Two great events happening today. I'm out of town and can't go to either, so I'm asking you to please go for yourselves and on my behalf too! And if you're so moved, while you're there, take videos and photos, do a few interviews and post them on DE!
1. Student Activist Art Extravaganza , 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Evanston Space
Last summer, Mollie Hartenstein, Phoebe Liccardo, and Liana Wallace, now all ETHS seniors, coordinated an Evanston bus to head down to the Dan Ryan expressway protest organized by Father Michael Pfleger to march against gun violence and call for more resources on Chicago's south and west sides.
They were also instrumental in organizing the ETHS walkout and rally at Lazier Field, in which almost every student participated, following the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Now, in an effort to increase activism among high school students, the three young women have launched an organization called the North Shore Association of Student Activists (NASA).
"We see the potential for a broad coalition throughout the North Shore as a communication network and united front for student activists throughout the area," says Wallace.
To date, the coalition includes student from Glenbrook South High School, Highland Park High School, Beacon Academy, and Lake Forest Community High School.
Today the coalitions showcases student activist art at featuring dance, spoken word, visual art, and musical art that represent various forms of activism and causes. The event is free.
"Broadening our communities from just our city or school to an entire group of suburbs gives students legitimacy and more bargaining power with power brokers like schools, local governments, and legislators," says Liana.
2. The Human Library at Evanston Public Library (third floor)--12 to 3 p.m.
Where People's Lives Become Open Books
If you and your family have never attended this event, you should.
DE's Video from last year's Human Library
Volunteer books--people who generously agreed to spend an afternoon talking to strangers about their lives, their experiences, and identities--can be checked out by readers, visitors who stopped by to move from table to table to "read" the variety of "books," taking the opportunity to ask questions about the person's life journey.
Each visitor can spend up to 30 minutes with each book.
This year's book titles, according to the Library, include: Aspergers; Drag Queen; Sikh; Blind; Latina; African American Activist; Asylum Seeker; Transgender; Holocaust Survivor; Female Nigerian-American Lawyer; Muslim; Disabled; and Mental Illness.
The Human Library was founded in Denmark in 2000 as an outgrowth of an anti-violence movement, and is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. It's an opportunity where difficult questions--asked and answered face-to-face--are expected and appreciated.