WBEZ | UIC http://www.wbez.org/tags/uic Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en UIC faculty claim higher cause http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-faculty-claim-higher-cause-109732 <p><p>As University of Illinois at Chicago faculty members went on strike this week for the first time in school history, English Professor Walter Benn Michaels took a break from picketing to give a reporter a lesson about the academic pecking order.</p><p>Looking up at the school&rsquo;s tallest building &mdash; the 28-story University Hall &mdash; Michaels pointed out that the top floors are for UIC&rsquo;s senior administration. &ldquo;You got people up there making a lot of money,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />The building&rsquo;s other floors are for various academic departments, including English, headed by Michaels, whose office is on the 20th. Among the tenured and tenure-track faculty, he said, &ldquo;there are some people like me who are well-paid.&rdquo;<br /><br />But go down one floor to the 19th and &ldquo;you have the exact opposite,&rdquo; Michaels said. &ldquo;You have the non-tenure-track English professors who are making mainly $30,000 a year. A few lucky ones &mdash; some of them have been here 15-20 years &mdash; are making $35,000.&rdquo;<br /><br />Most of these employees, Michaels pointed out, have doctoral degrees and teach full-time for UIC.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MichaelsSCALED.jpg" style="height: 417px; width: 300px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="Walter Benn Michaels, a professor who heads the University of Illinois at Chicago’s English Department, works on the 20th floor of University Hall. He says he’s backing the strike to stand up for students and his department’s lowest-paid instructors, who work on the 19th floor. WBEZ/Chip Mitchell" /></div><p>Eighteen months since the Illinois Federation of Teachers won certification to represent 1,100 of the school&rsquo;s faculty members, they are still trying to get their first collective-bargaining agreement.</p><p>Their dispute has become a flashpoint in a nationwide battle over the fate of higher education. On many campuses, that battle pits socially driven professors against market-oriented administrators and trustees or, as Michaels describes them, &ldquo;neoliberal&rdquo; forces.<br /><br />The main unresolved UIC bargaining issues concern faculty compensation. The school&rsquo;s administrators say they cannot give the union all it wants. Over four years, according to UIC, the faculty&rsquo;s demands would hike costs by 23 percent for tenure-system faculty and 27 percent for the rest.<br /><br />But faculty members say the two-day work stoppage, which ends Wednesday, is about more than their pocketbooks. They say it is about their students.</p><p>&ldquo;We would like, for example, to have all the English majors to do senior theses,&rdquo; Michaels told me. &ldquo;But, when you have a tenure-track department faculty of 33 people, you can&rsquo;t be having hundreds of English majors doing senior theses.&rdquo;</p><p>The only way to properly advise all these students, Michaels said, would be to deploy the department&rsquo;s non-tenure-track faculty &mdash; the folks who get $30,000 or $35,000 a year.<br /><br />&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t turn to these people and say, &lsquo;I want to add some additional work, which is hard work and which requires a lot of personal hours with students,&rsquo; &rdquo; Michaels said. &ldquo;How can I ask them to do that when I can offer them nothing? I can&rsquo;t offer them a promotion. I can&rsquo;t offer them a better wage.&rdquo;<br /><br />Professors in fields ranging from art history to philosophy also claim that it has become harder to get approval for courses that may not attract hoards of students.<br /><br />When it comes to colleges and universities struggling to do right by their students, UIC is less the exception than the rule, according to Gary Rhoades, director of the University of Arizona&rsquo;s Center for the Study of Higher Education.<br /><br />At many schools, Rhoades said, professors are resisting &ldquo;administrative desires to narrow the range of fields in which education is provided, to concentrate resources on a few areas that [management] thinks are going to pay off &mdash; either in terms of bringing in research moneys [or] cutting off areas that are not seen to be so valuable in the marketplace for the student.&rdquo;<br /><br />The academic areas deemed valuable, Rhoades explained, are those that help students get jobs as soon as they graduate.<br /><br />Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, suggested that UIC emulate &ldquo;smart&rdquo; universities and colleges that have formed consortia and transitioned to interactive video. He said there may not be any other affordable way to provide low-enrollment programs ranging from classics to foreign languages.<br /><br />Poliakoff also echoed Harvard Business School management guru Clayton Christensen, who says on-the-job training is pushing aside the traditional U.S. higher-education model. &ldquo;Fifteen years from now, half of the colleges and universities in this nation are going to be in bankruptcy,&rdquo; Poliakoff warned.<br /><br />&ldquo;Universities can&rsquo;t be everything to everybody,&rdquo; Poliakoff said. &ldquo;If they try to do that &mdash; especially if you have faculty collective-bargaining agreements attempting to protect programs even when they&rsquo;re not financially viable &mdash; then the school is really headed for financial disaster.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It is the business of an institution to ensure that it is cost-effective,&rdquo; Poliakoff said.<br /><br />The UIC faculty members call their strike an effort to ward off that sort of thinking. They insist they are standing up for their students.<br /><br />&ldquo;When I teach American literature,&rdquo; Michaels said, &ldquo;they&rsquo;re going to learn something about the value of literature &mdash; something that they&rsquo;ll take with them all the way through their lives. That&rsquo;s important to us. That&rsquo;s part of what a university is.&rdquo;<br /><br />When the sides resume bargaining this Friday, they will have to decide whether that value is something the school can still afford.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 07:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-faculty-claim-higher-cause-109732 Morning Shift: Bringing healthier food to the table http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-17/morning-shift-bringing-healthier-food-table-109716 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by Clintus McGintus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The new documentary &quot;Food Patriots&quot; follows a family on the search for a healthier-and more informed-way to put dinner on the table. We talk to filmmaker Jeff Spitz. And, we celebrate 50 years of &quot;The Giving Tree.