Evanston RoundTable
The original Foster School, circa 1905. (Shorefront Legacy Center photo) Credit: Shorefront Legacy Center

The Evanston Public Library sponsored the first of two forums last Thursday night about “The Legacy of School Segregation” in Evanston. Dino Robinson, the Founder and Executive Director of Shorefront Legacy Center, and Mary Barr, author of “Friends Disappear,” were the featured speakers. Evanston youth organizers representing the group Talking Whiteness moderated the forum. Mr. Robinson gave a short history of how Foster School became segregated during the period 1905 through the mid-1930s, and how it was desegregated in 1967. Mary Barr looked at “psychological integration” and traced school segregation back to its roots in segregated neighborhoods.

The second forum, titled, “Visions for a Community School in the Fifth Ward,” is scheduled for May 20.

Lesch Puts Evanston Back on State Gymnastics Map. The experience of competing at the Illinois High School Association state gymnastics finals laid a foundation for Aryeh Lesch to build on for next year. At the same time, the Evanston junior also showed the gymnasts who will wear the Wildkit uniform in future years that it IS possible for an ETHS competitor to rise to the top after decades of frustration in the sport for the boys program. Lesch became the first Evanston male gymnast to earn a State medal since 1988 on Saturday at Hoffman Estates High School, placing fifth in the vault and seventh on floor exercise to cap a remarkable season.

Johnson Sets Hurdles Mark at Deerfield Invitational. Kalil Johnson dominated the hurdles competition at another major invitational Saturday. Just wait ’til the weather warms up. The Evanston senior broke the Deerfield Invitational record in the 110-meter high hurdles, winning in 14.49 seconds, and then established his own personal best on his way to a triumph in the 300 hurdles, breaking 40 seconds for the first time in his career with a clocking of 39.46. The Wildkits mustered only one other first-place finish – by Matt Cless in the high jump – in an otherwise lackluster performance, however, and settled for sixth place in the team standings.

This Week in Evanston






  • Evanston Township High School In-Person Commencement Ceremonies at Lazier Field – Memorial Stadium  (A Virtual Graduation Ceremony will also be held Sunday, May 23, at 10 a.m.)
  • “Ravinia” at Levy Join the Levy Senior Center and one-man-band musician Randy Walker as he performs favorite tunes from the ’60s outside in the James Park Soccer Field, next to the Levy Senior Center gymnasium. Bring your lawn chairs and beverages. Masks required. No charge, all are welcome. 6 to 7:30 p.m.  


All week

Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

Microaggressions at ETHS. I am a sophomore at Evanston Township High School, and I feel like it is safe to say that Evanston likes to present itself as a progressive beacon when in reality, it consistently falls short. We saw this pattern when Evanston passed a reparations bill that ultimately was just a glorified housing bill and when ETHS set up a hybrid model almost entirely guided by vocal white families.

Interfaith Action of Evanston Hospitality Center Celebrates 35 Years. Community members are invited to celebrate the 35th birthday of Interfaith Action of Evanston’s Hospitality Center with a special virtual event at 7 p.m. on May 23. On the FaceBook Live event – no account required – there will be musical tributes from local musicians including renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine and local rapper Big Chuck.

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

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in Evanston dropped to 29 the week ending May 16, down from 46 the week ending May 9.
  • Northwestern University reported eight new cases the week ending May 13. Northwestern students, staff and professors living in Evanston are included in City test and case counts. 
  • Evanston School District 65 reported two new cases among students and no new cases among staff members for the week ending May 14. The number of students in quarantine was 48. 
  • There was one new reported case among students and staff at ETHS last week. ETHS reports eight students in quarantine.
  • There were no fatalities reported last week. Evanston has lost 117 residents to the pandemic. 
  • Our City’s seven-day positive test rate is 0.6% and in Illinois it is 2.4%.
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the last seven days is 39 in Evanston and 89 in Illinois.
  • As of Sunday, 4.8 million or 37.6% of Illinois residents were fully vaccinated.

Evanston Vax Facts: According to City figures, 80% of Evanston residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 62% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated and nearly 100% of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose and 94% are fully vaccinated. More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.

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