Statewide initiative for local governments announced at Black History Month Celebration in Springfield
The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is celebrating the state’s 200th birthday by focusing on inclusion and diversity.
IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn today announced the launch of the “Fairness and Equality Campaign” in recognition of the Illinois Bicentennial. The campaign aims to get at least 200 local government entities to commit to improving cultural relations in their communities.
“We are excited to collaborate with statewide partners to end discrimination and build upon our core values of diversity and inclusion,” said Acting Director Glenn. “It is fitting to announce this impactful campaign during our celebration of Black History Month, where we all take time out to recognize the inspiring history and achievements of the African-American community in Illinois.”
Local municipalities, counties, townships, and school districts are all encouraged to sign on to the “Fairness and Equality Campaign.” Those who formally join will be offered a variety of partnership opportunities such as joint-public events, media resources, and training opportunities to promote awareness of the State’s anti-discrimination protections.
“There is no place for discrimination in our society,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “We are focused on ending discrimination in Illinois. Focusing on fairness and equality will not only help us build a greater understanding of our friends and neighbors, it will also help us build communities where people can thrive.”
The campaign’s formal launch was made during IDHR’s Black History Month Celebration at the Illinois State Library in Springfield, where Mayor James Langfelder reiterated the City of Springfield’s commitment to the effort.
“I am proud that the Springfield City Council unanimously adopted a resolution last August that affirmed our commitment to civil rights and the opposition to racism and discrimination in our community. It was done because as a governing body representing the residents of our city, it was the right thing to do,” stated Mayor Langfelder. “Through IDHR’s campaign, we hope other communities will take part in solidifying their efforts, serving as a beacon of inclusion, tolerance and demonstrating respect for all.”
The event, which was sponsored in part by the Springfield and Central Illinois African American Museum, also featured a keynote address by Teresa Haley, President of the Illinois Chapter and Springfield Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a Harriet Tubman portrayal performance by Kathryn Harris.
Those interested in learning more about the campaign can contact IDHR by phone, at (312) 814-1830, or email, at IDHR.Webmail@illinois.gov. Units of local government interested in the campaign can submit an online interest form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/FairEqual.