Named to honor the late Evanston native and acclaimed historian-activist Doria Johnson--who died too young in 2018--golfers, sponsorships, and donations will all help support Black ETHS students who choose to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).
The goal is to raise $15,000 this year.
The event, which costs $100 per golfer (or $400 for a foursome) includes golfing and food and begins with registration at 10 a.m and a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Food and a cash bar will be available at 3:30 p.m. Awards will be given to first, second, and third place winners and Closest to the Pin. Non-golfers can attend for $25.
In addition to the game, $20 raffle tickets are available with prizes that include golf items, restaurant gift certificates, and more. There's also still time to sponsor a golf hole -- $500 Summa Cum Laude, $250 Magna Cum Laude, $100 Dean's List.
Donations in any amount are welcomed.
Organizers Laurice Bell and Ron Whitmore of Evanston Rules, and Dino Robinson of Shorefront Legacy Center, chose to honor Doria's memory and outstanding legacy of work that used her family’s painful history as a lens through which to examine America’s history of racial violence as well as African American resiliency.
Doria's own family fled their hometown of Abbeville, South Carolina, and relocated to Evanston after her great-great-grandfather Anthony Crawford was lynched in 1916.
Ancestors of those who fled following that terrorist act--including Doria's cousin Colette Allen, recently retired Executive Director of Family Focus Evanston--live in Evanston to this day.
"Every family has a warrior. For the Crawford family, our first warrior was Anthony Crawford who lost his life fighting for a fair and equal price for his crops," says Colette, who is on the event's organizing committee.
"My Aunt AnnaBelle Frazier and my mother, Eleanor Hill, Anthony's granddaughters, continued the fight by sharing the story with all of us. Doria picked up the sword and made sure Grandpa Crawford's fate was not just part of local and family lore, but a national cause seeking justice for African Americans who were lynched, terrorized, chased from their homes and robbed of land."
Allen says she hopes this annual event and scholarship will rekindle in a new generation Doria's passion for her mission to right a wrong.
"I hope it will inspire students to pick up the sword and fight the good fight," she says.
Laurice and Ron, who both went to school with Doria, reconnected at Doria's funeral.
"Ronnie and I were close to Doria. He and his brother went to preschool with her. I met Doria in middle school, but we became closer as adults, sharing our rage and hopes," says Laurice. "At her funeral, Ronnie and i spoke about her work and our desire to honor her memory."
Doria’s passion for history was spurred by a family reunion in Abbeville, South Carolina, in 1987.
Though she'd known about her great-great-grandfather's lynching since she was a child, no-one in her family spoke about the painful and traumatic details. It was only at the reunion that she learned them and was spurred to action.
A wealthy cotton farmer, Crawford was beaten, hanged and shot more than 200 times by white residents in Abbeville after he argued with a white merchant over the price of his cotton.
Johnson established a foundation in Crawford’s name and spent the rest of her life tracing the family’s legacy and the rich history of African Americans.
Her crowning achievement was serving on the U.S. Senate Steering Committee for the Investigation of Lynching. In 2005, with her help, the committee secured an official apology for lynching from the U.S. Senate.
Doria also worked with the Equal Justice Initiative and its founder Bryan Stevenson on EJI's Legacy of Lynching project. As part of that work, Doria organized an official centennial commemoration in Abbeville at the site of Crawford's lynching.
Dino Robinson, who founded the Shorefront Legacy Center, met Doria when she walked into his office one day as he worked on an article about an Evanston daycare center.
"She saw a photo of graduates from the daycare center and showed me that she was in it," says Robinson, who archives Black history in Evanston and along the North Shore, and whose research was instrumental in providing evidence to support Evanston's reparations initiative.
"We connected immediately and I came to respect her work capturing family and community legacies on a very personal and nuanced level. With her death, the Evanston community, the nation, the world, lost a treasure," he says.
Golfers of all ages as well as non-golfers are encourage to participate in this event that will support a student each year who wants to attend an HBCU.
"Ronnie and I wanted to find a way to keep Doria with us in some way," says Laurice. "Four-and-a-half years since she passed, here we are with a scholarship in her name."