Evanston Township High School community lauds first Black Male Summit


Marissa Mizroch/The Daily Northwestern

School District 202 board members talk at a meeting Monday night. Attendees discussed the positive effect of the Black Male Summit, which took place at Evanston Township High School in September.

Marissa Mizroch, Reporter

The School District 202 board and the Evanston Township High School community gathered Monday night and praised the Black Male Summit and the impact it had on students.

The summit, held at ETHS on Sept. 26, encouraged black male students to stay in school and achieve academic success.

“This is from a parent who said that this was the best curriculum that ETHS could offer,” ETHS principal Marcus Campbell said. “She feels that her son can now go to college with a better sense of who he is as a black man.”

At least 412 students attended the conference, and 73 percent reported an excellent experience, according to a survey taken after the summit. ETHS senior MD Shelton said students reacted positively to the event.

“All of the comments and concerns that students had going in, immediately coming out, were over,” Shelton said. “As a student, all the feedback I got was tremendously fabulous and so positive.”

Members of the board commended the event for the effect it had on the student body. Pat Savage-Williams, vice president of the board, said the summit is just the first step of many efforts to create a more inclusive environment at ETHS.

“The Black Male Summit was a concrete beginning, and I hope we can see this repeated over and over,” Savage-Williams said. “This is not the only group we want to target. However, we have a beginning. We’ve learned how to target groups. We’ve learned how to support groups.”

Teachers, students and other members of the school community spoke to the uniqueness of the summit during time for public comment.

“Feeling embraced to be a black male, I think that theme was consistent throughout the day,” Shelton said. “I would make the case that the vast majority of the young there got a sense of what a great legacy they are a part of, and it increased their level of pride.”

Andrew Bempah, a senior at ETHS, said the summit helped him prepare for life after graduation.

“I just got back from a college visit,” Bempah said. “One thing I noticed when talking to minorities at these different colleges is that they felt academically prepared for these universities, but they weren’t prepared in terms of self-awareness or identity. I feel that ETHS has done a lot to help academically, but the Black Male Summit was one of the first things I noticed that provided value to black males in terms of self-awareness.”

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