&quot;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-following-america-s-food-patriots/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-following-america-s-food-patriots.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-following-america-s-food-patriots" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Bringing healthier food to the table" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 09:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-17/morning-shift-bringing-healthier-food-table-109716 Study: Pension savings 'barely dent' Illinois fiscal woes http://www.wbez.org/news/study-pension-savings-barely-dent-illinois-fiscal-woes-109547 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/jimmywayne.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you think Illinois&rsquo; new pension law will fix the state&rsquo;s money troubles, think again.</p><p>Savings from the controversial pension overhaul will &ldquo;barely dent&rdquo; Illinois&rsquo; budget shortfalls over the next decade, according to a new study released Tuesday by researchers at the University of Illinois.</p><p>Even with the new law, Illinois&rsquo; budget shortfall is still on course to grow to $13 billion by 2025, according to estimates produced by U of I&rsquo;s Institute of Government and Public Affairs.</p><p>Chalk it up to state government&rsquo;s propensity to spend more money than it takes in, said Richard F. Dye, who co-authored the study.</p><p>&ldquo;It just doesn&rsquo;t add up,&rdquo; said Dye, an economics professor assigned to the institute. &ldquo;We like government services. We don&rsquo;t like paying taxes. We like politicians that tell us it&rsquo;s gonna be fine. But it ain&rsquo;t fine.&rdquo;</p><p>Backers say the pension law, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/legislature-passes-historic-pension-vote-109287">passed by lawmakers</a> and quickly signed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in December, will save the state $160 billion over the next 30 years. Much of those savings comes from scaling back annual benefit increases for state workers, a provision organized labor groups say violates the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con13.htm">state constitution&rsquo;s guarantee</a> that benefits &ldquo;shall not be diminished or impaired.&rdquo;</p><p>But the law&rsquo;s savings are backloaded and will not be fully felt for years, Dye said, even if the law survives legal challenges.</p><p>Illinois would save between $1 billion and $1.5 billion each year for the next decade, according to his analysis. Even with those savings, the state would face a roughly $3 billion hole in 2015, which would swell to $13 billion in 2025.</p><p>Darkening the forecast is the scheduled 2015 expiration of the income tax hike -- aimed at closing the state&rsquo;s budget gaps -- that was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/quinn-holds-income-tax-increase">championed by Quinn</a> and enacted in <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/story/illinois-legislature-approves-major-tax-increases">2011</a>. That will mean less money to the state starting next year, unless that law is extended.</p><p>But even if lawmakers do continue the increased tax rate beyond 2015, things do not get much sunnier, Dye said. That would still leave Illinois on track to have its deficit grow to $5.5 billion in 2025.</p><p>&ldquo;We are spending beyond our means,&rdquo; Dye said. &ldquo;And, you know, greater cuts in education or social services are on the way. It&rsquo;s just not sustainable.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 00:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/study-pension-savings-barely-dent-illinois-fiscal-woes-109547 Morning Shift: After state reform, what's next for Chicago pensions? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-09/morning-shift-after-state-reform-whats-next-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/danxoneil.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After last weeks historic state pension deal, the focus shifts to Chicago. WBEZ political reporter Alex Keefe discusses possible solutions and challenges.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-after-state-reform-what-s-next-for-c/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-after-state-reform-what-s-next-for-c.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-after-state-reform-what-s-next-for-c" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: After state reform, what's next for Chicago pensions?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 08:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-09/morning-shift-after-state-reform-whats-next-chicago Should we use the 'L word' for Jane Addams? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/should-we-use-l-word-jane-addams-108619 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/JABE%20ADDAMS%20TOPPER.jpg" title="" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F109020582&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Note: we also aired a segment about Jane Addams&#39; work and the Hull-House legacy on<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-09-06/afternoon-shift-jane-addams-columbia-college-creative-writing">&nbsp;the Afternoon Shift</a>. You can listen to that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/should-we-use-l-word-jane-addams-108619#Afternoonshift">segment here</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p>In the early 20th century, <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_learn/_aboutjane/aboutjane.html">Jane Addams</a> was among the most famous women in America. The Chicagoan worked, lived and <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=aAnLrCOHRQ8C&amp;pg=PA181&amp;lpg=PA181&amp;dq=love+on+halsted+street,+louise+knight&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=RWB0IeyMbw&amp;sig=JT3I6ZKzYfEY2sNnG9AKxHffSrI&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=6rknUpXxEIaayQHLiIDQDQ&amp;ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=love%20on%20halsted%20street%2C%20louise%20knight&amp;f=false">loved </a>on Halsted Street in the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_learn/_abouthullhouse/abouthullhouse.html">Hull-House settlement</a> she co-founded with <a href="http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/sophiasmith/mnsss64_bioghist.html">Ellen Gates Starr</a>. Her career was one of struggle and triumph as she organized, fought for social services on behalf of immigrants, children, women and other disenfranchised groups. At one point the FBI considered her &ldquo;<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_museum/_museum/historyoncall/fbifile.html">the most dangerous woman in America</a>.&rdquo; In 1931 she became the first American woman to earn the <a href="http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1931/addams-bio.html">Nobel Peace Prize</a>. Addams passed away in 1935.</p><p>The only two remaining buildings of Addams&rsquo;s once 13-building Hull-House settlement are easy to miss on the vast campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, which overtook the area. And recent UIC graduate Adam Peterson used to pass by them when he was a student on his way to an American feminist history class. It was in this class that he learned about Jane Addams, but he says the class didn&rsquo;t touch on her private life.