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  1. Rev. Nabors, I’ve long respected your wisdom and perspective. I, too, hope that the largest ever investment in Evanston will benefit all of Evanston, but in particular those historically most marginalized.
    I also appreciate your understanding of the offer. Perhaps some minimize the value of a construction job or the training that it brings because they’ve never needed blue collar jobs, but you see this an opportunity where none would otherwise exist. Perhaps some don’t care if a Black or Brown owned business has the opportunity to build exposure by participating in games and events, but you see the potential economic gains for their families.
    Thank you, Reverend, for adding your voice to this important discussion.

  2. I hope this is true. It’s going to be up to Evanston leadership and City officials to craft an agreement with NU that truly benefits the City and its residents. I’m not optimistic that we’ll get anything as positive as Rev. Nabors suggests, but I’ll be happy to eat some crow if I’m wrong.

  3. While I support the new stadium project in concept, I also hope that our City governmental and faith leaders will monitor the process to ensure that Northwestern keeps its promises to the community. I also think it is important that vending and other licenses go to Evanston-based caterers (not Levy or another corporate caterer) and that there are more than just minimum wage jobs available to the community. My other concern is that the contractors will not truly meet the percentage requirements for women and minority-owned businesses (and if they do, that said contractors will be from outside of the City), The majority of skilled construction trade members who would work on the project do not reside in Evanston.

  4. Rev. Nabors, you are such a respected leader in our community! I’m glad you support rebuilding Ryan Field, the construction of which is truly a great opportunity. I support it too. What I don’t support is the separate zoning change that Northwestern has tacked onto this project, that would let it hold for-profit mega-events at the stadium and serve liquor to the 32,000 attendees. Those events would not benefit Evanston businesses, they would compete with it. Northwestern contracts with Levy to cater events at the athletic complex, and they have their own, non-local employees. Levy is not a good employer for our community either; it’s been sued repeatedly for its discriminatory employment practices. Please let your many supporters know that while you support the rebuilding project, you do not support the separate and harmful changes to the law that Northwestern wants. Thank you very much for your good-hearted consideration.

  5. There are some things in life that sound too good to be true. The once in a life time opportunity regarding the construction of a billion dollar football field mentioned by Rev. Nabors is one of those things. It’s disappointing, but not surprising to hear a local faith leader supporting a project that celebrates the culture of excess so many embrace. We are living in the “get the bag” era.

    Seriously, is this the best that Northwestern University can do with one billion dollars to improve the Evanston community and the lives of Black people? How about lowering its enormous tuition? How about providing hundreds and thousands of scholarships to its neediest students? How about providing food and housing subsidies on a scale never before imagined to those same young people? What have we become as faith leaders and human beings that we support the University’s venture into the entertainment industry at the expense of the many economic and social challenges we face in our community? What has become of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It’s madness.

    I think it’s sad that any faith leader would throw their support behind a project that is inconsistent with the University’s educational mission. There are so many better uses for these dollars in Evanston.

    And let’s be honest about what is being said here. Northwestern University has a very poor track record regarding investment in the Black community. Especially when one considers its considerable endowment. It has spent several billion dollars in major construction on the Evanston campus over the last decade. There have been no life altering positive changes in the Black business community resulting from those projects. The hope now for a behavior change is disingenuous at best. Last I checked, the same individuals behind the scenes for those projects continue to work for the University. And, there are still racial discrimination challenges experienced daily by Black Northwestern students. They might want to turn their attention there before building a billion dollar football field. If I had a dollar for the wishes and hopes of the supporters I’d be a multi-billionaire.

    I know that some in our community may not think much about morality these days. But this is a moral question for our community. Perhaps in another dimension and different world, one billion dollars would be used to end homelessness in Evanston. Perhaps in that same dimension and world, leaders at the University would take one billion dollars and endow scholarships for every Black young person in Evanston. Perhaps in that same dimension and world, Northwestern University would end food insecurity in our community.

    But in this world, at this time, we have individuals celebrating the proposed appropriation of one billion dollars to construct an entertainment complex and ignore “the least of these” in Evanston.

    It’s sad.

    1. Kevin Brown’s comments are inspirational. Mr. Brown, you show us the moral “magnetic north” to which we all should try to set our compasses. Bravo!

  6. I would like to hear you elaborate on exactly how the new stadium is going to “build generational wealth for Black and brown families in Evanston.”

    Are you talking about the “target” of 35% subcontracted spending on ‘minority-owned and woman-owned businesses” that NU has said they will pursue?

    If that is what you are talking about, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. There is nothing binding about their “target” and they say they are giving “priority” to Evanston based businesses. None of this is mandatory and even if it were, it would not necessarily translate to “generational wealth” for the bulk of “Black and Brown families.” Owners of businesses might do all right, but it is unclear if the money will “trickle down” to the bulk of the workers.