About 150 persons attended a peace rally on Friday evening, Aug. 7, held in the parking lot at Church Street and Dodge Avenue, a few blocks away from where two young men were murdered in separate incidents last week. 

The rally was billed as a “peace rally” and a call to action.” 

As a list of those impacted by gun violence was read, some in the crowd called “scream out that name.”

“We’re working toward the interruption and disruption and dismantling of systematic racism in Evanston,” said another.

Some speakers focused on the youth of Evanston. Sarita Smith spoke of the need to help young people at School District 65. Another encouraged those in attendance to “take 60 seconds to think about how we’re going to help children re-write their stories.”

Educator Don Michelin emphasized the need for honesty in dealing with youth: “With the young men you end up mentoring – you’ve got to be real and honest with them.

The two-hour rally concluded with messages of hope. Second Baptist Church Pastor Michael Nabors reminded the crowd.  “Love is stronger than hate.”

Diversity consultant Gilo Logan said, “For me, that’s where the hope lies – in our humanity.”

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...