners to develop our own research projects and supporting other projects that are already underway. 

[4] Transformative Education 

We aim to expand the reach of education that centers racial justice and equity and results in demonstrable systemic changes within and beyond Loyola.

We'll incubate new undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses and programming centered on racial justice. We're partnerning with schools across Loyola to ensure that Asian, Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Latinx students find academic experiences that respond to and reflect their backgrounds and histories, enabling Loyola to create a stronger sense of belonging among them.

[5] Relational Community Building 

We aim to build mutually beneficial campus-based and community-based relationships that advance collective impact.

We're partnering with research organizations, community organizations, health care providers, schools, and other institutions to work together to combat disparities created by racism. We're drawing upon policymakers for their strong connections in the Chicagoland area, and other communities in pursuit of justice and equity.

Read Our Strategic Plan

IRJ News

Do Underrepresented Students Benefit From Gifted Programs?

Inside IES Research

Recent studies of gifted and talented programs indicate that the extent and quality of services available to gifted students vary from state to state, district to district, and even from school to school within school districts.

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New Interdisciplinary Minor in Race and Ethnicity

May 2023

Loyola University Chicago will debut an interdisciplinary minor in race and ethnicity this fall through a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Institute for Racial Justice (IRJ).

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Missed genius: When gifted students are overlooked

May 19, 2021

A Black boy from Brooklyn flew under the radar in American schools. Now he’s a professor and researcher of underrepresentation in gifted education. How many others are left behind?

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