East St. Louis (Apr. 26, 2018) – The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IDHA) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the historic Fair Housing Act by honoring individuals who are fighting to ensure all people have access to fair and equal housing.
Leaders and businesses from the East St. Louis Metropolitan Area received a “Keeping the Dream Alive” award today at a Fair Housing Month celebration at the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center. The honorees were recognized for their efforts to expand equal housing opportunities and improve the quality of life for residents in the State of Illinois. The honorees are:
• Mayor Jackson-Hicks, East St. Louis Mayor
• Mt. Sinai Development Corporation, East St. Louis Nonprofit
• Justine PETERSEN, Housing and Reinvestment Corporation
• Lee Coleman, East St. Louis Community Leader and Advocate
• Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
“We’re celebrating leaders who embody our mission and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn. “Each of our honorees has made it a priority to ensure that segregation and discrimination in housing ends so that all people have access to fair and equal housing opportunities.”
“Fair housing means that our communities are free from housing discrimination and that everyone has access to neighborhoods of opportunity,” said IHDA Executive Director Audra Hamernik. “For more than 50 years, IHDA has worked to create inclusive communities with a range of quality housing choices. We have made important progress, but there is much more work to do. We are thankful to be joined by our partners today and look forward to continuing this very important work.”
The Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation was given special recognition during the event for their contributions to the East St. Louis area.
This event is part of IDHR’s 2018 Fairness and Equality Campaign. This campaign is in honor of the Illinois Bicentennial. As part of the campaign, IDHR is asking 200 municipalities across Illinois to pledge their support for the Department’s core values of fairness, equality, inclusion and non-discrimination.
For more information about IDHR’s Fairness and Equality Campaign can contact IDHR at IDHR.Webmail@illinois.gov. Units of local government interested in the campaign can submit an online interest form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/FairEqual.
The Illinois Bicentennial celebration is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting www.illinois200.com and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud. Event and project managers that are planning activities before Dec. 3, 2018, can apply to become an official partner of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at www.illinois200.com.