</p><p>&ldquo;We did touch on her background as a white, middle class, well-educated woman who just didn&rsquo;t want to be married and be a housewife,&rdquo; Adam says. &ldquo;But then there were just these ambiguities that were said in passing [about her sexuality], but not fully discussed.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>This glossing-over prompted him to ask us this carefully worded question:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Could Jane Addams be considered a lesbian with the current use of that terminology?</em></p><p>If you&rsquo;re looking for a quick &ldquo;Yes, she was&rdquo; or &ldquo;No, she was not&rdquo; answer, you&rsquo;re out of luck. People most involved in Jane Addams&rsquo; history and legacy showed me and Adam that it&rsquo;s worth asking about the lesbian label, but it can be a problem. And, if you do apply it, it&rsquo;s best not to do it so quickly.</p><p><strong>The brunette in a yellow confection dress</strong></p><p>Let&rsquo;s start with an art history mystery. In 2006, a lifetime after Jane Addams passed away, <a href="http://arthistory.aa.uic.edu/faculty.php?profile=lisalee&amp;subj=5">Lisa Yun Lee</a> took up the position of Director of the<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html"> Jane Addams Hull-House Museum</a>. One day she came across a fetching painting of a brunette in the museum&#39;s back offices.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WEB%204.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 400px;" title="Jane-Addams Hull-House Director Lisa Yun Lee discovered this painting in 2006, which sparked some discussion into Jane Addams' relationship with Mary rozet Smith. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p>Lee says the painting was initially described to her as being a great example of the work of <a href="http://schwartzcollection.com/artists/alice-kellogg-tyler">Alice Kellogg Tyler</a>, an accomplished painter who taught at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also taught at Jane Addams&rsquo; Hull-House settlement.</p><p>But, Lee says, &ldquo;As soon as I started asking &lsquo;Who is <em>that</em> person in the painting,&rsquo; there were hushed tones and confusion. And people said, &lsquo;Well, some people say that it&rsquo;s Jane Addams&rsquo; partner.&rsquo; Other people say it&rsquo;s her biggest business supporter. Other people said, &lsquo;Well, of course. It&rsquo;s her lesbian lover.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The more Lee prodded, the more she realized the depth of debate surrounding the woman in the painting and her relationship with Addams. Lee says Hull-House started to dig through the historical record and &ldquo;ask different kinds of questions.&rdquo; At this point the staff realized this woman was indeed Jane Addams&rsquo; chosen partner in life.</p><p><strong>Mary and Jane</strong></p><p>This woman was Mary Rozet Smith. Lee says until people debated the painting, Smith had pretty much been written out of the historical record. But as more surfaced about her relationship with Jane Addams, Smith&rsquo;s fuzzy place in the Hull-House settlement&rsquo;s history became clearer.</p><p><a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/services/rjd/findingaids/MSmithf.html">Smith came from a wealthy Chicago family</a> that made a fortune through manufacturing. She was drawn to the work of the Hull-House settlement, taking on several roles: philanthropist, benefactor (some might say a sugar mamma), and Jane Addams&rsquo; lifelong companion.</p><p>Addams sums up an early encounter with Smith in this unfinished poem dating from 1895:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20poem.jpg" title="" /></p><p>Scholarship suggests Smith and Addams&rsquo; lives became deeply entwined. Over 40 years they wrote letters and love poems to one another. Addams requested that most of her letters be burned upon her death; she had felt they were too intimate. (Note: <a href="http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jowh/summary/v009/9.4.freedman.html">Burning letters was not uncommon</a> at the time.)</p><p>The pair also vacationed together and traveled around the world, sometimes calling ahead to request a double bed, which was not unusual for women friends to do. Addams had Smith listed as an emergency contact on her passport. They also made major financial decisions, such as co-owning a home in Maine. At one point they considered adopting a child together.</p><p>As for that large painting of Smith in the yellow dress? Addams sometimes traveled with it &mdash; wrapping it up and schlepping it with her across country.</p><p>Historians say that when Rozet Smith passed away in 1934 (a year before Addams), Jane received condolences from far and wide, not unlike a widow in heterosexual relationship.</p><p>But what does this all mean? Does this kind of evidence equate to proof that the pair were lesbians?</p><p><strong>Women who love women</strong></p><p>What does the word <em>lesbian </em>mean? Well, if you use an expansive definition that does not by necessity have to include sex, then many people agree that, yes, Addams and Smith were lesbians. (After all, even married couples can have little or no sex, yet their heterosexuality is not called into question.)</p><p>Several sources tell me the most important thing to consider is what, exactly, having a relationship like this meant<em> in Jane Addams&rsquo; time.</em></p><p>One good person to ask is <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/wsweb/people/faculty/demilio/demilio.html">John D&rsquo;Emilio</a>, a professor of Gender and Women&rsquo;s Studies and History at the University of Illinois. And conveniently, his office is a few short blocks from the Hull-House museum.</p><p>He defines a lesbian as &ldquo;a woman who turns to other women for the love, and emotional support and intimacy that most human beings like to have in their personal lives.&rdquo;</p><p>With this definition in hand D&rsquo;Emilio feels comfortable assigning the lesbian label to Addams and Smith, even though he says it&rsquo;s impossible to know whether Smith and Addams had sexual contact. And even if we were to find out, he says, he wouldn&rsquo;t change where he lands on the use of &quot;lesbian.&rdquo;</p><p>But how does D&rsquo;Emilio take those letters that were burned and deemed &ldquo;too intimate&rdquo; by Jane Addams? Could those have contained &ldquo;smoking gun&rdquo; evidence for those bent on equating sexual contact with the term lesbian? &nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/web%202.jpg" style="float: right; height: 300px; width: 400px;" title="A photograph of Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith inside the Hull-House Museum. