Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Wednesday the creation of a new review committee that will assess the city's monuments and memorials as part of a "racial healing and historical reckoning project."
According to a statement released by the mayor's office, the newly launched project will "provide a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago's racial history."
"This project represents the first step in a deliberative and long-needed process by which we as a city can assess the many monuments and memorials across our neighborhoods and communities," Lightfoot said. "This effort is not just about a single statue or mural, but how we create a platform to channel our city's dynamic civic energy to purposefully reflect our values as Chicagoans and uplift the stories of our city's residents, particularly when it comes to the permanent memorialization of our history and shared heritage."
The project will consist of four main objectives:
- Cataloging monuments and public art on city or sister agency property.
- Appointing an advisory committee to determine which pieces warrant attention or action.
- Making recommendations on any new monuments or public art that could be commissioned.
- Creating a platform for the public to engage in a civic dialogue about Chicago's history.
🔦 Lightfoot's announcement comes three weeks after she ordered the removal of two Christopher Columbus statues overnight in Grant Park and Little Italy.
The removal was in response to a July 17 clash between local law enforcement and rioters that left at least 49 officers wounded.