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Dear Evanston's very first Facebook post

Working to populate the DE website with stories from before the website existed, I scrolled back to the very start of the Dear Evanston Facebook page, to find this message that I posted on February 4, 2016 on behalf of the group that started Dear Evanston as our project through the Evanston Community Foundation's Leadership Evanston: Juliet Bond, Nick Gehl, TeeNeka Jones-Gueye, Amy Monday, Mitchell Smith, and me.


Welcome to #dearevanston...

Please read below about this two-month, multi-platform social media project. The more Evanstonians who participate, the more powerful our voices will be.

Have you experienced violence in Evanston? How did it affect you? Your family? What do you think each of us can do to help stop violence in Evanston?

Tell your story and share your ideas in words, photos, artwork, video, music and/or poetry.

Tell your story right here on Facebook or on Twitter or Instagram! a multi-platform social media campaign designed to examine issues of violence in Evanston and explore ways to prevent it.

The two-month campaign seeks to engage everyone in the Evanston community—people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations and genders; teachers, elected officials, law enforcement, religious and social service leaders—in creative and powerful conversations about the causes of violence, ways in which violence affects us all, and what part each of of us can play to help end it.

Through its website, Facebook group, and Twitter and Instagram accounts, dear evanston hopes to provide an easily accessible way for everyone in our community to tell their story and offer their insights and solutions. All forms of expression are encouraged, including, but not limited to, written narratives, artwork, music, photography, videos, poetry, sermons, and opinion pieces.

In April, dear evanston will select a variety of posts and contributions from the campaign and produce a video from them, which will be shown at the Evanston Art Center during the Piven Theater Workshop’s production of Dead Man Walking (April 16 to May 15), and it’s yearlong exploration of “the Quality of Mercy.” Following it’s residence at the Art Center, the video will travel to Evanston schools and organizations as a way to create a dialogue in our community.

You can find us on the web at: On Twitter at: On Instagram at: On Facebook at: You can find Piven Theater at:

(note: these links no longer work)

Dear Evanston is a small-group project of Leadership Evanston XXIV, a program of the Evanston Community Foundation.

Project directors are:

Juliet Bond, director of development, Literature for All of Us; founder, Evanston Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston (COPE)

Nicholas Gehl, chair, Department of Fine Arts, ETHS

TeeNeka Jones-Gueye, site director, Teen Baby and Family Support Services, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston

Nina Kavin, board member, Curt’s Cafe

Amy Monday, development officer, Evanston Community Foundation

Mitchell Smith, property manager, Ebenezer Primm Towers

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