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Town and Gown Come Together for Diversity Training and Racial Healing

Western Illinois University and the Macomb Police Department (MPD) were recently awarded $25,000 from Healing Illinois, a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), in partnership with The Field Foundation of Illinois to work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at WIU and in the city of Macomb.

Through this grant, WIU will offer in-person DEI training for faculty, staff and students.

“Truly understanding diversity and the ways in which we can support our students takes a village,” Project Director and WIU Professor Julia Albarracín said. “We hope everyone will take advantage of this training, tentatively scheduled for the week of April 8th.”

Macomb Police Chief Jeff Hamer recognized the opportunity to bring this initiative to Macomb and will now be able to provide implicit bias, cultural sensitivity and diversity training for the police department.

“The student population at WIU is becoming increasingly diverse and I believe city police will benefit greatly from DEI training,” Hamer said.

The training for both the city and the University will be comprehensive and cover basic information about diversity, equity and inclusion for anyone hoping to learn more about DEI and more specific tools for becoming anti-racism allies for those already familiar and committed to DEI.

“We are very excited about this partnership with the city of Macomb, and we look forward to working with the DEI experts on expanding the professional development of the WIU community,” said WIU President Guiyou Huang.

“Our partnership for this project shows that Macomb remains committed to finding ways for making our students feel at home in Macomb,” Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said.

For more information, contact Albarracín at or Hamer at

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