WBEZ | racial segregation http://www.wbez.org/tags/racial-segregation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago's Hispanic neighborhoods farther from nature, study shows http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/chicagos-hispanic-neighborhoods-farther-nature-study-shows-104838 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS4344_P1030210-scr.JPG" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A man fishes in Humboldt Park lagoon in early fall. (WBEZ/Robin Amer)" /></p><p>Moving to the city shouldn&rsquo;t mean giving up nature. <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723161221.htm">Studies have shown</a> that people who spend more time in natural settings bounce back from stress faster and <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2001-03-23/health/nature.health_1_nature-howard-frumkin-view?_s=PM:HEALTH">might even be healthier</a> than those without access to parks and open spaces. In Chicago, however, some communities are closer to nature than others.</p><p>According to recent research out of the University of Illinois at Chicago, residents of Chicago&rsquo;s Hispanic neighborhoods live farther from nature than residents of other neighborhoods.</p><p>What is unique about the study, titled &ldquo;<a href="http://www.esajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1890/ES12-00126.1">Green infrastructure and bird diversity across an urban socioeconomic gradient</a>,&rdquo; is that it looked at multiple variables instead of just, say, average distance to greenspace. They measured proximity to open space and Lake Michigan, but also the presence of trees (canopy cover), and bird biodiversity in census tracts across the city.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tree-canopy-cover,-bird-biodiversity-and-distance-to-the-lake.jpg" title="Left to right: tree canopy cover, distance to open space, and bird biodiversity. (Amélie Davis)" /></div></div><p>&ldquo;When you look at the patterns across all four variables,&rdquo; said <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/davisamelie/">Amélie Davis</a>, a postdoctoral research associate at UIC and lead author of the study, &ldquo;you can see the low- to mid-income Hispanic tracts are further from Lake Michigan, further from open space, they have lower bird biodiversity, and they have the lowest percent canopy cover.&rdquo;</p><p>That means they are also farther from the benefits those natural elements either indicate or provide directly &mdash; ecosystem services, to use the jargon. Canopy cover, for example, is more than aesthetic. Trees help regulate the local air quality, stormwater runoff and even noise pollution.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/streetview%20comparison.png" style="height: 266px; width: 620px;" title="A Google Streetview comparison of two neighborhoods with different amounts of canopy cover. (Google)" /></div><p>That socioeconomic disparities influence Chicagoans&rsquo; access to nature is not entirely surprising, given the city&rsquo;s legacy of <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/10333485-417/segregation-drops-sharply-in-chicago.html">segregation</a>. What was unexpected, Davis said, was that the statistical analysis found low-income, Hispanic neighborhoods fared significantly worse than low-income, African-American areas.</p><p>&ldquo;We thought if there was an environmental injustice,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;it would be for all of the groups or none. Not the same group consistently underserved.&rdquo;</p><p>As <a href="http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/2011/10/cramped-chicago-half-of-the-citys-27-million-people-live-in-park-poor-areas-lakefronts-parkland-disg.html">the <em>Tribune</em>&rsquo;s Blair Kamin pointed out</a>, Chicago&rsquo;s massive lakeside parks give the impression that the whole city enjoys easy access to open space along the shoreline <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/question-answered-how-has-chicago%E2%80%99s-coastline-changed-over-decades-104328">(which is, after all, &ldquo;forever open, clear and free&rdquo;</a>). Inland it is a different story. Little Village, for example, has <a href="http://www.metroplanning.org/news-events/blog-post/6262">the least green space per capita</a> of any neighborhood in the city.</p><p>But Davis cautioned against assuming any ill-intent on the part of City Hall.</p><p><em>&ldquo;</em>It might be a concurrence of circumstance, and not pernicious,&rdquo; she said. Industry squeezed out most of the natural spaces in Pilsen and Little Village before those neighborhoods became an important Hispanic enclave. When their notorious coal-fired power plants shut down last year, however, <a href="http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6258">residents of the southwest side left no doubt</a> about their aspirations for more green space.</p><p>And the study does not tell the whole story. Proximity to open space is not a perfect stand-in for access, to say nothing of the quality of that open space.</p><p>Davis&rsquo; research is funded by an Urban Long Term Research Area Exploratory grant from the National Science Foundation. &nbsp;The study was published in Ecosphere, a journal of the Ecological Society of America.