The Housing Center board, plus Exec. Dir. Rob Breymaier at Columbus Park last week for the annual benefit. | Provided

Community leaders and supporters turned out Thursday night for the Oak Park Regional Housing Center’s annual benefit, themed “Investing in Integration.” Held at Chicago’s Columbus Park Refectory, the evening included a conversation with Natalie Moore, WBEZ reporter and author of The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.

“People in this region treat segregation like a quirky trait,” Moore said. 

However, added Rob Breymaier, Housing Center executive director, “Segregation is the structure of inequity in our region and nation.”

The benefit also celebrated the work of those who received the 2017 Roberta Raymond Founder’s Award for Commitment to Diversity: community integration pioneers Joseph and Judy Scully, and PASO: West Suburban Action Project, the organization instrumental in advocating for Oak Park’s welcoming communities ordinance.

With live music from the Andy Zimmerman Trio, attendees took advantage of the beautiful weather on the venue’s outdoor patio while enjoying the fellowship of other supporters of this essential cause.

“Integration leads to social prosperity,” Moore said. “It’s not just a social good.”

“This was a wonderful evening celebrating the work that has been done to improve integration in our region,” said Breymaier. “It also continued the important conversation about why we need to invest in integration. We appreciate the support of this great community and look forward to the work ahead.”

Julie Chyna

Oak Park

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