PEORIA, Ill. — The Peoria City Council approved a contract with IDG Architects, Inc. to begin a project to revitalize the south end area of Peoria.
While discussing that agenda item, Councilman Oyler asked why none of the students working with IDG are from the Peoria area.
Representatives of the company said there aren’t qualified students in the area. This sparked a lengthy discussion on how Peoria city leaders can help pave the way for minorities within the community.
In the end, IDG leaders are happy to be tasked with renewing the community, but even more pleased that they will be representation for people of color.
Dequales Thompson, director of research and development with IDG, said the number of licensed architects that are African American in the profession are less than one half percent due to exposure and institutional challenges they may face.
“It was really our intention to create an avenue for minorities offering professional services to be seen by the locals to then inspire the possibilities of what they could do and what they could be while revitalizing their area and giving them that kind of hope,” Thompson said.
Councilwoman Denise Moore emphasized the importance of diversity.
It takes a lot of different ingredients to make a beautiful delicious salad and similarly with people. If we don’t embrace the diversity and find ways to break through the institutional racism that has permeated our country we are not going to succeed.Councilwoman Denise Moore, Peoria City Council
Moore said she was pleased with the vote, making IDG Architects the lead in this project and suggests there is hope for Peoria to embrace diversity within the community.