Choose Compassion: Let's Make EDI Magic logo

An Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Initiative of Choose Chicago

March​ 9,​ 2022

Our mission: At Choose Chicago, we “Choose Compassion” and are committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful work culture with a brilliant mix of people because we are equally different. We firmly believe in the strength and power of our diverse group of partners, employees, and clients who drive business and innovation while building a collaborative connection within our community and the neighborhoods we serve.

A message from Roz Stuttley: Director, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Are you an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) changemaker? Yes, we all are.

Recently, I attended the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. Attendees were reminded to become EDI changemakers in whatever capacity they serve.

In this issue we sensitively explore racial health awareness & mental health wellness. We hope you will find these resources helpful as we collectively take steps toward progress, whether that’s being a safe space and having an open & honest conversation with a colleague, seeing a community through a new lens, or finding a way to give back locally. We invite you to be the change you want to see. Together we can make EDI magic and build new systems that change our lives and future generations for the better.

With compassion,

Roz Stuttley
Director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Choose Chicago/Choose Chicago Foundation

P.S. Choose Chicago is proud to celebrate women’s history month throughout March. For ideas to celebrate Chicago style visit How to celebrate Women's History Month in Chicago | Choose Chicago.

Healthcare Disparities Among Minority Communities
by Jimmy Mundo

Throughout the last century, the United States has become increasingly diverse and the health disparities affecting minority groups have become more and more prevalent. By 2044, more than half of all Americans are projected to belong to a minority group. While health indicators like life expectancy have improved for the majority of Americans, minorities experience disproportionate levels of preventable disease, death and disability compared to non-minorities. 

Health disparity is a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage. To rectify and achieve a goal of health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health care disparities. One way to do this is continuing to increase available resources to minority communities in need. 

An often overlooked aspect of this includes the mental well-being of minority communities. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. That being said, background and identity can make access to mental health help and treatment difficult. In these communities access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care are all issues that plague them.

A large component of minority mental health is the trauma that comes with Racism. Trauma is prominently mentioned as the reason that people experience serious mental health conditions today. 

The amount of stress these communities deal with on a daily basis can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and other mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Without those resources available to those communities and the cultural stigma of seeking help, many have poor health outcomes due to mental health.

By increasing support and resources to those communities in need, we can begin to help heal and lead those communities to a healthy life!

Becoming a Choose Compassion Advocate

Resources provided by Choose Compassion

Gifted Hands
Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in this true story about a young man who overcame obstacles, followed his dreams and became one of the world's top leading neurosurgeons.

Coffee Hip Hop & Mental Health
Healed of trauma, local Chicagoan, Christopher LeMark gives back to the community through this non profit, which offers a safe space to participate in a group or individual therapy session free of charge.

I’m telling the truth but I’m lying
Bassey LKPI explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.

Support Partner Diversity

Strengthen families and local communities by supporting a local business

“Wellness and personal care services are often looked at as a luxury, not a necessity and definitely outside of the monthly budget, especially within the African American community.  We take pride in educating our clients on the benefits of our services and how they contribute to overall health and wellbeing.” PJ & Monica Harris

Online only

PJ & Monica Harris


Owner & Wellness Curator: 
Aya – Nikole Cook

Archer Heights

Owner & Creative Director:
Walter Freeman

Looking for more ideas? Discover more diverse partners at Only in Chicago Spotlights & Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion | Choose Chicago.

New Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Initiatives

EDI Apprenticeship Program in partnership with United Airlines launched January 2022. Choose Chicago to onboard EDI Apprentice March 2022.

Growing Business Through Understanding Cultures - Cultural Competence Training offered to Choose Chicago staff and partners, February 2022. Training Partner: Seva Global

Choose Chicago to partner with Chicago Urban League’s Youth Services Center, Focus on my Future Program (February 2022 - June 2022). Staff are invited to speak at Libby Elementary school and Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy, educating youth on career opportunities in hospitality and tourism.

Choose Chicago's Leadership Team EDI training track starts March 2022. The first session will focus on Mitigating Bias in Talent Management Decisions. Training Partner: The Exeter Group

Explore NEW women and minority owned restaurant partners participating in the 15th Annual Chicago Restaurant Week across diverse neighborhoods including Bronzeville, South Shore, Garfield Park, Austin, Uptown & Albany Park. Many are 1st time participants.

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