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DHA 2022 DuSable Memorial(1).jpg

About DHA

In the summer of 2000, a group of concerned citizens answered a call for public input from the Chicago Park District as it planned to name a new harbor on Lake Michigan after Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable.  They found out that the Park District also held the key to developing a piece of land on the lakefront, which Mayor Harold Washington dedicated to DuSable in 1987.  Thus began a coalition of several civic organizations interested in the legacy of DuSable and in seeing the DuSable Park built.


In August 2002, DuSable Heritage Association (DHA) officially became a nonprofit, with a firm mission to recognize and to promote the legacy of DuSable.  In 2004, DHA participated in the 20th Chicago Latino Film Festival, organized a classical music concert in collaboration with DePaul University, and sponsored an Art in the Schools project organized by 8th grade teachers in Oak Park and Forest Park.  By 2005 DHA joined forces with the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) and launched its first annual awards gala to raise funds on behalf of DuSable Park.  Around that same time DHA worked closely with Chicago Park District and the Coalition for DuSable Park, as member of a steering committee, to design and build DuSable Park. 


Throughout those years DHA participated in several symposia and panel discussions about DuSable at various venues including Harold Washington College and Library, Roosevelt University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the French Lycee of Chicago, the American Indian Center and the Chicago History Museum. Since 2006, DHA has organized an annual gala during which individuals are recognized for their community service and their dedication to the cause of DuSable.  Proceeds from the gala have supported scholarships to students at DuSable High School. 


In 2009 DHA visited St. Marc in Haiti, the birthplace of DuSable, and established a rapport with the office of the mayor and with a coalition of local civic organizations. Since the earthquake of 2010, DHA has participated in medical relief missions in Port-au-Prince and Cabaret, where it supported a computer lab in a school and provided health screening to over 235 schoolchildren.  DHA held educational sessions about the founder of Chicago at the Lycee DuSable and started a scholarship program at the James Stine High School, both in St. Marc.


In 2014 DHA collaborated with several other organizations to revive the long-dormant DuSable Park Coalition.

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