A letter from Henry Wilkins to D65 board and administrators:
Henry says, "We sent this letter publicly to the School District 65 Board to: 1. demonstrate to the public that we stand in support of School District 65 efforts to open a 5th Ward school; and 2. inform the public that there are two studies that are being conducted that we hope will be considered."
Dear School District 65 Board and Administration -
On behalf of STEM School- Evanston ’s Board, the hundreds of supporters, families, advisors, and volunteers who advocated for our vision to open a Community School located in Evanston’s Central Core, we would like to thank the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board and Administration for hearing our call to restore a public school to the Central Core. We look forward to the public process and stand ready to channel the community voice.
A special thank you to current School District 65 Board President, Anya Tanyavutti, for being an ally in our pursuit since we began this journey almost four years ago, and for promising that "help is on the way!"
We also thank current School District 65 Board Vice President, Elisabeth "Biz" Lindsay-Ryan, for encouraging our group almost two years ago to develop a financial plan for our STEM Community School vision, which could be presented to the School Board.
We are pleased to share the news that the Evanston Community Foundation has awarded STEM School Evanston two grants totaling $50,000 to perform a feasibility study for the creation of a new Central Core school. The study includes identifying a location, determining the costs, and identifying a financing option that doesn't require a tax referendum nor burden the School District's financial state.
In addition, STEM School Evanston was awarded a $54,000 Racial Equity and Community Partnership grant from Northwestern University to 'amplify' the Black community voice on modes of education redress in Evanston.
We await the opportunity to formally present our findings of these efforts to the School District 65 Board and Administration at a future meeting. We also look forward to having an ongoing dialogue on ways to leverage this work and continue centering the community 'voice'.
Regards, Henry H. Wilkins II STEM School Evanston President
On behalf of STEM School Evanston Board and Planning Committee, Evanston Education Subcommittee for Reparations, and the NU Good Neighbor Grant Research Team (Dr. kihana ross, Carol White, Dr. Bessie Mbadugha and Daisy Copeland)