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Community Leaders Pledge Commitment to Diversity

Jan 13, 2020

Nearly a dozen local leaders gathered at Macomb City Hall to sign a resolution that they said reinforces the city's and the county's commitment to being welcoming and inclusive. The resolution also denounces hatred and prejudice.

“We had a broad representation of the community leadership (at the ceremony) and I think folks should take heart in the fact that we are working together to bring about change,” said Macomb Mayor Mike Inman.

“It’s the beginning of a new year, the beginning of a new decade. It’s time to reaffirm where we are at and where we need to be at as a community, and that’s being inclusive, diverse, and welcoming for everyone.”

Byron Oden-Shabazz, President of the NAACP Branch of McDonough County, said he believes the community is making progress.

“There is a lot of work left to do. But the major thing is that instead of standing back and doing nothing, we’re diligently working to bring about change,” said Oden Shabazz.  “Slowly we’re getting there.”

He added, “We have a series of things that are coming about. We’ll be hosting the state convention for the NAACP here in Macomb. We have a few other actions that we’ll be announcing soon.”

You can read the resolution here.

Those who signed the resolution during the ceremony:

  • Mike Inman, Mayor of Macomb
  • Dr. Martin Abraham, Interim President of Western Illinois University
  • Lauren Merritt, Executive Director of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Kelly Ingersoll of the Macomb Area Ministerial Alliance
  • Dr. Patrick Twomey, Superintendent of Macomb Unit School District 185
  • Jock Hedblade, Executive Director of the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Michael Cox, Chairperson of the McDonough County Board
  • Byron Oden-Shabazz, President of the NAACP Branch of McDonough County
  • Kim Pierce, Executive Director of the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation
  • Janice Rockwell of the Interfaith Alliance of Macomb
  • John Meixner, Superintendent of Regional Office of Education #26