The following is a message from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl urging residents to participate in National Night Out programming in Evanston on Tuesday, August 2:
Our country has been faced this summer with a series of incidents that have once again brought to the forefront issues of race and equality in society. In Evanston, we have come together many times to discuss these issues and strategize on ways to address them in our community. These discussions have been the foundation for change in ways we police our community, how we create jobs for those that need them most and for better ways of communicating with one another. The need for dialogue on issues of race and equality continues in Evanston and communities throughout America.
This month, President Obama asked the nation’s Mayors to convene 100 community conversations on race relations, justice, policing and equality. I am asking everyone in Evanston to join me in a different approach in these discussions. Rather than convene a meeting at a community center some evening, instead I am inviting everyone to join me on Tuesday, August 2 in participating in 2016 National Night Out events. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and brings neighbors together to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. The City, the Evanston Police Department, neighborhood groups and community organizations annually come together at various locations in Evanston to enjoy a summer evening and get to better know their neighbors.
This year, I am asking that neighbors use this occasion to discuss issues of race and equality in our community and what we as individuals can do to make a difference. Some questions to discuss with your neighbors:
1. How would you describe the overall state of race relations in our community?
2. What are some of the underlying conditions affecting race relations in our community?
3. What things have you seen that give you hope for improved race relations?
4. What are some steps we could take to improve race relations in our neighborhood? In our organizations? In our schools? In our community?
5. What is each of us personally willing to do to make a difference?
I hope all Evanston residents will consider joining one of the National Night Out events listed below. Let me know what was discussed and ideas you and your neighbors developed. Reach me at 847-866-2979, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, @EvanstonMayor on Twitter, or on the City of Evanston'sFacebook page.