Chicago Racial Justice Organizations Strongly Support Mayor Johnson’s Appointments to Board of Education

For Immediate Release: July 10, 2023
Contact: Ankur Singh |
Grace Pai |

Chicago Racial Justice Organizations Strongly Support Mayor Johnson’s Appointments to Board of Education

— We, the undersigned organizations, strongly support and congratulate Mayor Brandon Johnson’s
recently announced appointees to the Chicago Board of Education: Mariela Estrada, Mary Fahey Hughes, Rudy Lozano Jr, Michelle Morales, Jianan Shi, Dr. Elizabeth Todd-Breland, and Tanya D. Woods. These appointees bring a diverse range of expertise, identities, professional and life experiences, and community ties that will help them represent and make decisions on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Chicago Public Schools students and families.

As organizations that work on education equity issues, youth organizing, and racial justice campaigns, we are thrilled that Mayor Johnson has selected a well-rounded group of individuals who each bring critical perspectives to their roles.

The appointees include experts in special education, juvenile justice/systems-involved youth, early childhood education, student-centered learning, bilingual education, alternative education, and restorative and transformational justice. All seven have served on a Local School Council. The vast majority have deep ties to community-based organizations, youth and/or parent engagement, and grassroots organizing. Six of the seven appointees are current or former Chicago Public Schools parents. Four are former K-12 educators in Chicago. Two are immigrants and four were raised in multilingual families. In addition, Dr. Elizabeth Todd-Breland is a sitting member of the Chicago Board of Education who will continue in her role and bring institutional knowledge and continuity to the new board.

This thoughtful group of leaders represents the diversity of our great city, but we know that equity isn’t satisfied simply by representation. It is their thoughtfulness around community leadership, their openness to new ideas, and their accountability to the communities historically ignored in Chicago policymaking that makes us most proud to call this group our new Chicago Board of Education.

We look forward to working with this Board to center the voices of the 89% of students who are BIPOC, and 78% who are low-income. Until we have a fully elected school board in 2027, we know these appointed leaders will play a critical role in advancing equity across our schools. We look forward to partnering with them on that mission.


Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment
Asian American Midwest Progressives
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
Cambodian Association of Illinois
Casa Michoacan – FEDECMI
Chicago Housing Initiative
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Chinese American Museum of Chicago
Chinese American Service League
Chinese Mutual Aid Association
Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community
Cook County College Teachers Union – Local 1600
Crossroads Fund
Field Foundation of Illinois
Grassroots Collaborative
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Indo-American Center
Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy
Japanese American Citizens League Chicago
Japanese American Service Committee
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA)
Midwest Asian Health Association
Northside Action for Justice
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, Greater Chicago Chapter
Palenque LSNA
People Matter
Ping Tom Park Advisory Council
Project: VISION, Inc.
South Asian American Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI)
United African Organization
United Working Families
Urban Village Church, Wicker Park
Woods Fund Board of Directors