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A note from New Trier Neighbors:

Far be it from New Trier Neighbors to dredge up old controversies, but we have heard the calls to revive Seminar Day at New Trier High School and wanted to share some perspectives on the problems we saw in the 2017 version, along with our hopes for how we can do better in any future events.

The concern we expressed back in 2017 was the blatant lack of balance and diverse voices speaking about complex issues that, to be vetted fairly and honestly for our students, demanded hearing from a wide range of black men and women with diverse experiences, expertise, perspectives, and solutions.

We were adamant that more voices should be included in Seminar Day, voices that look at social justice issues from the perspective of economics, class, and access to education and opportunity, rather than just race. We made this case in 2017 both directly to New Trier administrators, and then publicly in a packed school board meeting. There, those who opposed adding diversity to Seminar Day shouted down black parents who asked for such voices to be heard – the only blacks to speak at the meeting. In the end, Seminar Day went forward with not one single contrarian divergent voice added to the roster.

Our community can do better. We hope to help New Trier High in its next Seminar Day examine the complex subjects of race and justice, while avoiding the cancel culture that usually accompanies these discussions, and in the process make the school a model for high schools around the country. We hope any future event will stand for the truth that All black lives, and All black voices, matter — and provide a forum for true inquiry and exchange on this very serious and timely topic of race and justice.

The Year in Review


Since New Trier Neighbors launched in October 2017 here is what you have made possible.  If you like what you see, please donate!

Sustained issue campaigns to inform and educate on the D39 tax levy process and Wilmette’s mandatory minimum wage/sick leave debates.

Evening events with famed CNN economist (and New Trier alum) Stephen Moore, attended by nearly 100.

A screening and discussion of the critically acclaimed “How Jack Became Black” at New Trier High School, promoting diversity in racial discussions and attended by 300.

“Mix-n-Mingles” in Winnetka, including hosting our local village trustees and school board members, and speakers including Nicole Neily of Speech First, Jason Hill of DePaul University, Ted Dabrowski from Wirepoints, Bob Muzikowski of Chicago Hope Academy and others.

Exposing race-based hiring practices and teacher segregation at a public school in Evanston. Related media coverage appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Holding productive discussions with senior New Trier High school administrators on both exposing students to more intellectual diversity, and listening to students who are concerned about political bias in the classroom.

Publishing bi-weekly newsletters keeping North Shore residents up to date on politicized “gun walkouts,” sexuality surveys in schools, and other “must-know” information that you won’t find anywhere else.

Growing our mailing list of North Shore New Trier Neighbors to over 1800!


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Mark your Calendars

Education and COVID-19: How schools will change, and how they should change, as a result of COVID-19

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

7:00 – 7:45 pm Central

Are you wondering what to expect for K-12 school in the fall?  Governor Pritzker just announced state guidelines for re-opening schools but has left many decisions to local school districts.

So how do you evaluate if your child is going to be properly educated in this new world of COVID-19, especially when planning for school seems like a moving target for school districts and families?  And what have we learned about the possibilities of virtual learning to enhance classroom learning that should be incorporated into standard classroom learning?

This recent Wall Street Journal editorial outlines concerns that many have.

Please join New Trier Neighbors, Empower Illinois and The Policy Circle for answers to these questions and to hear what is happening from national, state and local perspectives regarding school and COVID-19. We will also hear how virtual learning could bring education opportunity to underserved communities.

Our featured panel of experts, moderated by Beth Feeley of New Trier Neighbors, include:

Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep Charter Schools and Visiting Fellow at AEI (read Ian’s WSJ op ed from earlier this week)

Myles Mendoza, President of Empower Illinois

Barry Malkin, CEO of Carnegie Learning

You can read about our speakers here.

Register for the July 7 webinar here.

You must register by July 6 to receive the meeting link. Have a question you would like to ask our speakers?  Make sure to include them in your registration.  Questions will also be taken live at the event. The event is focused on Illinois but open to all – please share!

Register now!

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Help New Trier Neighbors bring common sense discourse to the North Shore today!


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