Racial Equity Week Begins with Theme “Imagine.Intersect.Act.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced the third annual Racial Equity Week beginning today, September 13 through September 17, 2021.   The theme of this year’s week is “Imagine. Intersect. Act.”.  Events and programing this week encourages audiences to understand justice and equity at the intersections of identities.

“I look forward to observing Racial Equity Week again this year and hope that the events we have programmed will spark conversations and inspire residents and our many 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,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Each year, we update the public on how Cook County has worked to advance racial equity through policy and practice, as well as highlight the work of our partners and advocates.”

Events this week include:

Kickoff Press Conference.  President Preckwinkle will be joined by fellow officials and senior staff to announce a new Racial Equity Policy and Racial Equity Action Plan. Monday, September 13, 1 p.m. Virtual via Facebook Live at Facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.

Talk With Toni: Racial Equity Week Edition. President Preckwinkle will debut several episodes of Talk with Toni for Racial Equity Week to air throughout the week on the Cook County Cable Channel and be available on demand on the Cook County YouTube Channel. Episodes will include an in-depth interview with Cook County Assessor Kaegi and a special on-location episode at Brave Space Alliance with Founder and Executive Director LaSaia Wade and Associate Executive Director Stephanie Skora. Virtual.

Virtual Screenings with the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP). Cook County will provide two virtual programs to the public curated by QWOCMAP. These programs of short documentary films delve into the specificity of identity and experience for Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. Each 60-minute program will be available to view from Monday, September 13 – Wednesday, September 15 at the viewer’s leisure. One program will focus on Black stories and another will focus on Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), and Indigenous stories. A 60-minute moderated panel discussion with Cook County and filmmakers will be held on Wednesday, September 15 at 6pm CT. Virtual via Zoom.

The Next Generation of Latinx Leadership: Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Event. This panel discussion moderated by the Latino Policy Forum and held on Facebook Live will feature young Latinx leaders in government who will discuss their strengths, goals, and strategies for bringing more Latinx leadership into civic spaces. Tuesday, September 14. Virtual via Facebook Live at Facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.

Press conference with Public Defender and advocates celebrating the passage of HB 2790. President Preckwinkle will be joined by Cook County Public Defender Sharone Mitchell, elected officials and advocates to celebrate the signing of HB 2790, legislation that provides public defenders in immigration court. Tuesday, September 14, 12 p.m. 101 W. Congress. Virtual via Facebook Live at Facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle.

Racial Equity Table in Daley Plaza at Cook County Preparedness Fair. Stop by the Racial Equity Week table to meet members of the Racial Equity Leadership Council (RELC) during Cook County’s Annual Preparedness Fair. Members of the RELC Core Team will be available to talk about our racial equity work, answer questions, and share resources. Wednesday, September 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Daley Plaza. In person.

Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) Stewardship Day. President Preckwinkle will join the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) and community members for a Stewardship Day. Possum Hollow stewardship days are special as they center the Latinx and BIPOC community and they are led by two Latinx Stewards:  Xochitl Lopez of Friends of the Forest Preserves, and Raquel García-Álvarez of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The event may be led in both English and Spanish. Friday, September 17, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Possum Hollow Woods, La Grange Park, IL. In person. Participation limited to 25 people. Find details and register on Eventbrite at racialequity-fpcc.eventbrite.com.

Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP) Annual Public Update. Cook County Department of Public Health, Chicago Food Policy Action Council, and members of the Cook County Good Food Task Force will discuss Cook County GFPP implementation progress, strategies being taken to ensure racially equitable outcomes, and actions the public can take. Friday, September 17, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Virtual via Zoom.

Courage to Connect! Live Storytelling with Dr. Ada Cheng. Professor turned storyteller Dr. Ada Cheng will curate a series of intersectional and personal narratives by local performers that follow the theme of this year’s Racial Equity Week. Friday, September 17, 12 p.m. Virtual via Facebook Live at facebook.com/PresidentPreckwinkle. Find details and register on Eventbrite at couragetoconnect.eventbrite.com.

“By drawing tellers from all over the country for this Racial Equity Week event, I want to position Courage to Connect!  as an event within national and global contexts and demonstrate how the local is intricately connected to the various national and global crises,” said Dr. Ada Cheng. “Issues we experience in Cook County are never just local; they resonate throughout the nation and the world.”

Story time with President Preckwinkle: a storytelling event for children in partnership with 57th  Street Books.  President Preckwinkle will host story time for young children that will be broadcast throughout the week on Cook County’s Cable Channel. The stories curated by 57th Street Books will convey the theme of Racial Equity Week and spark conversations about racial justice and equity with the next generation. The Seminary Co-op Bookstore will also share a curated book list for the week as a resource for parents and educators. Virtual.

This year, Cook County will continue to offer a week of events available to the public and to Cook County employees. Some events will be held in-person and outside, following public health guidelines, and most events will continue to be offered virtually. Events during the week will continue to be posted on this page and details will be shared on social media.

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

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