Afternoon Shift: Book Club “Michelle Obama: A Life”

Afternoon Shift: Book Club “Michelle Obama: A Life”
Afternoon Shift: Book Club “Michelle Obama: A Life”

Afternoon Shift: Book Club “Michelle Obama: A Life”


Book Club: Michelle Obama’s path from the South Side to the White House

A new biography of the First Lady traces her roots growing up in South Shore to her time at Princeton and Harvard, before her return to Chicago, her marriage to Barack Obama and their eventual path to the White House. It’s an intimate look at our country’s first African-American first lady by a former Washington Post reporter who first covered the Obamas on the campaign trail in 2007. Author Peter Slevin now teaches at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and joins us to discuss the book.

Guest: Peter Slevin is the author of “Michelle Obama: A Life.”

Free festival highlights artisan goodies

Spring is upon us and soon we will have the type of weather for outdoor festivals and picnics, where the cheese plate often plays a starring role. On April 25, Greg O’Neill, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine in Chicago hosts the free Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival. He joins us with details.

Guest: Greg O’Neill is co-owner and co-founder of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine.

Illinois congressman wants historic woman on $20 bill

While both Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea have been on our dollar coin, there hasn’t been a woman on our paper currency since Martha Washington was on the dollar in the late 1800s. Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez is trying to change that. On April 21, he introduced a bill in Washington that would replace President Andrew Jackson with a historically significant woman. The bill was introduced just a week after New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Representative Gutierrez joins us from Washington with details.

Guest: Luis Gutierrez is an Illinois Congressman.

Garfield Park Conservatory celebrates Earth Day

Four years after a hailstorm damaged three of Garfield Park Conservatory’s rooms, the Conservatory is unveiling the renovated digs with an Earth Day celebration. There will be performances and educational tours of the some of the vibrant new plants and the iconic space. Chicago Park District director of conservatories Mary Eysenbach gives us an audio tour of the day’s festivities.

Guest: Mary Eysenbach is Chicago Park District’s director of conservatories.

$400 million art collection comes to the Art Institute of Chicago

A massive collection of contemporary art has a new home at the Art Institute of Chicago. The collection, valued at roughly $400 million, is being donated by Chicago philanthropists Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, who are also WBEZ underwriters. Joining us with more on what’s in the collection and how the Art Institute plans to exhibit it is James Rondeau, a curator and head of the Department of Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Guest: James Rondeau is The Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tech Shift: Chicago students compete in worldwide robotics competition

One hundred and twenty eight teams from around the world are in St. Louis today for the FIRST Tech World Championship, a robotics competition for high school students. Chicago is represented by a team from Chicago’s Math and Science Academy. Gustavo Cruz, a member of the RoboTitans team, and Justin Catalan, an alumni of the Math and Science Academy and now a mentor for the robotics team, join us from the tournament.


Taxi medallions: once hot, now worthless?

If you were looking for a good return on investment in the last few years, it was hard to beat a Chicago taxi medallion. Medallions, which are city-issued licenses to operate cabs, increased in value at least fivefold between 2006 and 2013. But now after huge shifts in the industry, many owners are deep underwater on their medallion loans, and some say they’re nearly worthless. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef has details.

Chicago area communities begin to adopt police body cams

At a City Council meeting in suburban Zion, dozens of protesters called for police officers in the town to be required to wear body cameras. The push comes in response to the fatal shooting by police of 17-year-old Justus Howell who was shot twice in the back. Unlike the recent high-profile case of a police-involved shooting death in South Carolina, there was no video of the shooting in Zion. And other Chicago area communities either use body cams or have plans to do so. Lindsay Miller is a senior research associate with the Police Executive Research Forum, which studies critical issues in policing. She’s also the author of a report on police body cameras commissioned by the U.S. Justice Department. She joins us from Washington with more.

Guest: Lindsay Miller is a research associate at the Police Executive Research Forum.

Chicago Board of Education suspends SUPES contract

The Chicago Board of Education held their monthly meeting on April 22. It’s the first public meeting since news broke that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating misconduct involving district chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett and a suburban company called SUPES Academy. WBEZ’s Becky Vevea has details.

Guest: Becky Vevea is a WBEZ reporter.