Column

Opinion: Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper Deepens Local Divide Over Globalization

Steven Vance

Last August, construction started on the Jeanne Gang-designed, Chinese-funded downtown skyscraper Wanda Vista, which will be the third-tallest building in Chicago when it is completed. The building has been heavily promoted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, but for some, it has become a symbol for the divisive effects of globalization on local economies once reliant on now-outsourced jobs, from manufacturing and engineering, to tech support and reading x-rays.

Column

Notes from the White Rhino

Obama’s Chicago farewell speech failed to inspire

Javier Suarez

It was January 10. I turned off the Obama Farewell speech at its conclusion in my hometown, feeling dejected and uninspired. As an Obama supporter, I expected insights and inspiration to deal with the next four—and hopefully not eight—years. But the Obama farewell speech came off not as the call to action he promised but a history lecture without a reasonable, unifying message from a person with privileged opportunities.

Column | Education | Politics

Notes from the White Rhino

Teaching Trump, to my children and students

Javier Suárez

My head was spinning at 12:30am when I knew the unexpected would happen. The last thing I typed before I went to bed around 2am was the first thing I would say to my eleven-year-old son and my eight-year-old daughter when they awoke:

Column | Education

Notes from the White Rhino

What Chicago Public Schools teachers are fighting for

Javier Suárez

As I begin my twenty-first year as an educator, I can honestly say I’ve never before felt the need to defend my profession as I have the last few years. When I started teaching at 22, I got lots of praise for choosing this career. But these days, I’m always on the defensive against so many people who have a negative view of teachers in Chicago Public Schools.

Back of the Yards | Column | Politics | Violence

Speed Bumps on the Road to Progress

Alderman’s new plan to reduce crime in Back of the Yards misses the bigger picture

NaomiEzquivel_NatalieGonzálezAccording to recent reporting by DNAInfo, 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez has proposed using around $400,000 from the ward’s infrastructure budget to install traffic circles and speed bumps in Back of the Yards (particularly in the area around Davis Square Park) in an effort to combat crime. The idea, according to Lopez, is that putting speed bumps and traffic circles on intersections around major parks will “restrict the amount of traffic coming into the [park] area,” “a definite deterrent to those gang members accustomed to driving in, shooting and speeding out.”

Column

Notes from the White Rhino: Fresh Hair

For Fred Castillo, being a barber is about more than cutting hair

Javier Suárez

Fred Castillo knows that when a man walks out of a barbershop, “most of the time, you feel like a million bucks.” While Fred feels proud of his work, he also sees that it’s about more than cutting hair. “It’s about building a friendship,” Fred explains. “At the barbershop, you develop a bond with the person you see every couple of weeks.”

Column | Lit

Woodlawn’s New Book Fair

Asadah Kirkland discusses her new creation, the Soulful Chicago Book Fair

Javier Suarez

The creator of the Soulful Chicago Book Fair, Asadah Kirkland, is a go-getter extraordinaire. A New York transplant, Kirkland’s always worked in the literary world, from managing a bookstore to writing, but the idea for the fair began with a random conversation at a café she frequents. Local entrepreneurs were discussing putting together a book fair in Woodlawn, a community not known for culture. Kirkland decided she would take the conversation from idea to reality and created the Soulful Chicago Book Fair, which will be held Saturday, July 16 on 61st Street between Cottage Grove Avenue and King Drive.