A joint statement by Karen Singer, CEO and Tiffany McDowell, Equity Institute Director, YWCA Evanston/North Shore in support of Evanston School District 65.
YWCA Evanston/North Shore is committed to eliminating racism and empowering women, and we support Evanston School District 65 administrators and school board’s anti-racism and anti-oppression work. A few years ago, we supported the district’s leadership as they embarked on the process of becoming an anti-racist district. That was a courageous declaration then, and the work to achieve that goal has been considerable and commendable.
Data on educational outcomes continues to show that the district still has work to do to better support Black and Hispanic/Latino students to reach their full potential. Acknowledgment of the history of racism in our education systems as well as other institutions is critical to understanding and dismantling the multiple ways that racism is embedded throughout our community.
We are disheartened and dismayed that there are efforts to dismantle the district’s work to address and eliminate systems of oppression that impact the children and families in our community. We are appalled at the violence that has been perpetrated on those associated with pursuing antiracist work. This is not the community we seek to become.
This moment is an opportunity to decide on the community we want to be. It is an opportunity for our community to come together to support our individual institutions and our collective community in our efforts to become an antiracist community and to be a community where all our children can thrive.
The larger issue we are facing is the truth – the power we give to our young people when we tell the whole story about what systemic racism and oppression has done and continues to do in our community and across this country. The YWCA stands steadfast in support of District 65 students, families, staff, and leadership as they continue their critical work.