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p>&ldquo;They just wouldn&rsquo;t have been writing about that,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s just no way. This is not the world of Hugh Hefner and <em>Playboy</em>. So that&rsquo;s not what they were writing about. But what they were writing about was the open expression of how much the other person meant and how much I need you!&rdquo;</p><p>Even though D&rsquo;Emilio is confident in saying Jane Addams was a lesbian, he can understand why others might not feel comfortable using the term. And, he says, he prefers using the term &ldquo;woman-loving woman.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>A decoder ring for history</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/wsweb/people/faculty/brier/brier.html">Jennifer Brier</a> is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women&rsquo;s Studies and History at UIC. Her take on the question?</p><p>&ldquo;I would say no,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;As a historian I would say no. As a lesbian who exists under the current definition &mdash; sometimes I&rsquo;d like to say yes. But in the end, I say no.&rdquo;</p><p>She says &ldquo;lesbian&rdquo; <em>was </em>a term used in Addams&rsquo; time, but Brier says Addams wouldn&rsquo;t have used it to describe herself and that &ldquo;it wasn&rsquo;t a phrase that had meaning for her.&rdquo;</p><p>Brier argues this point matters. She says it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahistorical">ahistorical </a>to assign the term to Addams retroactively, and that can be dangerous; shorthand terminology can bypass context and you can lose the richness and diversity of human behavior. We can also mistakenly believe that we understand what being a lesbian meant at the time. And Addams&rsquo; era indeed had very different relationship cultures. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You need a decoder ring,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;And the decoder ring has to be adjusted to each historical period to actually function. It has to be tuned to the right frequency to understand what&rsquo;s happening at a particular moment in time.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Platonic love</strong></p><p>Since sex is so ingrained in our current culture&rsquo;s notions of what being a lesbian entails, it&rsquo;s worth noting that this was not the case in Jane Addams&#39; time; romantic relationships did not necessarily entail sex. On the question of whether Addams may have even been celibate, several experts tell me the general feeling is: &#39;Maybe, but it&#39;s impossible to know.&#39;&nbsp;</p><p>What historians do know is during the Victorian era <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/platonic%20love">platonic love</a> was in the air. It described a meeting of souls, not necessarily bodies, and was viewed as a pure kind of love that same-sex couples could enjoy. Men could share a Platonic love with men, and women with women. The intimacy in these relationships could be as deep as any hetersexual relationship, but they were not framed in terms of sex.</p><p>Lisa Junkin, the interim director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, says that Addams&rsquo; early writing expresses belief in platonic love and &ldquo;wanting to channel sexual impulses, believing that people should channel them essentially toward social justice &mdash; doing good in the world.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WEB%201.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Newspaper clippings about Jane Addams as a social reformer are on display at the Hull-House Museum. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" />This idea of diverting sexual energy to more high-minded pursuits was present for men and women, and in the era&rsquo;s lexicon, too. John D&rsquo;Emilio says instead of using the phrase &ldquo;to come&rdquo; for male ejaculation, the phrase used at the time was &ldquo;to spend.&rdquo;</p><p>As D&rsquo;Emilio tells me about this facet of history, he breaks into a mock conversation that may have actually taken place in the Victorian era: &ldquo;Did you <em>spend</em> your seed? Well, I sure hope not because we&rsquo;re a people who believe in saving!&rdquo;</p><p>D&rsquo;Emilio says the ethic among the middle class at the time was to be prudent and industrious, and that too much sex was the opposite of that. Sex exhausts your resources.</p><p><strong>Boston marriages</strong></p><p>Addams and Smith referred to their relationship as a marriage in some writings, and this era enjoyed another kind of sanctioned love that came with a term: Boston marriages. D&rsquo;Emilio characterizes Boston marriages as deep relationships and commitments between two middle-class, college educated women.</p><p>Etymologically speaking, he says, the word &ldquo;Boston&rdquo; refers to the preponderance of women&rsquo;s colleges in Boston, while &quot;marriage&rdquo; is used because many of these women never married and lived a lifetime with another woman. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Think about it this way,&rdquo; D&rsquo;Emilio says. &ldquo;This is a generation in which sex is not out there in the public. Sex is supposed to be quiet and private and behind closed doors. And so Boston marriage becomes a very neutral and acceptable way of describing something, that if described in other terms might be scandalous.&rdquo;</p><p>It can be argued that Boston marriages could be considered a corollary of lesbian relationships today, but it&rsquo;s not clear whether sex was included in these setups.</p><p>D&rsquo;Emilio says &ldquo;Boston marriage&rdquo; was a term that acknowledged a relationship and intimacy &ldquo;without getting into the stuff we&rsquo;re not supposed to talk about.&rdquo; Ironically, D&rsquo;Emilio says in part because there were taboos against openly discussing sex, there was a kind of flexibility in what happened behind closed doors; it just wouldn&rsquo;t end up in polite conversation.</p><p>Professor Jennifer Brier adds it&rsquo;s important to remember Jane Addams was part of a subset of women who were of the class and means to be able to pioneer new ways to be a woman. There weren&rsquo;t many outlets for women at the time to be in non-traditional roles (especially leadership roles). The same goes for becoming trailblazers who open up new opportunities and jobs for women, immigrants, adolescents and new ways of existing in society &mdash; the basic work of Addams and Smith at Hull-House.</p><p>&ldquo;She [Addams] didn&rsquo;t rely on patriarchy in the way we think of today,&rdquo; Brier says. &ldquo;She didn&rsquo;t rely on men for her economic or emotional support. She made her life with women at the Hull-House.&rdquo;</p><p>And Addams was not the only woman at the Hull-House to buck gender norms. Other examples include Dr. Cornelia de Bey, who was a homeopathic doctor affiliated with the settlement and who lived with a woman and dressed in tailored, masculine garb. Hull-House co-founder <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=aAnLrCOHRQ8C&amp;pg=PA181&amp;lpg=PA181&amp;dq=love+on+halsted+street,+louise+knight&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=RWB0IeyMbw&amp;sig=JT3I6ZKzYfEY2sNnG9AKxHffSrI&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=6rknUpXxEIaayQHLiIDQDQ&amp;ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=love%20on%20halsted%20street%2C%20louise%20knight&amp;f=false">Ellen Gates Starr was also Addams&rsquo;s partner at one time</a>.