Organization says need for ethnic organ donors critical
Minorities make up nearly 60% of people who need organ transplants in the U.S., but only a third of registered donors.
In Illinois, 1,450 Blacks, 800 Latinos and 240 Asians are awaiting transplants. The need for donors from those communities is critical, as transplant success rates are higher when the donor and recipient are of the same ethnicity or racial group, said Marion Shuck, director of family services and community outreach for Itasca-based Gift of Hope.
The nonprofit organ and tissue donor network is emphasizing the importance of ethnic diversity in organ donation during National Minority Donor Awareness Month in August. Events include webinars with regional community organizations and hospital partners to encourage donor registration, and promote healthy living and disease prevention.
To become a donor, visit giftofhope.org or text COMMIT to 51555.
Voter, census outreach:
The College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn will host a drive-through voter registration and census outreach event aimed at undercounted and underrepresented groups from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, in Parking Lot 6, 425 Fawell Blvd.
"It's targeted to (reach) youth, minorities and seniors right now," said Sara Sadat, Lisle village trustee. "We are using this event as a model. The hope will be to continue to scale this to Chicago and our neighboring suburbs."
Organizers are promoting the event through the Muslim Civic Coalition, DuPage NAACP and various high school civic organizations, Sadat said.
People can register to vote from the their vehicles. They must be wearing masks. Drivers can tune in to WCPT 820 AM radio at 3 p.m. to get updates in English and Spanish. Masked volunteers will walk participants through the online voter registration process on smartphones or tablets. They will follow social distancing guidelines and provide sanitizer.
Assistance will be available in Arabic, Polish, Hindi, Spanish and Urdu.
Principal earns doctorate:
When Huntley High School's spring graduation was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Principal Marcus Belin and his administrative team personally conferred diplomas to nearly 600 students at home and conducted mini ceremonies for families who requested it.
Belin's students returned the favor Friday by joining a procession of administrators from National Louis University to deliver his doctoral degree in a socially distanced ceremony and parade in front of Belin's Huntley home.
Belin joined Huntley Community School District 158 in 2018. He is the district's first Black principal, president-elect of the Illinois Principals Association and 2020 Principal of the Year for the association's Kishwaukee Region.
'Confronting Racism' series:
Elgin Community College will kick off a new series of virtual conversations titled "Confronting Racism Head On" this week.
Part one, "Racism on Display," is at 2 p.m. Thursday. Up to 300 participants can join the discussion via Zoom. The session will be livestreamed on ECC's Facebook page and a recording will be available afterward.
The panel will discuss the continued presence of Confederate flags, symbols and monuments and American Indian sports team names and mascots, said Susan Timm, ECC professor of digital technologies and co-chair of its Multicultural and Global Initiatives Committee.
"MAGIC is dedicated to looking at symbols of racism that many of us have nonchalantly accepted as having historical significance for our country and serving as a way to honor the culture they represent," Timm said. "In reality, however, these are examples of hate and oppression on display that serve to perpetuate disrespect and negative stereotypes."
Virtual Islamic convention:
The Islamic Society of North America's 57th annual convention -- the largest gathering of Muslims in North America -- won't be held as planned at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this September.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISNA leadership has canceled the physical event in favor of a virtual convention Sept. 5-6.
This year's convention theme is "The Struggle for Social and Racial Justice: A Moral Imperative." Program topics include racism, social justice, spirituality, the COVID-19 crisis and the environment.
The virtual convention will provide a platform for international speakers, interfaith and community leaders, authors, Islamic scholars, activists, nonprofit experts, political leaders and representatives of national organizations. It typically features an expo of Muslim businesses, interfaith programs, community service recognitions, youth programs and entertainment.
To register, visit isna.net/convention-information/.
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