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September 22, 2017

News Submitted by School and Community Groups
By Representatives of the Group
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Taking Action with OPAL

OPAL (The Organization for Positive Action and Leadership) was founded three years ago at a time when there was some conversation in the community about race and equity, but not much action to change anything.

Who is OPAL? It has a Board of seven people and a growing membership (you can join at opalevanston.com/donate, $25 adults, $10 teens).

The more of us there are, the more we can do.

Here's what we're doing, please join us. And to learn more, come meet our Board, and other concerned residents taking action, at our next Community Meeting on Thursday, September 14, at Grace Lutheran Church, 1430 South Blvd., 6:30-8:30 PM. Childcare will be provided. . Sign up for our mailing list here. (If you're on Facebook, follow OPAL here. On Twitter, here.)

Pushing District 65 to (a) hire more black teachers and sustain those already here; (b) boost K-3 literacy and report on it to the public; (c) raise ISEL test scores of Black & Latinx children at JEH by 50% within 3 years and report periodically on progress; and (d) close the achievement gap. What you can do:



  • Sign on to our letter to D65 here

  • Attend D65 Board and committee meetings (schedule here)

  • Speak up about equity at D65 meetings

  • Share with OPAL the experiences you and your kids are having with D65 - share here

  • Speak up for equity in D65 in response to local news articles and posts on social media



Electing equity-minded people, and voter turnout. In April's election OPAL endorsed candidates for D65 and D202 school boards and City Council, most of whom were elected. Join us for the next election! Until then, what you can do:



  • Get to know your alderman, your School Board members, your City officials so you can be an effective advocate for equity

  • Get to know your State and Federal representatives and their staff by phoning their office regularly so you can advocate effectively

  • Join and work with other equity-minded organizations

  • Educate yourself on the issues



With participation from more concerned residents like you, here are more things OPAL would like to do:

Push for equitable policing by calling on City Council to hold the Evanston Police Department accountable. What you can do now:



  • Pay attention to local news events, and be informed

  • Attend City Council meetings and speak up for equity

  • Attend EPD town halls (call 311 for next date)

  • Share with OPAL your experiences with EPD - share here

  • Read articles about EPD in local news and social media, and respond

  • Attend EPD's "Coffee with a Cop" events and talk about equity

  • If you take the Citizens Police Academy course, advocate for equity



Encourage Mayor Hagerty to factor equity into his decision-making. What you can do now:



  • Follow Mayor Hagerty on Facebook, and speak up for equity

  • Share with OPAL your experiences with our Mayor - share here



Push the Library Board to improve equity in Library operations. What you can do now:



  • Attend EPL Board meetings (3rd Wednesday, 6:30 PM) and speak up for equity

  • Share with OPAL your experiences with the Library - share here

  • Read articles about EPL in local news and social media, and respond



Support equity-minded members of the District 202 Board in pursuing equity initiatives at ETHS. What you can do now:



  • Attend D202 Board and committee meetings (schedule here)

  • Speak up about equity at D202 meetings

  • Share with OPAL your experiences with D202 - share here

  • Speak up for equity in D202 in response to local news articles and posts on social media



TO LEARN MORE

Come meet our Board, and other concerned residents taking action, at our next Community Meeting on Thursday, September 14, at Grace Lutheran Church, 1430 South Blvd., 6:30-8:30 PM. Childcare will be provided.



Related Links:
• OPAL



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