We met Jeff Weissglass in the mid-1990s when he attended a meeting of Project Unity, an organization we founded to strengthen relationships and understanding across racial differences in our community. Despite being a newcomer to Oak Park and having little personal background in race relations issues, Jeff joined a book group and quickly became an integral part of our organization.
We were impressed from the start by Jeff’s openness to learning and lack of personal agenda. He soon became a member of our board of directors and later became the first board president outside of a small circle of founders. Jeff also helped grow our board and membership and became a trusted friend and adviser.
His commitment to the work led him to discover a diversity training organization — the National Coalition Building Institute. The three of us, as well as other Project Unity members, all became trainers. Together, we led workshops in racial awareness for many groups, including Oak Park police and traffic officers, firefighters, and administrators; high school students through local churches; and for the community at large.
Nearly 20 years later, we continue to share ideas with Jeff about race and diversity in Oak Park and River Forest. We enthusiastically support his campaign for a seat on the District 200 school board. The high school would be lucky to have his open heart, his good judgment, and his deep commitment to the success of all members of our community.
Cheryl Capps, Karin Grimes