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New Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Initiatives

The 2022 EDI Apprenticeship Program in partnership with United Airlines welcomed Jameelah Hargrove in March. Two of the four career tracks have been completed in Sales and with United Airlines. Remaining tracks are scheduled to be completed by August 31, 2022. 

Choose Chicago partnered with Chicago Urban League’s Youth Services Center, Focus on my Future Program (February 2022 - May 2022). Staff gave presentations of career opportunities to 8th grade students @ Libby Elementary and senior high school students at Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy.  Choose Chicago staff members Katie Law, Delaney Klundt, Lori Adlesick, Michele Pondexter and Chicago Greeter, Adrian Willis were guest presenters.

Choose Chicago's Leadership Team completed Q2 EDI Training - “Fostering an Inclusive Environment.” The session was facilitated by The Exeter Group.

A pilot program, Choose Chicago Student Tourism Day - for elementary students, launched May, 2022. Fourteen students (6th - 8th grade) spent the day exploring tourism assets in their neighborhood and downtown attractions. Thanks to our partners, DuSable Museum, Willis Tower Skydeck, The Field Museum, and Guaranteed Rate - White Sox Stadium for their participation.

Spotlight interviews with Chicago cultural legends impacting the LGBTQ+ and music community

Lisa Dixon, VP Human Resources (Choose Chicago), had a wonderful interview with Alan King, DJ and Producer of The Chosen Few Picnic + Festival.

CC: “Can you tell us a little bit about the evolution of house music and the Chicago connection?”

Alan: “The funny thing about house music is, you can ask 25 different people about the origin of house music, and you’ll get 25 different stories. I can only speak my truth as someone who was around at its inception. I like to describe it as there was a phrase called house music before there was a genre of music…I and others first heard the term house and it was in reference to the Warehouse – which was a very popular club where Frankie Knuckles was the DJ…So the kids starting referring to a lot of the music Frankie was playing at the Warehouse as “house” for short…In the early 80’s a number of Chicago producers started putting out records and making their own tracks and it really was the birth of the musical genre of house music…So that was the official launch of a recognized “music genre” called house music and there’s no question that it was birthed here in Chicago.”

The Chosen Few celebrates their 30th anniversary, July 2nd in historic Jackson Park. Join the ultimate house dance party & iconic event


Watch full interview

Jimmy Mundo, Director of Community Affairs (Choose Chicago) discusses the importance of celebrating pride month with Chicago’s very own, Angela Barnes,  Co-Owner, Nobody’s Darling, a James Beard Award Nominated cocktail bar in Andersonville.

 CC: “What exactly does pride mean to you and how do you celebrate?”

Angela: “Pride is more of a time of reflection and celebration. It’s so nice to see the various elements of the LGBTQ community come out and be visible, not that we’re not visible every day of the week and year, but it’s really a nice time to reflect on how far we’ve come…the advancements, the celebrations, but then also the challenges the community may be having and some of the ways every representative letter of LGBTQ can help to support each other.”


Watch full interview

Choose Compassion Advocate resources

Unconscious Therapy 

The history of house, Chicago's own brand of dance music, is explored in this documentary. The genre, which in its infancy blended cultures, styles and influences, is looked at through the recollections of various artists and pioneers.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

This new book weaves together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

Unboxing Queer History

When Jen Dentel started volunteering for the LGBTQ-focused Gerber/Hart Library and Archives in 2014, one of her first tasks was to unbox and preserve hundreds of photos of Chicago drag queen Miss Tillie spanning from the ’40s through the ’90s. The photos tell the story of Tillie, affectionately known as “The Dirty Old Lady of Chicago.” She was one of the early performers at the Chesterfield, a now-closed drag bar at 2831 N. Clark St.

*Credit: Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago

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