</p><p><strong>An alternative label</strong></p><p>These questions around both labeling Jane Addams and the painting of Mary Rozet Smith never left former <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>director Lisa Lee&rsquo;s mind. Instead, she felt the museum needed to represent the complex information around the painting and the era. And it wouldn&rsquo;t do to simply call Addams a lesbian.</p><p>So she and staff created an &ldquo;alternative labeling project&rdquo; to foster dialogue around the painting labels. The museum staff offered three labels (&ldquo;tombstones&rdquo; in museum lingo) to sum up the painting of Mary Rozet Smith and invited visitors to weigh in. They were:<object height="520" width="620"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fshow%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;set_id=72157635410603458&amp;jump_to=9684980861" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fshow%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;set_id=72157635410603458&amp;jump_to=9684980861" height="520" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620"></embed></object></p><p>Interim director for the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>Lisa Junkin was on staff for the alternative labeling project. She says they received many responses to the labels, ranging from hate mail to fan mail, and everything in between.</p><p>&ldquo;Occasionally there&rsquo;s also a sense of fear or anger that we&rsquo;d be telling that story, especially around young people,&rdquo; Junkin says. &ldquo;There have been teachers who have cut off the educators from telling the story of the relationship or who have covered over the label when students walk by &mdash; even though both the educators and the label don&rsquo;t use the term lesbian with younger groups.&rdquo;</p><p>Beyond the celebration and hatred for bringing Addams&rsquo; sexuality into history, the public provided useful suggestions, too. One person pointed out that none of the labels gave information about Mary Rozet Smith beyond her relationship to Jane Addams.</p><p>Which, from Junkin&rsquo;s vantage, was a problem.</p><p>&ldquo;For us as feminist historians, as a feminist site, that&rsquo;s really problematic, right?&rdquo; Junkin says. &ldquo;We essentially gave her the &lsquo;wife treatment,&rsquo; which should be avoided.&rdquo;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s the label the museum settled on:</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5537/9685555669_1f36ecd159_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/slide%204%20web.jpg" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><em>Click the above image to see a larger view.</em></span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The museum staff culled through the inboxes crammed with email and the drawers filled with Post-it notes. After that, they reconceived their permanent exhibit. In 2010 the museum curated a new presentation of their permanent collection, including the display of photographs made of Addams and Smith together.</div><p>But that once-mysterious painting of Mary Rozet Smith? It now hangs prominently in the former bedroom of Addams.</p><p>Junkin says &ldquo;the goal was to show instead of tell, and let the audience come up with their own understanding based on the evidence we can provide.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>A new look at old sex</strong></p><p>Junkin says after the alternative labeling project of Mary Rozet Smith, the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>has made conversation about sexuality more prominent. It&rsquo;s also created new programming, including a four-year film series around the sex positive movement and contemporary issues of sexuality. It also built new displays mention Hull-House&rsquo;s role in progressive sex education. (Junkin says one of Chicago&rsquo;s first birth control centers was at the Hull-House). She adds that staff have made their displays and tours more inclusive.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LENA FOR WEB.jpg" style="float: left; width: 338px; height: 450px;" title="The Hull-House Museum's Lena Reynolds will be a tour guide for the museum's new Gender and Sexuality Tour. She stands next to a painting of Cornelia de Bey, a physician, activist and educational reformer once affiliated with the Settlement. She was known to dress in tailored, masculine garb. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p>In the first week of September, the museum debuts a new tour that directly places the Hull-House in queer history. The working title: the &ldquo;Gender and Sexuality Tour.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>The tour&rsquo;s mastermind, Christian Alfaro, is a UIC student and <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>educator. Appropriately enough, he learned about Jane Addams&rsquo;s non-conformity by taking a tour led by Lisa Junkin, who talked about the painting of Mary Rozet Smith.</p><p>&ldquo;Representation like this is important,&rdquo; Alfaro says. &ldquo;It actually helped with my own self-identity.&rdquo; The sentiment prompted him to learn more about Addams and ultimately start the tour Hull-House residents&rsquo; challenge to gender conformity.</p><p><strong>Closing the circle</strong></p><p>I phone Adam Peterson, the curious fellow who prompted this conceptual odyssey in the first place, to let him know whom I&rsquo;d talked to and how they came down on Addams and the use of the &ldquo;L word.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Well it sounds like this is opening a whole can of worms,&rdquo; he says. (I agree)</p><p>But he finds it all fascinating, he says, and in the end more interesting than a simple yes or no.</p><p>It&rsquo;s reminiscent of what I hear from Lena Reynolds, a <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>educator.</p><p>Reynolds says when she gives tours she doesn&rsquo;t use the term lesbian per se, but she does say that modern-day members of the LGBT community embrace Addams as one of their own.</p><p>&ldquo;She&rsquo;s part of this bigger movement even if it was a time before the movement existed,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Whether or not we want to put the word on it &hellip; that she was fighting for equality and acceptance and human rights is undeniable. And that she valued love is also undeniable.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Correction: This article initially misstated details concerning Jane Addams&#39; Nobel Peace Prize. She was the first American woman to receive that honor.&nbsp;</em></p><div>To learn more about the work of Jane Addams and the Hull-House settlement and how it continues today, listen to WBEZ&#39;s segment from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift">The Afternoon Shift</a> below.