ETHS seniors (from left) Rena Newman, Nicole Connell, Vicki Kosiba, Noah Pearson, junior Cameron English, seniors Alejandra Gramajo, Maya Crowe-Barnes, Vanessa Senecal, Mackkeitha Mason, Annie Bouchet,and Camille Allen joined Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz (kneeling) for the National Equity Summit. Photo by Lynn Trautmann/LTPhoto Evanston

In September, 11 students from Evanston Township High School participated in the National Equity Summit in Chicago facilitated by Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz of E3: Education, Excellence & Equity, and Jarrod Schwartz of Just-Communities. The students, representing the Leadership Board of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR), participated in a panel and small group discussions, sharing their experience as community organizers and leaders with four communities from across the nation.

ETHS SOAR students talked about building capacity of racially conscious equity leaders in the ETHS community and shared knowledge with four nonprofit organizations engaging in their own equity work – Every Hand Joined of Red Wing, Minn., Commit to Dallas of Dallas, Tex., Thriving Together of Phoenix, Ariz., and Cradle to Career Columbia of Columbia, Mo..

ETHS history teacher Corey Winchester, who serves as the faculty sponsor for SOAR, also participated in a panel about equity efforts at ETHS.

Conference topics included racial equity, racial privilege, critical race theory, identity development, language access, and intersectionality. SOAR students also shared about the work they are doing to facilitate the fall and winter SOAR Conferences held at Northwestern University, and other initiatives focused on equity and topics of social justice in the school community.