The future of integration

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Rob Breymaier, Maria Saldaña, Linda Francis
(Photo: Debby Preiser)
Race relations have taken center stage in American politics during 2016.

That issue's of special concern to residents of a village that, since the 1960s, has led the U.S. in efforts to achieve integration: My town of Oak Park, Ill., which borders on Chicago’s mostly African-American Austin neighborhood.

With the presidential contest as a backdrop — on Tuesday evening of the week in which Republicans gathered in Cleveland to crown Donald Trump as their nominee — the Oak Park Regional Housing Center convened a community forum on the future of integration.

A crowd of close to 150 people turned out July 19 to discuss questions like whether new high-rise buildings will undermine Oak Park's commitment to integration.

The center's executive director, Rob Breymaier, asked me to moderate. Here's slightly edited audio of the proceedings.

Next: Racial diversity in Oak Park: A look back to 1992.
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