WBEZ | Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en StoryCorps Chicago: Rev. Jim Wallis talks about ‘America’s Original Sin’ http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-rev-jim-wallis-talks-about-%E2%80%98america%E2%80%99s-original-sin%E2%80%99-114843 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/3f81706a-3284-4cab-b63e-b5b1c3fcac02.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The Rev. Jim Wallis is the founder of Sojourners, a Christian community dedicated to social justice. He&#39;s also the author of twelve books on religion and politics. He stopped by the StoryCorps booth in Chicago recently to talk about his latest book, &quot;America&#39;s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Wallis is white and had few black friends growing up. But one of the African-American friends he did have made a lasting impression on him.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>This story was produced through a partnership between StoryCorps and the Chicago Community Trust.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="http://www,storycorps.org">StoryCorps&rsquo; </a>mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 17:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-rev-jim-wallis-talks-about-%E2%80%98america%E2%80%99s-original-sin%E2%80%99-114843 Chicago Launches First Black Restaurant Week http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/chicago-launches-first-black-restaurant-week-114744 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Peytyn.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Chicago&rsquo;s annual Restaurant Week activities may be winding down, but &nbsp;Sunday marks the launch of a new restaurant week--one aimed at spotlighting Chicago&rsquo;s black-owned eateries.</p><p dir="ltr">The project is called <a href="http://chicagoblackrestaurantweek.com/">Chicago Black Restaurant Week </a>&nbsp;and it&rsquo;s the brainchild of social media management specialist Lauran Smith. She says the weeklong event is not so much a reaction to the other Restaurant Week as an addition to it. And the timing is just a co-incidence.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I chose the week because before there was Black History Month, way back in 1926 Dr. Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week, which was always the second week in February,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So I said let me honor his initial vision to honor African Americans who have played a part in our history. And let me do the restaurant week so it can commemorate what he did and so we can start something new in 2016.&rdquo;</p><p>So Smith invited about a dozen Chicago area restaurants and bakeries to discount some of their top dishes for the week. Participating spots include Truth Italian Restaurant in Bronzeville, Flavor Restaurant in Richton Park, Jordy Cakes in Country Club Hills, Pizzazzed Plus and Lighthouse Wholefood Grill in Hyde Park.</p><p>I recently stopped by Truth Italian to talk to its owner Peytyn Willborn. She says she&rsquo;ll be featuring discounted versions of her wings, chicken Alfredo and Atlantic salmon. And she&rsquo;s eager to show off her food.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;People need to know that we offer great food, that black people can cook,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Even though I don&rsquo;t cook here. But we&rsquo;re drowning. We&rsquo;re small fish in a big sea and people need to know we&rsquo;re here. So I love the fact that we are having our first Black Restaurant Week.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">When I asked Willborn why she and many other African American restaurant owners didn&rsquo;t participate in the main Restaurant Week, she said that many of them had never heard of it. Plus, she says, there are relatively few African-American entrepreneurs who get into the restaurant business. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">She notes that she was able to open her place using savings from her other businesses (a hair salon and a group of day care centers) but she knows that others don&rsquo;t have that capital available.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I was one of the blessed ones,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But African Americans have dreams, we just don&rsquo;t have the money and we have to have someone to believe in us.&rdquo;</p><p>Indeed, a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/black-hispanic-entrepreneurs-discriminated-against-when-seeking-small-business-loans/2014/06/03/70059184-ea86-11e3-9f5c-9075d5508f0a_story.html">national study</a> out by Brigham Young University and other researchers suggests that minorities have a harder time getting business loans than whites with the same qualifications.</p><p>But even with financing barriers, Chicago&rsquo;s black entrepreneurs have opened dozens of restaurants all over the area, and consumers are hungry to know about them. <a href="http://beansouptimes.com/#sthash.AnMurAiI.dpbs">Bean Soup Times </a>publisher Toure Muhammad learned this last year when he compiled a list of black-owned eateries in the area.</p><p>&ldquo;I came up with 123, and there&rsquo;s actually more than that,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And I think it sparked something. I probably got eighty or ninety thousand hits [on that story] in a month and people still come to it. There&rsquo;s a realization in the community that the more we support black-owned businesses the more jobs are created and kept in the community. It&rsquo;s similar to the shop local movement.&rdquo;</p><p>The reaction to the list, he says, has inspired yet another black-owned restaurant event that he plans to launch in the summer.</p><p dir="ltr">Only a fraction of those 123 restaurants are signed up for this year&rsquo;s inaugural Chicago Black Restaurant Week (at press time it was nine). But Smith says she&rsquo;s just starting and hopes to expand every year. In the meantime, she hopes this year&rsquo;s effort will encourage African-Americans and others to give a few more black-owned businesses a try. &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/chicago-launches-first-black-restaurant-week-114744 StoryCorps Chicago: Search for Estranged Father Helps Heal Old Wounds http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-search-estranged-father-helps-heal-old-wounds-114741 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 160205 Anastasia Bill bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Anastasia Page is a twenty-five-year-old <a href="http://www.anastasiapage.com/">documentary photographer </a>in Chicago. As a kid, she met her biological father only once, when she was four years old. Five years ago she started a <a href="http://www.discoveringzalmon.com/">documentary project to help process her feelings about her father</a>. She recently came to the StoryCorps booth to talk with WBEZ&#39;s Bill Healy about a turning point in that project. Page says when her mom remarried, her step-dad wanted to adopt her. But they couldn&#39;t make it official until her biological dad signed off on the paperwork.