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Late Mayor Harold Washington honored during November 23 2022 wreath-laying ceremony at Oak Woods Cemetery

Late Mayor Harold Washington

In honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington, Rev. Dr. Janette Wilson, ESQ- attorney, social activist & National Director-Rainbow ‘PUSH for Excellence’ will join Emma Lozano, ardent immigrant-rights advocate who worked for the election of Harold Washington, served as a staffer in Washington’s mayoral administration and later as an aide to former alderman Jesús ‘Chuy’ Garcia, Spencer Leak, Sr. of the Leak Funeral Home south-side Chicago business institution, veteran Crusader News reporter Chinta Strausberg and other former Washington Administration officials to share Memorial Remarks on Nov. 23rd  to celebrate, honor and elevate his profound public service legacy.

They will connect with a diverse multi-ethnic coalition of current and former local officials and civic, community and religious leaders and members of the Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee (MHWLC), in hosting the Annual Mayor Harold Washington Remembrance & Recognition Wreath Laying Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street in Chicago, where such Black notables as Olympian Jesse Owens, prominent journalist, abolitionist and activist Ida B. WellsBarnett,  Ebony/Jet magazine publishing company founder John H. Johnson, the father of Black gospel music Thomas A. Dorseyand the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s 51st Mayor, among others are buried. The public is invited to attend the community-oriented event.

“The legacy of Mayor Washington remains socially and politically relevant in today’s diverseadvocacy environment, including Black Lives Matter and other civic movements, keeping it alive and well for today and the future,” says Josie Childs, founder and President of the Chicago-based nonprofit MHWLC organization. “We will always remember Harold Washington today and in the future, and celebrate his life, legacy, and the profound impact he had on our city. His election as Mayor of Chicago sparked unity between a diverse coalition of people that represented our city at its best. His  engaging personality,  exceptional intelligence and boundless humanistic vision forever changed the direction of this city for the better.”

“Our mission is to reignite the progressive spirit of unity and keep alive the essential purposeful philosophies of inclusion and dedicated public service embodied by Mayor Washington during his highly accomplished life.”

Today, many Chicagoans who loved, respected, and admired the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black chief executive, still find it hard to believe that he died of a fatal heart attack the day before Thanksgiving, thirty-five (35) years ago next week on November 25, 1987 in his City Hall office.

It seems like yesterday. Even now, the pride in his achievements, as well as the painful memories surrounding the end of this historic ‘Mayoral Miracle,’ which began with his monumental election on the date of April 12, 1983 remains fresh in the minds of many inter-generational activists and admirers.

This November 23rd  ceremony occasion will celebrate and explore the life and legacy of Mayor Washington, the city’s first African-American Mayor, featuring multi –generational speakers, singing of the Black National Anthem by singer Hay’Lee Young  and If I Can Help Somebody by local Howard University graduate and gospel vocalist Kristen Taylor; a TAPS with bugle-player Tom Day who played at Mayor Washington’s 1987 Funeral, flutist William Buchholtz and JuniorROTC Honor Guard Posting of Colors, from local Rich South high school students. The public is invited to attend. Masks and social distancing will be observed.


Media Contact: A.L. Smith, MHWLC Media Affairs [email protected], 312-720-2965

 The Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee (MHWLC) is a 501.c.3. Chicago-based, non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the memory and historical legacy of Chicago’s 1st Black Mayor.

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