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Cook County announces events for Racial Equity Week

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Tuesday, Aug. 29, a number of events in the fifth annual Racial Equity Week, to be held Sept. 11-15.

This year’s theme is “Interwoven Narratives, Collective Impact: 5 Years of Racial Equity Week,” and aims to encourage residents to use their imaginations to understand justice and equity at the intersections of identities through events and programming.

All events will be free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. All virtual events will be livestreamed and shared on President Preckwinkle’s Facebook page and a list of events and descriptions can be found at www.cookcountyil.gov/service/racial-equity.

“I look forward to observing Racial Equity Week, to sparking conversations and inspiring our residents and community partners in the work we do to make Cook County a place where everyone can thrive, regardless of race, nationality, gender, immigration status or zip code,” Preckwinkle said.

Monday: Panel discussion on the history of Provident Hospital

  • Where: Provident Hospital of Cook County, 500 E. 51st St., Chicago, and livestreamed via Facebook at www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle
  • When: 2 p.m.
  • Description: Leaders from Cook County Health and the local community will delve into the rich history of Provident Hospital of Cook County. Panelists will take part in a thought-provoking discussion about the significance of the hospital, its contributions to racial equity in healthcare and its role in shaping the medical landscape. Participants will explore the past, present and future of equitable healthcare access, fostering a deeper understanding of the strides that must continue to be made in Cook County and across the nation.

Monday through Wednesday: Virtual film viewings with the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP)  

  • Where: Virtual event via Vimeo, www.vimeo.com/showcase/10591334, password: CookCounty2023.
  • When: 5 p.m. 
  • Description: This program features short documentary films that delve into the specificity of identity and experience for Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. The link above will take participants to a 60-minute short films list that will be available for viewing during the show dates.  A 60-minute moderated panel discussion with Cook County leaders and filmmakers will be held at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Monday: Cook County United Against Hate panel: Hate Crime Investigations and Remedies 

  • Where: Prospect Heights Public Library, 12 N. Elm St., Prospect Heights, (Rooms A & B) and livestreamed via Facebook, www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle
  • When: 7 p.m.  
  • Description: This event will feature a Cook County United Against Hate panel on how hate crimes are investigated, prosecuted and repaired, if not prevented in the first place. Featuring Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton and representatives from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney, and the Department of Human Rights and Ethics, attendees will learn about hate crime investigations and criminal prosecution proceedings, victim support resources and mental health services, remedies when hate is not a crime, efforts by Cook County to prevent and interrupt all forms of hate and actions people can take when they witness or are a victim of hate.

Tuesday: Q&A panel with Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) Producers 

  • Where: Virtual event livestreamed via Facebook, www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.  
  • When: Noon.
  • Description: This virtual panel will include a 60-minute moderated discussion with Cook County leaders and QWOCMAP filmmakers. The films are about the specificity of identity and experience for Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. Attendees are invited to join in conversation and ask questions to filmmakers.

Wednesday: “Pour One Out!” Live Storytelling Series with Ada Cheng  

  • Where: Volumes Bookcafe, 1373 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, and livestreamed via Facebook, www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.
  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Register: REW2023.eventbrite.com
  • Description: Professor turned storyteller Ada Cheng will curate a series of intersectional and personal narratives by local performers that strive for equitable inclusion. The Office of the President invites residents to join Cheng and county leadership for this growing storytelling community built through intimacy and vulnerability.

Thursday: Knowing your Rights & Responsibilities: Anti-Discrimination Protections at All Levels of Government 

  • Where: Virtual event livestreamed via Facebook, www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle. 
  • When: Noon. 
  • Description: Illinois Department of Human Rights, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, and Cook County Commission on Human Rights are pleased to present Know Your Rights & Responsibilities: Anti-Discrimination Protections at All Levels of Government. This presentation will share human rights protections at the city, county and state, where individuals can file complaints, how to file complaints, and highlight similarities and differences in protections at each level. Representatives from all three agencies will be present to answer questions.

Thursday: Cook County Equity Fund hearing 

  • Where: Virtual Event livestreamed via Facebook (www.facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle)  
  • When: 6 p.m. 
  • Description: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle launched the Cook County Equity Fund Taskforce in 2021. The 50-member taskforce was charged with advising her administration on strategic investments from the Cook County Equity Fund, which addresses historical disparities and disinvestment in Black and Latino communities. This public hearing will provide an overview of the taskforce and fund, and updates from the Cook County bureaus, departments, and partner organizations who have been leading the work. 

Friday: Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) and the Queerness of Nature Walk  

  • Where: Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave., South Holland. 
  • When: 11:30 a.m.
  • Register: fpcc-rew.eventbrite.com
  • Description: President Preckwinkle will join the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) and community members for a Queerness of Nature Walk in the Preserves. Nature does not fit into the binary world that modern society has created. On this walk, residents will learn about the different ways that nature expresses itself, explore the Sand Ridge Nature Preserve’s diverse ecosystems while discussing queer ecology, and break down the ideas of heteronormativity and gender conformity in nature. Through these collective conversations, guides will reveal the complexity and fluidity present in the natural world. Sand Ridge Nature Center also features interactive exhibits, programs and knowledgeable staff to guide residents through the natural and cultural history of the Calumet Region. The event may be led in both English and Spanish.  

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