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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: DuPage County Contact: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015; College of DuPage Contact: Wendy Parks (630) 942-2371

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

DuPage County, College of DuPage Launch Anti-Racism Initiative

In partnership with DuPage County, the College of DuPage (COD) is launching a new initiative to unite the community against racism and provide a platform for meaningful conversations to help audiences reflect, share and act. Together, the College and DuPage County will participate in activities to examine the ways that racism exists in today’s society and reflect on the ways COD and the surrounding community are working together to create a better world. 

DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, COD Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Napolitano, Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes, McAninch Arts Center Director Diana Martinez, COD Student Trustee Samiha Syed and a host of other key stakeholders invite the community to participate in the effort. 

“This collaboration with College of DuPage is incredibly valuable because it allows our entire community to explore what diversity and inclusion really means in each of our daily lives,” Cronin said. “Working with the College faculty, staff and students we believe this collective effort will strengthen our community and allow DuPage County to set a positive example for productive dialogue.” 

The academic-year-long initiative will incorporate social media, videos, photos, forums and a partnership with Cronin and other key stakeholders. The primary goal is to have open dialogue, strengthen diversity and create change in DuPage County.

“College of DuPage values diversity and invites faculty, staff, students and community members from all walks of life to get involved and join discussions about racial equity and inclusion. Ultimately, this will propel us forward to take action towards building a more just community,” COD President Dr. Brian Caputo said. 

The new campaign encompasses a web platform that includes COD stories and videos through the eyes of community leaders, faculty, staff and students; a community “read and reflect” series; virtual forums and a blog highlighting personal stories on race and diversity.

The new blog series, “Speak Your Truth,” highlights COD staff, faculty and students, as well as community members, sharing their insights about how race, diversity, equity and inclusion have impacted their lives. A Holocaust survivor, ivy-league graduate, village trustee and a host of others will unveil their stories of inspiration and triumph.

The first virtual #ChapsUniteAgainstRacisim forum, “Does Freedom of Speech Really Mean I can Say Whatever I want?”, will be held at noon Tuesday Sept. 8. Panelists include COD General Counsel Lilliana Kalin, Political Science Professor David Goldberg, Manager of Student Life Chuck Steele, and Student Trustee Samiha Syed.  Facilitated by Montes, guests will engage in a roundtable discussion about the lines between free speech and potentially disruptive behavior on COD’s campus and in our communities. 

For more information about #ChapsUniteAgainstRacism and to get involved, please visit cod.edu/chapsuniteagainstracism. To view a video announcement from the College of DuPage, please visit https://youtu.be/Gwyd0OR_sDY.