Learn More: Dedicated to The Dream

Dedicated to the dream: working toward awareness and celebration...an invitation for curious families to listen, learn, and grow through accessible, thoughtful, kid-friendly experiences and conversations around race & culture

There is never a “feel-good” time to talk about race & racism.

But whether or not we talk about it, kids make their own meaning about race.

Here’s an opportunity to join the conversation.

Check out the Dedicated to the Dream program.

Family-friendly, hands-on workshops that incorporate art & play to:

  • Affirm all shades of skin
  • Explore our cultural + racial identities
  • Learn accurate history
  • Talk about what we’re learning and how we’re feeling

The “Getting Started” Workshop

Where can we start on our journey to understand race?

Let’s start with ourselves.

In this first workshop, your family will playfully explore foundational questions through hands-on activities:

Who Am I?
Explore what makes you “you” and the identities within your family.

Can you make a match?
In the past, and even now, our culture uses skin color to determine the value of human beings. Let’s question that narrative by looking at skin color through lenses of art and wonder. Learn how to mix paint to match your skin tones and describe your skin tone through pictures and words.

Why do we have different skin tones? What does it mean?
Learn the science behind the human variations of skin tone. Then create a family mobile that incorporates your identities and your learnings about race.


Select the one that works best for your family:


With breaks for games, snacks, and time to get to know each other.

Saturday, February 25 | 3:30 – 6 pm at the Robert Crown Library Branch


Put together your own group of families, find a time, and request a library facilitator in your registration. We’ll contact you!


Follow all of the activity instructions on your own at home. Register and we will get you all the information you need!

We can never all know the same things since we each have different experiences that shape our thinking, feelings, ideas, values, and beliefs. But there are some fundamental truths about race, racism, and our human history.

We’d like for everyone who participates in Dedicated to the Dream workshops to build their learning with the content and language in our foundational “Getting Started” workshop.

Once you’ve completed this workshop, you are welcome to register for any of the following workshops.

Continuing Our Journeys

Prerequisites: The asynchronous parent/caregiver orientation plus completion of the “Getting Started” workshop for families


Saturday, March 18
3:30 – 6 pm at the Robert Crown Library Branch

In this workshop, you’ll uncover elements of the Bad Guys’ culture. Then you’ll explore your own family’s traditions and customs, values, and beliefs to create a family culture tree. You’ll finish by putting together a family time capsule that highlights your family’s important memories, values, and culture.


Date and time TBD

In this workshop, we’ll explore how our brains are always busy. We will start to listen to and question the thoughts that randomly pop into our minds. We’ll do super fun STEM-y activities (slime, anyone?) and explore optical illusions to help us understand that what we notice about how a person looks doesn’t predict anything about their personalities, skills, or stories.


Date and time TBD

In this workshop, we’ll play with ice spheres for a hands-on look at under-the-surface racism. We’ll also practice figuring out whether situations have racist or antiracist ideas behind them. Lastly, we’ll use games and books to consider why we are still talking about racism, and begin to understand the impact of generational wealth inequities due to our American history of slavery and racist laws.

What to expect + how to sign up

The work of racial literacy is different for white people and people of color. And there are additional costs for people of color.

First of all, BIPOC folks are on the journey of understanding race and identity not by choice…and they are always on this journey. They are living the repercussions of a culture where everyone learns that “white is best” both personally and systemically.

When talking about race in mixed-race groups, BIPOC often experience an additional burden where they find they are expected to defend their experiences as BIPOC while educating white people about race and racism.

In addition, many materials explaining American history center the experience of white people and portray BIPOC in stereotypical or passive roles. And because of the atrocities committed against many BIPOC, BIPOC can experience trauma while learning about these hard histories.

These workshops are not comprehensive in any sense of the word. Currently, the content focuses on the experiences of Black people in America. We hope to expand our curriculum to include additional BIPOC identities in the future.

If you are a white-identifying family, please know that these workshops can be useful whether or not people of color also attend.

If you are a family of color or a multiracial family, please know that we will do all we can to create safe, brave spaces. We model using respectful boundaries and when possible we will create racial affinity spaces within workshops.

We have worked hard to include representation within our facilitators staffing each workshop, so there will always be someone who identifies as a person of color in a leadership role.

Meet our team

Carmen Francellno (she/hers)
Evanston Public Library Family Engagement Coordinator

Cozbi A. Cabrera (she/hers)
Author, Illustrator, Maker

Jessica Iverson (she/hers)
Evanston Public Library Early Learning & Literacy Assistant

Kellye Fleming (she/hers)
Evanston Public Library Library Assistant

Kennedy Joseph (they/them)
Evanston Public Library STEM Experiences Library Assistant

Sally Battle (she/hers)
Evanston Public Library Early Learning & Literacy Library Assistant

Tracy Olasimbo (she/hers)
Evanston Public Library Family Engagement Coordinator

Thank you for your interest!

For further information, please contact kjoseph@cityofevanston.org or jiverson@cityofevanston.org

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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