Evanston/North Shore

Take Action

What can you do after Charlottesville? 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but YWCA Evanston/North Shore suggests:  

LEARN

This is a time to pay attention to what you don’t know. We can’t possibly impact others if we don’t know or understand the issues ourselves. Be intentional about finding out how these issues have developed, and who has benefited from them not being resolved.

  • The Movement for Black Lives (a collective of many Black organizations) created a Platform which clearly outlines six issue areas, and gives data, suggestions for action, etc. Focus on just ONE of those areas, get to know it well, and work with others to create impact.
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center exhibits provide background and personal testimony about the Holocaust. We need to understand the significance of the symbols and words being used by today’s hate groups. www.ilholocaustmuseum.org (Coming Dec. 10: Speak Truth to Power an exhibit that highlights 50 courageous human rights Upstanders)
  • Then They Came for Me, an exhibit on the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the demise of civil liberties. Alphawood Gallery, 2401 N Halsted St, Chicago 
  • How could Illinois start being more equitable in the way it funds education? The Illinois House could override Gov. Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1. (This June article provides some background info.) There are legislators who do not want to pass this bill, and their votes are needed. Are there businesses you frequent in their districts? Could you put some pressure on those businesses to encourage this important override vote?
  • Learn more about why wealth inequality hasn't improved over the past 50 years
  • What’s the history of housing inequity in the Chicago area?
Resources for talking about race with kids
For teachers

SHOW UP 

If we are serious about breaking down the artificial barriers that have been created between different groups, then we need to go to places, do things that are outside our comfort zones. 

  • Visit a house of worship you have never attended. Appreciate the: varied music, styles of preaching, formats of services and spirit of the folks gathered. 
  • Attend school board, city or village council, commission meetings. How are decisions made, and by whom? Whose voices are not at the decision-making tables? Are budget expenditures made to the benefit of ALL citizens? How can power be more equitably shared?

This is just a start. The divisions that have been created over time will not disappear overnight, no matter how well-intentioned we are. But staying silent and/or doing nothing is not a choice.

 

Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.