Two consultants from Indiana brought a generally encouraging message about how Evanston is handling its equity and empowerment efforts to aldermen Wednesday night.

Kenneth Christmon and Krissy Creager, who are both associate vice chancellors at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, spoke to aldermen at a meeting in the aldermanic library.

Christmon, who said he once lived in Evanston years ago, said the aldermen and city staff have already moved far ahead of most communities in achieving equity by being open to addressing the issue.

Equity, he said, requires a clear commitment to creating an inclusive organization.

And problems, he said, are your opportunity to keep working on those equity issues.

In response to a question from Creager about what causes conflict in the community, Alderman Melissa Wynne suggested that it’s feelings of not being listened to and of helplessness.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said it also stems from a perception that the government can do things that aren’t really possible. “We’ can’t make affordable housing happen for everybody who needs it,” Rainey said.

Creager suggested an acronym — Acorn — to guide equity efforts:

  • Accommodate employee differences
  • Create workplace choices
  • Operate from a flexible management style
  • Respect competence and initiative
  • Nourish retention.

“You have that warm, welcoming environment,” Creager added.

Christmon said, “Bad stuff is going to happen. We’re all human beings. We all have shortcomings.” But, he added, its important for leaders to create and manage a culture that encourages everyone to be part of the solution.

The Wednesday night meeting launched a broader effort to provide equity training to members of the city staff.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Great!   Can we now eliminate

    Great!   Can we now eliminate Equity Director position and save a bundle?

    1. Equity….

      I’m confused about the message…was this just a feel good story ordered by Wally and presented by out of state consultants paid for by the tax payers. Expect nothing and the wheels of progress will grind away slowly despite local government.

      1. Leaders?

        Well…..a lot of Evanston’s “leaders” don’t have those capabilities.  they may SAY they have, but there seems to be a proliferation of hiring the wrong people…or people with the wrong personalities and/or mindset.  They’re there for the (large) paycheck…and that’s quite obvious.

  2. More Consultants !

    Have city officiials, including the schools never heard of Northwestern University ? Or if they thnk NU is so far behind the times,  UofChicago, Loyola, Depaul ?

    Could they not find a school in Cook County ?

    No they probably searched until they found someone at some school that would tell them what they already wanted to hear.

    BTW Who is the ‘equity consultant’ at EPL for Asians ? I see lots of Asians, esp. children at EPL. If as officiials keep saying there are so few in Evanston, then I guess they are a minoriity and need an equity person to represent them.

  3. Open to debate..Change my mind

    An encouraging message that sounds like fluff and really doesn’t say anything.  Yes, I will admit that it is my opinion the equity director etc. its a waste of money and won’t really do anything (and is not even needed).  BUT, my mind and perception is open and am willing to hear FACTS and SPECIFICS.  I am curious if anyone involved in this can state what they feel are specific wins/accomplishments to date?  What was a SPECIFIC problem and what were the SPECIFIC solutions.   Also any analysis of anticipated results vs. actual after the issue/problem was solved if available yet. I don’t want to hear about perceived issues (like arrest statistics) or any issue that is still just in a debate phase.  I am looking for  items with  RESULTS only.  

  4. Where’s the proof

    I keep reading about the need for “equity” and inclusiveness in Evanston, suggesting the lack thereof. Yet, I have not heard of one example of a real person denied “equity” or inclusiveness in our goverment and school bureaucracies. Where is it? Name names and incidences. 

    There is constant chatter of white privilege and even a “white supremacist culture” in our police department. Where’s the proof? 

    Based on all of this incendiary racial rhetoric in Evanston it would not suprise me if there is reverse racism going on in our local institutions. 

  5. All of these “privileged”

    All of these “privileged” white people pushing for equity for minorities are the same ones who go bonkers if somehow their precious child doesn’t get something.  Equity is only the solution if it affects someone else’s child.  

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