<a name="Afternoonshift"></a></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F109175414" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/jbrandel-0" rel="author">Jennifer Brandel</a> is Senior Producer of Curious City and Interactive at WBEZ. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/JnnBrndl"> Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/117289484797285268506" rel="me">Google+</a></em></p></p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 17:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/should-we-use-l-word-jane-addams-108619 UIC unveils collection of Daley artifacts http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/uic-unveils-collection-daley-artifacts-108187 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Daley Collection_130725_kk.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-205334a6-16f2-338c-bfb1-269a0e2158ee">The University of Illinois at Chicago unveiled a collection of documents from Richard J. Daley&rsquo;s 20-plus years as Chicago mayor Wednesday night.</p><p dir="ltr">The archive includes shelves of papers, memorabilia and more than 7,000 photographs.</p><p dir="ltr">It is open to researchers <a href="http://library.uic.edu/daley">by appointment</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ&rsquo;s Richard Steele toured the collection with its archivist, Peggy Glowacki.</p><p dir="ltr">To hear about some surprising items in the collection (including a big fish?), listen to the audio above.</p><p><em>Produced by WBEZ&rsquo;s Katie Kather. Kather is an arts &amp; culture reporting intern at WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ktkather">@ktkather</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/uic-unveils-collection-daley-artifacts-108187 After Hadiya and "Nirbhaya": From Chicago to Delhi What Does Justice Look Like? http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/after-hadiya-and-nirbhaya-chicago-delhi-what-does-justice-look-106823 <p><p>Here in the United States, Chicago in particular, street crime has taken the lives of far too many of our youth. In India, the issue of sexual violence has captured headlines. The tragic deaths of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed just a few blocks away from her school, and &quot;Nirbhaya,&quot; the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in Delhi, raise the question: what does justice for victims and survivors look like?</p><ul><li><strong>Cheryl Graves</strong>, founder and Co-Director of Community Justice for Youth Institute</li><li><strong>Mariame Kaba</strong>, founder and Director of Project NIA</li><li><strong>Sangeetha Ravichandran</strong>, program coordinator at A Long Walk Home&#39;s Girl/Friends Leadership Institute</li><li><strong>Alice Kim</strong>, director of The Public Square (co-moderator)</li><li><strong>Ryan Lugalia-Hollon</strong>, Justice Fellow at the Adler School and member of the SJI team at UIC (co-moderator)</li></ul><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IHC-webstory_15.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />Recorded live Saturday, April 6, 2013 at the UIC Pavilion part of WBEZ&#39;s 6th Annual Global Activism Expo.</p></p> Sat, 06 Apr 2013 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/after-hadiya-and-nirbhaya-chicago-delhi-what-does-justice-look-106823 UIC hosts open forum on transgender health http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/uic-hosts-open-forum-transgender-health-106135 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/55445_jn_new_kling01_012213f%20%281%29_0.jpg" style="width: 512px; height: 280px;" title="(Julia Nagy/The State News) Rebecca Kling, from 2013 workshop at MSU" /></div></div><p>This month marked a historic first for the trans* community. March boasted the inaugural National Month of Action for Transgender Healthcare, a campaign co-sponsored by groups as diverse as Pride at Work, the Transgender Law Center, Basic Rights Oregon and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Our first &ldquo;Trans* Month of Action&rdquo; has seen events in San Francisco, Oregon and now Chicago, as trans* community organizer Rebecca Kling has worked with Erica Mott, Paul Escriva, Dion Walton and Hale Thompson to bring conversations on LGBT community health to the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><p>Held at the UIC Division of Community Health Sciences, the Open Forum on &ldquo;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/events/262589797205013/">Health, Healthcare and the Trans* Community</a>&rdquo; focuses on two central questions: &ldquo;What issues do trans people face in navigating their health care? And how can the health of the trans community, as broadly defined, be improved?&rdquo;</p><p>A 2011 survey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force outlined the problems facing the trans* community in regards to obtaining health care services. Their statistics stated that 19 percent of gender non-conforming and trans* people are denied access to health care outright, whereas another 28 percent &ldquo;postpone medical care because of fear of discrimination.&rdquo; According to <a href="http://inourwordsblog.com/2013/03/14/historic-labor-led-campaign-for-transgender-health-launches-in-march/">In Our Words</a>,</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Key findings also reveal that respondents experienced double the rate of unemployment as the general population; near universal harassment on the job; significant losses of jobs and careers; and higher rates of poverty. Not surprisingly, the economic inequality experienced by so many transgender people often leads to a lack of quality health care options.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>I grabbed a cup of coffee over the weekend with trans* forum organizer Rebecca Kling. Kling, a writer and performer, says these health issues were a major concern during her recent gallbladder surgery. In 2010, Kling was rushed to the ER for emergency surgery, and she was worried that the doctor wouldn&rsquo;t handle her case because of her gender identity. Kling stated, &ldquo;Going to the ER at 2 in the morning is scary enough without having to worry that my identity won&rsquo;t be respected. It&rsquo;s tiring to live in a world where you think everyone is out to get you.&rdquo;</p><p>However, Kling was lucky. When she was in the hospital, Rebcca Kling&#39;s mother stayed with her &ldquo;all day and night&rdquo; out of fear for her safety. Her mother remembered Rebecca telling her a story about a woman on the East Coast that medics refused to treat when they saw that she was trans*. She died on the side of the road. Her mother couldn&#39;t to let the same thing happen to her.</p><p>&ldquo;These issues don&rsquo;t just affect trans* people,&quot; Kling said. &quot;They affect the people who care about us.&rdquo;</p><p>Kling said &ldquo;the distrust [toward the medical community] fosters a hesitancy toward these structures that are supposed to be there to help us. Even when doctors are caring for trans* people in a positive way, individual compassion only goes so far. We need the right systems in place.