Thank you to Gilo Kwesi Cornell Logan and Miah Logan for allowing Dear Evanston to put this powerful photo of their young son Ali on our Facebook cover this week.
The photo was taken at Sunday's Evanston United Black Family Rally to Support Black Lives sponsored by the Evanston/North Shore Branch NAACP, Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Inc., Black Evanston Men, Kappa Alpha Psi/Evanston chapter, and S.O.U.L Creations.
Here's Henry Wilkins' response to the photo. Henry is spearheading a push to establish a STEM school in the 5th ward, the only ward in Evanston without a school since Foster School closed in the late 1960s. The lack of a school in Evanston's historically Black ward--which resulted in busing and all the inequities that have ensued--is just one of the systemic issues we need to address in Evanston to make lasting structural change.
Also head over to OPAL or its website to find out how you can get involved in helping to achieve racial equity in Evanston through advocacy, voter education, civic engagement, and candidate development. A key focus on OPAL's agenda is equity in Evanston's District 65 schools.
"So many thoughts and emotions run through my mind when looking at this picture…at what point does this child become a perceived ‘menace to society’…at what point is a teacher going to have low expectations for him…at what age will he be pulled over because of his skin color…will this child die at the hands of racism…will this child ever see a day where he has an opportunity to see all Black kids fulfill their potential? This child is the grandson of Bill Logan, the former Police Chief of Evanston Police Department and founder of the Chessman Club of Northshore…It’s fitting that this picture was taken as the Chessman Club co-sponsored the rally today at Evanston’s fountain square with a diverse group of Evanstonians (young, seniors, LGBT+, black, white, and brown.
So now what, we had this rally with awesome speakers with an inspiring message?
As you heard in the speeches today one of the systemic issues plaguing Evanston is the unmet problem of children not having a school in their neighborhood which negatively impacts their academic experience, contributes to the opportunity gap, and leads to forced busing. Our vision of a STEM Community School seeks to address this systemic issue. Time after time after time Evanstonians have blocked this school from opening. However, we don’t intend to lose this fight. If you have it in your heart to help us fight this systemic issue and/or are financially able to help we want to hear from you! One love!"