Executive Staff
Mary C. Piemonte
Mary C. Piemonte

Mary C. Piemonte currently works as Deputy Executive Director for We The People Media and the Editor-in-Chief for Residents’ Journal. Mary manages more than 30 low-income freelance writers, photographers, consultants and circulation assistants while managing part of the youth program. Mary is an national-award winning journalist and one of Residents’ Journal’s chief writers and photographers, who also oversees production of each issue of the paper. Mary has certification in nonprofit management from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.


Ethan Michaeli, Publisher
Ethan Michaeli, Publisher

Ethan Michaeli is the Executive Director of We The People Media. Ethan is the founder of Residents’ Journal and the Urban Youth International Journalism Program. Ethan was formerly an investigative reporter for the Chicago Daily Defender and is a current part-time faculty member in the Journalism Department of Columbia College-Chicago. He is the author of “Another Exodus,” an essay published in “Black Zion: African American Encounters with Judaism” (Oxford University Press) and is currently writing a history of the Chicago Defender newspaper, which will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2013. Ethan is a 1989 graduate of the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.





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Correspondents
Clemolyn Brinson
Clemolyn Brinson

Bio Coming Soon


Kay F. Carter
Kay F. Carter

Bio Coming Soon


Gail Dameron
Gail Dameron

Bio Coming Soon


Mia Dunlap
Mia Dunlap

Mia Dunlap grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes, Washington Park Homes, and the Atlgeld Gardens housing developments. She graduated salutatorian of her eighth grade class and in the top twenty-five percent of her high school, and left Chicago in 2006 to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. During her journey at Spelman, Mia spent summers doing internships in East Palo Alto, California, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Georgia. In spring 2010, Mia toured Ghana, West Africa for twelve days with Spelman’s Sisters Chapel. “Ghana affirmed me and reminded me that there is so much work to be done in our communities. I commit myself to that work.” Mia graduated from Spellman in spring 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. Beginning in fall 2010, Mia will be teaching at an African American boys school in Brooklyn, New York while simultaneously earning her Master’s in Early Childhood Education. “I’ve always had an affinity for young black males. God has given me a heart to breathe life back into a group that society seems to demonize and marginalize.” After her time in New York, Mia plans to return to Chicago to communities like the ones where she lived to give young people the courage to spread their wings and fly as so many have done for her. Mia’s life motto is a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”


Jovan Gathings
Jovan Gathings

Jovan was born on September 3rd, 1989 in Chicago, Ill. He was raised by his grandmother in the Robert Taylor Homes public housing development on Chicago’s South Side. He joined the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in 2002, graduated from Zenos Colman Elementary School in 2003, and graduated from the South Shore School of the Arts High School in 2007. Jovan was an Honor Roll Student and played basketball for two years. He briefly attended Chicago State University from 2007-2008, where he attained a 3.5 GPA. He joined the United States Navy on June 4th, 2008. When his service time is complete, Jovan is planning on attending college again.


Michael Ibrahem
Michael Ibrahem

Bio Coming Soon


Crystal Medina
Crystal Medina

Crystal Medina was raised in a north east scatter site apartment on the north side of Chicago. Through out her high school years she was a participant of the first Urban Youth International Journalism Program class. With the program, she was able to tour Israel and Ghana and that is when she realized that she had a passion for helping people. After graduating from Lane Technical H.S. she briefly attended Columbia College and began interning at Residents’ Journal office. Her internship soon turned into full time employment. Crystal is the Editorial Assistant for the Residents’ Journal and the columnist for Crystal Clear Views. She’s currently enrolled at Truman College, working towards a career in teaching.


Lorenzia Shelby
Lorenzia Shelby

Bio Coming Soon


Jacqueline Thompson
Jacqueline Thompson

Bio Coming Soon


Quintana Woodridge
Quintana Woodridge

Bio Coming Soon





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UYIJP Instructors
Claire Bushey
Claire Bushey

Claire Bushey is a freelance journalist based in Chicago, although her parents still hope she might go to law school. She’s written for Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Reader and Slate. She thinks her students at South Shore High School are awesome and brags about them to her friends.


Kari Lydersen
Kari Lydersen

is a staff writer for the Washington Post out of the midwest bureau and freelances for various publications including The Chicago Reader and In These Times. She is also a journalism instructor at Columbia College and author of Out of the Sea and Into the Fire: Latin American-US Immigration in the Global Age (Common Courage Press, 2005)





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Learn more about the Urban Youth International Journalism Program