After 14-year-old Dajae Coleman was buried this weekend, local nonprofits are hosting a public conversation on the impact of his death in a shooting last week.
The Evanston Township High School freshman was shot four times by a 20-year-old Evanston man who apparently believed Dajae was somebody he knew, according to police.
Community members are invited to come out to an open forum this Monday, Oct. 1, hosted by the McGaw YMCA, Y.O.U., the James B. Moran Center For Youth Advocacy, YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Youth Job Center of Evanston and Family Focus – Evanston.
Dajae Coleman: The Story So Far
“First, we want to hear the stories,” event organizers explained in an e-mail. “We have heard stories of youth who cannot sleep at night because they worry about being the next victim of senseless violence. We have heard stories from parents who fear they cannot protect their children from harm's way. We have heard stories from teachers and mentors who can deal with the death of an aging parent, but just don't know how to handle the death of a 14-year old.”
Parents and their children are invited to take about how Dajae’s death has impacted their own lives. Then, representatives of the local nonprofits involved will share information about community initiatives to prevent violence and support young people.
The event begins at 7 p.m. at the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center Auditorium, 1420 Maple Avenue. RSVP online; parking is available in the south lot of the YMCA, off Lake Street.