All posts by jiayanshi2017

After-school program teaches native children their heritage

By Jiayan Jenny Shi

Kelly Summers, 44, is a Chicago-born Native American who volunteers with Native Scholars, an after-school tutoring program at the American Indian Association of Illinois (AIAI). Every Tuesday afternoon, native children across Chicago meet at a church basement in Andersonville where they get homework assistance and cultural instruction.

Summers learned cultural traditions at a Menominee Indian reservation and from her late father. Now she tutors native children as a way to give back to the community and continue her father’s dream and mission.

Photo at top: Kelly Summers assists native children in their homework at the after-school program on May 16. (Jiayan Jenny Shi/MEDILL)

Young people lead Little Village protest to ‘Increase the Peace’

By Jiayan Jenny Shi

Marcos Constantino Jr., 21, is a college student living in Little Village. Growing up in a family once involved in gangs, Constantino avoided joining a gang with the support from his family and by participating in a Little Village Softball League.

Along with other community organizers, Constantino helped create the first “Little Village #increasethepeace” campout on May 12. This event combined the forces of community leaders, businesses and residents to fight against gang violence in the community.

Photo at top: People march and in the quest for peace in Little Village May 12. (Jiayan Jenny Shi/MEDILL)

Mexican Children’s Day parade raises awareness of children’s rights

By Jiayan Jenny Shi

More than 1,000 children participated in the 18th Chicago Día de los Niños/Celebrating Young Americans Parade in Pilsen on April 29. The parade celebrated Mexican Children’s Day and called for awareness of children’s rights.

In addition to recognizing children’s importance, the theme this year is “Children’s Rights are DACA Rights” in response to the Trump administration’s differing views on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Photo at top: Evet Montenegro, 10, Richard Edwards School student, and her friends wait for their performance near the stage at Harrison Park field house. (Jiayan Jenny Shi/MEDILL)

Little Village shop owners blame Trump administration for drop in sales

By Jiayan Jenny Shi

Rosy’s bakery, one of the most famous bakeries in Little Village, is among many small businesses in the neighborhood saying they face decreasing sales because of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown. ICE agents are patrolling 26th street in this Mexican immigrant majority neighborhood, some residents say they are afraid of going out on the streets.

Photo at top: Hot bread is ready for sale at Rosy’s Bakery in Little Village April 6. (Jiayan Jenny Shi/MEDILL)

Video: Courage in Little Village

By Jiayan Jenny Shi

Elizeth Arguelles, 21, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, participated in the Señorita México Illinois (Miss Mexico Illinois) beauty pageant March 4 to win a scholarship for her transition to a four-year university.

Although Arguelles didn’t win the crown and the scholarship, she got the Miss Sympathy award. After the pageant, Arguelles went back to her normal life in Little Village, a community that has the largest undocumented population in Chicago.

Photo at top: Elizeth Arguelles competes for Señorita México Illinois (Miss Mexico Illinois) March 4 in Cicero. (Jiayan Jenny Shi/MEDILL)

Video: Quest for LGBTI respect in South Africa

By Jiayan Jenny Shi

Matshidiso Mofokeng is a lesbian feminist and soccer player in South Africa. Living in a patriarchal society, Mofokeng has experienced discrimination because of her sexuality. Now she is a member of Chosen FEW, a lesbian soccer team that works in sports to end homophobia and other forms of discrimination.

Photo at top: Mofokeng practices soccer Feb. 10  in the backyard where she meets lesbian friends in Vosloorus. (Jiayan Jenny Shi/MEDILL)

Domestic workers filled with fear over Trump’s threat of deportation

By Jiayan (Jenny) Shi

O’lola Ann Olib, a Philippine caregiver in Chicago, says she was excited about the Illinois domestic workers’ rights bill; however, she expresses a sense of uncertainty for her friends who remain undocumented as President Donald Trump continues to push his deportation agenda.

“I was happy that there’s domestic rights, very excited. …. We have rights now, then my [undocumented] co-workers said, ‘Where will we go after this? We have no document to show. …’ ” said Olib, 66, who received documented status in 2012. “There’s nothing in place like implementation orders.”

Olib is among the thousands of immigrant workers who are concerned about the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which went into effect Jan. 1. Since Trump assumed office, he has taken steps to fulfill his campaign promise of deporting those immigrants who are illegally in the United States. On Wednesday, Trump delayed signing his revised travel ban in the wake of the positive reaction to his Tuesday address to Congress.
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