solidarity - prepared and rapid response

Metro Illinois Industrial Areas Foundation has 20 year history standing together to make sure that the most vulnerable groups among us are protected and have equal rights to pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. ***

Action Taken:

Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Racism: By acting together when hateful acts occur and promoting solidarity and acting together on a range of issues, we have built long-standing relationships with people who might not otherwise interact with each other. This includes:

  • The “Chicago and Islam” rally at Navy Pier on November 11, 2001, that welcomed Muslims to the Chicago area, where over 4000 Muslims and non-Muslims were able to interact with one another, many for the first time.

  • Winning the zoning fight at the DuPage County Board for the MECCA Center in Willowbrook in 2011.

  • On Oct. 21, 2014 there was an anti-Semitic attack on Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard when a young man smashed windows and wrote anti-Semitic graffiti on the walls. Luckily no one was injured. Many DuPage United institutions reached out to the rabbis and the congregation in support of the synagogue. On Nov. 8, 2014, they joined in a Community Solidarity Program with more than 500 attending.

  • On Sunday, February 28, 2016, over 850 voices, from 80 organizations, engaged in meaningful conversation at the ‘We the People - Know your Muslim Neighbor’ event, a kick-off to the year long DuPage United Solidarity Campaign. The afternoon had speakers from various backgrounds, including former Wheaton College professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins, IIT Muslim Student Association President Mr. Mohsin Ishaq, and from Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Rev. James Honig. “Muslims, Christians, Jews, the Non religious, can stand together today and fight back hate, bigotry, and discrimination,” reiterated Syrian immigrant and banker Hani Atassi, of Mecca Center, Willowbrook. “After all, what is more meaningful to our lives is NOT religious dominance, racial superiority or wealth accumulation. It is love and compassion for your fellow human beings.”

  • A poem appearing at a public art display at the Aurora Public Library in April 2018 was offensive to many members in the Muslim community and the local community more broadly. IL IAF team quickly called attention to it in local media outlets. It was removed within 24-hours. The team also sent a group to the board meeting immediately following the incident seeking new ways to partner with the library.

  • Created a Rapid Response Protocol for member institutions to use as a tool if and when there is an incident of hate.


  • Adrienne McCauley, Lead Organizer, DuPage United, 512-560-8838,