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Black Men Lead the Conversation


From Our Neighborhood News, Winter 2019 . 

In December, Northwestern partnered with Evanston Township High School to bring together students from both institutions as part of the Black Men LEAD (Learn, Engage, Achieve, Discover) initiative.

With around 10 students from Northwestern and 20 from the high school, the event afforded participants an opportunity to discuss themes common to both groups’ experiences, including what it means to be a black man in their respective communities. Administrators, faculty, staff, and graduate students also participated.

Members of the Collective, a group for black men at Northwestern, were among the attendees. Begun in 2017 and now in its second academic year, the Collective regularly comprises 20 to 30 students who meet weekly to talk about issues around race in college.

A Northwestern senior, Wallace says the high school and University communities cohabitate but seldom intermingle: “Northwestern is very much in the consciousness of the larger Evanston community, but as students, we often don’t access that portion of Evanston. We wanted a partnership to better understand what it means to be a Northwestern student and an ETHS student.

Members of the Collective are now looking forward to continuing to meet with ETHS students and are thinking of new events— perhaps a monthly book club or an open invitation to Collective meetings.

To learn more about Black Men LEAD, contact Kristen Perkins at