From Kevin Brown...
Dear Evanston Community,
Ms. Erika Storlie, the interim City Manager, has denied my appeal for reinstatement. I am disappointed by the decision and find it unfortunate.
I want to take this time to say how profoundly grateful I am to this community for allowing me the opportunity to serve you. To this point, serving the youth, young adults and their families has been the highest honor of my life. I am a better man today, because of my encounters with them and each of you.
In nearly eight years, working with a small but talented team, along with a supremely talented and creative array of leaders within the nonprofit sector, education and business community and multiple community and religious organizations, we were able to create positive change and significant upward impact for thousands of Evanston youth, young adults and their families.
Thank you so much!
Between 2012 and 2018 arrests for young people aged 16 to 24 declined by 219%. At the same time, our community rallied to help increase youth employment in the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program by 246% to now routinely employ 600 or more young people in pre-career pathways job opportunities.
We partnered with Northwestern University to create the COE/Northwestern University Skilled Traded Program that provided full-time skilled trade union positions to Evanston residents.
We partnered with the Youth Job Center to create the Building Career Pathways to Sustainable Employment Program to give young people paid training opportunities and experiences to obtain living wages. We developed the Evanston version of the Manufacturing Careers Internship Program that provides young adults with careers in the manufacturing sector.
In addition our partnerships with Curt's Cafe, Mr. David's Flooring, the Chicago Urban League and Oakton Community College, we created other paid training opportunities to help young and old succeed in our community.
In addition to workforce development and training, we partnered with school districts 65 and 202 to establish mentoring and life skills one on one training for our highest at-risk young people.
To address violence interdiction and reduction, our team worked with the University of Illinois to receive violence interruption training and partnered with the Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training to become certified in Kingian Nonviolence.
We established the Kingian Nonviolence Summer Training Institute to teach our children that there are better and peaceful ways to resolve disputes and planted the idea of the beloved community.
Other partnerships include the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy Certificate of Rehabilitation Program to help seal and expunge criminal records for community members so they can obtain both jobs and housing. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program with Youth & Opportunity United to provide more supports for youth on the streets.
And to address youth mental health we partnered with the Northwestern University Family Institute, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health.
Space does not permit me to list all of the programs and services developed in 8 years with the help of our partners, but I am very proud of the work, proud of our team, and grateful for the accomplishments of service to this community. Many, many lives have been made better by this service. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
Finally, let me say thank you publicly to my beautiful wife Cheryl Logan Brown of 32 years. She supports me and encourages me and has remained steadfast during the injustice we have encountered. All of this, in the face of family trials and tribulations we remain a great team ready to continue the work that God has called us to do. God has never failed us, so we will move forward enthusiastically with our next steps.
Although the climate in our nation and even locally reflect a tolerance for racism and injustice, we continue to believe that the arc of the universe bends toward justice. Hope remains alive, and we will continue to press forward.
Thank you Evanston!
In peace, love, hope, and faith,
We remain yours and committed to our neighbors to advance with you toward the beloved community.