Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) invites community members to its 10th annual Diverse Communities United (DCU) celebration from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 (MLK Day) at the Evanston Township High School Auditorium at 1600 Dodge Avenue in Evanston. DCU is a free, community-wide celebration that engages youth and families from across Evanston, Skokie and the Chicagoland area in performances, speeches and artwork that promote Dr. King’s legacy of peace, diversity, unity, leadership, and service.  

This year’s theme for DCU, The Road Less Traveled, explores different routes to overcoming injustice, breaking down stereotypes, and leading for social change. More than 100 youth are set to perform and share their artwork, drawing inspiration from personal experiences and from the current national efforts about how we build a more equitable, just, and inclusive society. 

DCU is a youth-driven event, making it a perfect opportunity for families who want to spend the holiday meaningfully. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the event, the Y.O.U. alumni involved in the creation of DCU in 2007 returned to coach youth performers, alongside Chicago actress and Joseph Jefferson Award winner Susie McMonagle. Evanston Own It, a coalition of faith and community leaders, will be honored with the DCU Award for their commitment to expanding opportunities for youth and reducing community violence. 

DCU will feature original songs, choreography, dramatic performances, and visual art pieces created by youth from all eleven of Y.O.U.’s afterschool sites. A reception will follow the event, which is free and open to the public.