New E4 Series: Equity in Economics, Education and Enforcement of the Law Examines Diversity in DuPage County

By: Angela Mennecke

The exterior of COD's Student Services Building

As part of the Chaps Unite Against Racism initiative, College of DuPage invites the community to its free virtual series exploring themes of equity, diversity and inclusion in economics, education and enforcement of the law throughout DuPage County.

Beginning March 4 and continuing with weekly programming, the E4 Series will feature videos of various local business owners speaking about their approach to workforce equity and economic opportunities. 

The inaugural presentation at noon on Thursday, March 4, features a panel discussion examining how equity and inclusion play a key role in economics and the impact on various local businesses, entrepreneurs and leaders. The discussion will take place via COD’s Facebook.

Panelists include Choose DuPage President and CEO Greg Bedalov, COD Assistant Vice President of Economic Development Joe Cassidy and DuPage NAACP President Michael Childress. Moderated by COD Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes, the roundtable will delve into topics regarding economic development initiatives critical to minority-owned businesses and gaining access to resources through Choose DuPage and COD’s Innovation DuPage.

 “In partnership with officials from both College of DuPage and DuPage County, we are thrilled to launch this enriching E4 series,” said Montes. “As we work together to help strengthen our community, it is vitally important that we augment equity and inclusion in economics, education and enforcement of the law to provide meaningful opportunities for everyone.”

In April, the education portion of the series takes a closer look at how educators can create equitable classrooms in the 21st Century. Guests include COD Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs Diana Del Rosario, COD Professor Jason Snart and COD Student Success Counselor Sunshine Ballentine who will share their experiences and challenges in creating safe spaces for students to learn in an inclusive environment. The discussion will be moderated by COD Interim Associate Vice President of Assessment and Student Success Nicole Matos.

During May, the final portion of the series will probe the various aspects of how DuPage County works in collaboration with a variety of entities with respect to enforcement of the law and the people it serves. Special guests include State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick and several other experts.

“This new series will propel us forward in building a more equitable and diverse community," said COD President Dr. Brian Caputo. “We believe these enriching conversations will strengthen our community and allow DuPage County to bring forth positive change."

Chaps Unite Against Racism is College of DuPage’s institution-wide initiative to actively examine the ways that racism exists in today’s society and how COD and the surrounding community are working together to create a better world. COD is partnering with DuPage County in regards to this initiative.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 21,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.