'Stronger Together' community rally encourages togetherness in Mundelein

  • Trey Baker, right, is greeted by his former high school basketball teammate, Brendan Coburn, currently a Miami of Ohio college student, who tells him, "You've inspired me," after Baker gave an emotional speech as part of the Mundelein High School Black Student Union "Stronger Together" community gathering Saturday.

      Trey Baker, right, is greeted by his former high school basketball teammate, Brendan Coburn, currently a Miami of Ohio college student, who tells him, "You've inspired me," after Baker gave an emotional speech as part of the Mundelein High School Black Student Union "Stronger Together" community gathering Saturday. John Starks/jstarks@9dailyherald.com

  • Trey Baker, of the Mundelein High School Black Student Union, speaks at a "Stronger Together" community gathering Saturday at Keith Mione Community Park in Mundelein.

      Trey Baker, of the Mundelein High School Black Student Union, speaks at a "Stronger Together" community gathering Saturday at Keith Mione Community Park in Mundelein. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Jade Jean Lee of Gurnee sits quietly with dozens of others during an 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence at the Mundelein High School Black Student Union "Stronger Together" community gathering in Mundelein Saturday.

      Jade Jean Lee of Gurnee sits quietly with dozens of others during an 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence at the Mundelein High School Black Student Union "Stronger Together" community gathering in Mundelein Saturday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A crowd practices social distancing while listening to speakers at a "Stronger Together" community gathering Saturday at Keith Mione Community Park in Mundelein.

      A crowd practices social distancing while listening to speakers at a "Stronger Together" community gathering Saturday at Keith Mione Community Park in Mundelein. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/18/2020 7:15 PM

The diverse crowd on the grassy hillside for a "Stronger Together" community rally in Mundelein were socially distant but emotionally close after powerful speeches by Mundelein High School's Black Student Union members Saturday.

The two-hour event at Keith Mione Community Park was punctuated with a stirring speech about respect for all races by Trey Baker, a senior who encouraged the crowd to commit to change.

 

"Commitment to the solution is an answer to the problem," he said from the podium. "Get in the boat and help paddle."

Afterward, Brendan Coburn, a former classmate of Baker's and now a Miami of Ohio University student, hugged Baker, saying, "You've inspired me."

Black Student Union and community members spoke of peace, love and togetherness. The event ended with 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence, a common part of recent rallies to remember the time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd, who died while being arrested on charges of using a $20 counterfeit bill.

The purpose of the Black Student Union at Mundelein High School is to create more diverse activities for the student body, raise cultural awareness and promote a more positive image of black students.

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