The Evanstonian

Get Woke, Stay Woke

Students find empowerment at summits

Speaker Devea Williams, and dancers Jacline Baptiste and Dominick McIntosh at 2018 Black Summit.

Speaker Devea Williams, and dancers Jacline Baptiste and Dominick McIntosh at 2018 Black Summit.

Litzy Segura

Litzy Segura

Speaker Devea Williams, and dancers Jacline Baptiste and Dominick McIntosh at 2018 Black Summit.

Meredith Herrick, News Editor

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A powerful speaker has just walked offstage, and the student audience is cheering. At that moment, many ETHS students feel like someone understands them. From February to April, ETHS hosts a Social  Consciousness series of summits that focus on the diverse identities of the student body.

The Black Student Summits on Feb. 6 and Feb. 8 were organized by staff member

Lauren Hamilton. This year, Hamilton organized the summits by last name due to the influx of students attending in previous years.

“Choosing to no longer have a gender-segregated event brought students together in community,” Hamilton said.

This year’s slogan was “Get Woke, Stay Woke.”

“I think the message was really good, and it was teaching us something meaningful,” sophomore Drew Patterson said.

The LGBTQ+ summit is on March 2 and is organized by biology teachers Bill Farmer, Adriane Slaton and the GSA  (Gender Sexuality Alliance) club.

“We want to tackle the mental health issues that are present in the LGBTQ+ community,” sophomore Saige Severin said.

Since last year was the first LGBTQ+ summit at ETHS, the GSA is working to accommodate as many students as possible, but the maximum capacity is about 250.

The Latinx Summit is on March 9 and is being organized by Academic Advisor of the AIT, Margarita Vizcarra, along with the help of clubs like Latinx QUEST.

The summit will have speakers like Jasmine Gardinas, a Chicago storyteller who will help students find their voices. This year’s theme is “Encuentra Tu Voz” or “Find Your Voice”.

“With the Latinx Identity, there are so many different kinds of people,” Vizcarra said. “We want to include everyone and help students find their stories.”

One of the key issues that is going to be addressed in the summit is the lack of acknowledgement to diversity within the Latinx community.

“With the political climate in this country right now, it brings immigrants together,” junior Eleana Morales said. “I think that’s really important.”

The Asian and Middle Eastern summit will be on April 12 and is being organized by SAME and AAHA Clubs. Coordinators are Anita Thawani Bucio, English and AVID teacher; Ferzana Chavda, social worker; Takumi Iseda, Communications Coordinator; and Angela Sangha-Gadsden, English teacher. There will be enough space for 160 students to attend.

“We are having such amazing people come tell their stories,” Bucio said. “We’ve been working to include everyone who identifies as Asian or Middle Eastern, nearly doubling our size from last year.”

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Get Woke, Stay Woke