</p><p><em>Follow Chris on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Cementley">@cementley</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 07:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/chicagos-hispanic-neighborhoods-farther-nature-study-shows-104838 Wading into Chicago's segregated past http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/wading-chicagos-segregated-past-90113 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-04/241405524_caa4c5c515_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Violence is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history. Racial tensions contributed to that sad truth for years but in 1960s, it was a truth many young people could no longer swallow. They confronted hate with, of all things, non-violent demonstrations. The peaceful but sometimes dangerous strategy became a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement. Fifty years ago, Chicago’s beaches were segregated—not by law but by neighbors.<br> So demonstrators decided to wade-in. WBEZ’s<a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/richard-steele" target="_blank"> Richard Steele</a> brought <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> the story. And one quick warning--- there is strong language in this conversation.</p><p><em>Music Button: Ramsey Lewis, "Wade in the Water", from the Album Hang On Ramsey/Wade in the Water, (BGO Records)</em></p><p>Race relations in America took a decided but difficult turn in the 1960s. Non-violent demonstrations across the country confronted racism, segregation and hatred head on. Young people, students—black and white—took part in sit-ins and freedom rides.</p><p>Though much attention was paid to the Jim Crow South, Chicago had its own racial divide.</p><p>A number of Chicago neighborhoods that had been, “all white,” became integrated—South Shore was one of those neighborhoods. As blacks continued to move in and attempted to use public facilities, like Rainbow Beach, there was a growing resentment stewing among a vocal segment of the white community.</p><p>The tension turned physical in August of 1960. A black policeman and his family were run off Rainbow Beach by other beachgoers. The incident sparked a “call to action” from Velma Murphy, who was president of the NAACP Youth Council; and so she gathered her troops. She turned to another young organizer who had successfully wrangled white support at the University of Chicago. Norm Hill helped integrate the effort—and won Velma’s heart in the process. They married within the year and are still married to this day.</p><p>They knew there was potential for violence but they were young—and brazen. Velma said it was the audacity of young people; that they didn’t think they would be hurt and that the police would protect them. But the police weren’t there and they were hurt—no one more than Velma. She shared her vivid memories of what happened on that hot August day on Rainbow Beach.</p><p>Their demonstration was not met with unconditional support from the civil rights community. Steele spoke to Timuel Black who is a retired college professor, political activist and one of the black community’s most highly respected historians. Black remembered, in fact, being asked to stop the demonstrators.</p><p>But they were young and not easily discouraged. So they went back to the beach—week after week. And Black started going too. At the time, Black was the Chicago president of the American Labor Council. So, he made sure the “city fathers” paid attention and that the protestors were protected by Chicago police officers.</p><p>Many forget about the wade-ins at Rainbow Beach. But Velma Murphy Hill can’t. The summer of 1960 and her experience on the sands of that beach etched deep physical and emotional scars. The events of that day changed Velma’s life forever—and gave it new purpose.</p><p>The memory and importance of the wade-ins of the early 1960s at Rainbow Beach should not be carried out with the tides of time. A coalition of civil rights and labor groups hope to make sure of that.</p><p>Fifty years later, an historic marker will be dedicated at Rainbow Beach on Saturday, Aug. 20—and it is what will ultimately bring Velma back to the beach.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/wading-chicagos-segregated-past-90113 Are mayoral candidates ignoring racial issues? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-09/are-mayoral-candidates-ignoring-racial-issues-82030 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Flickr Washington Park.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Earlier this week, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-07/mayor-monday-race-relations-and-what-next-mayor-can-expect-81897"><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> discussed the current state of race relations in Chicago</a> and what the next mayor should do to address prejudice and segregation. This week&rsquo;s cover story in the <em>Chicago Reader</em> argues that the candidates are spending little to no time on the persistent racial divides in our city.<br /><br />Political editor Steve Bogira took an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-politics-segregation-african-american-black-white-hispanic-latino-population-census-community/Content?oid=3221712">in-depth look</a> at race and class differences across neighborhoods, from Chicago's far South to far North side. He especially zoned in on two neighborhoods&mdash;Edison Park and Washington Park. Bogira joined host Alison Cuddy in studio to share more about what he learned in his reporting.</p><p><em>Music Button: Liftoff, &quot;The Collector&quot;, from the CD&nbsp; Dubbed Out In DC, (ESL)&nbsp; </em></p></p> Wed, 09 Feb 2011 14:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-09/are-mayoral-candidates-ignoring-racial-issues-82030