BEVERLY — A group aimed at promoting diversity through fellowship, education and community events in Beverly has formed a volunteer board.
The Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative elected a board that includes six residents from Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood. Its next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Beverly Area Planning Association's community room at 11107 S. Longwood Drive.
The group will also host an adult happy hour at 7:30 p.m. Sept 9 at Home Run Inn at 10900 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park. This reoccurring fellowship meeting will reconvene on the first Friday of each month, said Scott Smith, who is on the board along with his wife, Erin Shea Smith.
“We’re all proud to live in one of the few neighborhoods in Chicago that has some measure of integration,” Smith said in a written release. “If that’s important to us, it requires work in the present to preserve it for the future.”
Other members of the board include Milissa McClaire Gary, Rachel Nati Hardy, Erin McDuffie and Maria Moser.
The collaborative will also host a children's book club from 10:30 a.m.-noon Sept. 24 at Ridge Park. Parents and children will meet near the playground at 9625 S. Longwood Drive and are asked to bring one of their favorite books that celebrate diversity to share.
Upcoming events for the year will include a fall panel focusing on talking to children about race, justice and current events. Saint Xavier University will host the discussion, according to the collaborative.
The group came together in 2014 in an effort to promote diversity in the 19th Ward around issues of race, gender, sexuality and religion. Members participated in the Chicago Community Trust’s “On The Table” initiative and held several fellowship events.
Members have since pledged to work with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee sponsored by the Morgan Park Police District as well as lobby for the return of the holiday concert performed by the Gay Men’s Chorus. The collaborative will also form a rapid response committee to offer support to members of the community on diversity issues.
“We want people in the neighborhood to know there are many people interested in these issues,” McClaire Gary said. “Our goals are to increase our own visibility, attract new members and advance the discussions around diversity and equality on the Far Southwest Side. Our fall events give us a good start as we consider our priorities for 2017.”
Members of the community interested in learning more about the collaborative are encouraged to join the group for its fall events or email email@example.com.
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