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Groups condemn attacks on Women's History Month Program
-- From a press release
2022-03-23

This article shared 673 times since Wed Mar 23, 2022
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White supremacists broke into a virtual Women's History Month program presented by the Racial Justice Coalition of West Central Illinois and Democratic Women of McDonough County IL last weekend. Prior to the start of recording and continuing throughout the two-hour program, the presenters and those listening were verbally assaulted with racist and misogynistic commentary by hackers and those seeking to frighten participants.

Sadly, this is an ongoing pattern of intimidation aimed at people of color both in the community and at Western Illinois University (WIU). The Racial Justice Coalition is dedicated to shining a light on systemic and structural racism in the area and because of this, members have endured online, mail and in person threats.

Countless incidents of harassment, threats, and racial hatred that make people of color feel unsafe have been reported throughout the community, especially by students at WIU. Coalition members have made numerous attempts to get area law enforcement to intervene, but the vast majority of these situations are ignored or dismissed by local officials and University administrators.

The "Status of Black Women in Rural Illinois" was presented to point out the additional burdens faced by women of color in smaller communities such as Macomb. Whether it is discrimination in the workplace or racial slurs shouted at them when they are simply walking across the street, black women should not be subjected to the escalating assaults on their physical and mental health.

"Illinois NOW, Promote the Vote Illinois and Promoting Equity Illinois condemn the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and sex discrimination on women of color. We work to end barriers, call out racial and misogynistic hatred and advance equity for all women," says Laura Welch, President of Illinois NOW. "We work in coalition with numerous organizations that share our belief that racial justice and women's equality are basic human rights. No one should stand idly by as people's lives are upturned by ignorance and intimidation such as what we witnessed during last week's program."

These ongoing attacks by hate filled individuals must be called out and investigated. Those found to be perpetrators should face the consequences of their cowardly acts and those in positions of power in Macomb must be accountable for the protection and safety of ALL members of the community regardless of their color or sex.

This letter was signed by the following organizations:

Illinois National Organization for Women

American Association of University Women Naperville

Courts Matter Illinois

SEIU Healthcare IL/IN/MO/KS

Promote the Vote Illinois

Promote Equity Illinois

National Rainbow PUSH Coalition

National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore

National Association Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of DuPage County

Access Community Health Network

American Association of University Women Naperville

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Champaign-Urbana

Better Government Association

Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights

Chicago Women Take Action

Citizen Action Illinois

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent

Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO)

Cradles to Crayons Chicago

First Ladies Health Initiative

Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition

Indivisible IL

Jewish Community Relations Council

Mikva Challenge

National Council of Jewish Women South Cook

Protest to the Polls

Neighbors Who Vote

Reform for Illinois

South Suburban Chicago (IL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Women of the 7th District

A Just Harvest

Community Assistance Program, Inc.

Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans

Illinois Poor People's Campaign

Kids Off the Block

SEIU AFRAM-Chicago

SEIU Local 1

SEIU Local 73


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