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Honoree Headshot

Candace Moore

Chief Equity Officer
City of Chicago

Location: Cook County
Year Founded: Office founded in 2019
Industry Group Specific: Government

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In 2019, former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed Candace Moore to serve as the city’s first Chief Equity Officer. Charged with leading the new office of Equity and Racial Justice, Moore was tasked with advancing policies and practices that promote equitable outcomes across Chicago.

The Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ) is tasked with overseeing the development, coordination and administration of racial and social equity policies and practices for the City of Chicago. This includes working to change policies and practices in city government through engaging in training and support of city staff, cultivating engagement between city stakeholders and communities of color and integrating racial equity analysis and accountability into decision-making processes.

Under Moore’s leadership, the early wins have included organizing city departments to create and be accountable to Racial Equity Action Plans, advancing a Community Wealth Building agenda with a $15 million investment and leading the “Together We Heal” initiative that resulted in $6 million for community-healing projects.

“Our guiding vision is that a fully equitable Chicago is a future state that we have not fully seen before and to get there we must affirmatively build a more fair and just city,” said Moore. “Therefore, we reimagine a future where diversity is our source of power.”

What makes everyone different is celebrated and utilized as an asset, said Moore. “Race is the story of our resiliency and not our oppression,” she said. “Engagement is how we do business.”

Leading with equity during the pandemic was a huge test of leadership, but Moore said it laid the ground work for her and her team to make significant gains in institutionalizing change that will continue to drive equity moving forward. In 2022, OERJ was successfully codified to ensure that all departments created racial equity action plans, make these plans public and account for progress annually at the time of budget. To date, 24 departments have publicly posted multi-year racial equity action plans.

“This is the kind of change that makes equity part of the business of government and hopefully sets us on a trajectory that will fundamentally change how our city works,” said Moore. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this work at this moment in our city’s history.”

Her efforts have garnered Moore recognition with a 2023 Innovator Award and Land Economics Society’s Harry F. Chaddick Distinguished Public Service Award in 2022.

For her passion for creating equity within the City of Chicago, Moore has been named a titan.

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Bridging connections. Throughout my career, I have always felt most purposeful when I helping people connect around ideas, facilitating ideas connecting to actions, and transforming actions into change movements.

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