In the thirty-plus years that Joan Lawson, eighty, spent treating sick people in their homes throughout Chicago as a public health nurse, she gained unique insights into the human condition. It wasn’t until the Vatican selected her to be part of a collection of stories about elders from all over the world, however, that she realized her words could have an impact.
Akenya is a singer, pianist, and composer from Chicago. In honor of the end of Lyme Disease Awareness Month, this past May, Akenya released a single titled “Decay.” Her fans have waited over two years since the release of her last single, “Disappear.” “Decay” intimately describes her experiences with Lyme Disease, an illness spread by ticks that can cause fatigue and pain, among other symptoms; some 30,000 cases are reported to the Centers for Disease Control every year. A percentage of proceeds from the song go to the LymeLight Foundation, which provides grants for Lyme disease treatment. The Weekly sat down with Akenya to talk about her relationship to Lyme disease and her single. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What happens when a teenager wants to abort a pregnancy? Do they need to have their parent’s permission? The new play This Boat Called My Body answers these questions. A production of For Youth Inquiry (FYI), the theater company of the Illinois Caucus For Adolescent Health (ICAH), This Boat engages its audience in a conversation about the murky waters that teenagers must navigate in order to access a safe abortion. Our journey through this conversation begins with the story of Jane.
In early December, the Teamwork Englewood office received an anonymous call from an affiliate of the Chicago Department of Public Health alerting them that the Englewood STI Specialty Clinic—one of four city-run clinics offering free testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections—would be shutting down.
Camesha Jones was about to enter graduate school for a degree in social work when she began to experience symptoms of a mental illness. This “somewhat traumatic” experience with the mental health care system four years ago led her to found Sista Afya, a mental wellness organization for Black women, this year. She hopes the group can help others overcome the challenges she and her family faced while going through treatment.
This week on SSW Radio, we spoke with the HUEY Gang team, learned about mental health in Black communities, and investigated the racist origins of a childrens song
If you can pay a kid ten dollars an hour to shovel snow, you could help keep him out of the drug business.
When Saeri Geller’s son was fifteen months old, she caught him eating paint chips in their home in Grand Crossing. A visit to the doctor confirmed her fears: Ian had dangerously high blood lead levels.