Dear Evanston came out of a group project that began during the 2016 cohort of Leadership Evanston, which is sponsored by the Evanston Community Foundation.
Initially, its goal was to be a social media campaign to encourage Evanstonians to submit their thoughts about and experiences with youth gun violence. As the project evolved, it centered on a Facebook page, which now addresses not only youth gun violence in Evanston, but the many factors that contribute to it, such as race and issues of equity and economic disparity.
Dear Evanston also works to give voice to leaders in Evanston on these issues, promote organizations and programs that address these issues, provide a place for voices of Evanston residents that are not often heard, and build bridges between Evanston’s residents, neighborhoods, and wards.
In addition to social media, Dear Evanston organizes events and gatherings (for example, we co-sponsored On The Table/Evanston with Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in May 2016, organized a gun-violence awareness rally at Fountain Square in the spring of 2016; co-sponsored the first-ever Fifth Ward Festival in August 2016 (together with Citizens Greener Evanston and residents of the fifth ward); and organized four buses for 220 Evanston residents to ride to the Women’s March on Washington, which will take place on January 20 and 21, one day after the inauguration of Donald Trump).
Dear Evanston’s goal is to ignite Evanstonians’ interest in learning more about Evanston’s history, engage residents of all ages in thinking about the roles that race and equity play in our city, and encourage people in every neighborhood and ward to reach out beyond their comfort zones to connect with the amazing people of various races, ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds who call Evanston home.
We encourage you to post opinion pieces, stories, poetry, photography, artwork, videos and other creative expressions about youth violence and its effects. We work hard to post up-to-date news and information about incidents of gun violence, police response and reports.
Dear Evanston posts and reposts articles, editorials and other opinion pieces from various media on the subjects of gun violence, youth violence, race and equity and other information that we believe will be of interest to our followers. We regularly highlight profiles of and interviews with elected officials, community leaders, organizations, and residents of all ages, genders, races, religions, and sexual identities who are working in various ways to help reduce gun violence in Evanston and strengthen and empower our youth.
Dear Evanston also posts information about state and national gun legislation and shares information, when appropriate, from organizations that support sensible gun laws.