UNESCO International Honorary Biennial Lecture 2018

UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway, Professor Pat Dolan; Toni Preckwinkle, President, Board of Commissioners, Cook County, Illinois; and Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs, NUI Galway.
May 22 2018 Posted: 10:06 IST

 US expert to speak on ‘Reform in Cook County and Juvenile Justice’

NUI Galway will host a public lecture entitled, ‘Reform in Cook County and Juvenile Justice, presented by Ms Toni Preckwinkle, President, Board of Commissioners, Cook County, Illinois today (22 May 2018) at 2.30pm. President Preckwinkle is the President of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County, municipal area in which Chicago is located.
The talk on Reform in Cook County and Juvenile Justice will focus on Ms Preckwinkle’s leadership to develop policies to improve health care access, bring increased fairness to the criminal justice system and expand employment training opportunities for some of the County’s most disadvantaged youth.
President Preckwinkle is a nationally recognised leader in the drive to reduce unnecessary and costly incarceration of non-violent offenders in the criminal justice system.
Speaking ahead of the event, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway, Professor Pat Dolan said: “The contribution of President Preckwinkle to finding community based solutions to youth on the margins and engaged in crime has been a major positive breakthrough with lessons to be learned for the Irish context. The methods of hopefulness in terms of interventions with and for youth are often overlooked or unheard ahead of more sensationalism in the media and occasionally in policy in Ireland.”
Toni Preckwinkle is the 35th president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, an office she has held since 2010. A dedicated and effective public servant, President Preckwinkle has worked collaboratively to reshape County government through increased fiscal responsibility, transparency and improved services.
“I’m honored to deliver the UNESCO International Honorary Biennial Lecture, and especially pleased that I can focus my remarks on our key policy initiatives: public safety, public health and creating opportunity,” Preckwinkle said. “Since 2010, we have made progress in these areas and we will continue to press ahead to create more fair and equitable County for all of our residents.”
Before she was elected Cook County Board President, President Preckwinkle served 19 years as Alderman for the 4th Ward in Chicago, building a reputation for progressive independence. She replaced failed public housing with viable mixed-income development. Prior to holding elected office, President Preckwinkle taught high school history for 10 years. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago. She is the mother of two and the grandmother of three.
Galway and Chicago, which lies within Cook County, have been Sister Cities for over twenty-one years.  Since then the two cities have developed a strong partnership based on a shared vision of creating programs and exchanges for the benefit of the citizens of both cities. Through the work of dedicated citizens and government officials the relationship has thrived.
The event will take place in the Aula Maxima today, Tuesday, 22 May at 2.30pm and is free and open to the public.
To register for the event - click here


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