Loyola University starting new Institute for Racial Justice

Loyola University has started a new program focusing on racism and racial disparities in society.

"What we are going to do moving forward is center race and all of our work in ways that haven't been done before," said Malik Henfield, founding Dean of the Loyola University Chicago Institute for Racial Justice.

The program will use an interdisciplinary approach to research and try to develop solutions for racial inequities that exist not only in the criminal justice system  but also in education, public health and public housing. A key component is their approach to the community.

"What we're really trying to do is figure out how can we combine our research ideas with the practical lives of Chicago and its citizens, and come together in a unified way to really disrupt the current system," Henfield said.

The Chicago Urban League is one of Loyola's many community partners.

"In many instances, we view ourselves as the boots on the ground," said Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO.

Freeman-Wilson said that combining educational theory with real-life input will make Loyola's research more meaningful and more useful.

Classes at the institute will begin this fall.