All posts by Haydee Clotter

Medill Newsmakers: The State of Black Entrepreneurs

By Haydee Clotter

A Medill Newsmakers Report

African Americans own 1.9 million businesses in the United States, an increase of nearly 61 percent from 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, American Express 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report, Wells Fargo and Gallup’s Small Business and Diverse Segments Lending Study.

In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, black male entrepreneurs from Chicago, Austin and San Francisco discussed how they started their business, how race plays a role in their business and the future of black entrepreneurs.

With adaptive sports like wheelchair basketball, Chicago is a hub for disabled youths shooting hoops

By Haydee Clotter

For disabled young people who use wheelchairs to get around, being on a basketball team may once have been an impossible dream. But now teams like the Chicago Skyhawks allow them to play a version of the game adapted for wheelchair users.

The Skyhawks are one of several adaptive sports programs throughout Chicago where young people like Martrell Stevens can regularly be seen on the court. The Skyhawks player says he doesn’t think playing wheelchair basketball is that much different from playing regular basketball.

“It’s just like playing regular sports,” said Stevens. “It’s just you in a chair. I actually think it’s more fun.”

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Program hopes to ignite passion, preserve culture with Mariachi in Chicago Schools

By Haydee Clotter

Cesar Maldonado is currently an investment banker and grew up around Mariachi music his entire life. He didn’t have a music background but combined his passion for Mariachi music and his community. As a CPS alumnus at Davis Elementary School, Maldonado took it upon himself to start The Mariachi Heritage Foundation.

The program gives students in grades K-12 the opportunity to celebrate the Mexican culture and heritage while continuing their music education. Students must be in good academic standing to participate in the program.

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State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez concedes race to Kim Foxx but demonstrations in Chicago are not over

By Emiliana Molina

They won a victory in yesterday’s primary elections, but protest groups Stop Mass Incarceration and Black Lives Matter will continue anti-police brutality rallies in Chicago.

In recent months, the groups have been motivated to head to the streets every time there is a new name involved with police shootings. They walk around downtown Chicago disrupting businesses, chanting at police officers and encouraging people to vote. Anti-police terror protesters said they want public officials held accountable and won’t rest until they see justice for the victims and their families.

In Tuesday’s primary election, Anita Alvarez conceded the State’s Attorney Democratic race to challenger Kim Foxx after being heavily criticized for her handling of police shootings and under pressure by protesters to resign.

Video: Janet Cooksey, mother of Quintonio LeGrier, joins protesters on the streets of Chicago. (Emiliana Molina/Medill)

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Motorcyclists get ready for new riding season on vintage bikes

The end of a Chicago winter means motorcycle riding season is just around the corner.

“I came from California where we don’t have riding season so this is all new to me,” said ACME Cycle Chicago customer Charlie Ruff.

Ruff learned how to ride a motorcycle with the help of a friend and at her school. Although she’s not opposed to newer model bikes, her preference is with the vintage and classic models.

“I would definitely own a new bike but as of right now I’m kind of a sucker for the vintage,” said Ruff

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Chicago dancers back Beyoncé (VIDEO)

When Beyoncé performed during the Super Bowl half-time, some, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the performance was “anti-police.” But others saw it as a natural expression stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It was very encouraging and empowering to see that and to see not only just a black cast but natural hair,” said Boom Crack dancer Chantel Turk. “It was celebrating the black culture.”

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to expand, the singer delivered her own take in tandem with a video that underlined her roots in the Deep South and her African-American heritage, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Coalition offers different take on the state of the state (VIDEO)

Governor Rauner will give his State of the State address tomorrow and it’s likely a key issue in the speech will be the Illinois budget impasse.

A number of groups called The Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) reached out to Rauner today to tell him what they believe are the real effects on the people of Illinois, as the budget stalemate leads to programs and services being cut.

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As Pilsen changes, longtime residents and businesses stay put (VIDEO)

By Haydee Clotter

The Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s Lower West Side has long had a strong Mexican and Latino influence.

“I think it’s been happening for some time,” said Mexican Museum curator William Guillermo Luna. “Pilsen used to be the entry point for Mexican immigrants.”

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau 28.9 percent of the population in Chicago is Hispanic or Latino. But development and gentrification are changing the landscape of the one of the city’s most prominent Latino neighborhoods.

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Women’s football team deals with concussion issue, too

By Haydee Clotter

The Chicago Force women’s football team isn’t exempt from the concussion issue. Even with equipment improvements for their safety, the female players face health risks, not only the men.

“I’m not going to say they’re prone to injury more because I don’t think the impact that they’re getting (is comparable),” said former NFL player Ken Rogers, who works out the Force players.
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Abby Wambach inspires young girls before retirement

By Haydee Clotter

Abby Wambach, 35, is America’s most famous female soccer player.

She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and competed in four World Cups. After a 14-year career with the women’s national team, she’s ready to retire.

Wambach will play her final game Dec. 16 against China PR in New Orleans as part of the 10-game Victory Tour by the U.S. team for winning the 2015 World Cup.

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