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It’s Overdue: Time to Talk About Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations in Evanston

Dear Evanston,

If you follow this page and believe that you believe in racial justice and racial equity—then I urge you move beyond reading and posting about it, and to get personally involved and invested in the growing movement for reparative justice in Evanston.

Last night, Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman, former 5th Ward Alderman Delores Holmes, and former 7th Ward Alderman and Chair of the City’s Equity and Empowerment Commission Jane Grover, led a crowd that packed the Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center in discussion about approaches to repairing the harm done to Evanston’s Black community over the past century.

Ald. Simmons had proposed that the Equity and Empowerment Commission create a subcommittee to begin a community conversation about repair to address the wealth and opportunity gap in Evanston. Dr. Patricia A Efiom, head of the City's Equity and Empowerment Department, scheduled this week’s two meetings.

"Credit to Ald. Simmons for crafting the agenda for last night’s discussion and to Ald. Holmes for her deft facilitation of it," said Jane Grover.

Attendees shared many outstanding ideas, thoughts, and comments. But almost all of the people who attended the meeting were members of the Black community.

This cannot stand.

I URGE every single DE follower, especially those of us who are white, to get involved in and support the growing call to address a process of truth and reconciliation in Evanston and to help find and bring to fruition ways to repair past racial travesties in our own city and push for true racial justice in Evanston.

It’s white Evanstonians who MUST be at the table to bear witness to the years of trauma so many in our community have suffered and continue to suffer, and to commit to finding creative financial means to repair the harm done to our Black neighbors.

Please, if you can, attend the follow-up meeting tomorrow, Saturday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Civic Center. You do not have to have attended last night’s meeting to show up tomorrow.

You don’t have to speak. You can simply listen and learn, and then begin to consider ways that you can personally support this effort to right historical wrongs.

I’ll post more about last night’s meeting soon. Meantime, please support this emerging effort by SHOWING UP at Saturday’s meeting!

Let’s make Evanston a role model for other communities around the country to finally confront our past, face the truth, reconcile, repair, and move forward to a more just future for all of us.

Please share this post with your family and friends.

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