Evanston RoundTable
Ricky Byrdsong’s family, from left: daughters Sabrina and Kelley, son Ricky Jr., and his widow, Sherialyn. Credit: Rich Cahan

Good Monday morning, Evanston!

It’s a sunny, bright Juneteenth. Today is the federal holiday and a chance to keep celebrating with family and friends.

If you’re up and about early, try to enjoy the outdoors as we are getting out of the balmy, cooler temperatures and back to the not-quite blistering heat today, the National Weather Service tells us. The high will be about 92 – a prelude to hotter times on Tuesday. Now, on to more news.

This year’s Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate was a moment to move but also, organizers said, to act on race relations in Evanston and the nation. The event has been held every year since 2000, one year after former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong was shot and killed while jogging near his Skokie home with two of his children. His widow Sherialyn Byrdsong, friends and family organized this memorial race. “We wanted to turn the tragedy into a victory,” said Byrdsong. “We had to have a positive response. You have to do something.”

Evanston Public Library officials were at a crossroads in 2012 when Karen Danczak Lyons became the city’s new library Executive Director. She retired last week after a decade leading the library and talked with the RoundTable about her tenure. “We’re not defined by our walls. We are out [in the community] and then welcoming you in and so [there’s] that continuing dialogue and that community engagement,” she said.

Week in Photos: Did you take any family photos for Father’s Day? Send photos of events and activities around Evanston to news@evanstonroundtable.com, and we’ll share them in our weekly photo roundup tomorrow.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Adina Keeling

Evanston scenery dazzles in Glorious Garden Walk. Evanstonians headed outdoors this weekend to explore six local gardens displayed in the Glorious Garden Walk, hosted by the Garden Club of Evanston. The walk featured two public gardens – the Wildflower Trail Garden at Lighthouse Beach and the Shakespeare Garden on Northwestern’s campus – and four private ones.

Bobby Burns: Finding community. In Episode 13 of the Evanston Rules podcast, Fifth Ward City Council member Bobby Burns shares how the various people in his life have made a difference, including Evanston Rules host Ron Whitmore, his kindergarten teacher.

The Art of Making Art: Lucy Knisley. Evanston’s Lucy Knisley creates comic books (i.e. graphic novels) for which she writes the story, draws the images and colors the pages. The middle grade and young adult fiction targets 8-18 year old readers. To date, she has published more than 15 comic books. She also does other professional illustration work, speaks at Comic Con as well as other conventions and works with young adult school groups.

Credit: Submitted

They do: Love at first strike. In case you missed the debut Sunday of this new column (and we hope community service,) take a quick look at the story of how our inaugural couple met at the bowling alley. “They do” is a celebration of love and marriage, in whatever way you define it. If you have a story, please tell us.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston. Detail of mural with paint, tile and mirror on Foster Street west of Jackson Avenue by artist Alfonso Piloto Nieves Ruiz and community members.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial.

Join us. 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

Evanston Shares Special Connection to Woman Known as Grandmother of Juneteenth. Juneteenth, a federal holiday, will be celebrated this weekend and the northern Chicago suburb of Evanston shares a special connection to the woman known as the grandmother of Juneteenth.

White Parents Rallied to Chase a Black Educator Out of Town. Then, They Followed Her to the Next One. Cecelia Lewis was asked to apply for a Georgia school district’s first-ever administrator job devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion. A group of parents – coached by local and national anti-CRT groups – had other plans.

Push for Reparations in Chicago Remains at a Standstill. A Chicago City Council subcommittee was created two years ago to examine how the city could pay reparations to descendants of enslaved African Americans. But since then, it’s met only twice.

Northwestern University Graduate Workers reports survey results on graduate students’ needs. Fifth-year Ph.D. student Rose Werth said one of the goals of the survey was to help graduate students who feel alone in their struggles recognize community.

Like what you’re reading? Share it!

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

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...