Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot campaigned on a promise to “Bring in the Light,” positioning herself as a progressive candidate who would uplift all Chicagoans. Prior to the runoff, the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) asked both candidates where they stood on food justice issues that impact Chicago’s communities. In response to the eight detailed questions in the CFPAC questionnaire, Lightfoot simply responded “yes.”
That Majani Catering is opening a South Shore brick-and-mortar restaurant in May after just four years of successful operations shows the tradition of veganism on the South Side remains alive and well. Along with Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel, Majani’s proprietor, Camilla Alfred and Gabrielle Darvassy also own and manage vegan food institutions in South Shore and Hyde Park. Each of these South Side residents possess similar but distinct visions centered on healthy and clean eating, and each see their restaurants as feeding more than just the stomach but also the brain, body, and soul. The Weekly spoke with Emmanuel, Alfred, and Darvassy to talk about their institutions, origins, and hopes for the future.
Just over a thousand feet south of the Museum of Science and Industry sits Jackson Park’s Wooded Island. In April of 2015, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in partnership with the Chicago Park District, began an $8.1 million restoration of Jackson Park. USACE falls under the purview of the Department of Defense, and builds military facilities, civil engineering projects, and other public works. This restoration project means Wooded Island could be closed for as long as five years until 2020—sad news, since the site is home to the popular Osaka Gardens and acts as both a birdwatcher’s paradise and local fishing spot.
“It’s about how I have experienced loving myself and the people around me in ways that are more grounded.”
The Kids Off the Block Youth Center on the corner of 117th Street and Michigan Avenue only recently reopened its doors. It had been closed since the end of the summer for repairs after the ceiling collapsed, and the organization is still in the process of reorganizin. However, while the center’s floors are scuffed from water damage, its walls tell a different story. Every inch, hand-painted by community youth, is covered in framed articles, plaques, and certificates documenting the achievements of the organization and its founder Diane Latiker, who has been honored as one of CNN’s Top Heroes of 2011 and a BET Award Honoree. All the work on the center, including the ceiling repairs, has been done by community members. Even the Kids Off the Block (KOB) sign at the entrance, which features a portrait of Latiker, was a gift from the youth when KOB moved into the building in 2010. Continue reading