ARCHIVES

Success through Self Determination

by Quintana Woodridge 

UYIJP graduate Keisha Ruth outside Memorial Hall before class at WIU. Photo by Quintana Woodridge.

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by Urban Youth International Journalism Program Coordinator Quintana Woodridge, herself a graduate of the UYJP. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

The Urban Youth International Journalism Program (UYIJP) has graduated thousands of young people from the J-101 journalism training classes since we got started back in 1998 and we are proud of all of them. But once in a while, we like to shine a spotlight on those who deserve some special recognition. Keisha Ruth, a graduate of the 2011 class of UYIJP who is now a junior at Western Illinois University, is proof of that the past doesn’t matter and the future can be a success.  

Read more »

Tags: , , , ,
Categories: Homepage UYIJP

Altgeld Gardens Tries to Stay Cool

by Quintana Woodridge and Alisha Jacobs 

A playground not equipped with sprinklers in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development stands empty during the recent heat wave. Altgeld has a shortage of cooling centers. Photo by Quintana Woodridge.

Editor’s Note: The following article was co-written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program class at People for Community Recovery, a not-for-profit organization based in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development, and Quintana Woodridge, our youth program coordinator.

Over the summer, Altgeld Gardens has been feeling the heat. The residents in the Chicago Housing Authority public housing development on the Far South Side have not had a public place where they can go to stay cool. Most of the rehabbed units in the development have central air systems in their housing units, but when they are not working, there are very few places to go. The nearest swimming pool is also closed and there are no sprinklers in the play lots throughout Altgeld.

A few residents recently expressed their concerns about the Phillis Wheately Center Library being closed on several hot days during the month of July; at the time there was a heat advisory across the Chicago area. The residents were under the impression that the library is a designated cooling center. Residents were shocked to find out that a central air conditioning system was not installed in the library when it was opened.

“When it’s hot out we open the windows and put fans throughout the library. If it gets too hot we don’t open the library for that day,” said Shante Jackson, the children’s library associate told Residents’ Journal youth reporter Alisha Jacobs. Jackson went on to say that for a few weeks in September, the library will be closed so that an air conditioning system can be installed. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , ,
Categories: Homepage UYIJP

Historical Gallery: Barack Obama

by Quintana Woodridge 

We The People Media/Residents’ Journal takes a look at Barack Obama during his years in Illinois.

President Barack Obama announces the new Department of Health and Human Services director at the Chicago Hilton Hotel after the November 2008 General Election. Residents' Journal Photo by Mary C. Johns.

President Barack Obama and Education Secretary-nominee Arne Duncan in late 2008. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

President-elect Barack Obama, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan in late 2008. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

Barack Obama at a presidential debate sponsored by the AFL-CIO at Soldier Field in August 2007. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

Natasha "Sasha" Obama holding a campaign sign during her father's 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Environmental Journalism Program Image Gallery

by Quintana Woodridge 

For the past few weeks, Chicago youth involved in the Eco Youth Reporters program, funded by the McCormick Foundation, have explored global environmental issues on a local level. They interviewed local experts on topics ranging from coal plants to the dangers of invasive fish species. Under the guidance of award-winning reporter Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, these journalists are learning to effectively cover the larger environmental issues and spread awareness within the Chicago community through print stories, photography and video documentation.

Tyreshia Black snags invasive zebra mussels. (Photo by Kari Lydersen)

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Homepage Uncategorized UYIJP

Cabrini-Green Residents Say Goodbye

by Quintana Woodridge 

Young people in the Cabrini Connections Marching Band. Photo by Quintana Woodridge

Demolition started today, March 30, 2011 on the last high-rise building standing in the Cabrini-Green public housing development.

Former residents gathered to say their goodbyes to the last visual proof that life and memories were created on the grounds of the building at 1230 N. Burling Ave. Former and present residents gathered in the vacant lot adjacent to the building sharing memories and their thoughts on the art project that was created to commemorate the high-rises – LED lights were placed in the Burling building’s 134 apartments by Jan Tichy, a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago. Many of those gathered in front of the building talked about the proposed Target Store that may be built on the property where the building currently stands.

There were various views on the store potentially replacing the high-rise. Reginald Grant, a former resident of Cabrini-Green who founded the mentoring organization 100 Men Standing, came back to guide young men and women in the Near North community.

“I see the lights blinking,” Grant said. “It’s a good change from the lights we use to see. It was thunder behind the lights we used to see blinking.”

He went on to say that the building’s demolition is progress. “It’s a lot of sad memories over here and sometimes people want to forget those memories. I could never forget the community because the community is the people,” Grant said.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , ,
Categories: Homepage

Mayoral Candidate’s Plans for Low-income people and Ex-offenders

by Quintana Woodridge 

Chicago mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins told Residents’ Journal in an interview that she felt a sense of responsibility to run for mayor, and she would carry the voice of the people into decision making of the city.

If elected mayor, Watkins said the people of Chicago can expect an “open government with transparency,” Watkins said during a visit to Residents’ Journal’s offices.

Chicago Mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, talking to Residents' Journal reporter Quintana Woodridge, on January 1, about her plans to service low-income people of the city, if elected Mayor this February 22. Photo by Mary C. Johns

Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Homepage Special Reports

Dealing with the Digital Television Transition

by Quintana Woodridge 

“I don’t have a TV. I use my internet to get information on what’s going on around the world. My cable bill is $50 a month with taxes. It was recently disconnected due to prorated expenses that were too much,” said Ebone Young.

Young is a resident of the South Shore community on the Southeast side of Chicago. She is one among millions of low-income citizens not only in Chicago but across the United States that do not have access to television programming due to the Digital TV conversion.

Read more »

Tags:
Categories: Uncategorized

Urban League Sues for School Equity

by Quintana Woodridge 

Black and Latino students are more likely to attend an under-funded school than whites because of the ways schools in Illinois are funded, according to a lawsuit filed by the Chicago Urban League against the State of Illinois.

The Urban League originally filed suit in August 2008, asserting that the State of Illinois is violating the Illinois Civil Rights Act by discriminating against families based on race and has deprived African American, Latino and other minority children of a high quality education.

Read more »

Tags:
Categories: Uncategorized

Off The Edge

by Quintana Woodridge 

“When men stand up, boys will get in line, girls will feel cared for, women will feel provided for, families will feel protected, and communities will be safe.”

That is the philosophy of the Rev. Bernard Clark, who recently co-founded a new organization called Off the Edge with his wife Latonia Clark.

Read more »

Tags:
Categories: Uncategorized

U. S. Citizens Decry Relatives’ Deportation

by Quintana Woodridge 

You could have heard a pin drop at the town hall meeting at Saint Pius V. Catholic Church on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008, when U.S. citizens spoke about family members who were deported. Many people cried as they heard the testimony of families ripped apart and deported back to their original homeland by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement department (ICE). In the front of the room, where the town hall meeting was held, there stood a shrine dedicated to the families whose loved ones were taken from their homes.

There on display were posters of families with a family member blotted out, representing those who were sent back and remain absent from the family. The meeting was hosted by US Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL). Among these families that were torn apart was Maria Garcia-Lynch. Lynch is a US citizen married to Dominico Papaianni, who was one of the many people that came on a visitor’s visa to America and didn’t leave. Lynch and her son Richard both dressed in black and with tears in their eyes, stood in front of the meeting telling their story.
Read more »

Tags: , ,
Categories: Uncategorized