Event Celebrations

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This page lists events celebrating the MLK Birthday and Black History Month in chronological order. 


MLK_illustrationDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebrations


Noon, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.

The City of Evanston invites everyone to attend the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Unity" on Saturday, January 13, beginning at noon. The celebration will be held at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St., Evanston.

This celebration promises to be inspiring and entertaining, as it will focus on the Civil Rights Movement and the young people who are continuing the struggle today. The keynote speaker is ETHS grad and Northwestern University student Nolan Robinson and King Arts student Ca'ron Walker will give a spoken word presentation. Other speakers scheduled to appear include Mayor Stephen Hagerty, 5th Ward City Council Member Robin Rue Simmons, and former Mayor Lorraine H. Morton.

The Evanston Children's Choir, Second Baptist Church Children's Choir and Faith Temple Children's Choir will perform and refreshments will be served after the program courtesy of Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. All are welcome to stay and meet their Evanston neighbors.

Jan. 13 - Y.O.U. Diverse Communities United (DCU)

2- 3:30pm, Evanston Township High School Auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave.

Diverse Communities United (DCU) is Y.O.U.'s annual celebration of peace, diversity, unity, leadership, and service help in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year's theme is "I am deliberate and afraid of nothing" (Audre Lorde, New Year's Day). 

The youth-led event will feature performances and artwork by youth from 11 schools across Evanston and Skokie who seek to realize Dr. King's vision today.

The event is FREE, family-friendly, and open to all ages. A community reception will be held in the lobby outside of the auditorium immediately following the program.

Jan. 15 - Northwestern University events

7pm, Campus Observance: Alpha Phi Alpha Candlelight Vigil.  Alice Millar Chapel (1870 Sheridan Rd.)

Alpha Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc hosts this annual tradition, which includes a keynote address from an invited guest speaker. Northwestern musical students groups also perform, with a reception to follow. Sign language interpreted event. Open to the public.

Jan. 19 - Northwestern University Day of Service

5-6:30pm, "Inside Chicago" Norris University Center (1999 Campus Drive), McCormick Auditorium followed by buffet reception in Wildcat Room. A discussion about Chicago’s racist history with local community leaders. Interactive, fast-moving educational program followed by buffet dinner in Wildcat Room. Free and open to the public.

7-8pm, Lift Ev'ry Voice. Norris University Center (1999 Campus Drive), Buffet Reception in Wildcat Room followed by performance. "Lift Ev'ry Voice" will be an open mic dedicated to providing a "megaphone" for black Northwestern students' voices. Participants are encouraged to share up to 10 minutes of a play, a song, a poem, a short film, a speech, etc.  Submissions are closed. Email val.buchanan@northwestern.edu with any questions. 

Jan. 18 &20 - "Afrocensored"

7pm, Shanley Pavilion (2031 Sheridan Road)
Afrocensored by Amira Danan is a play that explores the lives of three black women from different walks of life. By way of travel through Paris, these women come to the realization that they may be less alone in their experience than they believed themselves to be.

Jan. 20 - Chains on Chocolate

2pm & 3pm, Shanley Pavilion (2031 Sheridan Road)
Chains on Chocolate, a play by Elliot Sagay, investigates how slavery may have been molded into new forms throughout America's history. By touching different moments in history, the play aims to relate to the modern day through the lens of similar black men.


Jan. 25- Campus Observance: Keynote Speaker Charles Blow

6pm, Ryan Auditorium (2145 Sheridan Road)
Charles M. Blow, New York Times Op-Ed columnist and CNN commentator, where he tackles hot-button issues such as social justices, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Mr. Blow will give a keynote address on both campuses. Mr. Blow  Northwestern musical groups will perform. Open to the public. Sign language interpreted event. 

Jan. 26 - Harambee

6-8:30pm, Norris Center, Louis Room (1999 Campus Drive)
Swahili for ‘pull together’, the term "Harambee" is most often used as a rallying cry in Kenya for people to come together in community and gather resources. While Swahili is one of thousands of languages spoken in Africa and throughout the African diaspora, here at Northwestern, we ‘pull together’ in the spirit of community, history, and approbation of African, Afro-Carribean, and African American culture. Bringing together students, staff, faculty and alumni, Harambee kicks off Black History Month and features a variety of performances, music and food for everyone to enjoy. Sponsored by: For Members Only: Northwestern's Black Student Alliance (FMO) , Multicultural Student Affairs

Jan. 31 - Artmaking Event: Witness Quilt

Welcome at Block Museum of Art, 6-7pm (40 Arts Circle Drive)
Sewing Circle at Segal Visitors Center, 7-9pm (1841 Sheridan Rd)

Join Melissa Blount, Evanston-based artist and activist and creator of the Black Lives Matter Witness Quilt, to produce a new collaborative work of art. No sewing experience is required. RSVP appreciated at http://bit.ly/WitnessQuilt  

 Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month in February!

Local organizations and groups are invited to submit Black History Month events and programs for posting on the City of Evanston's website. Information should be sent to communications@cityofevanston.org.

Events will be posted as soon as they are submitted.

Feb. 5 - Haven Middle School and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre celebrate "BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH THE COMMUNITY"

6 p.m., Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

Some of Evanston’s youngest and most talented theatre artists will perform a celebration of Black History with a performance that will have you cheering and applauding all the way home. All ages are welcome. Admission: $5 at the door. 

Feb. 12 - Black Evanstonian History Makers Up Close

7 p.m., Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre is hosting a very special meet and greet evening with former mayor Lorraine H. Morton, former City of Evanston council member Delores Holmes, entrepreneur/activist Hecky Powell, and others.  On this evening we will bring together just a few of the many Black Evanstonians who forged a better path for a community in need of hope and change. Hear their stories of adversity and triumph firsthand. Bring your children to this historical event so they can meet these extraordinary people up close, and even take pictures that all will cherish for a lifetime.
A reception with light snacks and beverages will be served after the presentation. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 847-866-5914. 

 February 19 - Selected Performances of 100 Acts of Resistance

7 p.m., Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre (FJT)

Do we know each other? Do we see each other? Can we listen to one another? Connect with one another? Transcend our differences and unite for the bigger cause? 100 Acts of Resistance, conceived by MPACCT’s artistic director Reginal Lawrence, taps the talents of Chicagoland’s diverse performing artist community to explore acts of resistance, large and small, through an array of eclectic performances. It’s a chance to leave the echo chamber of our own personal politics. A chance to listen, connect with our diverse communities, examine our collective struggles, and investigate our strategies to transcend the divisiveness that dominates the national conversation. FJT and MPACCT are collaborating to support art and artists to help make America great.

Admission is $10. For more information, please call 847-866-5914. 

February 24 - Le Tour de Noir

Join us for the third annual tour of Black-owned Evanston businesses followed by a Business Expo. Details will be posted as they are confirmed.

 February 25 - Red Summer: A Staged Reading

 7 p.m., Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

Chicago in the summer of 1919 experienced seven of the bloodiest days in America’s history with boiling heat, sweltering racial tensions, cold politics, a housing crisis, an immigrant crisis, and an employment crisis. What could possibly go wrong? Red Summer takes a look at the toxic stew that Chicago has been simmering for more than a century.

This event is presented by Fleetwood-Jourdain and MPACCT Theatres. Admission is $10. For more information, please call 847-866-5914.