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/58419_10100448741046165_139692507_n%20%281%29.jpg" style="float: right;" title="(In Our Words) Flier for forum" />Kling detailed her own struggles with her gender reassignment surgery (or &ldquo;Vagification,&rdquo; as she very cleverly puts it) and getting her medical insurance to cover the costs.</p><p>&ldquo;My insurance has a specific exclusion for gender reassignment surgery, and I&rsquo;m trying to fight that because it&rsquo;s discriminatory,&rdquo; Kling said.</p><p>Kling explained trasition doesn&rsquo;t come cheap. For trans* women, there are a litany of options, including hormones, hair removal, trach shaves and reassignment surgery, all of which cost money. Similarly for trans* men, there&rsquo;s breast removal, hysterectomy and hormones. According to Kling, &ldquo;even the most inclusive coverage often only covers hormones and assignment surgery. That leaves out a lot.&quot;</p><p>&ldquo;This creates an economic barrier to transition,&rdquo; Kling said. &ldquo;My ability to transition is a result of having awesome parents, jobs that didn&rsquo;t fire me and being able to scrape together the money to do these things. Access to medical care is an economic class issue. Being trans is no different.&rdquo;</p><p>A major focal point of the Open Forum&rsquo;s discussion will be the Affordable Care Act, which, in its essence, bans medical discrimination against LGBT people.</p><p>Commenting on an anecdote from Mara Kiesling of the National Center for Transgender Equality, whose friend was denied treatment for anemia because of her &ldquo;transsexual blood,&rdquo; The Nation writes,&ldquo;The Affordable Care Act will end many of these absurd exclusions. In 2014, the Patient&rsquo;s Bill of Rights will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. What&rsquo;s more, the ACA will bring Title VII federal nondiscrimination protections to the health care field.&quot;</p><p>However, Kling said that the bill&rsquo;s implementation and purview is far from perfect. It doesn&rsquo;t include gender reassignment surgery.</p><p>&ldquo;The Affordable Care Act says that we shouldn&rsquo;t exclude LGBT people from insurance coverage, but the Department of Health and Human Services says that coverage doesn&rsquo;t include transitioning,&rdquo; Kling stated. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a contradiction.&rdquo;</p><p>As part of the national conversation on health care, the queer community is too seldom included in the discourse, and Kling hopes that dialogues like the Trans* Month of Action and the Open Forum will help change that.</p><p>&ldquo;We need to open this conversation up further, because no one person has the same health care needs as any other,&rdquo; Kling said.</p><p>Monday&rsquo;s forum will include panelists such as Jen Richards of We Happy Trans, Alexis Martinez of the Trans Oral History Project, Channyn Park of the Chicago House and Trans Life Project and Dr. Margo Bell of Stroger Hospital.</p><p>As a forum, Kling said they are trying to be mindful of the inherent power dynamics in the discussion and to create a space for discourse, rather than &ldquo;imparting wisdom onto the audience.&rdquo; Kling assured me, &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want to tell you what the community needs.&rdquo;</p><p>For Kling, the most exciting part is the variety of perspectives being offered. Although she feels one panel could never be reflective of the breadth of the community, the forum has solicited questions from attendees to further include a diversity of experiences. Many respondents have come up with topics she wouldn&rsquo;t have thought of.</p><p>&ldquo;Someone asked, &lsquo;How can health care be supportive of non-traditional paths?&rsquo; Kling said. &quot;That didn&rsquo;t even occur to me. It&rsquo;s not my experience, but it&rsquo;s valid and important.&rdquo;</p><p>Kling says she&rsquo;s most excited to see the energy behind the forum.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a conversation that it seems like people are eager for and that they needed to happen,&quot; Kling said. &quot;I hope we live up to their expectations.&rdquo;</p><p><em>The Open Forum on Transgender Health, Healthcare and the Trans* Community will take place at UIC&rsquo;s Division of Community Health Sciences at 1603 W. Taylor Street on March 18 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held in the first floor auditorium and is free and open to the public. More information can be obtained on their Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/262589797205013/">page</a> or by emailing Rebecca Kling at rebecca@rebeccakling.com.</em></p></p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/uic-hosts-open-forum-transgender-health-106135 It's About HOPE: Global Activism Expo http://www.wbez.org/blogs/beyond-mic/2013-02/its-about-hope-global-activism-expo-105653 <p><p>As the planet gets smaller - at least in terms of the non-stop flow of information about the seven billion or so inhabitants - our anxiety grows. &nbsp;As the world feels smaller, so do we. &nbsp;It is more difficult to see how individual contributions help those in need. &nbsp;It feels like the work of one person simply cannot make a substantive difference</p><p>It&#39;s easy to become disheartened. &nbsp;It&#39;s easy to focus on something else. &nbsp;</p><p>And then there is Jerome McDonnell and <em>Worldview</em>.</p><p>The <em>Worldview</em> team has been featuring ordinary people who refuse to be stymied and have stepped up in small but significant ways to help those who need it. &nbsp;The <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism">Global Activism</a> Series</em> is not about atrocity; it is about HOPE.</p><p>On April 6th, <em>WBEZ, Vocalo</em>, the <em>UIC Social Justice Initiative</em> and the<em> Illinois Humanities Council</em> are excited to showcase these ordinary people doing extraordinary things at the <strong>Sixth Annual Global Activism Expo</strong>.</p><p>This year, we expand things to give you more to do, more to see, more to learn including:</p><p style="margin-left:40.5pt;">The <strong>University of Illinois Chicago <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/sji/">Social Justice Initiative</a></strong> and <a href="http://www.prairie.org/programs/public-square"><strong>The Public Square&nbsp;</strong></a>will<strong> </strong>host a series of lectures and panel discussions exploring issues of Restorative Justice featuring noted activists from around the world.