Community Voices Have The Power To Change


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"We heard stories of struggle, but also voices filled with pride and spirit, that despite all odds continue to push forward and challenge deeply rooted systems of inequity."

That's what the community of Oak Park, Ill., in western Cook County says it wants to see happen in a new report on racial equity, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation partnered with the Nova Collective, a women's-owned, Black-owned consultancy in Oak Park, to conduct focus groups and conversations on racial equity; participants included "people who have not historically been invited into such conversations, along with community leaders and frontline staff from grassroots organizations serving those in need," the foundation says in a press release.

The report, which can be downloaded atoprfcf.org, outlines the top 10 racial equity priorities for the foundation's nine-county service area, which includes parts of Chicago's West Side.

Those priorities include ending hunger, improving health and education, addressing homelessness, and creating more affordable housing.

"All of these needs intersect and interrelate in a person's daily life," the press release says.

"We view the report as a beginning, a spark to galvanize not just the Foundation and nonprofit sector, but to inspire local government, schools and the community at large."

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