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NAACP news conference:D65, Fri, Oct. 9, 2020
It seems so obvious to me: until we can open schools completely, it makes common sense to allow children in Evanston who are marginalized, whose families are lower-income (in Evanston that's predominantly Black and brown families), who may not have the supports at home to provide a conducive virtual learning experience to be prioritized for in-person learning in school buildings. But that plan, pushed forward by Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton and the D65 school board headed by Anya Wiley Tanyavutti, has elicited letters of hate locally and nationally--including death threats. Yesterday, Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, president, Evanston/North Shore Branch NAACP, along with local clergy and community leaders, held a news conference to show support for the District's plan and to condemn racism and hate. Channel 5 covered the news conference. You can watch it here: http://nbcchicago.com/.../controversy-erupts.../2351819/ I was there too. Here's my video. The sound (masks, background noise, iPhone) is not good. So here too is a transcript of some of the folks I spoke to, and Pastor Nabors' statement. Monique Brunson Jones, President and CEO, Evanston Community Foundation: "The Foundation obviously supports district 65, obviously supports Dr. Horton and his work to make sure that we close up the achievement gap." Rabbi Rachel Weiss, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation - JRC: "I am here because access to public eduction, economic justice, and antiracism are all Jewish values, to make sure that those in our community are taken care of who need it the most. We are a community that is so broadly diverse, if we don't embrace it and actually stand up for equity and making sure that everyone who really needs resources can get them first, then who are we? Part of our mission as human beings, and part of my mission as a rabbi, is to say that as a community we have a responsibility to make sure that everyone is taken care of. There is terrible systemic racism in our country. And all of us who have white skin have in one way or another benefitted from is the privileges that come with this systemic racism. And so it's our responsibility to stand up and say, other people have not benefited in that same way. In fact, they've been oppressed and enslaved and incarcerated and denied economic opportunity. And so the heart of that reparation work is to stand back and let everyone else get access. Over the last four years in particular, this country has given a really loud microphone to bullies and bigots and those who are spewing hatred, and what we have to do is fill it with love and just to say no, this is not about denying anyone what they might need. It's about really having to give up something that many of us can live without and have the resources to be just fine. My own children are in remote school right now. They are in District 65. They are struggling with remote school like everybody else. But we can have them at home, I can work from home, I can support them. And there are hundreds of children in the school system who can’t do that. And so if we really believe in equity, then we have to support our school district in what they are doing. So we support Dr. Horton. We support the school board. You know that there's that saying that 'equal rights for everybody doesn't mean less rights for you--it's not pie.' Well, equity actually is saying, I got to eat pie for generations, and my family benefited because someone else let me eat pie. And now it's time to say I don't need any more pie, everybody else does. Willie Shaw, NAACP civic engagement and political action chair: "I’m here in support of justice and against injustice. We’ve had information in several forms, from different groups, negative information that’s come to the district. The NAACP is always against any type of injustice. We always willing to sit down and talk to folks, be a mediator. So, unless we're able to meet, if they're willing, to find out what their issue is, we’re here to support fairness for our children, to support the leaders in our district." Dr. Devon Horton, D65 superintendent: "The community said out of the gate that they wanted to focus on equity and close the achievement gap. I really feel like this is an example of not just the board speaking, but the community saying this is what we prioritize."
Evanston Fight For Black Lives March for Jacob Blake
Evanston Fight for Black Lives rally/march in support of Jacob Blake beginning at Church and Ridge in Evanston. Donations to help offer immediate support for the family (including lodging expenses while in Kenosha) may be sent to: Venmo acct: evanston4blklives
Rally and March for Jacob Blake (Full Video)
Here's video of the full rally and march for Jacob Blake and his family that William Eason, Bobby Burns, and Evanston Collective organized on Tuesday, August 25. It includes speaker William Eason, Bobby Burns, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman, Jasmine Edwards, and interviews with attendees Michael Gilbert-Koplow, Darlene Murray-Cannon, Carolyn Dykes Murray, and a short interview with Evanston Police Department Chief Demitrous Cook.
