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Friday, August 5, 2022

Cook County to Observe Fourth Annual Racial Equity Week

Cook County’s 2022 Racial Equity Week to be held September 12 through September 16

Black and Brown Unity Mural, 18th Street, Pilsen (2020), Racial Equity Week
A section of the Black and Brown Unity Mural, 18th Street, Pilsen (2020)

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced upcoming dates for Cook County’s fourth annual Racial Equity Week. With virtual and in-person events scheduled from September 12 through September 16, this year’s theme “Many People, One Goal” reflects the breadth and depth of the County’s diverse inhabitants and the desire for a thriving, safe, and just county for all.

“Every year, we dedicate a week to celebrate Cook County’s commitment to advancing racial equity through policy and practice,” said President Preckwinkle. “I invite all Cook County residents to participate in this year’s engaging slate of Racial Equity Week events. We will have thought-provoking programming with diverse perspectives. I’m looking forward to particpating again this year and exploring new ways to infuse equity in government and beyond.”

Last year, to kick off the 2021 Racial Equity Week, President Preckwinkle announced the implementation of a Racial Equity Policy and Racial Equity Action Plan to ensure that equity is operationalized through Cook County Offices Under the President (OUP). This policy was implemented by Executive Order 2021-2. An update on the policy and plan will be provided throughout this year’s Racial Equity Week.

“While we are committed to lifting up issues of equity throughout the entire year, we pause for a week every September to invite Cook County residents to join us in our efforts to make the County a more equitable place for all,” added Denise Barreto, Director of Equity and Inclusion. “Since last year, we have gathered data on our own organizational journey and used it to inform the next phases of our Racial Equity Action Plan. We’re excited to share the details of that plan and highlight the work that’s still to come.”

Cook County Offices Under the President (OUP) will host a week of events encouraging the audience to step outside their comfort zone, learn about Cook County residents who represent different communities, and invite them to join the efforts to build a more equitable county.

Confirmed events include:

Racial Equity Week Kick-off Event in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

President Preckwinkle will join residents and County officials for a “Culture and Healing Connections in Nature” event. Jerry Attere, Forest Preserves of Cook County Naturalist at River Trail Nature Center, will lead a walk in Thatcher Woods and provide space to share cultural and healing connections to nature. Monday, September 12, 10:30 – 11:30 am –Thatcher Woods, River Forest, IL

A Candid Conversation with Cook County Native Americans Reflecting on the Urban Indian Relocations Program 60 Years Later

President Preckwinkle will join key leaders in the Cook County Indigenous community for a candid discussion of the Urban Indian Relocation Act of 1948, the subsequent Urban Indian Relocation Program, and the unintended consequences that continue to impact our region today. Tuesday, September 13, 5:00 – 6:15 pm – Virtual Panel Discussion

Storytelling with Renegade Ada Cheng

Ada Cheng, Ph.D., will co-lead a storytelling event with Cook County Director of Equity and Inclusion Denise Barreto, featuring five storytellers from various walks of life to share diverse perspectives and ideas to reach the goal of a more equitable Cook County and world. Friday, September 16 – 1:00 – 2:30 pm – Virtual Showcase

Additional events throughout the week will be scheduled. Updates and registration links for Racial Equity Week events will be posted at engagecookcounty.com/racialequity

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