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Little Village Toxic Tour

by Makylia Anderson 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our first-ever Eco Youth Reporters program, conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen, Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, and Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood. The Eco Youth Reporters program is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation:

The smoke stacks of the Crawford coal plant in Little Village look like giant chimneys. This is one of many pollution sources in Little Village, a small, mostly Mexican neighborhood on the Southwest Side that is affected by a lot of pollution and where finding a job is very hard.

Eco Youth reporters Makylia Anderson and Tyreshia Black reporting in Little Village. Photo by Kari Lydersen.

During a “Toxic Tour” with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), we saw different polluting industries including MRC, a plastics recycling plant that melts down car bumpers and other things. LVEJO has had many meetings about MRC.

Many people report breathing problems and there are also high rates of cancer, according to LVEJO, in the area around MRC and another facility, Meyer Steel Drum.

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Categories: Homepage UYIJP

The Health Effects of Pollution in Pilsen

by Tyreshia Black 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our first-ever Eco Youth Reporters program, conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen, Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, and Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood. The Eco Youth Reporters program is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation:

Parents gathered in Pilsen on May 11 at the Casa Aztlan Community Center, 1831 S. Racine, to get information on how to try to keep their children safe from lead poisoning and other sources of pollution in the Near Southwest Side neighborhood.

People at the meeting were extremely concerned about lead from the smelter H. Kramer and also about particles and other pollution from the Fisk coal burning power plant. Doctors and city health officials were also there.

Chicago public health department doctor Cortland J. Lohff informed the audience that lead is a dangerous compound that can cause poisoning depending on dosage. Children ages six months to six years old are most likely to get lead poisoning, according to Lohff. When they play in parks and playgrounds where there are high levels of lead in the soil, it can easily get into their systems and cause brain damage and behavioral problems.

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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)

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Categories: Homepage Uncategorized UYIJP

Residents’ Journal Publisher talking about an Environmental Project for Youth

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the first episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on July 11, 2011.

Watch Residents’ Journal‘s Publisher Ethan Michaeli talking to our Urban Youth International Journalism Youth Program Coordinator Quintana Woodridge about our teen reporters’ participation in the environmental project funded by the McCormick Foundation.

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Categories: Homepage Uncategorized Video

Youth Media Reporter

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Ethan Michaeli, Executive Director of We The People Media and Publisher of Residents’ Journal, recently published an article about our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in the Youth Media Reporter, an important publication serving those who instruct and direct journalism initiatives for young adults. The article was invited by the Youth Media Reporter through a coalition of Chicago youth media groups assembled by the McCormick Foundation, the major sponsors of our youth program.

To read the article Click here

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Publisher’s Box

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

We’re back. Our regular readers will notice that Residents’ Journal has not published in a few months. I apologize for this delay. As a not-for-profit organization, we are dependent on foundation support, and the grants did not come in the way we hoped for in 2005.

I will admit that there were times the Residents’ Journal staff wondered if we would ever publish again. But we kept at it, broadcasting over our Web site, www.wethepeoplemedia.org, and on “Residents’ Journal TV,” our television program on the CAN-TV network. We also reached out for help and got great support both from our fellow journalists and from the broader community. In the spring, the Chicago Headline Club announced that Editor-in-Chief Mary C. Johns and Assistant Editor Beauty Turner – as well as our partners at the Chicago Reporter, Alden Loury and Brian Rogal – won first place in the Media Collaboration category for our report, “Deadly Moves.” In the summer, the Society of Professional Journalists announced that “Deadly Moves” won the First Place Award in the first-ever New America category. I got to accompany Mary and Beauty when they went to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to pick up their award. I even got to take the photo of Mary posing with legendary CBS anchorman Dan Rather. The “Deadly Moves” team was asked to train other journalists on the techniques of successful collaborations at the SPJ convention in Las Vegas later that year.
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Publishers’ Introduction: Deadly Moves

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher and Alysia Tate, Publisher of The Chicago Reporter

A plan intended to transform the lives of public housing residents has also transformed the city’s illegal drug market — often with deadly results.

The stories in this issue document that connection. They are the products of a year-long partnership between the Residents’ Journal and The Chicago Reporter, a 32-year-old investigative magazine which keeps leaders and concerned citizens informed about the ways race and poverty shape our region’s key issues.
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Categories: Investigative Reporting Uncategorized