Black Male Alliance last neighborhood walk
Join BMA for their last neighborhood walk next Saturday. ____________ Members of the Black Male Alliance will meet at 7 p.m. next Saturday, September 5, in the parking lot at the corner of Church and Dodge for its fifth and final neighborhood walk for the summer. The group of Black men, convened by community activist Nathan Norman, who is also program supervisor of the City's Youth and Young Adult outreach division, held a kick-off rally August 7 following three homicides that took place in Evanston over just four days in late July. The rally called for peace and a stop to gun violence in Evanston and to announce five weeks of outreach into areas of Evanston most affected by gun violence. The group, which Norman says is an organic and authentic response to the recent violence in Evanston, comprises community activists, community police officers, residents, and members of faith-based organizations. "We're going to rally together and then walk the streets of Evanston in an effort to band together and express concern over the violence that has been happening in Evanston, and the negative impacts it is having on the community, specifically Black males," said Norman at the rally. "We are also concerned about social injustice, anti-Black racism and white supremacy, and how these social ills contribute to negative life outcomes for young Black men,” he said. "We'll spend time with community members, listening for solutions to neighborhood violence, and sharing resources with them." Members include: Jermey Mccray, Maurice Wilkerson, and Genaro Hernandez, all of whom are outreach workers for the City; Kevin L. Brown, former Youth and Young Adult Division manager; Evanston Police Department Officers Adam Howard, Lloyce Edwards Spells, and Corey mcCray; Rick Marsh, community activist and president of Curt's Cafe; Oliver A. Ruff, activist, retired educator, and member of OPAL; Pastors Rick Thomas, Karl Angelia Adair, and Demond Mills; Robert Pressoir, Robert Reese, and community activists Justin McCray, Jeron Dorsey, Alando Spud Massie, and Bamidele Ali. If you'd like to support the Black Male Alliance's efforts, community members are welcome to meet the group next Saturday at the starting point at 7 p.m. Read more about the Black Male Alliance: http://dearevanston.org/.../black-evanston-men-call-for... Read speeches from their kick-off here: http://dearevanston.org/.../social-injustice-anti-black... Short video montage by Kevin L. Brown.
Rally for Jacob Blake p. 2
Yesterday, William Eason and Bobby Burns of Evanston Collective organized a rally in support of Jacob Blake and his family. Eason is a long-time friend of Jacob Blake's father, also Jacob Blake, dating back to their days at Evanston Township High School (ETHS). Jacob Blake, 29, was shot in the back by police seven time at point-blank range on Sunday evening in Kenosha. The Blake family has deep roots and many family members living in Evanston. Many Evanston residents remember his late grandfather as the pastor of Ebenezer AME -Evanston IL and for his civil rights work to push for fair and affordable housing in Evanston. The rally was held across the street from Jacob Blake Manor, which provides affordable living for seniors. More than 200 people participated in the rally, which was followed by a short march. Speakers included Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman, William Eason, Bobby Burns, and Jasmine Edwards, a friend of Jacob's from eighth grade, who said he was her first boyfriend. In my next few posts, I'll share voices from the rally. Here's Rep. Jan Schakowsky. To hear Michael Koplow's voice: bit.ly/2YTvEon To watch 6-year-old My’le Dargan lead chants of "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No peace": https://bit.ly/34Axs97
Six-year-old My’le Dargan leads chants of "Black Lives Matter"
Yesterday, William Eason and Bobby Burns of Evanston Collective organized a rally in support of Jacob Blake and his family. Eason is a long-time friend of Jacob Blake's father, also Jacob Blake, dating back to their days at Evanston Township High School (ETHS). Jacob Blake, 29, was shot in the back by police seven time at point-blank range on Sunday evening in Kenosha. The Blake family has deep roots and many family members living in Evanston. Many Evanston residents remember his late grandfather as the pastor of Ebenezer AME -Evanston IL and for his civil rights work to push for fair and affordable housing in Evanston. The rally was held across the street from Jacob Blake Manor, which provides affordable living for seniors. More than 200 people participated in the rally, which was followed by a short march. Speakers included Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman, William Eason, Bobby Burns, and Jasmine Edwards, a friend of Jacob's from eighth grade, who said he was her first boyfriend. In my next few posts, I'll share voices from the rally. Six-year-old My’le Dargan, whose mother Michel'le CollegeGraduate Harris started a series of "Conversations in the Park" following the three murders that occurred in Evanston over three days in late July, led the crowd in chants of "Black Lives Matter," and “No justice, no peace” as they marched around the block. To hear Michael Koplow's voice: bit.ly/2YTvEon