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Cook County marking second annual Racial Equity Week

Cook County has designated the week of Sept. 14 as Cook County Racial Equity Week celebrating Cook County’s past, present and future and acknowledging past harm, reckoning with impact today and casting a vision for our county’s future.

“We are proud to announce our second annual Racial Equity Week, furthering Cook County’s commitment to advancing racial equity through policy and practice,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. 

“We’ve curated a variety of topics and events to support racial equity understanding for everyday folks while highlighting what we are doing at Cook County to bring about racial equity in our work,” said Denise Barreto, the County’s inaugural director of equity and inclusion.

The second annual observance will be an opportunity to delve deeper into the need to advance racial equity, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The county will hold a series of interactive virtual events with community leaders, artists and the public.

Events during the week will be posted on the county’s website and details will be shared on social media. A few of the confirmed events include:

  • Cook County census action Week kickoff event: Preckwinkle will join Commissioner Alma Anya as she kicks of Cook County Census Action Week on Monday, Sept. 14. With the federal government shortening the census response time by 30 days, Sept. 30 is the new deadline and the county is making a final push in all the hard-to-count areas of the county with commissioner led activities to drive census response. 
  • Equity town hall — environmental sustainability edition: Preckwinkle will lead a virtual equity town hall on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 5:30 p.m. on the topic of environmental sustainability with environmental experts and advocates.
  • Folded map project: Preckwinkle will introduce the Folded Map Project at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. It includes a short film screening and panel discussion featuring Aysha Butler of Resident Association of Greater Englewood; Dr. Maria Krysan, University of Illinois-Chicago Sociology Department Head and author of The Cycle of Segregation; and Folded Map Project Founder Tonika Johnson. 
  • Recovery roundtable on transportation: In collaboration with the Chicago Community Trust, Preckwinkle will convene transportation experts and advocates for a recovery roundtable on the topic of equity in transportation at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17.
  • “Cooked: Survival By Zip Code” screening: A public screening of the documentary, “Cooked: Survival By Zip Code,” will be offered at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, and will conclude with a panel discussion. 
  • Live storytelling: Storyteller Ada Cheng will present “This is America: Truths Through My Body” at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.

Updates and registration links for Racial Equity Week events will be posted at www.cookcountyil.gov/service/racial-equity

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