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Chicago Fire FC Becomes First Professional Sports Team to Partner with Illinois Diversity Council

July 22, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire FC News Release

CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC is proud to announce today that the Club has partnered with the Illinois Diversity Council (ILDC). The Fire is the first professional sports team to partner with the ILDC, as the Club continues to place an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

"We're excited to partner with the ILDC as we continue to expand our work in the diversity, equity and inclusion space," said Chicago Fire FC President of Business Operations Ishwara Glassman Chrein. "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."

Through this partnership, the ILDC will provide the Fire with DEI consulting and training, as well as educational and professional development opportunities for staff members. Cherie Price Coleman, president of the ILDC, will work closely with the Fire's senior leadership and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) council to expand the Club'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," said Coleman. "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."

Today's announcement marks the Fire's latest diversity, equity and inclusion initiative since undertaking a Pledge to be more active contributors in the fight against racism. Since making that Pledge, the Fire partnered with Cook Ross - a full-service diversity and inclusion consulting firm with more than 30 years of experience in the DEI space - to help the Club assess and strengthen its diversity efforts. With their team's help and guidance, the Club successfully reformed its hiring and recruitment processes to instill diversity initiatives, provide DEI training to all staff members and much more. Additionally, on Feb. 24, the Fire announced a partnership with Common Goal to help launch the Anti-Racist Project (ARP), an action-based approach to tackling systemic racism in football and society.

The ILDC is the region's premier resource for the education and advocacy of diversity, equity and inclusion. Through a variety of events and programs, the ILDC serves as a catalyst for meaningful cultural change within corporate suites, higher education institutions and community organizations to ensure that every individual is welcomed, valued, heard and supported.

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