• Rich Hein/Sun-Times Media
  • Mayor Emanuel at the Sun-Times yesterday

Saying he was fed up with criticism of segregation in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced a “Race to Diversity” contest. The first neighborhood to desegregate itself will receive a $10,000 prize.

Beverly, Hyde Park, Morgan Park, Edgewater, Uptown, and Rogers Park were declared ineligible for having patches of preexisting integration, but the contest was open to the city’s 71 other community areas.

Emanuel said reports labeling Chicago the nation’s most racially segregated city were greatly exaggerated. “I doubt we’re even in the top two,” he told reporters at a City Hall news conference. But he allowed that the city “had yet to achieve ideal diversity,” and said his desire to achieve that lofty goal had prompted the contest.