WOODLAWN — The Obama Presidential Center’s construction in Jackson Park will be paused indefinitely after a noose was found at the project site Thursday morning, officials said.
Lakeside Alliance, the Black-led coalition of construction firms building the Obama Center, will halt work to hold anti-bias training sessions after the “act of hate” was discovered Thursday, a spokesperson for the group said in a statement.
“We have zero tolerance for any form of bias or hate on our worksite,” the spokesperson said. “Anti-bias training is included in our onboarding process and reiterated during site-wide meetings. We are suspending all operations onsite in order to provide another series of these trainings and conversations for all staff and workers.”
Crews reported the incident to police, and Lakeside Alliance is offering a $100,000 reward “to help find the individual or individuals responsible for this shameful act,” the Lakeside Alliance spokesperson said.
“This shameless act of cowardice and hate is designed to get attention and divide us,” an Obama Foundation spokesperson said in a statement.
Spokespeople for Lakeside Alliance and the Obama Foundation did not clarify how long construction is expected to be paused.
The incident comes a week after flyers depicting a noose with the words “White Only“’” popped up in Hyde Park, alarming neighbors. A Black artist posted those flyers to promote her art exhibition.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the “disturbing, hateful” incident and confirmed police are investigating.
“Racism and racist symbols have no place in Chicago, and those inciting it will be held responsible for this repulsive act,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
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