Construction for the President Barack Obama Center was suspended after a noose was found on the worksite.
“This shameless act of cowardice and hate is designed to get attention and divide us. Our priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce,” the Obama Foundation said in a statement. “We have notified authorities who are investigating the incident.”
The Barack Obama Presidential Center is a planned architectural building in Jackson Park, Chicago set to commemorate the presidency of Obama and be landmark symbol for hope.
According to the website, “The Obama Presidential Center represents a historic opportunity to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady on the South Side of Chicago.”
The firm behind the construction site, Lakeside Alliance, shared a statement in an email according to the Chicago Tribune.
”We reported the incident to the police and will provide any assistance required to identify those responsible,” the team, said in an emailed release.
”We have zero tolerance for any form of bias or hate on our worksite. Anti-bias training is included in our onboarding process and reiterated during sitewide meetings. We are suspending all operations on-site in order to provide another series of these trainings and conversations for all staff and workers,” the statement said.
Lakeside Alliance is a partnership between four black-owned construction companies Brown & Momen, Powers & Sons Construction, Safeway Construction and UJAMAA Construction — and primary contractor Turner Construction. The firm began construction in 2021 with a project opening year in 2025.
The group is offering a reward of $100,000 for information leading to those responsible.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker shared in a tweet, “Hate has no place in Illinois. The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heart-stopping reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on Black Americans for centuries.