DuPage County & COD Team Up For Anti-Racism Initiative

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The College of DuPage is partnering up with DuPage County to launch an anti-racism initiative.

“Chaps Unite Against Racism” hopes to unite the community and provide a platform for meaningful conversations to help people reflect, share and act.

How Did The Initiative Start?

“This initiative was born out of the conversations we had with our students,” said COD’s Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes. “Over the summer with everything that was going on nationwide our students really came together and formed really great forums. They engaged faculty, staff, students, and community members around the issues that were going on.”

The anti-racism initiative will be yearlong and incorporate social media, videos, and a partnership with key county stakeholders including Chairman Dan Cronin.

“The hope is that we can partner to see what is COD needing, what is our community doing in terms of COD being a really good foundation in our community,” said Montes. “So many community members come to us [COD] in terms of their education and also other community needs as well.”

The Goal

Montes said COD and the county are in the infant stages of the initiative, so right now the focus is on dialogue and then down the line action such as county policies can be discussed.

As part of the initiative the college has a new blog series called “Speak Your Truth”, which highlights staff, students, and community members. The blogs will share their experiences of race, equity, and inclusion and how that has impacted their lives.

The blogs, along with events like their “Does Freedom of Speech Really Mean I can Say Whatever I want?” forum can be found on the college’s new website page.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.


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