Chicago House to host conversation with Illinois Lt. Gov. Stratton and St. Sen. Simmons, Feb. 18

Wed. February 17, 2021 11:08 AM by News Staff

illinois lt. governor juliana stratton

photo credit // chicago house

On Feb. 6, Mike Simmons became first openly gay Black Illinois state senator

Chicago House & Social Service Agency will present a virtual conversation with Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and Illinois State Sen. Mike Simmons on Thursday, February 18th at 5:30 p.m.

The Thursday event is part of an ongoing virtual conversation series from Chicago House that “fosters connection and provokes discussion during a time when in-person connection and conversation remains unsafe.” According to organizers, the series is modeled party after traditional book clubs.

Chicago House trustees Nabeela Rasheed and Kelly Saulsberry co-host and will be guided by Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson, Chicago House’s winter discussion series and book club examines the constructs and consequences of caste systems and race in America.

“In America, access to resources and services are often determined by your zip code or the size of your bank account,” said Stratton. “This injustice must end. We must work toward affordable housing and healthcare, economic opportunity, transforming our justice system, and ways to improve education for our children, especially those in marginalized communities.”

According to a press release, “Chicago House believes that it is more important now than ever to examine the deep roots of systemic racism in America and the caste system that upholds it.”

Simmons commented, "My goal as a state legislator, and the reason I stepped forward in the first place, is to break down these barriers that for centuries have held back Black Americans and  other disenfranchised Americans from enjoying the fullness of the American promise. Never in our lifetimes have those barriers been clearer. The time is now to act.”

On Feb. 6, Simmons was was appointed to the 7th district seat vacated by Illinois state Sen. Heather Steans, becoming the first openly gay Black Illinois state senator.

“Critical discussions are vital to understanding and addressing inequities in this work and this virtual conversation series offers an ongoing opportunity to learn and unlearn in order to realize an anti-racist future together,” said event organizers.

Chicago House invites the public to register at this link.