'It Is On Us To Dismantle These Structures': Skokie Residents Hold Vigil For Black Lives, Push For Change

Nancy Harty
June 15, 2020 - 10:51 am
Black Lives Matter

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- We’ve seen Black Lives Matter marches and protests in numerous communities in the last two weeks. Skokie residents added their voices to the call to end racial injustice with a vigil on Sunday and a plan of action going forward.

Organizers of the Skokie Vigil for Black Lives Matter want to take the enthusiasm from the Oakton Park event to push for changes at the local, state, and federal level.

"It is not enough to show up to a rally. It is not enough to post on social media. We need to follow up all of these rallies with actionable items," said organizer Annie Warshaw.

Warshaw and other planners have started a list of black-owned businesses that people can support and are encouraging residents to call for a review of the Skokie police department’s policies, as well as expanding black history lessons taught in schools.

The call to action also reminds people they can request mail-in ballots for the November election as soon as August 5.

"We want to end racial injustice and systemic racism. It does not fall to black and African American people to do so. It falls to white people. We are the ones who created these structures, and it is on us to dismantle these structures," Warshaw said.

Acknowledging questions in the Jewish community about supporting a leadership team that some see as anti-Semitic, because of statements about Israel, Warshaw said it’s not about the Black Lives Matter organization, but rather the whole movement.  

"We really want to communicate that today, so that the Jewish community here sees, yes, you do have the same shared values, you know what it feels like to experience this, there is absolutely no reason we should not be walking hand-in-hand to make these policy changes," Warshaw said.