National Day of Action Against Police Brutality

More than 100 people rallied at Chicago’s Daley Plaza at noon on Oct. 22, the National Day of Action Against Police Brutality. Later that evening, activists held a vigil outside of the 11th District Police Station, in honor of Roshad McIntosh, 18, who was fatally shot in East Garfield Park in August.

Teachers rally for missing Mexican students

Worldwide protests over the disappearance of more than three dozen Mexican college students spread to Chicago on Wednesday. 
A group of about 40 teachers—members of the Chicago Teachers Union and CTU Latino Caucus—gathered outside of the Mexican consulate to demand that more be done to find the missing students and punish those responsible for taking them away from their school two weeks ago. The 43 missing students attended a rural teaching college in Ayotzinapa, in the southern state of Guerrero. 
The group delivered a letter to the consul general, asking for the safe return of the students and demanding that the government go after those responsible. 
“We will continue to be vigilant about the circumstances surrounding the students and teachers in Mexico, and will continue to fight to defend public education and the human and political rights of all citizens,” the letter said. 
Demonstrations at consulates in the U.S. and Europe were planned to coincide with a national protest in Mexico. Some of the biggest protests in Mexico have occurred in Chilpancingo, just 20 minutes from where the students were taken. In Mexico City, about 10,000 people took to the streets. Shortly after the students disappeared, however, a mass grave was found containing 28 bodies.

Fast-food workers strike for $15 minimum wage

Hundreds gathered outside the McDonald’s in Chatham this morning to strike for a $15 minimum wage. Members of various groups including Action Now, Arise Chicago, and Chicago Jobs with Justice, came to support the Fight for 15 campaign. More than a dozen were peacefully arrested after blockading 87th Street. [Photos by Michelle Kanaar]

Reporter News: Summer 2014

Reporter María Inés Zamudio accepted a position as an investigative reporter at The Memphis Commercial Appeal. During her three years at The Chicago Reporter, Zamudio covered immigration, labor and health care. The Reporter won two awards at the Chicago Headline Club’s 2013 Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism. Angela Caputo and Rui Kaneya won Best Non-Deadline Reporting in Newspaper or Magazine, Non-Daily, for the November/December 2013 cover story “Charges Dismissed,” and the magazine was honored with General Excellence in Print Journalism, Non-Daily. Caputo was also a finalist for the Better Government Association’s 2013 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting for the same article.

Youth Empowerment Performance Project debuts ‘FACES’

Members of the Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) debut an original work called “FACES” at the Free Street Theatre on Thursday, June 12. The goal of YEPP is to provide a safe environment for homeless LGBTQ youth to explore their stories and celebrate their empowerment through the process of creating a performance piece. Their latest show looks at the different faces that society attributes to the ensemble members, juxtaposed with the faces they strive to present for themselves. To read a Q & A with Executive Artistic Director Bonsai Bermudez click here.

From the South Side to the White House: Maya’s impact on Michelle

During her speech at Maya Angelou’s memorial service at Wake Forest University on Saturday, first lady Michelle Obama shared a personal connection with the poet and author that existed well before the two ever met. Obama recalled as a young woman being inspired by Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman,” a poem that “spoke to the essence of black women, but she also graced us with an anthem for all women –- a call for all of us to embrace our God-given beauty.” Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips.

Freedom Summer: A bridge to the present

The summer of 1964 challenged Jim Crow segregation and a complacent America that had done little or nothing to ensure democracy for its black citizens. Nearly 1,000 young volunteers swept into Mississippi to register African-American voters. Even in the South, the state was notorious for its racist brutality toward blacks and white integrationists. Early that summer, white supremacists kidnapped and murdered three civil rights workers. By the end of that momentous summer, officials had found the remains of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi.