Dominican University and the Village of River Forest are partnering, in collaboration with Concordia University, in a community-wide initiative to build capacity for combating racism and other systemic inequities in the Village and on campus. Dominican University’s board of trustees signed a Resolution last month committing the university to work with the Village to advance anti-racist initiatives.

“This partnership is an opportunity to further strengthen relations between the university and the Village and to create a caring environment for Dominican students.  The idea that the lived experiences of our diverse academic community could be a resource for elevating racial understanding in the larger community is exciting and empowering,” said Dominican University President Donna Carroll.

This mutually beneficial partnership follows several River Forest board meetings this fall with community members and Dominican representatives. The university, guided by its Sanctuary Campus Covenant, is committed to becoming a stronger, anti-racist institution. The Village of River Forest, in support of its Welcoming Community Resolution, is similarly committed to engaging its citizens in efforts to address systemic injustice. Last year, River Forest signed a Twin Villages Covenant with the predominantly African American community of Maywood.

“This is an historic moment for River Forest,” said River Forest Village President Cathy Adduci. “We have entered a partnership that will build a positive culture and promote and foster healing in our community. We are committed to this journey of Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation, as well as inclusion and equitable treatment in all aspects of our daily life. 

“As our first African American newly elected Speaker Welch noted, ‘People may doubt what you say, but they will believe in what you do.’  The Village of River Forest, in partnership with Dominican University, is taking action to fulfill the commitment that we made on equity and inclusion.”

Based on the framework of Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT), a nationally recognized, community-based initiative for racial justice, the town/gown partnership will include a number of activities this year. Dominican is one of the first cohorts of universities across the country to be designated as a TRHT Campus Center by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

On Tuesday, January 19, Dominican will observe the fifth annual National Day of Racial Reckoning with a virtual program at 6 p.m. During the program, Dominican University President Donna Carroll and River Forest Village President Cathy Adduci will discuss the university/village partnership. The university also will honor students who have been engaged in social justice initiatives. The program will end with moderated racial healing circles. For more information, contact Amy Omi at aomi@dom.edu

About Dominican University

Founded in 1901, Dominican University is a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, the Borra College of Health Sciences, the Brennan School of Business and the College of Applied Social Sciences. The university also offers a doctoral degree in information studies. U.S. News & World Report ranks Dominican University #10 of all Midwest regional master’s level universities, the best value in the Chicago area and #1 in Illinois for ensuring the social mobility of its graduates.