CHICAGO (Diya TV) — Niketa Brar, the co-founder and executive director of Chicago United for Equity (CUE), is set to step down from her role at the end of the year. Brar, an Indian American policy strategist and civic systems organizer, played a crucial role in establishing CUE in 2016 to address racial segregation issues in urban public schools. Her departure marks a transition for the organization, which operates as a network of racial justice advocates engaged in various civic roles, including organizing, researching, and artistic endeavors.

During her tenure, Brar spearheaded initiatives to transform civic systems, emphasizing community-led designs. Notable achievements include organizing Chicago’s inaugural public Racial Equity Impact Assessment, leading to the prevention of a school closure based on racial discrimination. She also contributed to the creation of the Vote Equity Project, a citywide voter guide, and co-designed the People’s Budget Chicago, a widely embraced community budgeting process.

Brar’s career trajectory reflects a commitment to addressing socioeconomic inequities. Beginning as a criminal investigator for the D.C. Public Defender and later serving as a middle school math teacher in low-income schools, she transitioned into policy work. Her diverse policy portfolio encompasses roles such as coordinating post-secondary policy for the State of Illinois, developing equitable neighborhood policies for Chicago’s city treasurer, and contributing to initiatives for the Chicago Mayor’s Office.

Her recognition includes the 2020 Trailblazer Award from Reform for Illinois, the inaugural Bonnie Allen Civil Rights Visionary Award from the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and the 2022 Changemaker Grant from the Center for Racial Justice at the University of Michigan.

Brar holds degrees from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, American University’s School of Education, the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.