Evanston RoundTable
Protest organized by Evanston Fight for Black Lives, Memorial Day Weekend 2020 (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Good morning, Evanston.

The facts of what happened in Minneapolis just after 8 p.m. on May 25, 2020, are stark. Four Minneapolis Police Officers responded to a call from a store clerk that a Black man was suspected of having used a counterfeit $20 bill in his transaction. Three stood by while then-Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds, until he died. Mr. Floyd was unarmed. A crowd gathered, and some called 911. A brave young woman videotaped the horrific event.

Rallies, marches, and protests across the country and around the world ensued. In Evanston, an estimated 5,000 people gathered – angered, shocked, stunned, and more – to protest police brutality against racial minorities.

There may be those who would like to say on this grim anniversary that things have changed, that consciousness has been raised, and the country is headed down a better path – in short, that the worst is over. Evanston is wary of such complacency. Those who continue the fight for justice know that meaningful change is slow and often hard-won. A RoundTable editorial reflects on where things stand one year after George Floyd’s death.

Dr. Michael Allen, principal of Oakton School (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Oakton Elementary School Principal Dr. Michael Allen decided to become a school principal after seeing the transformation of his younger brother from struggling high school teenager to Ph.D. student. Dr. Allen and his brother published the middle-grade book, “Brotherly Love,” which tells their story while addressing subjects like hope, vulnerability, and mental health.

In anticipation of Memorial Day, veterans of VFW Snell Post 7146 and its auxiliary are selling poppies, a symbol of World War I. Memorial Day ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. on May 31 in Fountain Square.

ETHS is hosting a vaccine clinic on Wednesday, June 2 (for the first dose) and Wednesday, June 23 (for the second) for any student attending ETHS this coming school year. Individuals under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. COVID-19 vaccinations are now available without an appointment at Walgreens pharmacies in Evanston and across the State.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

Screen shot of Henry Wilkins, founder of STEM School Evanston.

Legacy of School Segregation, Part II, Visions for a Community School in the Fifth Ward. Students of the Emerge social justice club at Evanston Township High School moderated the forum last Thursday evening. Panelists included Sarita Smith, Manager of Student Assignments at District 65; Henry Wilkins, founder of the non-profit organization STEM School Evanston; and Karen Danczak Lyons, Executive Director of Evanston Public Library.  

New Anthology of Black Authors Has Evanston Provenance. The latest edition of Chicago Quarterly Review (CQR) features the work of 27 contemporary African American authors, including MacArthur Fellow, National Book Award winner, and Evanston native Charles Johnson. CQR was founded in 1994 by local author Syed Afzal Haider and was guest-edited by Mr. Johnson. The Quarterly’s fiction editor, novelist John Blades, is also an Evanston resident.

COVID-19 Update on May 25: ­­­­­­­­­­­­Two New Cases in Evanston, 808 in the State. The City reported two new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today, compared to one yesterday and three a week ago.

Announcement: Destruction of Special Education Documents in June. On June 25, in accordance with State law, Evanston Township High School will destroy the Special Education Records of students who graduated in 2015. To obtain copies of records before the originals are destroyed, graduates of the Class of 2015 or their legal guardians may contact the Special Education Office.

COVID-19 by the Numbers: We are checking in with many sources to keep you updated on COVID-19 cases and vaccine information.

  • Two new cases were reported yesterday in Evanston. The seven-day average is two.
  • Northwestern University reported just one new case during the seven days ending May 23. Northwestern students, staff, and professors living in Evanston are included in City test and case counts.
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 23 in Evanston and 67 in Illinois.
  • Our City’s seven-day positive test rate is 0.3%; in Illinois it is 2.1%.
  • Some 5.1 million or 40.1% of all Illinois residents are fully vaccinated.
  • According to City figures, 67% of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated. More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.

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