Naperville chamber may be rethinking having Awake Americans as a member

The addition of the Awake Illinois affiliate sparked criticism and debate withing the chamber.

NAPERVILLE – The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) may be rethinking the membership of an Awake Illinois affiliate after blowback.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Awake Americans’ membership in the NACC is under review because of its affiliation with Awake Illinois.

The chamber welcomed Awake Americans with a social media post earlier in May. The response was immediate with many calling Awake Americans’ parent organization a hate group and other loudly declaring their support for the far-right group.

In a post this week, the NACC said, “We want to acknowledge the recent feedback NACC has received from our Members and business community. The comments share are being carefully reviewed as NACC Leadership takes the concerns of our Membership and community very seriously.”

Awake Illinois has been at the front line of many of the culture war battlegrounds during the past year, especially around the Chicago suburbs.

They have repeatedly gone after any events where there are family-friendly drag shows. They most famously went after UpRising Bakery for a drag brunch and Downers Grove Public Library (DGPL) for drag queen bingo event. UpRising became the target of a hate crime and the DGPL cancelled their event after threats, including getting mailed a bullet.

The group has also taken aim at Lurie Children’s Hospital for its gender-affirming care program for transgender youth. They have vocally supported and shared anti-LGBTQ protestors and articles attacking any gender affirming care or LGBTQ-inclusive education.

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