The United Congress was founded by Target Area Development Corporation and the Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois.

August 2006

First retreat with Executive Directors and board members of six organizations in Three Rivers, MI. 


The Lived Black Experience held in Auburn-Gresham, the Lived Mexican Experience held in Little Village, and the Lived Black and Immigrant Experience in Albany Park brought hundreds of leaders together across racial, religious and geographic boundaries. 

The United Congress expands to two partner and nine member organizations.

Premiered Prince Among Slaves film at Iftar attended by over one thousand Christians and Muslims who broke fast together at Ambassadors for Christ World Outreach Center.

December 2007-February 2008

Conducted Racial Justice and Policy trainings for over one hundred United Congress leaders in English and Spanish.


State of Unity Summit in Springfield, IL.  Over 300 leaders delivered the Applied Research Center’s Illinois Report Card on Racial to all Illinois legislators and Constitutional office holders.   The Summit honored the state’s top legislators promoting racial equity.

United Congress and its member organizations won 500 summer jobs for youth through the Governor’s 2008 Summer Youth Works Program.

Summer Youth Leadership Initiative.  Forty youth built relationships and leadership across fifteen neighborhoods.  Youth leaders were trained on racial justice and developed a shared vision of human rights.

The United Congress adopts the People’s Platform for Equity and Justice that outlines a clear vision of principles and priorities to mobilize a grassroots human rights agenda.

United Congress youth leaders hold “Fasting for Faith and Justice” connecting stories across communities of how fasting has been practiced to fight for justice and build community.  Hunger strikers provide experiences from the struggle for Little Village Lawndale High School and Muslim-youth leaders share their perspectives on Ramadan.

The State of Race: Redefining Identity, Building Power, Changing Communities brought together over 400 leaders from Chicago and across the country to discuss issues of race, human rights and movement building.

The United Congress and Th!nkInc host a discussion on “Race and Identity” with Yamina Benguigui, acclaimed French filmmaker and Deputy Mayor of Paris for Human Rights and Exclusion Issues.

State of Unity Summit in Springfield, IL. 300 leaders deliver racial equity report cards to legislators. Albany Park Neighborhood Council, West Town Leadership United and Metropolitan Area Groups for Igniting Civilization join UCCRO.

Intergenerational Grassroots Human Rights Leadership Initiative reaches 250 youth since.


UCCRO invited by Paris mayor to keynote at Human Rights Conference in France

Human Rights Town Hall – 200 leaders and legislators connect issues of criminal justice and immigration with a race and human rights framework.

Grassroots Human Rights Summit with 400 leaders and organizers from Chicago, Michigan, Indiana, New York, England and South Africa.


UCCRO publishes Illinois’ first Grassroots Human Rights Policy Guide for Racial Equity and interactive website.  Submitted on record for United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the U.S.

UCCRO Census Coalition reaches 27,000 households.  Increases census participation rates by up to 15 percent in Chicago’s hardest to count communities.

UCCRO Human Rights Delegation of nine leaders register voters in Arizona to support immigrant rights


UCCRO releases Illinois’ first Grassroots Human Rights Report Card on Racial Equity including review and grades to all state legislators

UCCRO’s Racial Equity Redistricting Coalition of 53 organizations across the state supports UCCRO’s Unity Map calling for 57 majority-minority districts protects Black senate districts, 3 new Latino districts, and creates Illinois’ first four Asian-American districts while protecting key communities of interest.


Collective advocacy strategy team meets with 47 legislators, getting 59 cosponsors on six bills in one day.

UCCRO passes HB 4510 The Asian American Employment Plan, the state’s first Asian American bill ever.  Signed by the Governor.

UCCRO cosponsors Youth Employment Town Hall with over 250 youth from across 30 different communities as a proactive response to address growing youth violence in the city.

UCCRO holds first annual UCCRO Convention with 100 leaders to approve UCCRO platform.


UCCRO has weekly presence in Springfield and builds key relationships within and between the Black and Latino Caucuses and passes three key initiatives at the state level

UCCRO moves Black Caucus to support the SB 957 to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses

UCCRO helps LYFE Coalition win $14 million in the budget for youth employment funding

UCCRO helps pass SB 1659 providing $1,500 tax credit for employers who hire ex-offenders within three years of release

UCCRO passes SR 328 recognizing the issue of prison-based gerrymandering for the first time.


UCCRO helps to pass Juvenile Expungement Bill SB 0978 which annually clears the backlog for juveniles arrested but not convicted or arrested on a low level offense and allows youth to apply for multiple expungements on the same petition.

UCCRO helps to pass School Data Transparency Bill 2793 requiring CPS to publicly release information concerning student disciplinary actions and submit improvement plans for excessive school discipline.


UCCRO helps pass SB 100 which limits the use of suspensions and expulsions plus eliminates disciplinary fines for all public school students.