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

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

The Skokie Park District staff and its representatives are committed to honoring and welcoming all people, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

An Award-Winning DEI Park District

The district won the the Illinois Park & Recreation Association’s first-ever ‘Champions for Change’ Award in January 2021, recognizing the agency with unique and exemplary practices of increasing access, and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within their community and organization. District staff continues to pursue exemplary practices every day.

DEI Initiatives

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Land Acknowledgement Statement
In 2023, district staff worked with the local Mitchell Museum to help develop a “Land Acknowledgment Statement” honoring Indigenous peoples whose presence on this land came long before Skokie’s current residents, and who continue to impact park district land to this day.

Indigenous Park Names
Also working with the Mitchell Museum, park district staff have developed a plan to seek the the input of Tribal Nations regarding the park district’s 11 existing Native American park names. Staff look forward to working in collaboration with these communities in order to represent them as they prefer to be represented. In the mean time, enhanced park name translations may now be found on the Skokie Park District website.

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

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

Social Equity Policy

Click here to view.

Programs & Events

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 participating Skokie cultures and more than 25,000 attendees, every third weekend in May. Visit the website here.

Skokie Pride

Skokie Juneteenth

Other recent programs

  • EID Celebration
  • Indigenous Peoples Celebration
  • El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) November – In collaboration with Skokie United, local businesses and various community members.
  • 8 Nights, 8 Lights Festival in December
  • History Lab – Immigration, Black History & Women's History
  • Amigos – Spanish speaking nations class for youth
  • Preschool classroom discussions regarding holiday celebrations at Devonshire Preschool and at Tot Learning Center
  • Cultural culinary classes at Devonshire – Asian Infusion & Irish Flare
  • Summer Concerts, some of which feature a range of cultural entertainers
  • Art & Music – seasonal and ethnic workshops such as African Drumming. Art exhibits featuring Black artist’s during Black History Month in February.
  • International Folk Dancing
  • Aikido – lectures and lessons from Budo and Bushido culture.
  • Cricket – 16th century English and now middle-eastern sport
  • Filipino Volleyball & Basketball Leagues
  • Assyrian Basketball Tournament
  • Story Stroll in the Parks – features books with diverse characters and topics.
  • Amazing Asia
  • Chi Gong
  • Day Off Fun: International Women’s Day
  • Parisian Brunch
  • Tai Chi

Staff Diversity Committee

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

  • Meets with the district's programming trends task force to create new classes for a more diverse Skokie population.
  • Created a facility "Welcome" sign for the Weber Leisure Center, featuring 72 languages.
  • Is developing a Community Needs Survey for release in 2024.
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