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SIU’s Simon Institute virtual talk to look at racial, economic and educational justice

Livestream event flyer
Provided by Pete Rosenbery
SIU News

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Michelle Morales, president of Woods Fund Chicago, a philanthropic organization that focuses on fighting structural racism and economic injustice, will join Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute for a virtual discussion on August 3.

Morales and John Shaw, institute director, will discuss Morales’ background in advocacy and philanthropy and the Woods Fund Chicago’s eight-decade quest to advance social justice. Morales will also share her efforts in fighting for racial, economic and educational justice.

The virtual discussion is at 10 a.m. The online program via Zoom is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The conversation is part of the institute’s Understanding Our New World series.

Morales has been president of Woods Fund Chicago since 2019. Prior to this, she was the executive director of the Illinois chapter of the Mikva Challenge, an organization devoted to youth civic engagement. A native of New York, Morales moved to Chicago in 1993 to attend DePaul University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in in Latin America/Latino Studies. She also has master’s degrees in special education from the University of Illinois Chicago and educational leadership from Northeastern Illinois University.

“Michelle Morales is a dynamic and passionate champion of racial equity, social justice and educational opportunity. We are eager to learn her assessment about whether Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the United States are making sufficient progress in these urgent challenges,” Shaw said.

Attendees are encouraged to submit questions for Morales on the registration form or email questions to paulsimoninstitute@siu.edu.

More information, a list of the institute’s upcoming events and past speakers and events are available.


Pete Rosenbery — arts and design, architecture, automotive and aviation, humanities, journalism and mass communications, law, public policy, social sciences.

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