Evanston RoundTable
Robin Rue Simmons pulls a lottery ball at Evanston’s Reparations Committee meeting on Jan. 13. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

In a historic drawing, the first 16 recipients of Evanston’s restorative housing program were selected Thursday. Each will receive a $25,000 housing grant, making Jan. 13, 2022, the first time a government body has awarded reparations to any African Americans since Reconstruction. Evanston’s Reparations Committee met at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center for the random drawing, in which 122 applicants were eligible to participate.

Robin Rue Simmons: ‘Today we take an important step in selecting the first reparations recipients. From the statement delivered Jan. 13 by Robin Rue Simmons, Executive Director of FirstRepair and the former 5th Ward City Council member who led the push for the city’s municipal-funded reparations legislation while on the City Council.

After a two-week hiatus for winter break, Evanston Township High School reopened for in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 10, amid ongoing concerns about the omicron wave of COVID-19. When 129 students tested positive during the week ending Dec. 17, the school moved classes online for the last five instructional days of the fall semester in an “adaptive pause” meant to curb the spread of the virus. 

Because of the shift to online learning prior to winter break, Monday also marked the first day back in the school building for students since an hours-long lockdown that occurred on Thursday, Dec. 16 after ETHS security officials found two students carrying loaded handguns in their backpacks.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

COVID-19 update as of Jan. 13: 273 new cases in Evanston, 37,048 in the state. Evanston’s 273 new cases was a single-day record, far exceeding the previous high of 181 cases on Jan. 7.

Eye on Evanston: Thoughts on Design | Designing an ADU. The second of two articles about accessory dwelling units – coach houses and granny flats – in Evanston.

After a vehicle has three or more unpaid parking tickets, a letter will be mailed to alert the registered owner that the vehicle is subject to immobilization. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Return of the barnacle. After a nearly two-year absence, city officials announced the return of booting starting this month. A vehicle with three or more parking tickets can be immobilized either through a metal boot placed on a wheel of a car, or a flat plastic device called a barnacle, placed across the windshield.

At this time: 10:14 a.m. Thursday. Ancestors look down at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center as Evanston’s Reparations Committee makes history by selecting the first 16 city residents to receive $25,000 each in grant money via a lottery. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

EPL selected as charter member of new Makerspaces Collective. New Faces of Library Makerspaces is intended to build a diverse collective of library “makerspace” professionals to share ideas and grow makerspaces across the country.

Historian will discuss upcoming Frances Willard biography on Jan. 23. The Frances Willard House Museum will host historian Christopher Evans in conversation about his upcoming book, “Do Everything: The Biography of Frances Willard.” His book, to be published by Oxford University Press later this year, will be the first new biography of the Evanston icon in over 35 years.

Become a member!

From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality and in-depth journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.

Around the web

NAACP Evanston Branch prioritizes health and youth opportunities at town hall. Local NAACP leaders touted a renewed focus on health and wellness in their upcoming initiatives.

COVID-19 Testing Chain Opened Pop-Ups Across The US. Now, It’s Temporarily Closing Amid Federal Investigation And Mounting Complaints. The Center for COVID Control, a locally based chain of testing sites, is under national scrutiny and has been cited at the highest level by a federal agency as reports come in from across the country of chaos at testing sites and confusion over results. Amid the heightened scrutiny, the center announced Thursday it will close for a week starting Friday.

Some Illinois residents are using a new law to rid their property records of racist language. A new state law now in effect allows individuals, condo associations and other property owners to request that their local county recorder get rid of illegal restrictive covenants. The language commonly either barred Black people or explicitly deemed properties to be “white only.”

Newly uncovered manuscript reveals China invented the English language 700 years before the Western world, reports the Onion.

Like what you’re reading? Share it!

If you appreciate the RoundTable newsletter, please forward it to friends and suggest that they sign up!

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...