Awake Illinois founder running for local school board

Shannon Adcock during the Awake Illinois launch in March. Photo from Facebook.

Shannon Adcock, the founder of the anti-LGBTQ group Awake Illinois, is running for the Indian Prairie District 204 School board.

The district covers parts of Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook and Plainfield in DuPage County. That same area has also seen some of the biggest anti-LGBTQ efforts often lead by Naperville-based Awake Illinois.

The Naperville Sun reported earlier this week that Adcock made the announcement just a couple of days after school board candidate training by the conservative Leadership Institute. A coalition of groups and parents protested the training to highlight the increase in attacks against LGBTQ events in the Chicago suburbs.

The newspaper reported that this will be her second attempt to get a seat on the school board. She also sends one of her three children to a private Christian school. She’s also the chair of the DuPage chapter of Moms for Liberty, which has been active nationally for removing LGBTQ and anti-racism books from schools.

Started as a reaction to COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic, Awake Illinois has moved on to conservative and far-right causes including repealing the SAFE-T Act eliminating cash bail and opposing the Workers’ Rights Amendment. But their biggest focus has been on LGBTQ inclusion, especially for transgender people and drag events.

They were one of the first and loudest voices objecting to a family-friendly drag brunch at UpRising Cafe and Bakery in Lake in the Hills in July. When the bakery had their windows broken with anti-LGBTQ graffiti on the walls, the group condemned the attack but still opposed the event. The man who attacked the business was arrested and has links to the Proud Boys and Patriot Front.

They were also a loud voice against Drag Queen Bingo for teens at the Downers Grove Public Library. The group celebrated on social media after threats forced the library to cancel the event.

The group’s social media feed regularly shares posts and tweets from extremists such as Matt Walsh, has been very vocal in opposition to reproductive rights, uses the term “groomer” for everyone who opposes them and supports far-right activists targeting children’s hospitals with gender-affirming care programs, including Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.