College of DuPage launches Chaps Unite Against Racism Initiative; aims to combat racism, build community

Updated 9/1/2020 5:28 PM

College of DuPage is launching a new initiative to unite against racism and provide a platform for meaningful conversations to help audiences reflect, share and act.

Launching today, Chaps Unite Against Racism is a college-wide effort to actively examine the ways that racism exists in today's society and how COD and the surrounding community are working together to create a better world.


COD Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Napolitano, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes, McAninch Arts Center Director Diana Martinez, COD Student Trustee Samiha Syed and a host of other key stakeholders invite the community to participate in a new video airing in early September.

The academic-year-long initiative will incorporate social media, videos, photos, forums and a partnership with Chairman Cronin and many others.

The primary goal is to have open dialogue and strengthen diversity efforts in DuPage County.

"College of DuPage values diversity and invites faculty, staff, students and community members from all walks of life to get involved and join discussions about racial equity and inclusion. This initiative will propel us forward in building a more equitable community," said COD President Dr. Brian Caputo.

The new campaign encompasses a web platform that includes COD stories and videos through the eyes of community leaders, faculty, staff and students; a community "read and reflect" series; virtual forums and a blog highlighting personal perspectives on race and diversity.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

The new blog series, "Speak Your Truth," highlights COD staff, faculty and students, as well as community members, sharing their insights about how race, diversity, equity and inclusion have impacted their lives. A Holocaust survivor, Ivy League graduate, village trustee and a host of others will unveil their stories of inspiration and triumph.

The first virtual #ChapsUniteAgainstRacisim forum, "Does Freedom of Speech Really Mean I can Say Whatever I want?", will be held at noon Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Panelists include COD General Counsel Lilliana Kalin, Political Science Professor David Goldberg, Manager of Student Life Chuck Steele, Student Trustee Samiha Syed and COD Student Dorcas Brou. Facilitated by Montes, guests will engage in a roundtable discussion about the interplay between free speech and civility in our communities.

"This collaboration with College of DuPage is incredibly valuable because it allows our entire community to explore what diversity and inclusion really means in each of our daily lives," Cronin said. "Working with the college faculty, staff and students, we believe this collective effort will strengthen our community and allow DuPage County to set a positive example for productive dialogue."

For more information about #ChapsUniteAgainstRacism and to get involved, visit

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.