Black History Month dedication starts at MWRD flag raising
Standing by their values of equity and diversity, commissioners and staff with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) raised the Pan-African Flag to kick off Black History Month throughout facilities and water reclamation plants in Cook County.
For the fifth annual year, the MWRD raised the flag at its Barbara J. McGowan Main Office Building, 100 E. Erie St., and all seven water reclamation plants, as part of Black History Month celebrations throughout February to highlight the MWRD’s commitment to diversity, to support the Black community and to honor the achievements of African Americans.
“We continue this tradition of flag raising to ensure that the stories of resilience, innovation, and triumph are not only remembered but celebrated,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “This flag-raising ceremony represents a commitment to fostering unity and understanding among our diverse communities. We stand together to acknowledge the unique contributions that have enriched our collective history.”
The MWRD expanded its core values to include equity and diversity, as outlined in a five-year Strategic Plan that charts a course for the MWRD to meet its mission in protecting the region’s water environment. This commitment embraces the MWRD’s work to promote equity and environmental justice, to develop a talented workforce that reflects the communities the MWRD serves, to protect the environment and to manage water without borders across Cook County.
Throughout February, the MWRD plans to honor Black History Month with a special focus on this year’s theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” recognizing the profound influence of African culture and history on literature, performing arts, music, film, architecture, fashion and culinary arts.
On Thursday, Feb. 15, at 4:45 p.m., the MWRD will host a Black History Month celebration at the Barbara J. McGowan Main Office Building.
To inspire students, the MWRD will also participate in two events at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Both of these events will engage students in STEM careers and shed light on the important work of the MWRD to protect the region’s water environment. The first is the Black Creativity Career Showcase on Feb. 24 and the second is the Black Creativity Junior Science Café set for Feb. 29.
“Black History Month is a powerful, symbolic celebration and a time for acknowledgement, reflection and inspiration,” said MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia. “We thank everyone for joining us to mark this milestone with a flag raising and look forward to a productive month to come.”
The design of the Pan-African flag has special meaning:
- The red represents the blood of African people shed for liberation.
- The black represents people of African descent.
- The green represents the continent of Africa and all of its natural wealth.
President Steele greets flag bearers Tyrese Johnson (left) and Cornelius Yates, who are both operating engineers at the MWRD’s Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, at the MWRD’s flag raising at the Barbara J. McGowan Main Office Building.