President Preckwinkle has announced the formal lineup of events and speakers for Racial Equity Week. During September 14 – 18, 2020, Cook County will hold its second Racial Equity Week to delve deeper into the need to advance racial equity, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cook County will hold a series of interactive virtual events with community leaders, artists and the public. This year’s theme is Cook County Past, Present and Future: Acknowledging past harm, reckoning with impact today, and casting a vision for our county’s future. Denise Barreto, the County’s inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion, will facilitate several events during the week.
Confirmed events include:
- Cook County Census Action Week Kickoff Event: President Preckwinkle will join Commissioner Alma Anaya as she launches Cook County Census Action Week. With the federal government shortening the census response time by 30 days, September 30 is the new deadline. Cook County is making a final push in all hard-to-count areas of the County with Commissioner-led activities to drive census response. Monday, September 14, noon.
- Northwest Portage Walking Museum Tour and Land Acknowledgement: President Preckwinkle will take a tour of the newly launched Northwest Portage Walking Museum with Heather Miller, Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Chicago. The tour will conclude with an Indigenous land acknowledgement. The Museum is free and open to the public. Tuesday, September 15, 9:00 a.m. chicagopublicartgroup.org/northwest-portage-walking-museum
- Equity Town Hall: Environmental Sustainability Edition: President Preckwinkle will lead a virtual equity town hall on the topic of Environmental Sustainability with environmental experts and advocates. Panelists include Naomi Davis, founder of Blacks in Green and Darnell Johnson, CEO and President of Urban Efficiency Group. Panelists will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on environmental issues, explore the Just Transition framework, and learn more about urban agriculture and opportunities to build sustainable communities in Cook County. RSVP at EnvironmentalEquityTownHall.Eventbrite.com. Tuesday, September 15, 5:30 p.m. Event will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.
“It is my distinct pleasure to join this town hall as a panelist to increase awareness around racial equity, social determinants of health and urban sustainability,” said Darnell Johnson, CEO of the Urban Efficiency Group.
- Folded Map Project Screening and Conversation: President Preckwinkle will introduce an event with the Folded Map Project, including a short film screening and panel discussion featuring Asiaha Butler of Resident Association of Greater Englewood, Dr. Maria Krysan, UIC Sociology Department Head and author of The Cycle of Segregation and Folded Map Project Founder Tonika Johnson. RSVP at FoldedMapConversation.Eventbrite.com. Wednesday September 16, 4:00 p.m.
- Recovery Roundtable on Transportation: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Active Transportation Alliance in collaboration with the Chicago Community Trust are convening a virtual roundtable discussion on transportation equity in the time of COVID-19, with a spotlight on Cook County’s Fair Transit project. The discussion will center on how COVID-19 has impacted transit and highlight that it is more important than ever to make transportation accessible to essential workers, who are predominantly people of color. RSVP at TransitEquityRoundtable.Eventbrite.com. Thursday, September 17, 11:00 a.m. Event will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle. The conversation will be moderated by Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Government Affairs, Center for Neighborhood Technology. Panelists include:
- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
- Illinois Sen. Bill Cunningham, 18th District
- Illinois Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr., 33rd District
- Illinois Sen. Ram Villivalam, 8th District
- Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller
- Mayor Rick Reinbold, Village of Richton Park
“I’m looking forward to hosting this conversation on the urgent need for transit equity in the Chicago region,” said Amy Rynell, Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “COVID-19 has highlighted the disparities and emphasized why accessible, affordable transit is needed more than ever. Active Transportation Alliance is honored to partner with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to bring this roundtable to Racial Equity Week.”
- COOKED: Survival By Zip Code Screening: a limited public screening of the documentary, COOKED: Survival By Zip Code, will be offered and will conclude with a panel discussion and live Q&A. Panelists include President Preckwinkle, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, and the film’s director, Judith Helfand. RSVP at CookCountyCookedScreening.Eventbrite.com. Thursday September 17, 5:30 p.m. Attendees will receive a screening link to watch the film in advance and then join the virtual panel discussion and live Q&A on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
- Live Storytelling: Storyteller Ada Cheng will present This is America: Truths Through My Body. Learn more about Ada Cheng’s work at www.renegadeadacheng.com. RSVP at TruthsThroughMyBody.Eventbrite.com. Friday, September 18, 3:00 p.m. Event will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.
“I’m excited to partner with Cook County to bring this event to Racial Equity Week,” said Ada Cheng. “We urgently need to hear each other’s stories, develop an understanding of how structural conditions have shaped our shared and myriad experiences, and engage in productive dialogues that will promote equity and justice for all. I am happy to include four fantastic tellers, including Rogelia Lily Ibarra, Nikki Patin, Yasmine Yaz Tadross, and Simon Tran.”
See the full line up of events and learn more about racial equity at www.cookcountyil.gov/service/racial-equity.