Choose Compassion

May 20, 2021

Choose Compassion Mission:  At Choose Chicago, we “Choose Compassion” and are committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful work culture of 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 to drive business and innovation while building on a collaborative connection within our community and the neighborhoods we serve.

A Time to Celebrate…

Brace yourself...this newsletter issue is jam packed with many interesting and unique reasons to celebrate in May & June.

We celebrate our Asian American & Pacific Islander community!

We celebrate our LGBTQ community!

We celebrate our African American community!

“Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.” -President Barack Obama, Executive Order 13583

Dive in, take it all in and let’s derive strength from one another.

With compassion,


What the heck is Juneteenth Day?

by Lisa Dixon


June 19, 1865 to be exact. Juneteenth better known as Freedom Day. Celebrates the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved people in the United States.

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, was a wartime political measure and freed slaves in the South but wasn't enforced in many states until after the Civil War two years later.

The Emancipation Proclamation did pave the way for the permanent abolition of slavery. At the end of the war Lincoln and his allies in Congress began working on the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. The amendment was passed at the end of January 1865.

At the end of the Civil War when confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, word did not reach all enslaved people until June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.

Chicago is celebrating Juneteenth Day: Chicago made history earlier this year when city government approved Juneteenth day as a day of observance. And there will be plenty of celebrations going on in the City from Juneteenth Ball to SBA Celebration to Community Festivals or Virtual Celebrations! Explore on eventbrite.

Why Chicago Pride?

by Anthony Molino

Chicago is currently one of the most accepting cities in the world to the LGBTQ+ community, but it hasn’t always been that way. Being openly gay in the 1960s and 1970s brought on fear of being persecuted both religiously and politically. Thankfully due to major events including the New York City Stone Wall Riots in June, 1969 and the unstoppable will to gain representation in Congress by Harvey Milk in San Francisco, Chicago was one of the first to adapt to the change and planned one of the countries first ever Pride Parades in the summer of 1970.

Boystown was formed in 1970 in conjunction with the Pride Parade. It spans the 3100 to 3800 blocks of North Halsted Streets and was given the unofficial name of Boystown. According to a local Chicago group called The Legacy Project, the city received a $3.2 million facelift for the area in 1997 including improvements to infrastructure and a plan to commemorate their gay and lesbian residents that would mirror similar efforts on behalf of the residents in Chicago’s ethnic-identified neighborhoods. The city installed ten (10) pairs of 25’-tall decorative steel “Rainbow Pylons” which was meant to define the nexus of Chicago’s’ LGBTQ+ community. Engraved on the “Rainbow Pylons’ you can be one of the 1.5 million visitors a year to follow along on the Legacy Walk, a dynamic outdoor LGBTQ+ history exhibit.

The Northalsted Business Alliance makes up 200+ locally owned businesses in the Lakeview area where most of the owners and operators identify as LGBTQ+. The alliance is the brains and brawn behind large scale events such as Market Days and Pride Fest. Leaders of the Northalsted Business Alliance announced in September 2020 that they will no longer use “Boystown” in its neighborhood marketing campaign to ensure all members of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome. Partnering with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and the Center on Halsted, the Alliance has been working with the Historical Preservation Society to deem Northalsted as one of the historical Gay Villages in America.

Chicago Pride Events: 

Chicago Pride Fest – Saturday, June 19, 2021 – Sunday, June 20, 2021 (Northalsted Neighborhood – Halsted and Waveland)

Pride in the Park – Saturday, June 26, 2021 – Sunday, June 27, 2021 (Grant Park)

Back Lot Bash – Friday, June 25, 2021 – Sunday, June 27, 2021 (Andersonville)

Proud to Run 5k/10k/Half Marathon – June 26, 2021 (Northalsted/Lakefront)

LGBTQ+ Resources:



Based on a true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official to fight for equal rights in the LGBTQ community. You can find the full movie on Netflix.

30 Key Moments in Chicago LGBTQ history, from Jane Addams to Lori Lightfoot


Over the years, Chicago and the state of Illinois have endured a monumental battle for LGBTQ rights. A century ago, and long before Lori Lightfoot was elected the first openly gay mayor of Chicago, the city was home to LGBTQ rights influencers such as Henry Gerber and Pearl Hart. Here are 30 moments in history that impacted LGBTQ communities across Chicago and Illinois.



The most interesting people in the world are queer. LGBTQ&A was created in 2016 in order to document modern LGBTQ+ history — to get beyond transition and coming out stories, to get to know each person, their accomplishments, their failures, and how to they got to where they are today.

Stone Wall Riots


The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began in the early hours of June 28, 1969 when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

LGBT Meeting Professionals International

Industry Organization

The LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (LGBT MPA), a 501(c)3, is the first and only organization solely committed to connecting, advancing, and empowering the LGBT+ meeting professional. While the LGBT community is well known for its inclusive and diverse culture, LGBT MPA provides the opportunity for unique voices to be uplifted, representing and educating the industry on a broad range of topics pertaining to inclusion and diversity.

Becoming a Choose Compassion Ally!

AAPI Heritage Month Resources

Multimedia resources to learn more about the AAPI community and local initiatives.

The Amber Ruffin Show: How Did We Get Here?

Web Video

Comedian Amber Ruffin breaks down America’s history of anti-Asian racism in a searing segment.

For Asian Americans, a Dual Pandemic of COVID-19 and Racism


On the latest episode of The Dose podcast, Vivian Shaw and Susanna Park of the AAPI COVID-19 Project talk about the deep roots of anti-Asian bias, as well as their research into how the pandemic is affecting the lives of Asians in the U.S.

We speak about Asian Americans as a single block. Here’s how incredibly complex they are


Asian Americans are often labeled as a singular group, but the fastest growing population in the US is far from a monolith — and their complex history and cultures are often glossed over.

Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad


In this groundbreaking account, award-winning scholar Gordon H. Chang draws on unprecedented research to recover the Chinese railroad workers’ stories and celebrate their role in remaking America.

Celebrate Argyle

Local Initiative

Celebrate Argyle is a community initiative that aims to shine a spotlight on immigrant-owned restaurants and businesses in the West Argyle Historic District as a unique culinary destination, while also connecting community members to critical resources to meet pressing needs through the pandemic and beyond.

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