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Chicago Fire announce partnership with Illinois Diversity Council

As part of the club’s pledge to do more to fight racism, the Fire become the first pro sports team to partner with the ILDC

Photo by Patrick McCraney

Shortly after the killing of George Floyd last May, social media was filled with “We’re not racist, this isn’t good”-type statements from practically every team, group and company imaginable. The Chicago Fire were one of those teams. While the club’s statement at the time was too late for some, it did include something most others didn’t—a pledge to take specific actions to combat racism.

At the time, many fans made their own pledges—to hold the Fire accountable, and make sure the club wasn’t making an empty promise.

The Fire announced Thursday that the club has partnered with the Illinois Diversity Council (ILDC), becoming the first pro sports team to do so.

“We’re excited to partner with the ILDC as we continue to expand our work in the diversity, equity and inclusion space,” Chicago Fire FC President of Business Operations Ishwara Glassman Chrein said in a statement. “With their deep expertise in DEI, the ILDC will help us to build on the progress we have already made to foster an inclusive environment, and further expand our efforts to reflect the great diversity that exists in the city of Chicago.”

The ILDC will provide the fire with diversity, equity and inclusion training. Cherie Coleman, the ILDC president, will work with the club to expand the Fire’s DEI mission, develop and implement new initiatives, and deliver inclusive leadership training.

“The Illinois Diversity Council is pleased to have a vast array of partnerships spanning across diverse industries in business boardrooms, higher education classrooms and in the streets collaborating with community alliances,” Coleman said in a statement. “The onboarding of Chicago Fire FC is our very first professional sports organization and we’re proud to work alongside the Club to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion while impacting the culture for sports arena stakeholders.”

For more on the Fire’s efforts to combat racism, check out chicagofirefc.com/pledge.

Are the Fire living up to the club’s pledge? Let us know what you think.