Cook County residents unite against hate during Racial Equity Week

Cook County hosted a series of virtual and in-person educational events last week as part of its third annual Racial Justice Week.

Earlier in the week, the Cook County United Against Hate initiative hosted a moderated discussion on white supremacist indoctrination. Dozens of people took part in an outdoor, interactive community activation event Thursday at the Tyner Interpretive Center in Glenview to help participants learn and speak out against hate through arts, social justice and cultural exchange.

“When white supremacists came to my door this spring to spread dangerous and hateful anti-Semitic propaganda, it was a stark reminder that hatred thrives in every shadow and we must do what we can to shine the light on justice and equality,” said Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton of Glenview.

Organizers unveiled a new “Beacon of Unity” icon to counteract symbols of hate and racism and introduced a pledge urging residents to denounce bigotry and intolerance of any kind, support people with diverse life experiences to question hateful acts and to learn to practice social justice action.

Also during the week, Cook County Chief Executive Toni Preckwinkle provided an update on the county’s implementation of a 2021 Racial Justice Policy and Action Plan for Racial Justice.

“While we work year-round to address issues of justice, we take a week off each September to invite Cook County residents to join us in our efforts to make the county a fairer place for all,” he said Denise Barreto, the District Director for Justice and Inclusion. “Since last year we have been gathering data about our own organizational journey and using it to inform the next phases of our Racial Justice Action Plan.”


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Mexican Independence

Hundreds gathered in Aurora on Friday for the annual Mexican flag-raising ceremony celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day.

The ceremony was hosted by the two Mexican-Americans on Aurora City Council — Parish Councilor 1 Emmanuel Llamas and Parish Councilor 2 Juany Garza — along with Deputy Mayor Guillermo Trujillo.

The celebration included performances by 8-year-old mariachi Ryan Cornejo, known as the “Boy with the Golden Voice.”

Local youth writer and poet Magalie Escobedo, 13, recited poems from her new book My Mind, dedicated to her parents who passed away last year.

Latinos make up 42.7% of the more than 179,000 residents in the state’s second largest city.

Hispanic Scholarships

The Elgin Hispanic Network is accepting applications for adult scholarships through October 7.

The network’s adult/non-traditional student scholarship program is designed to help people ages 19-65 of Hispanic descent pursue college education or trade school.

Two adults will be awarded scholarships of up to $1,500 each in November to help cover expenses for the current academic year.

Download a scholarship application at

Flood relief in Pakistan

Helping Hand for Relief and Development collects cash and in-kind donations for flood relief efforts in Pakistan through its Elmhurst center.

Since June, torrential monsoon rains and flooding across much of Pakistan have displaced millions of people. Flash floods have caused extensive damage to houses, roads, bridges and power plants.

Pakistan has declared this a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions. According to Pakistani officials, at least 33 million people are affected by up to five times the average 30-year rainfall.

More than 1,100 people have died – a third of them children – and the death toll is expected to rise as flash floods continue. Nearly 1 million homes were damaged or swept away, as were livestock, crops and orchards.

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More than 3 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and are at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition, reports UNICEF.

“Helping Hand has pledged that we will spend $15 million on this emergency in Pakistan,” said Dr. Villa Park’s Abdul Khaliq Ghauri, a retired doctor and manager of health and nutrition programs for Helping Hand, which provides services in 16 countries. “We have developed some (donation) packages for the relief work.”

Accepted donations in kind include new or slightly used oriental clothing, winter clothing, bedding, children’s toys and school supplies such as pencils, pens, sharpeners, erasers, shoes, baby clothes and women’s handbags.

To arrange a donation at the Elmhurst Center or to volunteer, call Amna Saeed, In-Kind Fundraising Coordinator, at (630) 440-0794.

For more information, see

SEL forum

Women United of Lake County will host a virtual forum Monday on Social Emotional Learning, which will explore why such education is critical for young children.

The Group’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Initiative is organizing the free forum from 6pm to 7:30pm

“For years we have focused on providing support to meet academic needs in underserved communities, and rightly so. But we now have a better understanding that unless we address social-emotional learning, there is no basis or framework to enable academic support to take hold,” said Sandra Bankston, co-chair of the initiative.

Guest speakers include Ashley Cullen-Williams, Student Support Specialist at the College of Lake County’s TRiO Educational Talent Search Scholars Program and former Counselor at Waukegan High School; Lesley Bracero, a preschool teacher at Greenwood Elementary School in Waukegan; and Michael Allen, a former principal and current educational leadership advisor to the Illinois Principals Association.

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To register and receive a Zoom link, email [email protected]

Hispanic heritage

The Fox River Valley Public Library District is hosting Friday, September 23 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month on the Dundee Library grounds at 555 Barrington Ave. in East Dundee, an outdoor celebration.

The program, which runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., features Grupo De Danza Folklorica Quetzaly performing regional dances from Mexico. The library will provide baked goods, fresh beverages, and creative crafts for the family-friendly event. To register, visit

Latinx heritage

Elgin Community College’s annual Latinx Heritage Month events include the second annual Fiesta en la Yarda

The celebration will take place on September 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the green area of ​​building C.

Attendees can enjoy a movie night on the lawn with “Encanto” and a special performance by the Ballet Folklorico Huehuecyotl. Two local Latino food trucks serve tacos and churros, and there are free kids’ activities. This event is free and open to the community.

On October 4th, author Pascuala Herrera will reflect on her experiences as a member of the Latinx community and as a person with disabilities by speaking about her award-winning memoir, Not Always a Valley of Tears.

The presentation will combine storytelling and visual slides and will cover a range of topics including immigration, Latinx struggles and triumphs, disability and advocacy. It will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the ECC’s Spartan Auditorium.

For information, call Student Life at (847) 214-7370 or visit

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