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About Ra Joy

About Ra Joy

Ra Joy is running with Chris Kennedy to stand up for Illinois as Lieutenant Governor.

A civic entrepreneur and proven coalition builder, Ra has dedicated his career to advancing freedom, fairness, beauty and equality.

Ra previously served as Executive Director of CHANGE Illinois (Coalition for Honest and New Government Ethics), a non-partisan coalition that leads systemic political and government reform. Under Ra’s energetic leadership, CHANGE has become a unifying force in the democracy reform movement and a recognized champion for expanding voter participation, curbing political gerrymandering, and encouraging informed civic participation.

Prior to leading CHANGE, Ra served as head of Arts Alliance Illinois the state’s most prominent arts advocacy and service organization. In this role, Ra organized and led successful statewide and citywide arts initiatives that empowered individuals, improved schools, and created more vibrant communities. From 2001 to 2007, Ra served as a senior aide to U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) specializing in appropriations and community and economic development initiatives.

A resident of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Ra’s commitment to civic and social change has resulted in numerous awards and honors including the 2015 Chicago Community Trust Fellowship, the 2015 Cultural Champion Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Ra is an AmeriCorps Alum, a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow (2005), a member of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council, a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, a member of the Civic Collaboratory, and an advisor to the Chicago Commitment Team at the John D. and Catherine T.  MacArthur Foundation. He is a frequent speaker on democracy reform, citizen power, and the arts in America.