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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Friday, June 18, 2021

Juneteenth Panel Discussion

I’m pleased to share news that DuPage County received recognition from the National Association of Counties for our joint effort with the College of DuPage to engage in a year-long community conversation on issues including race, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Last summer, I talked with representatives from College of DuPage and together we developed the series as a response to racial protests. Together, we sought a productive, meaningful way to involve local officials, students, and residents in a community conversation dealing with the difficult topics of discrimination, race, and social justice. 

The resulting initiative was designed to help both internal and external audiences reflect, share, and act, with stories meant to educate from a personal perspective. Video projects, blog posts, interviews and panel discussions explored the past and present and sought concrete ways DuPage residents could unite against racism. This spring, we planned a number of panel discussions as part of what we called the E4 series, Equity in Economic Opportunity, Education and Enforcement of the Law.  As we wrap up this year of community conversation, COD’s Dr. Nathania Montes and I hosted a panel discussion exploring what we learned.  Our guests included DuPage NAACP President Michael Childress, DuPage Airport Authority Chairman Steve Davis, COD’s Interim Assistant Dean Sonia Watson and English Professor Jason Snart. This final part of the E4 discussion series focuses on the results of our collaboration.

And as we mark the Juneteenth holiday, we also explore the many ways we can keep this valuable, timely conversation going. I encourage you to watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aWSuMhHslQ