Something exciting is happening in this year’s Coming Together in Skokie and Niles Township. Rather than concentrate on one culture as we have done for the past five years, we will take a comprehensive look at the many voices of race in our neighborhoods: What is race from a scientific and cultural point of view? How has it affected our lives through the infrastructure of our institutions? Through poetry, drama, and literature for all ages we learn how to face our racial identity and enjoy the beauty it can bring.
You might ask why we chose “Voices of Race” for the theme of this year’s CTISNT programs. One impetus was the excellent national touring exhibit, “RACE: Are We So Different?” which was being shown at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie through January 25. The exhibit is co-presented by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. It offers a comprehensive look at the concept of race and provides a valuable opportunity for all of us to better understand what race means to us and how it impacts life in our communities.
Members of the CTISNT committee believe this exhibit offers a unique opportunity to take a closer look at race in our own neighborhoods. We are a tremendously diverse community; our residents hail from many different countries and speak more than 90 different languages and dialects.
Over the past 5 years we have highlighted one culture for an intense six-week study, starting with the Indian American community in 2010, the Filipino American in 2011, the Assyrian American in 2012, the Greek American in 2013 and the Korean American in 2014. This year we will continue to explore the diverse cultures of our community by listening to each other: the voices of race in Niles Township. By using shared definitions of race, we encourage neighbors to engage with each other and learn how racism affects us all.
Oakton Community College has been a partner in this initiative since its beginning and we are proud to have scheduled events through the library that incorporate educational and thought provoking programming over the course of January - May.
We invite you to join us!