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Construction was halted at Chicago's Obama Presidential Center after a noose was found at the site on Thursday while police investigate the 'shameless act.'
Lakeside Alliance, the construction team building the $830million center to pay tribute to America's first black president, denounced the hate symbol found at the site, which they immediately reported to police.
The Obama Foundation condemned the incident in a statement, describing it as 'a shameless act of cowardice and hate designed to get attention and divide us.
'Our priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce,' the foundation said along with the Lakeside Alliance. 'We have notified authorities who are investigating the incident.'
The construction team said it was offering a $100,000 reward to help find those responsible.
Construction crew for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago notified police about a noose (above) that was found in the site dedicated to America's first black president
Pictured: Police removed the noose from the site in Chicago's South Side neighborhood
The Obama Foundation described it as 'a shameless act of cowardice and hate designed to get attention and divide us.' Pictured: Obama campaigning for Democrats last week
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker also condemned the 'act of hate' in a Twitter post
Lakeside Alliance, the black-owned construction team building the center, said the work will be halted for now amid the investigation and bias training for its workforce
We have zero tolerance for any form of bias or hate on our worksite,' the group said in a statement. '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.'
Lakeside Alliance, a group of black-owned construction firms, began working on the Obama Presidential Center in 2021 to help uplift the South Side community.
Work first began at the Obama Presidential Center in 2021 as a project to honor the former president and his roots in the South Side
The former president gave a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony in September 2021
When completed, the center will include the museum, a forum and a branch of the Chicago Public Library, and it will be connected to Jackson Park
Developers raised about $830 million to kickstart the project and bring in tourists
Located along Lake Michigan, the center will cover about 19 acres and feature a museum dedicated to Obama, who began his political career in the area.