know about New report details inequalities in western suburbs, West Side
The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation released a report, “Community Voices,” on July 26 that captures the results of several community conversations held with residents of Oak Park, River Forest, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero and Provision.
Last year, the Community Foundation hired The Nova Collective, the black- and women-owned DEI consulting agency founded in Oak Park, to facilitate the conversations, “with the goal of building trusting relationships and determining priorities where the Foundation could” be more involved. shocking
“After two years, this report reveals the most pressing needs in our area, what the data is telling us, and how the power of our community will guide our future toward a racially just society.” Foundation President and CEO Tony Martinez Jr. said.
“We believe that the Community Voices Report will be of great value, not only to the Foundation and the non-profit sector, but also to local government, schools and the wider community,” he added.
The report’s five strategies for achieving racial equity, drawn from an article in the Stanford Innovation Review, are valuable insights.
- Preliminary work on data and context while focusing on solutions
- Focus on changing systems as well as programs and services.
- Shift power in collaboration
- Listen and act with the community
- Build equitable leadership and accountability
The report contains reams of useful data and a host of insightful maps that highlight inequalities in Chicago’s West Side and West Suburbs. But the document and the inequalities it is designed to address really come to life when the participants in the conversation begin to speak for themselves.
“When glass breaks, you don’t fix it, you replace it,” says one participant. “We need to stop trying to fix broken systems and reinvent new ones designed within fairness and justice.”
Three Community Voices events will be held online or in person in August and September.
- Wednesday, August 3, 6 pm Virtual.
- Saturday, September 17, 9 am, at Proviso East High School, 807 S. 1st Ave. in Maywood
- Saturday, September 24, 10 am, at the Oak Park Public Library – Main Branch, 834 Lake St. in Oak Park
- Tuesday, September 27, 6 pm Virtual.
At each of these events, The Nova Collective will share highlights from focus group conversations with 100 neighbors, partners and stakeholders describing the priority areas identified in the community needs assessment. Foundation staff will present compelling data that underscores how racial inequality is the root cause of challenges in western Cook County.
There will also be a panel discussion with focus group participants to gain perspective and discuss next steps, and the audience will be engaged through a question and answer session and other activities to build understanding and solidarity.
You can read the Community Voices Report at: oprfcf.org/community-voices.
CONTACT: [email protected]