Why take action with OPAL?
The more of us there are, the more we can do!
1. Join the email list
Sign up for our mailing list at the OPAL website, www.opalevanston.com. It's the best way to hear the news about what OPAL is doing, including community meetings, classes for parents, booths at community events, events co-sponsored with other community groups, and other initiatives.
2. Help us push District 65
We’re pushing District 65 to
• hire more black teachers and fully support those already here so that they stay
• fully support the new Executive Director of Black Student Success
• fully support the African-Centered Curriculum program and recruit students for it
• boost K-3 literacy and report on it to the public
• raise Kindergarten readiness of Black & Latinx children at JEH Early Childhood, and report periodically on progress
• close the Black student achievement gap.
What you can do:
• Attend D65 Board meetings and speak about racial equity. Ask to join our Talking Points email list to receive each meeting's agenda along with talking points.
• Join one of our subcommittees (Hiring, ACC, K-3 Literacy, JEH Preschool, and Discipline). We'll inform you when that issue is coming up on the D65 Board's agenda and send you the Talking Points email for that meeting.
• Share with OPAL the experiences you and your family have with D65 – call the OPAL message line, (224) 601-5414
• Speak up for racial equity in D65 around Evanston, to your friends, your elected officials, and respond to news articles and posts on social media
3. Become an OPAL member
Most of OPAL's activities are powered by volunteerism, but there are financial costs, including events, data display boards, Constant Contact, handouts and supplies. Support our work by becoming a member with a one-time donation of $25 (teen membership is $10). Become a member here.
4. Help us elect officials who “get” racial equity
We work to elect equity-minded public officials and turn out the vote. In the April 2017 election OPAL endorsed candidates for D65 and D202 school boards and for City Council, and most were elected. Until the next election, what you can do:
• Ask candidates about their stance on racial equity, and vote accordingly. If an elected official doesn't support racial equity in schools, help vote them out of office.
• Get to know your elected officials on City Council, the D65/D202 school boards and City of Evanston, 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 (Evanston Collective, NAACP, Open Communities, etc.)
• Educate yourself on the issues
There's even more we'd like to do, with your help.
5. 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, be informed
• Attend City Council meetings and speak up for racial equity
• Attend EPD events (town halls, Coffee with a Cop, Citizens Police Academy) and make your voice heard about racial equity
• Share with OPAL your experiences with EPD –call the OPAL message line, (224) 601-5414
6. Encourage Mayor Hagerty to factor racial equity into his decision-making. What you can do now:
• Follow Mayor Hagerty on Facebook, and speak up for racial equity
• Share with OPAL your experiences with our Mayor – call the OPAL message line, (224) 601-5414
7. Support equity-minded members of the District 202 Board in pursuing equity initiatives at ETHS. What you can do now:
• Attend D202 Board meetings and speak up about racial equity
• Share with OPAL your experiences with D202 – call the OPAL message line, (224) 601-5414
• Speak up for racial equity in D202 around Evanston, to your friends, your elected officials, and respond to news articles and posts on social media.