Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was on the campus of Dominican University in River Forest on Aug. 24 to deliver the 2017 McGreal Lecture, which is designed “to engage the Dominican University community in a stimulating, strategic conversation as a way of kick starting the new academic year,” according to the school’s website.
Last year, Foxx became the first African American woman elected to her position after beating incumbent, and River Forest resident, Anita Alvarez. Foxx spoke about embracing her identity as a black woman who grew up in the Cabrini Green projects and who, as a child, would hide in her grandmother’s porcelain bathtub and recite the Lord’s Prayer whenever shots would ring out.
That identity and personal background, she said, informs her governing philosophy and approach to justice.
“I know for many people it is hard to inherit something you believe you didn’t create, but I inherited a system and a role in a system that, if I have any way forward, I have to own … I have to be actively engaged in relationships with the people that I serve.
“[I have to meet] them where they are … with their frailties and their anger and their insights. We cannot talk about violence out of proximity with those who have been hurt. You cannot talk about what’s happening in the neighborhood and not be in the neighborhood.”
— Michael Romain