While Oak Park has turned racial equity policy into a controversy and campaign issue, River Forest keeps moving forward on its plans to elevate this critical issue both internally within the walls of village hall and externally with the community and surrounding communities.
So far, the work is focused on building a framework for future progress but is a solid effort.
Before the month is out, the village board is expected to adopt purpose, mission and goal statements. It will have a process for appointing a resident advisory committee focused on equity issues. There is also a discussion underway of hiring a consultant who would audit the internal operations at village hall and assess its current practices as they relate to equity.
And consider the covenant River Forest has signed with neighboring Maywood to seek active and multiple ways they might collaborate after decades of mistrust. This is a notable initiative that needs to be made more real. The village has also aligned its equity efforts with Dominican University, a leader on issues of inclusion and equity.
This is purposeful work, intentionally planned. And it is commendable.