Augustana receives Healing Illinois money for events to help advance racial healing

Local News

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has announced Augustana College, Rock Island, is among the recipients of $4.5 million in funding for community-based activities to advance racial healing.

Healing Illinois, an initiative to engage residents of communities across the state that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in meaningful dialogue, has selected 179 organizations to receive awards, a news release says.

Augustana College received $30,000 for a series of facilitated sessions to promote conversations in the campus and broader community to build empathy, affirm identities and “reaffirm shared humanity.” Augustana also received $5,000 for Hidden Conversations, a new series of online conversations about racial inequities in the Quad-Cities that will culminate with the March 11 event, Power of Words.

Organizations will use the funding to create community-centric, inclusive spaces to talk, learn and grow, supporting the initiative’s overarching goals: to build and advance knowledge and understanding of racial healing and racial equity in communities across the state; increase trust and relationship building among the residents of Illinois; and provide opportunities for communities and individuals to begin to heal from the harms caused by racism.

“Systemic racism affects all Illinois residents, and COVID-19 has made addressing it more urgent than ever before. I am so pleased to see the work, dedication and commitment by hundreds of community leaders to join Healing Illinois in tackling racism and the need to heal from its effects,” said Grace Hou, secretary, IDHS. “With all 179 organizations on board, we will make tremendous progress in developing more compassion, racial understanding and equity across the state.”

For a full list of grant recipients, intermediaries and subcontractors, visit

Managed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, Healing Illinois was launched in October. Since then, hundreds of people have attended public webinars to learn more about the grants, and nearly 500 grant applications were submitted by the final deadline.

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