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-search-estranged-father-helps-heal-old-wounds-114741 Cook County State’s Attorney Democratic Candidates Debate http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-28/cook-county-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-democratic-candidates-debate-114634 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WBEZDEBATE2_CREDITAndrewGill.jpg" style="height: 217px; width: 620px;" title="From left to right: Cook County State's Attorney Democratic Candidates Donna More, incumbent Anita Alvarez, and Kim Foxx." /></div></div><p>Candidates Kim Foxx, Donna More and incumbent, Anita Alvarez square off on gun laws, juvenile justice, and prosecuting police officers. WBEZ&rsquo;s Tony Sarabia moderates the match-up of one of the most-watched contests in Chicago this election season.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">HIGHLIGHTS</span></strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/190472086&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div><hr /><p><strong>ALVAREZ OPENING STATEMENT</strong></p></div><div>&quot;Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not to their own set of facts. ... As I sit here today, I am not the choice of the Cook County Democratic party. And why is that? Because I&#39;ve run this office ...with integrity, and I make decisions on the facts the evidence and the law.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>FOXX OPENING STATEMENT</strong></div><div>&quot;...the world is watching. The events of the last several months have brought great attention to what&#39;s been happening here in Cook County, and the issues are not relegated just to the last several months--they&#39;re decades in the making.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><strong>MORE OPENING STATEMENT</strong></div><div><p>&quot;I&#39;m the only candidate who doesn&#39;t answer to political bosses, so I am free to follow the evidence wherever, and to&nbsp;whomever&nbsp;it leads.&quot;</p><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_1729.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div><strong>ALVAREZ on being denied funding for community justice programs</strong></div><div>&quot;Ms. Foxx was part of that denial of me getting more money to expand my community justice centers.&quot;</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><div><strong>FOXX on diversity in the SA&#39;s office</strong></div></div><div>&quot;When we look at the number of Latinos and African-Americans who are in positions of leadership in [the SA&#39;s office], it is abysmal in relation to the communities that we serve.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>MORE on mental health facilities and prisons</strong></div><div>&quot;It costs us $147 to keep someone in jail. It costs us $110 a day [to keep someone in a] mental health facility--with a much better outcome.&quot;<hr /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_1717.JPG" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 207px; width: 310px;" title="Donna More, Former Federal Prosecutor and Illinois Gaming Board Attorney (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /><div><strong>MORE CLOSING STATEMENT</strong></div><p>&quot;Both of my opponents represent the status quo. ...Most people are tired of political speak. ...&nbsp;You want&nbsp;to talk about innovation? Innovation is about doing what&#39;s right, and being transparent.&quot;</p><div><strong>FOXX CLOSING STATEMENT</strong></div><p>&quot;We define this office by the everyday cases whose names we may not recognize. Laquan McDonald&#39;s name was a name that was able to be hidden for 400 days because he wasn&#39;t a name people that knew. ... We need in this county real leadership in moving us forward from this chaos. ... The SA has been in office for 8 years, and these &#39;innovative programs&#39; she&#39;s talked about have been in place for less than one. We need bold leadership.&quot;</p><p><strong>ALVAREZ CLOSING STATEMENT</strong></p></div></div></div><div><div>&quot;I have never done this job any political reason. I was a social work major in undergrad.&quot;</div><div>&quot;I take great insult to the implication that I am not open to the community...What neither of my opponents&nbsp;want&nbsp;to talk about: the victims of crime. That&#39;s who we serve. ...and public safety is my number one concern.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p></p> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-28/cook-county-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-democratic-candidates-debate-114634 StoryCorps Chicago: Brothers Adopted by Different Parents Reconnect Later in Life http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-brothers-adopted-different-parents-reconnect-later-life-114573 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bros.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>When Ken Jackson got married a little over a year ago, one of his groomsmen was Jeremy Rodgers. They&rsquo;re biological brothers, that is, they shared the same mother, but they&rsquo;re 13 years apart in age. Both men were adopted when they were young. They knew they had siblings, but not much more than that.</p><p>They came to StoryCorps to talk about meeting each other three years ago. Rodgers tells his adoption story first.</p></div><div><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="http://www.storycorps.org">StoryCorps&rsquo; </a>mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 12:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-brothers-adopted-different-parents-reconnect-later-life-114573 Rauner Talks Candidly About Lack of Investment in African-American Communities http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-talks-candidly-about-lack-investment-african-american-communities-114535 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_774446373568_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner held a lengthy news conference Tuesday to explain a new program meant to connect minority entrepreneurs with successful mentors in business. But details of the program took a back seat as reporters pushed Rauner on what&rsquo;s driving the need for the program in the first place.