Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
tempest NU

home : art & life : art & life April 28, 2016

8/14/2013 3:26:00 PM
National Night Out Brings Church/Dodge Community Together
Neighbors and friends make a statement against violence during Evanston’s annual “National Night Out.”                             RoundTable photo
Neighbors and friends make a statement against violence during Evanston’s annual “National Night Out.”                             RoundTable photo

The crowd gathered early on Aug. 6 for the annual National Night Out celebration in the parking lot at Church Street and Dodge Avenue, although City Clerk Rodney Greene noted that a few residents were still on the periphery across the street “waiting for things to warm up.” They would not have to wait much longer, for by about 6:30 p.m., the barbecue grills were hot and music was about to begin.

As she has done for the past eight years, Carolyn Murray organized the evening’s event. This year was particularly difficult, because her son Justin was murdered in Evanston a few months ago. “I had a little breakdown earlier,” she said.

“Someone asked me if I thought [the evening would prevent crime, and I said, ‘No, it’s not meant to deter crime but to bring the community together.’ Especially we have to do things to make kids feel safe in their community,” Ms. Murray said. To do that, Ms. Murray said, “We have to present a united front – no finger-pointing. [At meetings] everyone has to be included – the police, the clergy, the community.”

City of Evanston Youth and Young Adult Program manager, Kevin Brown, said National Night Out is “a great example of community pride – a coming together for the development of one another as human beings.” Bob Dorneker, assistant director of Parks, Recreation and Community Service, echoed that, saying events like these allow residents “to get together with neighbors and to have a conversation about who your neighbors are.”

Fifth Ward Alderman Delores Holmes said she feels events like this one, which attracted more than 150 persons, pull the community together. As darkness approaches, she said, there is a candlelight vigil at which the names of those in the community lost to violence are read. “This year we’re using pen-lights instead of candles.”

The area east and west of Dodge Avenue between Church and Emerson streets has been the epicenter of violence in the past year. Sixty-two names are on the list. “We had to add six this year. We count from August to August.” The names of the six persons lost to violence since National Night Out 2012 are Javar Bamberg, DaJae Arkel “Dae Dae” Coleman, Azim Hakeem, Mobeen Hakeem, Justin Michael Murray and Blake Jordan Ross.

“We lose too many of our kids to violence and crime,” Mr. Greene said.
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone’s story is different, but each story builds on the other,” said Mr. Greene. “This type of evening … gives hope and prayer – hope for tomorrow,” he added.

Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable welcomes your comments. We will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsHow To
tempest NU

Copyright 2008-15 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved
Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved