At summit, students discuss violence, discrimination

Sara Peck

Discrimination, violence and sexism were three of many topics discussed inside Evanston Township High School Saturday during the Evanston Youth Council’s second annual summit for local students.

Entitled “Our Generation Segregation,” the event included breakout sessions, a film screening, and a speech from an author and former refugee. Students organized and chose the theme of the event, Evanston Youth Coordinator Sol Anderson said.

“We wanted to attack the issue of segregation and I think we’ve set up a good framework,” Anderson said.

A $5,000 grant from local government and donations from Evanston restaurants funded the conference. Youth council members, including high school senior Kandice Dean, guided the discussion.

“(My group) felt that the media has a lot of input about what people do and if we promote an increase in positive messages, we can make a change,” Dean said.

Other student concerns were the stricter city curfew law and gang-related violence in the 8th Ward.

“Violence is a reaction to outside factors like discrimination or poverty,” Anderson said. “If kids are going to break the law, the curfew law is the least of their worries.

SESP sophomores Allie Gordon and Alison Schaffer helped plan the summit for their Service Learning Certificates.

“We want to take whatever comes out of this and turn it into something the city can use,” Gordon said.

After the discussions, attendees watched ETHS junior Sara Pitt’s documentary about segregation, which she said changed her views on race and discrimination.

“I didn’t realize until I starting taping in the cafeteria… how real segregation is,” she said.

Charles Jefferson, an ETHS sophomore, attended the summit for the first time and said he hopes to see similar programs in the future.

“Forums like this are a way to get more students involved and not out on the streets,” he said.

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