Mayor Cohen Barnes: Spend some time getting to know DeKalb

By Cohen Barnes, DeKalb Mayor

On behalf of everyone in DeKalb, I cannot express enough how excited we are to have students and faculty back to our community in person this year! We missed you all! 

NIU and the City of DeKalb are both close to my heart. I grew up in DeKalb and I am also an NIU alumnus. Throughout my life, I have spent a lot of time and energy working with the city and NIU on a number of projects benefiting both communities. I tell you this because, as Mayor, I am doing everything I can to make sure that NIU and the City work closely together to provide a wonderful community for our residents to live in and a welcoming community for our students to attend school. 

You will find in DeKalb an incredible variety of restaurants providing food from cultures around the globe. You will discover unique cultural experiences when attending places like the historic Egyptian Theatre and our Stage Coach Players Theatre. You will have access to all the major brands for your day-to-day needs, and you will be able to attend local festivals like the DeKalb Corn Festival and Music at the Mansion. 

I encourage you to spend some time getting to know us. You will find a community that welcomes new ideas, embraces innovation, and a community that is working hard to co-create an environment where everyone feels like they belong. Are we perfect? We are not. Are we growing and expanding our understanding and compassion of each other? Yes, we are. That is why I used the word co-create. For it will take all of us, working together in our local communities, to continue to improve this great nation of ours. Forward, together forward.

Cohen Barnes, Class of ‘95

Mayor, City of DeKalb