More than 90 languages are spoken in the homes of Skokie residents and the Skokie Park District strives to serve every person in Skokie.

An Award-Winning Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Park District
The district won the the Illinois Park & Recreation Association’s first-ever ‘Champions for Change’ Award in January 2021, recognizing an agency with unique and exemplary practices of increasing access, and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within their community and organization.

Diversity initiatives at the Skokie Park District include:

Diversity InitiativesStaff Diversity Committee

Formed in 2016, this park district staff team has implemented the following initiatives:

  • Meets with the district's programming trends task force to create new classes for a more diverse Skokie population.
  • Created "languages spoken" name tags for staff.
  • Created a facility "Welcome" sign for the Weber Leisure Center, featuring 72 languages.

Staff Initiatives

Adverse Childhood Experiences Program (ACE)
Two staff members were trained in the ACE Interface Trainer Program

SEED Training (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)
One staff member has completed the trainer course. Seven staff members have completed or are currently participating in training. Two current park district board members have completed the training.

Implicit Bias Training Completed
50 full-time staff members and 5 board members

District Equity Audit
In 2022, staff will conduct an Equity Audit of the district, including internal reviews of key policies and practices. A DEI consultant will reestablish a new staff diversity committee comprised of staff members from diverse backgrounds to help create, manage, and advise DEI related issues and initiatives.

Staff Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

  • Staff compile a comprehensive checklist of diversity actions and interviews and/or focus groups that reveal root challenges and opportunities.
  • Staff will soon conduct an Equity Audit of the District, including internal reviews of key policies and practices.

Skokie Festival of Cultures

Formed in 1990 in partnership with many other Skokie government agencies and service clubs, the Festival of Cultures honors more than 60 Skokie cultures and more than 25,000 attendees, every third weekend in May. Visit the website here.

Skokie Pride

Skokie Juneteenth

Devonshire Cultural Center​

  • Preschool classroom discussions regarding December holiday celebrations and celebrations of the Chinese Year of the Pig and Olympic Day
  • Culinary classes include Sweets Around the World and Cooking Around the World
  • Devonshire Playhouse Academy – students explore Greek and Roman theatre, the Italian Commedia D’ell Arte and Japanese Noh theatre. 
  • Summer Concerts: Soul Sacrifice, a tribute to Santana (Latin)
  • Art & Music – seasonal and ethnic workshops such as Mexican Art Mirrors and African Drumming. Art exhibits featuring Black artist’s during Black History Month in February.

Oakton Community Center & Park

  • Festival of Colors Celebration
  • Skokie Festival of Cultures
  • International Short Films
  • The Barefoot Hawaiian Family Festival
  • Ayodele African Drum and Dance Family Festival
  • Polish Speaker at the Diversity Advisory Committee: Coming Together in Skokie
  • German Conversational Group

Skokie Heritage Museum

  • Muslim History of Chicago: Coming Together in Skokie
  • Chinese Paper Cutting
  • History of Tea
  • Folktales and Paper Cutting: Coming Together in Skokie

Tot Learning Center

  • Holiday Celebrations Around the World
  • Hawaiian Movement and Music
  • Pastas Around the World

Weber Leisure Center

  • International Folk Dancing
  • Aikido – lectures and lessons from Budo and Bushido culture.
  • Kum Do – Korean and Japanese modern martial art sword fighting
  • Qigong – originated from Chinese Buddhism
  • Cricket – 16th century English and now middle-eastern sport
  • Filipino Volleyball & Basketball Leagues
  • Assyrian Basketball Tournament

Other Programs

  • El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) November – In collaboration with Skokie United, local businesses and various community members.
  • Elizabeth Meyer Before-and-After-School participants – learn basics of Spanish with Ms. Marisol – letters, numbers, colors, animals, body parts, songs, etc.
  • Story Stroll in the Parks – features books with diverse characters and topics.