From Chicago to the Middle East

By Jinitzail Hernandez and Jessica Nieberg
Medill Reports

Reporter Jinitzail Hernandez explores Chicago’s Pride Parade and the issues facing Pride Parade in Lebanon.  Reporter Jessica Nieberg travels from Chicago to Lebanon to shed light on non-profit organizations that have evolved to meet the needs of refugee youth.

Photo at top: Aerial view of Harissa, Lebanon. (Jinitzail Hernandez/MEDILL)

Chicago tech startups and activism on the South Side

By DeForest Mapp and Kiara Brantley-Jones
Medill Reports

African Americans make up only one percent of all tech startup founders and another one percent of all US venture capitalists. DeForest Mapp hosts Chicago startup founder Garry Cooper and venture capitalist Yelena Shkolnik as they counter punch on the lack of diversity and myths around investment funding.

New developments on Chicago’s South Side are bringing  more opportunities.  A big victory for local activists is the opening of the the University of Chicago’s Level 1 Trauma Center for Adults.  Medill’s Kiara Brantley-Jones will explain how activism is reshaping Chicago’s South Side.

Photo at top: Lake Michigan POV of Chicago Skyline: (, Graphic Design by DeForest Mapp

Preventing gun violence in the Chicago area

By Richard Foster Shelton and Katelyn Sabater
Medill Reports

One of Chicagoland’s worst school shootings took place 30 years ago.  Reporter Katelyn Sabater talks to one of the survivors about how he moved on. Reporter Richard Foster Shelton explores what Chicagoans are doing to stop gun violence on this edition of Medill Newsmakers.

Photo at top: A mural dedicated to victims who lost their lives to gun violence made by B.R.A.V.E. members.   (Katelyn Sabater/Medill)

The state of youth sports in Chicago

By Jordan Klein and Juliana Sherry
Medill Reports

Two youth sports in Chicago are in a state of flux. In this episode of Medill Newsmakers, reporters Jordan Klein and Juliana Sherry examine the citywide participation shortages facing youth tackle football and youth baseball.

Photo at top: A young pitcher stares down his opponent before delivering his pitch. (Juliana Sherry/MEDILL)

Dairy Farmers Struggle With Economic, Health Challenges

By Brian Baker
Medill Reports

Andrews University opened its dairy farm in 1907. For more than a century, the private college in southwest Michigan used the farm for educational purposes and relied on it for financial income. But after three consecutive years of losses, the university’s board voted in early June to close its dairy operations next summer.

“After three bad years you lose heart and say, ‘let’s face reality,’” said Larry Schalk, the university’s vice president for financial administration.

The dairy farm had typically generated about $100,000 in annual profits for the school’s budget, but over the last three years had losses between $750,000 and $900,000 due to low milk prices and rising production costs, Schalk said. The finance committee had been urging the board to close the dairy operations for the past year.

Dairy farmers across the country are facing similar situations as a downturn in milk prices hits its fourth year, leaving most farmers unable to breakeven. The financial difficulties can leave farmers feeling depressed and hopeless, a dangerous combination for an industry with the highest suicide rate in the country, according to a 2016 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of suicide for people in the farming, fishing and forestry occupations was 85 individuals per 100,000 people, according to the study.

Continue reading

Meet Jesus Coll, one of the first college students in the U.S. to receive an athletic scholarship for esports

By Daniel Comer
Medill Reports

The next big thing in college athletics is simmering beneath the city streets of downtown Chicago, tucked away in a basement full of computer science majors whose sweaty palms and beady eyes indicate they’ve been battling for hours.

Athletes or not, this team of Robert Morris University (RMU) esports players is poised to challenge conventional thought and shake up the future of college athletics, one scholarship “athlete” at a time.

Continue reading

2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Analysis

By Jake Riepma, Darren Zaslau and DeForest Mapp
Medill Reports

Jake Riepma, Darren Zaslau and DeForest Mapp analyzed the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Continue reading

In Cuba, homeopathic treatments are an integral part of health care

By Hayley Prokos
Medill Reports

COJIMAR, Cuba — On an average afternoon in a fishing village just outside of Havana, Dr. Gaston Rodriguez works in a local clinic, treating his patients’ aches and pains with cupping, acupuncture and massage therapy.

Rodriguez uses arnica montana, a wildflower native to Europe, for inflammation of muscles. “It’s like an aspirin,” he says. He uses auriculotherapy, an electrical stimulation of the surface of the ear, which originated from ancient Chinese practices of acupuncture, to help reduce anxiety. In cupping, he creates suction by placing small cups on the skin. The practice may help to stimulate blood flow and promote healing.

Some Cubans look to salsa parrilla for lowering cholesterol and weight management. Others look to caisimon anise for inflammation of the pelvis and tila to quell sleep anxiety. Many use plants to control dandruff, treat hematomas and ease joint pain.

In a country that prides itself on advanced health care, one of the country’s greatest sources of medicine is the earth. The acceptance of homeopathic medicine comes partly from tradition, but a more important factor may be necessity: In the past 25 years, Cuba has simply been unable to meet the domestic demand for medicine found on dozens of shelves at a typical American pharmacy, from hydrocortisone to ibuprofen.

Continue reading

Families Belong Together rally in Chicago

By Katelyn Sabater
Medill Reports

While an estimated 2,000 immigrant children wait to reunite with their families, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Chicago to participate in the Families Belong Together rally.

Hundreds of protests around the country took place on Saturday in opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Continue reading

The agony of Syrian journalists

Loumay Alesali
Medill Reports

Issam Khoury has been detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured, and forced to flee his country because of his journalism and political activism over the last 15 years in Syria, a country torn apart by revolution and the reprisals of a brutal regime led by Bashar al-Assad.

Hundreds of articles, many on freedom and human rights, and two novels that Khoury wrote put him in the radar of al-Assad and his secret police and provoked a series of interrogations throughout the years that ended with his detention in 2012.
Continue reading