Press Release


CHICAGO – Join The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, Southwest Youth Collaborative, and the Harold Washington Commemorative Year for an exciting program exploring the life and legacy of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor. Washington’s candidacy forged political unity and independence from the Chicago machine. But more than that, he inspired a progressive movement that crossed racial and cultural lines. With the campaign for the presidency in full swing, what does Harold’s campaign tell us about forging a new Rainbow Coalition today?

Join us on Saturday, February 9 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Southwest Youth Collaborative (6400 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago). This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. For more information, please call 312.422.5580 or e-mail This program is co-sponsored by Southwest Youth Collaborative and the Harold Washington Commemorative Year.

Salim Muwakkil, senior editor at In These Times and author of the new book Harold! Photographs from the Harold Washington Years, will be in conversation with Alden Loury, editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, about the life and legacy of Harold Washington. Rudy Lozano Jr.and Nzinga Hill, two activists who grew up during the Harold Washington era, will also join in the discussion.


Salim Muwakkil
is a senior editor of In These Times, where he has worked since 1983. He is currently a Crime and Communities Media Fellow of the Open Society Institute, examining the impact of ex-inmates and gang leaders in leadership positions in the black community. He is the host of the "Salim Muwakkil Show" on WVON, a Chicago-based radio station that provides an interactive forum for the African-American community to discuss current, social, economic, and political issues. He is also a Steering Committee Member of the Harold Washington Commemorative Year.

Alden K. Loury is the editor & publisher of The Chicago Reporter. He joined the magazine in 1999 as a reporter and won local and national awards for his work examining the effectiveness of community policing and projects documenting racial disparities in drug sentencing, jury selection and jury verdicts. As senior editor from 2002 to 2007, Loury led more than 50 investigative projects examining the impact of race and poverty in lottery ticket sales, retail leakage in black neighborhoods, residential development surrounding the sites of demolished public housing and home mortgage lending, among others.

Rudy Lozano Jr. has worked as a youth mentor, community organizer, and high school teacher. He currently works with the Little Village Community Development Corporation coordinating after-school programs for students, parents and community residents at the Little Village Lawndale High School. He is the eldest son of the late Rudy Lozano Sr., whose work to build Black, Latino, and Progressive White Unity played a critical role in electing Harold Washington in 1983.

Nzinga Hill is a freshman history teacher at Morgan Park High School.


The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations.

This program is part of the “Know More: Conversations That Matter” series. Art, issues, and dialogue—these are the key components to this exciting set of programs sponsored by The Public Square at the IHC. This series is a way to bridge the gap between the arts and social issues that are of current concern to Chicago’s Englewood and Humboldt Park communities. Performances and presentations by top artists and activists are a prelude to community-based discussions.

This series is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation. Chicago Public Radio is the media sponsor. More information about “Know More: Conversations That Matter” and The Public Square at the IHC is available at

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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