An image from the cover of the employee report outlining their complaints.

The City of Evanston Tuesday announced a roadmap to address issues raised in a report by a group of Black employees.

The roadmap provides a framework for addressing by the end of January issues raised by staff, including pay disparity, human resources practices, racial equity and anti-oppression initiatives and training.

City Manager Luke Stowe says the city is committed “to ensuring an inclusive, equitable and healthy work environment for all of our employees.”

He says the Evanston YWCA Equity Institute staff is assisting in developing the roadmap, training curriculum and implementation steps and that senior staff will attend a two day Beyond Diversity training session offered by Cradle to Career later this month.

Stowe has also asked the City Council to allocate $200,000 in the 2023 budget for training, consulting and related items.

In addition to holding a series of meetings with representatives from the employee group, all city staff will be invited to attend listening sessions led by a third-party consultant to gather concerns, feedback and complaints.

Stowe says that in addition to other actions, the city will research additional employee benefits, including tuition reimbursement, enhanced wellness programs and career planning and consider the creation of a leadership academy for new and aspiring organizational leader.

It will also hire an outside racial equity and anti-oppression consultant to provide training, guidance and best practices.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. When in doubt hire consultants. That’s with an “s” because no one in Evanston has any idea what to do

  2. Is City staff guilty of the accusations? If so, do you really think two days of diversity training will alter their behaviors? If the City plans on budgeting $200K of taxpayers money next year to fix this, we are owed more details and a chance for input. At my company, if someone is found guilty of oppression, discrimination, or any anti-DEI activities, they are terminated after a thorough INTERNAL investigation, not by bringing in consultants. It appears the actions the City is taking is an admission of guilt so I say shame on those responsible including our elected officials for likely ignoring warning signals as they do with so many of our emerging problems.

  3. Evanston should open up a competitive bid for outside law firms who specialize in this area of law to conduct thorough investigations and recommendations.

  4. Certainly some troubling accusations have been levied against the City. The racist tropes are concerning.

    I also wonder which departments were responsible for a disproportionately large amount of the tropes & other troubling lived experiences. Seems like a really high percentage of the stories pertain to the Police Department.

    A lot of the complaints about upward mobility seem to pertain to union jobs. In this instance, is the COE to blame or the Union?

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