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MWRD to celebrate African American History Makers in February

Who:     Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

What:    Black History Month celebrations

Where: MWRD Board Room, 100 E. Erie Street, Chicago 

When:    Feb. 11, Feb. 18, Feb. 25 and Feb. 27

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) will celebrate Black History Month throughout February to honor the accomplishments of local African American history makers.

MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan and staff are bringing together speakers throughout the month to offer overviews in advancing diversity. They will also discuss challenges and rewards related to their achievements. The events will be held at the MWRD’s main office building, 100 E. Erie St., Chicago, IL.

“We decided to dedicate the entire month to recognizing and applauding the contributions of African American history makers,” said Vice President McGowan. “This will be the first time we raise the African American flag to honor this significant month.”

Specific events take place on the following days:

Tues., Feb. 4, 10 a.m. – Key figures in the African American community will be featured and included: Jesse White, Secretary of State; MWRD Commissioner and President Kari K. Steele; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough; Alderman Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward); Alderman Derrick Curtis (18th Ward); Alderman Jeanette Taylor 20th Ward); Alderman Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward); Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward); Alderman Chris Taliaferro (29th Ward); Alderman Emma Mitts (37th Ward); and Karl Brinson, President, Westside NAACP. The event will begin with a presentation in the Board Room to be followed by the raising of the African American flag, a first for the MWRD.

Tues., Feb. 11, noon – The MWRD will honor state elected officials: Former U.S. Senator and Illinois State Comptroller Roland Burris, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton (invited), Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Secretary of State Jesse White.

Tues., Feb. 18, noon – First African American MWRD department heads will be honored. Featured speakers include Director of Human Resources Beverly Sanders and former Director of Information Technology Keith Smith.

Tues., Feb. 25, noon – Springfield resident Kathryn Harris will portray Harriet Tubman in a first-person presentation.

Thurs., Feb. 27, 5 p.m. – The MWRD will honor members of the Montford Point Marines, which includes Sharon Stokes-Parry, President of the Chicago-based Montford Point Marine Association (MPMA). The MPMA is a veterans’ organization whose founding members were part of the first segregated unit of Marines during WWII. Their organization and bravery led the charge in the desegregation of the United States Marine Corps.

These events are open to the public.

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