</p><p style="margin-left:40.5pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The <strong><a href="http://vocalo.org/">Vocalo</a> Music Stage</strong> outdoors on the plaza will feature an array of local artists and bands with an international influence</p><p style="margin-left:40.5pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://workingbikes.org/"><strong>Working Bikes</strong></a> will bring an array of demonstration bikes (power a phonograph or your cell phone) as well as mini bikes for us to ride inside</p><p style="margin-left:40.5pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://circesteem.org/"><strong>CircEsteem</strong></a> will entertain kids and adults, encouraging participants to learn juggling, balance feathers and have fun</p><p style="margin-left:40.5pt;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.peaceonearthfilmfestival.org/"><strong>Peace On Earth Film Festival</strong></a> will show select titles from their 2013 festival and invite the audience to discuss and reflect on these short films&nbsp;</p><p>Thousands of people come every year to meet and learn about these amazing people; my mother (from Kansas) came two years ago and was so motivated that she now devotes much of her time working with her local Food Bank and has become an activist within the tiny confines of a 800 person town in the middle of the country. &nbsp;If you are in need of a shot of inspiration that you can make a difference, you simply can&#39;t afford to miss it this year.</p><h1 style="margin: 0px 0px 4px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 21px; font-family: Georgia, serif;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/air-events-6th-annual-global-activism-expo-102172"><strong>Off-Air Events: 6th Annual Global Activism Expo</strong></a></h1><h2 class="subtitle" id="event-dateline" style="margin: 8px 0px 14px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 11px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(170, 0, 0); line-height: 13px; font-family: Georgia, serif;"><strong><span class="day" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 13px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Saturday</span>, April 6, 2013 @ 12:00pm &ndash; 6:00pm</strong></h2><p>UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road</p><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><span style="font-family: 'lucida sans unicode', 'lucida grande', sans-serif;"><a href="https://secure2.convio.net/wbez/site/Ecommerce?store_id=8621&amp;JServSessionIdr004=ieklfkgn52.app226a">RSVP here</a></span></span> and get a special gift when you check-in at the Expo!</p></p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/beyond-mic/2013-02/its-about-hope-global-activism-expo-105653 Yankee star gives back to University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago youth http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/yankee-star-gives-back-university-illinois-chicago-chicago-youth <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/rsz_11curtis_granderson-uic.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Yankee star and Chicago native Curtis Granderson gives back to his college-UIC (UIC Athletics)" />It seems like we are always inundated with negative stories in sports and when there is a positive story it gets minimized. What New York Yankee Curtis Granderson is doing for his alma mater, <a href="http://www.uicflames.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/020613aaa.html">the University of Illinois Chicago</a>, should be front page news and lead sportscasts.</div><p>Last summer <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-08/chicago-yankee-new-yorks-center-field-102007">I wrote about the Chicago native </a>and discovered what a thoughtful, giving young man he is. Now he is giving more. Last week when the Flames retired Curtis&#39; jersey, he revealed a plan to renovate the school&#39;s baseball field and facilities.</p><p>Granderson will use millions of his own dollars to update many facets of the stadium and fields, including the press box, stands, pitching mound and more. It is not just the school he will be aiding. It will be the community as a whole that will benefit from this generous gift.&nbsp; This two year plan to upgrade the facilities will include allowing various youth teams in the city the opportunity to use the stadium. Chicago Public Schools, the Park District, the RBI Reviving Baseball in Inner cities program (RBI), Urban Youth Academy, the White Sox and Cubs youth baseball teams can play there free of charge.</p><p>Flames head baseball coach Mike Dee says they will have almost 3,000 boys and girls involved with games. Long term, there will be a lot to plan, especially accommodating hundreds a games, including CPS games that will start this spring. Each baseball and softball team will have an opportunity to schedule a game. Not only will these leagues be able to play games and practices, the college will also have coaching and officiating clinics for the various organizations. Additionally, Granderson believes the safety of the neighborhood will help insulate the children, especially since a police station is next to the field.</p><p>Helping the youth is the underlying reason for this generosity. It may help revitalize a sport that has suffered a decline in popularity. Baseball is not the most popular sport for young athletes, particularly inner city youth. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-06/looking-jackie-robinson-deciphering-baseballs-shocking-dearth-black">The lack of African-Americans in baseball</a> is alarming. In fact, there is a profound documentary in the works, <em>Bases Empty</em>, that is delving into the genesis of the problem and the future of the game.&nbsp;</p><p>Besides giving back and taking care of his school, Granderson will help a community and a sport that has a proud tradition that needs to be re-kindled.</p><p>This project also says plenty about the ties Granderson has with the University of Illinois-Chicago and Flames Head Baseball Coach Mike Dee. That relationship began when Dee recruited Granderson at 17 years old, through his three years playing for the Flames and when he was drafted in his junior year by the Detroit Tigers. Now playing for the Yankees, Dee will go unannounced to see his famous centerfielder when Curtis comes to Chicago to play at US Cellular Field. When Mike talks to his Curtis it is rarely about baseball.</p><p>&ldquo;He (Curtis) has a real deep sense of social responsibility,&rdquo; Dee said. &ldquo;His mom and dad did a phenomenal job with him growing up, he is exceptionally humble and a strong sense of wanting giving back to the community.&rdquo;</p><p>The college experience is something that both Dee and Granderson want to entice the young players who will play or practice at Curtis Granderson Stadium.</p><p>It occurred to Dee that both he and Curtis never &ldquo;wondered <em>if</em> they were going to college, but <em>where,</em>&rdquo; but that is not the case with most of the youth they are trying to reach. They hope as kids spend time in the college environment it will open their eyes&nbsp; to the possibilities of continuing their education. Many will not play the sport long term, however, it could be for some a way to get<span style="font-weight: bold;"> a</span> scholarship.</p><p>There could be more Curtis Grandersons &mdash; the man, not necessarily the player &mdash; stepping on this new baseball field. At least that is a goal worth reaching for in my book.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/yankee-star-gives-back-university-illinois-chicago-chicago-youth