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Speaking at a U.S. Bank branch on Chicago&rsquo;s far South Side, Rauner was asked why venture capitalists like him haven&rsquo;t put more resources into African-American communities.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s higher risk,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;The risk-return tradeoff isn&rsquo;t as favorable as going right back to Silicon Valley again. That&rsquo;s why. That&rsquo;s a fact.&rdquo; Rauner said money follows opportunity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Here&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s happening: African-Americans are in Chicago in massive numbers,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t come here because we had a great welfare system or a great minimum wage. That&rsquo;s not why they&rsquo;re here. That&rsquo;s not why the people of Illinois are here. We&rsquo;re here for opportunity...That opportunity is being bled away. It&rsquo;s not about a government program. It&rsquo;s not about more government money. We are not competitive in Chicago. We are not competitive in the State of Illinois.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rauner then related that lack of opportunity in Chicago&rsquo;s minority neighborhoods to how the state lost its bid to attract General Electric to move its corporate headquarters to Chicago. GE announced earlier this month that it was moving its headquarters to Boston.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;My perception is, if we weren&rsquo;t number one, we were right there,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;They wanted to be here.&rdquo;</div><div>Rauner said Tuesday the company held off on making its announcement to see if he would be successful in passing the policy changes he&rsquo;d been advocating for, which have included limits to collective bargaining and term limits for state lawmakers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Democrats have rejected many of those policy changes, saying they would harm the middle class.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I had to be able to look &lsquo;em in the eye and say, &lsquo;There&rsquo;s gonna be a balance of power between the insiders and government and taxpayers here.&rsquo; I couldn&rsquo;t say that and they ran out of time waiting,&rdquo; Rauner said. He would not say which of Rauner&rsquo;s policies GE supported. &nbsp;A company spokesman was not immediately available for comment.</div><div><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1453322633-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//RAUNERGE_TA.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him<a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"> @tonyjarnold.</a></em></div></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-talks-candidly-about-lack-investment-african-american-communities-114535 Aldermen Showing New Streak of Independence? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-19/aldermen-showing-new-streak-independence-114520 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Capture_2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A group of aldermen have proposed an ordinance that would give the city&rsquo;s inspector general jurisdiction over the City Council as well. This is a move away from the Council having their own IG. The ordinance was scheduled for a vote, but that got bumped to next month&rsquo;s meeting at the will of the Council&rsquo;s most powerful aldermen, Alderman Ed Burke and Alderman Carrie Austin.</p><p>We talk with 47th Ward alderman Ameya Pawar about the ordinance he&rsquo;s co-sponsoring, and we check in with politics reporter Lauren Chooljian about what seems like a new push for independence by aldermen.</p></p> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-19/aldermen-showing-new-streak-independence-114520 StoryCorps Chicago: Life After Hate http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-life-after-hate-114495 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sc.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>At 14 years old, Christian Picciolini got involved with a racist skinhead group in Chicago&#39;s south suburbs. For the next several years Picciolini promoted the idea of white supremacy. But in his early twenties he had a change of heart, and renounced his ties with the White Power movement. In December, Picciolini talked with Dan Cooper, from Adler University as part of our StoryCorps series. Picciolini talks about his own transformation and trying to help others through a non-profit he co-founded called Life After Hate.</p><div><p>This story was recorded through a partnership between StoryCorps and Adler University.</p></div><div><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="http://www.storycorps.org">StoryCorps&rsquo; </a>mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 15 Jan 2016 16:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-life-after-hate-114495 Reclaimed Soul Spins Otis Clay Favorites http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/reclaimed-soul-spins-otis-clay-favorites-114469 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/reclaimed-Flickr-Sean Davis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago vocalist Otis Clay passed away last Friday. He was 73 years old. His 50+ year career spanned Gospel, Soul, and Blues.</p><p>Today, Ayana Contreras remembers her 2013 interview with Clay, and plays a few of her favorite tracks.</p></p> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 14:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/reclaimed-soul-spins-otis-clay-favorites-114469 The History of the Chicago Defender http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-13/brief-history-chicago-defender-114468 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/defenderHoughtonMifflinHarcourt.jpg" style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="(The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America, cover)" />The Chicago Defender has been around for a long time--since 1905.</p><p>And it&rsquo;s always been more than a newspaper. It was a voice for the voiceless, a lamp that shed light on Jim Crow, and a catalyst for the Great Migration. It motivated and inspired Black Americans to embrace and focus their political and electoral power.</p><p>Author, publisher and journalist Ethan Michaeli dives deep into the paper&rsquo;s history in his new book &#39;The Defender: How The Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America.&#39; He shares some of his favorite moments from the Defender&rsquo;s 110 years.</p></p> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 14:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-13/brief-history-chicago-defender-114468