Over the last two hundred years, Waukegan has been a melting pot to many immigrant groups, creating a rich and varied cultural foundation for the community. At the end of March, two programs at the Waukegan Public Library explore culture, immigration, diversity, and the history of Waukegan.
On Tuesday, March 26 at 6 p.m., Dr. Gilo Kwesi Logan will present a workshop for all ages sharing his personal liberation story stemming from 8 ½ years of travel involving 43 visits to 23 countries throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, and West Africa. Dr. Logan is a professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and teaches courses in Justice Studies & African and African-American studies.His multi-media presentation entitled, The Inward Journey through Ebony Eyes: Transformative Learning Through Cultural Immersion, uses video, music, artifacts, poetry, and storytelling to share his experience traveling the world.
The Inward Journey through Ebony Eyesis presented by S.O.U.L. Creations, a not-for-profit, community-based educational agency located in Evanston, Illinois, whose mission is to educate, empower, and validate youth through self-discovery. Dr. Logan is the founder, former executive director, and current program facilitator for S.O.U.L. Creations. He holds a doctorate in education.
A program titled,Waukegan: A History of Immigration, will be presented on Wednesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. Previously known as “Little Fort”, Waukegan has become home to various migrating groups over the past two centuries. Its location along Lake Michigan appealed to New Englanders moving west in the 1830s and the population continued to grow throughout the early part of the 19th century due to the industrialization of the Midwest and the Great Migration of blacks moving north from the rural south. The area also saw an increase in immigrants from Europe at this time because of the political tensions and war abroad. Waukegan continues to see changes in its population, most recently with the migration of Latinos from the south. The program will explore all of the migration patterns which have added to the rich cultural diversity of the Waukegan community.
Waukegan: A History of Immigrationis sponsored by “Our Stories Connect Us”, a collaboration between Arden Shore Child and Family Services and Changing Worlds. It is presented by Ty Rohrer, supervisor of the Waukegan History Museum for the Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Historical Society and Ed Link, local historian and author of the book, Waukegan, A History. The program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly.