Evanston faith leaders and City officials encourage residents to claim ownership of their home, block and community by adhering  to the “Evanston Own It” proclamation signed by Mayor Elizabeth B. Tisdahl and City Clerk Rodney Greene. The proclamation is a result of a meeting of faith leaders and Mayor Tisdahl in July 2014 and acknowledges that every resident deserves to live in a safe, caring community and take ownership of everything that happens throughout the city despite where they live.

To further the proclamation’s movement, the faith community will host “Evanston Sings” on Friday, June 19 beginning at 7 p.m. at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave. All proceeds from the 250-voice choir concert will be donated to the 2016 Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Evanston community members interested in singing in the concert are invited to attend rehearsals beginning Friday, May 1 at 7 p.m., located at Friendship Baptist Church, 2201 Foster St. To learn more about rehearsal dates and event details, please contact Pastor Zollie Webb at 847-733-9681.

“The goal of ‘Evanston Own It’ is to build a stronger sense of community. We wish to help mold the community to be engaged with one another in all aspects of community life,” said Rev. Patricia A. Efiom of Ebenezer AME Church.

As part of its commitment, Evanston’s faith-based community will offer support and pledge to work with residents to achieve an “own it” spirit, in addition to spreading the ideology that what happens to one person in Evanston happens to all.

“We are especially committed to providing opportunities for our youth to have meaningful opportunities to come to know and be in partnership with the larger community. We believe that through ‘Evanston Own It’ we will help to create a stronger, safer Evanston,” said Rev. Efiom. 

Throughout the year, faith organizations will host a series of educational and informational events and activities that encourage community involvement in reducing the amount of youth violence in Evanston. The faith organizations involved are Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Ebenezer AME Church, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, First Church of God Christian Life Center, Fisher Memorial AME Zion Church, Friendship Baptist Church, Mount Pisgah Ministry, New Hope CME Church, Sherman United Methodist Church, and Springfield Baptist Church. For a list of upcoming events, visit cityofevanston.org/evanston-own-it

For more information about “Evanston Own It,” please contact committee co-chairs Rev. Efiom at 847-328-1707 or Pastor Clifford Wilson at 847-328-6808.