Chronicling diverse stories about our rich suburban mosaic
A Monday morning phone call from a source tipped me off to a developing story.
Vandals had destroyed and tagged with racist graffiti Black Lives Matter signs outside a Wheaton church standing in solidarity with a sister African American congregation.
Later that day, I spoke with the pastor, who said it was the second time the church's solidarity signs had been stolen and vandalized. His also was the second suburban church hit with racist messaging since police shootings of unarmed Black men and women sparked protests and racial unrest nationwide.
This story, as well as many others I've recently covered about our diverse suburban landscape, highlights larger issues of intolerance, racism and social justice that have been part of a national introspection about who we are. These are stories I cover as Daily Herald's Diversity Editor, role that also involves writing a weekly column to help readers better understand suburban residents of varying backgrounds, cultures, languages, ethnicities, races, religions, genders and national origins.
We launched the Suburban Mosaic column earlier this year to explore news and reflections involving minority communities and issues affecting their lives.
Among the stories I've told in recent months about this rich mosaic are how the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging Black and Latino communities, a growing need for ethnic organ donors, enrollment declines among underrepresented groups at suburban community colleges, census efforts targeting minority groups, Latinx Heritage Month observances, and community forums on racial equity.
With each column, I attempt to entertain, enlighten and inform. Typically, I curate story ideas from conversations with sources, news releases, tips from readers and often my own observations of what's happening in these communities.
Our goal is to truthfully depict the demographic diversity of our communities and present nuanced, broader perspectives of people's lives, experiences, challenges, struggles and accomplishments.
You, the reader, play an important part in the process, too. Be our eyes and ears in your community and tell us the stories we're missing. Share them with me at email@example.com.