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Joliet Township Government and City of Joliet Forge Historic Partnership for African American Context Study

Joliet, Illinois – February 29, 2024 – Joliet Township Government proudly announces the approval of an intergovernmental agreement between the Township government and the City of Joliet, marking a significant stride forward in the Joliet African American Context Study. This momentous decision was unanimously supported by the Joliet Township Government Board, comprised of Supervisor Angel Contreras and Trustees Tanya Arias, Cesar Escutia, Ray Slattery, and Antione Edwards, during their meeting on February 13, 2024. 

The City of Joliet has received a $21,000 grant for a historic context study focused on African American heritage. The grant will be administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) through an intergovernmental agreement between the Township government and City. 

Under the approved intergovernmental agreement, Joliet Township Government and the City of Joliet will each contribute an additional $20,000 to the project, complementing the grant funds. These funds will be exclusively dedicated to covering project expenses. 

The objectives of the project are comprehensive, aiming to accurately document Black history, confront past racial injustices through historical narratives, identify and preserve historically significant properties related to the Black community, dispel misinformation regarding the Black experience, and safeguard Black voices for future generations. 

A steering committee will be formed, with Joliet Township Government appointing a Township resident, to actively participate in the project’s decision-making processes. 

Additionally, the project will feature public education events, hosted at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, to disseminate findings derived from the context study.  

The grant agreement with IDNR is slated to expire upon the final project report and deliverables’ approval, or by January 31, 2026, unless otherwise extended. 

This collaborative endeavor underscores the commitment of both Joliet Township Government and the City of Joliet to preserve and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of African Americans in the region, paving the way for a more inclusive and enlightened community.