Day of Hope 2021

About Day of hope

Join us for a day of community-based, educational activities that are centered around Casa Central's programming, relevant topics of discussion, and networking!


upcoming event


JULY 8, 2021 | 10:00 AM | CASA CENTRAL - 1335 N. CALIFORNIA AVE.

Join us for a day of educational and engaging health-focused activities! Representatives from various organizations will be on-site providing FREE health screenings, informational workshops, resources, and raffle and giveaways while promoting awareness of certain health concerns and general health and wellness. There will be demonstrations of various health and wellness-related products, and even more activities, and education related to health issues that specifically pertain to the communities we serve.

Produce boxes will also be provided courtesy of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois!

Face masks are required.



vaccination care van brought to you by blue cross and blue shield of Illinois and jewel osco Pharmacy 

FREE Pfizer Vaccinations

For anyone 12+​

Minors must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian

To receive your vaccine, please register at bit.ly/DOHVaccine21




past events


Communitytown hall

June 24, 2021 | 1:00 PM | Recess (west loop)

The New Normal: Promoting Black and Brown Unity and Collaboration. The pandemic has further laid bare the racial inequities that exist throughout the United States. Protests and civil unrest following the disproportionate loss of life of Black and Brown Americans from the virus and police use of force, illustrate the need to change the status quo and dismantle institutional racism throughout society that keeps both Latino and African-American communities oppressed and is also designed to keep our two communities from uniting. Join us as our panelists address this topic and explore opportunities for us to work towards a more inclusive and equitable 'New Normal'.


Our Panelists


1karen freeman-wilson

president & ceo, chicago urban league

Karen Freeman-Wilson began serving as President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League in January 2020. She brings a passion for equity and social justice to the organization, which works to advance economic, educational and social progress for African Americans through direct service
and advocacy.

Having served in the public arena most of her professional life, Freeman-Wilson has deep experience in
addressing issues that impact urban communities. She was mayor of her hometown of Gary, Indiana, from 2012 through 2019. She was the first female to lead the city of Gary and the first African-American female mayor in Indiana. Her mayoral accomplishments include job creation, completion of a $100 million airport runway relocation, and the development of key areas in the city. She previously served as Indiana Attorney General, Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, and presiding judge of the Gary City Court. She also served as Executive Director
of the National Drug Court Institute and CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, where she is currently Board Vice Chair.

Freeman-Wilson is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She is a past President of the National League of Cities, past Chairperson of the Criminal and Social Justice Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and sits on the National Police Foundation Board of Directors. She is a member of the Israel C.M.E Church; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; the Links, Inc.; the NAACP; the Urban League of Northwest Indiana and the Indiana Bar.

Freeman-Wilson and her husband Carmen Wilson II have a blended family of four children.


2Berto aguayo

co-founder and executive director, #increasethepeace

Berto Aguayo is a proud Back of the Yards native, where he was raised by a single mother who emigrated from Mexico. Berto’s struggles and experiences as a former gang member led him on a passionate journey toward social justice. He holds two bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Economics. He is also a community organizer and civic engagement strategist.

Berto was appointed by the Mayor’s Office in 2015 to the My Brother’s Keeper Cabinet. He also organized the Hoops in the Hood program in Back of the Yards. As an organizer, Berto co-founded the #IncreaseThePeace initiative. Through the initiative, he trained more than three hundred young leaders how to organize in their communities. The leaders Berto trained mobilized thousands of young people in Chicago to combat issues of gang violence through peace actions, policy advocacy, and overnight camp outs on Chicago’s south side. The initiative received local and national recognition.

In 2017, Berto reopened the St. Michael Community Center as a safe haven for youth in the neighborhood. In 2018, Berto worked as a national leadership trainer with the Obama Foundation. In 2019, Berto ran an independent grassroots campaign for Alderman of the 15th Ward. Although he was outraised eleven to one, he came just 277 votes short of a runoff. Most recently, Berto was the Director of Latino Outreach for Lori Lightfoot's campaign and served on the Transition Team for the Mayor, and was the political director for Marie Newman. Currently, Berto is a Community Representative of the Back of the Yards College Prep Local School Council and a Fellow with the Chicago Community Trust.

Berto is also the recipient of USHLI’s young Hispanic Leader Award, Mikva Challenge's Outstanding Alumnus Award, and a scholar of the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program. He is also a Civic Seminary Fellow at Citizen University in Seattle.


3nicole ward

multicultural leadership academy coordinator, latino policy Forum

NiCole is a recent graduate of the 2018 Multicultural Leadership Academy.  In September of 2018, she joined the Latino Policy Forum as the Project Coordinator for the Leadership Academy.  In collaboration with the Civic Engagement Team, NiCole assists in the development and implementation of civic engagement leadership and training programs, provide on-going communication with participants and assist with sustaining network and engagement of alumni.

Raised in Montgomery, Alabama, NiCole is the oldest of three siblings.  At an early age, NiCole was influenced by the history of the Civil Rights Movement as told to her by parents and grandparents.  Children and grandchildren were taught the importance of voting and community advocacy. 

NiCole honors her family’s values through the work she does professionally.  As a social service provider, she has assisted high school students through the Trio-Upward Bound Program, advocated for educational and employment opportunities for Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents and assisted families with reunification efforts with the Department of Children and Family Services.

NiCole earned her Master of Science Degree In Justice and Public Safety from Chicago State University with a minor in Sociology.  


Receptionnetworking reception

JUne 24, 2021 | 5:00 pM | the city hall (adjacent to recess)

Join us and network with Chicago area professionals while enjoying food, drink and music at Recess/City Hall! Tickets are $50 and include food and drinks. Tickets may be purchased here.



Venue for Town Hall and Networking Reception:

838 W. Kinzie St. Chicago, IL 60642



City Hall Chicago boasts 5,400-square-feet of flexible event space, with a separate grand entrance on Kinzie Street. The column-free hall, with its soaring 40-foot-high ceilings, 37-foot stone bar and industrial-elegant architectural detailing, is a striking venue.

*Tickets are only needed for the reception






you are helping...


children & Youth

Casa Central provides various programs including day care, Head Start, and after school sessions for children and youth to help them build a strong foundation for their future success.

learn more


We offer individual adults and families access to social services, including social workers, job training and domestic violence prevention that support them in their journey forward.

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Casa Central's senior care programs give older community members the opportunity to interact with peers, work with young people and, when necessary, receive in-home senior care.

learn more

participant storyDay_of_Hope_-_6821_-_Diana_Pic

Diana and her three children became homeless after Diana made the decision to separate from a violent partner. The family struggled to find a stable living situation, bouncing from friend to friend and shelter to shelter, before being referred to Casa Central's La Posada program.


With the support of La Posada staff and the program's wide range of community partners, Diana was able to begin divorce proceedings, enroll in a program to complete her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, and secure employment. While staying at La Posada, Diana was also able to save more than $1,000 to support her and her family as they transitioned to permanent housing.


Ultimately, after exploring her options with the support of the La Posada team, Diana chose to move to Aurora, Colorado, where she and her children are happily enjoying their own apartment and wonderful new adventures. Diana shares that La Posada staff provided her with the support she needed to achieve this milestone and became independent.




Click on the video to learn more about our impact on thousands in the community.





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interested in sponsoring or participating during the health fair or community panel?

Call us at 773-645-2300 or email info@casacentral.org

Help Inspire Lifelong Learning Among Children, Older Adults, Families and individuals!