On a rainy and unseasonably cold October day, Sam Koentopp and others from the national nonprofit organization The Kitchen Community (TKC) was leading the kickoff for the Woodlawn Charter School’s new Learning Garden. Every twenty-minute class began in the cafeteria, with a discussion about gardening and the importance of winter crops—crops that are planted not to be harvested, but to keep the soil filled with nutrients over the winter—and continued out in the garden.
The University of Chicago announced on January 26 that over the course of this year, the nonprofit South East Chicago Commission (SECC) will gain considerable independence from the university. Much of the SECC’s university funding will be cut, and the university will no longer be able to appoint or approve the organization’s board members. According to both parties, the move reflects the SECC’s need to reevaluate its direction as an organization.
David Omotoso Stovall knows how to hold a crowd. Watching him engage the audience at Seminary Co-op on a January afternoon, it is easy to imagine him connecting with a classroom of teenagers at eight in the morning. Stovall is a professor of educational policy studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), but he also teaches a class on “Education, Youth, and Justice” at the Greater Lawndale High School for Social Justice (SOJO). His talk at the Co-op centers around his book, Born Out of Struggle, which documents his involvement with the school’s creation.
Chicago Public Schools budget cuts are nothing new, and it was hard to be surprised at the announcement in August that funding for more than 900 positions had been cut this year. What’s easy to miss in these continuing cuts is just how quickly important school resources can vanish. The presence of school librarians has been shown to improve everything from standardized test scores and childhood literacy rates to graduation rates and professional development, yet librarians have been disappearing from CPS.
By the time the third annual South Side Pitch started at 7pm, more than 150 people had arrived at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where celebratory blue-and-white balloons adorned the outside of the new Hyde Park startup incubator. Here, aspiring entrepreneurs from the South Side would make their case in pursuit of advertising, event space, and other business resources.
For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the politics and priorities of Freedom Summer never stopped. King’s arrival in 1966 from the embattled South ignited the Chicago Freedom Movement, and the conditions in northern, urban, and de facto segregated Chicago changed King and his beliefs. It was in Chicago that King intensified his call for economic justice as a goal both beyond and including racial integration.
“The city’s done a good job on playing down [lead contamination] as not being a problem, while at the same time they recognize it is a problem and are doing things to mitigate it.” Troy Hernandez
“There could be twenty-eight families on the street.”
“Let the people decide, and let’s hope for the best.” – John Sandoval
“I love to create. Refashion, reuse, repurpose. I love to make stuff.” –Felicia Alston