Did you miss last month’s Wilmette Talk? Catch up on the conversation by watching the full recordings or scroll to view video clips from this important discussion on “Moving Towards a More Welcoming Wilmette & What it Means to Belong.”
If you weren’t able to attend Wilmette Talk #2 held in March, it is worth watching the recorded panel discussions on the topics of inclusion, diversity, and belonging (Watch Part 1 here / Watch Part 2 here). Some of the noteworthy snippets were shared in a previous news post, and now you can view some video highlights to give you a feel for the quality of this conversation:
[People] want to be in this environment, but I don’t think we’re quite at the point that people see this as a truly, truly welcoming community. I’ve been there, I’ve lived there, I know my neighbors and that’s a beautiful thing. But I want to be sure that anyone that comes into the center of town and stops to get something to eat, that they feel the same thing [welcome]. No matter what color, gender, unique personality.” -Gerry Smith, Wilmette Human Relations Commission Chair
“If you look at communities we want to emulate, they all have businesses and people that are diverse. We can’t really wait for that diversity to come to us for us to start changing…there’s no way for that to happen unless we change ourselves. We need to build this community like we are as diverse as we want to be. Promoting businesses that are popular in a diverse community, uplifting people…treat this community as though all the people we want to come here are already here, buying houses, and spending money. That can get us to the point we want to be.” – Neela Chandraraj, New Trier Junior, Wilmette’s Human Relations Commission
“I keep coming back to the idea of having a shared experience. We may disagree, have different belief systems, different identities – but having experienced something together really can foster that sense of belonging. Whether that’s running a race together, being together in the teachers’ lounge and having a conversation…” -Kelly Jackson, Highcrest Middle School/District 39
Again, we extend our gratitude to Village President Senta Plunkett for sharing opening remarks, to our panelists: Neela Chandraraj (New Trier Junior, Wilmette’s Human Relations Commission), George Davis (Baha’i House of Worship), Kelly Jackson (Highcrest Middle School/District 39), Dr. Kassie Porreca (Regina Dominican HS), Dr. Chimille Tillery (New Trier), Steve Wilson (Wilmette Park District), and our moderators Terri Johnson (C-Change in Action) and Gerry Smith (Wilmette Human Relations Commission Chair), and to Regina Dominican for sharing their auditorium for the event!
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