CARBONDALE – The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), in partnership with Southern Illinois University (SIU), Carbondale honored organizations, businesses, educators and individuals whose deep commitment and outstanding leadership promote Fairness and Equality and act as role models of the American Dream.

During a ceremony on SIU campus in Carbondale, Illinois, IDHR Director Janice Glenn presented a Saluting Excellence Award to Liliana Godinez of Don Sol Mexican Grill, Wayne Sirles of Rendleman Orchards, Southern Illinois Immigrant Rights Project (SIIRP), SIU Carbondale student and chancellor scholar Tomas Daniel Cortez, interim dean and professor at SIU School of Law Cindy Buys, and SIU Carbondale employee Deborah Sarvela, and Phillip Bareda, EVP, Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council.

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“Illinois diversity makes us stronger and more connected as a state,” said IDHR Director Janice Glenn. “Today we celebrate those who embody the American dream and work to ensure fairness and equality for the Latino community. Each of our honorees has made it a priority to help diversity flourish in the state of Illinois. I am proud to be a part of a state that thrives on diversity and understands; with great diversity comes great strength and growth.”

The recognition comes during Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when people all over America recognize the cultural, economic and civic contributions that the Latino community have made to this country.

Governor Bruce Rauner issued a proclamation making September 15, 2018 through October 15, 2018, Hispanic Heritage Month in Illinois.

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“One of the great things about Illinois is our diversity and unity,” said Gov. Rauner. “We are a state of immigrants that have come from all over the world in search for freedom and opportunity. Illinois is blessed to have one of the largest and most vibrant Latino communities and one of the largest Mexican- American communities in the country. These communities have played an integral part in building Illinois into a diverse economic powerhouse and we are proud to honor those that continue to grow Illinois.”

SIU Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno (PhD) also attended the celebration.

“SIU Carbondale is proud to join the Illinois Department of Human Rights to honor these champions and role models,” said Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. “This is a great opportunity to showcase and show our support for the many contributions of the Hispanic/Latino community on campus and in the region.”

This event is part of IDHR’s 2018 Fairness and Equality Campaign in honor of the Illinois Bicentennial. As part of the campaign, IDHR is asking 200 municipalities across Illinois to pledge their support for the Department’s core values of fairness, equality, inclusion and non-discrimination.

For more information about IDHR’s Fairness and Equality Campaign you can contact IDHR at IDHR.Webmail@illinois.gov. Units of local government interested in the campaign can submit an online interest form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/FairEqual.

The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting www.illinois200.com and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud. If you have an event that celebrates Illinois between now and December 3, 2018, you can apply for endorsement to become an official part of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at www.illinois200.com

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