General Interest

Eating disorders can eat away your body

By Priyam Vora

Eating disorders take an enormous toll on your body – not only draining weight but impacting the bones, heart and other organs.  Between 5 to 20 percent of people who develop the disease eventually die from it, according to WebMD. Continue reading

Racial bias in policing not just a Ferguson problem

By Kate Morrissey

Page May said that when her family came to visit her in Chicago, they were all standing on a street corner in Logan Square as a police officer pulled up slowly beside them and signaled to her that he was watching. She said he then drew his hand across his throat and drove away.

For May, an activist with Chicago-based We Charge Genocide, the recent findings by the Department of Justice’s civil rights investigation into the Ferguson Police Department are nothing new, nor are they particular to the city of Ferguson. In 2014, May’s organization gathered testimony from African-American and Latino Chicagoans to submit to the United Nations about police brutality.

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Lindblom to dedicate innovative classroom to legendary journalist

By Taylor Mullaney

When Ethel Payne was a student at Lindblom High School in West Englewood nearly a century ago, she published exactly one article for her school’s newspaper. But, according to biographer James McGrath Morris, Payne was never allowed on the newspaper’s staff.

As a black student during a time when Chicago was deeply segregated, Payne was prohibited from regularly writing articles for the student newspaper. Years later, Payne would become a pioneering journalist of the civil rights era. She reported for the Chicago Defender and earned a title as the “First Lady of the Black Press.”

Thursday evening, her alma mater, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, will dedicate its new journalism classroom to Payne, who attended the school from 1926 to 1930. The dedication is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Lindblom’s Keeler Hall, located at 6130 S. Wolcott Ave., followed by James McGrath Morris’ reading from his new biography about Payne at 6 p.m. Continue reading

500,000 revelers expected downtown for the 60th St. Patrick’s Day parade

By Christine Smith

Dust off your greenest attire, lads and lassies. St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again.

With the holiday under a week away, Chicago prepares to go Irish for the day when it hosts its 60th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade this Saturday. Continue reading

Facebook class brings older adults into the 21st century

By Emily Hoerner

Older adults in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood are jumping into the 21st century to learn a new skill: Facebook.

With Facebook’s popularity garnering 890 million daily active users as of December 2014, according to the company’s website, the social network is arousing the curiosity of older adults. Continue reading

Indiegogo Life crowdsources for unsung Chicago heroes

By Laura Furr

1871’s new crowdsourcing partner, Indiegogo Life, unveiled its platform to honor everyday Chicago heroes Tuesday night at the Merchandise Mart to a crowd of 73 startup creators and activists.

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VIDEO: How Chicago organizations help youth combat dating violence, sex trafficking

By Tanni Deb and Grace Eleyae

On this edition of Medill Newsmakers, we discuss what some Chicago organizations are doing to educate young men on how to combat teenage dating violence and sex trafficking. Featured organizations are members from the Allied Against Violence Project, an anti-domestic violence program that empowers teenage males to build healthy relationships; the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, a group educating youth to combat sexual exploitation; and Her Story Theatre, which showcases plays to raise awareness for social change for both women and children.

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Wikipedians are Editing the Gender Gap

By Lucy Vernasco

If you walked by room 613 at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago’s Flaxman Library on Saturday, you heard the sounds of furious typing and laughter as a diverse group of students and Chicago residents discussed feminism and the internet. Continue reading

Illinois remains lethargic on medical marijuana

By Ezra Kaplan

Marla Levi is a 52-year-old Chicagoan with multiple sclerosis. With the support of her doctor, she applied and was accepted into the state-funded Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. This means that she qualifies and has a medical need for medical marijuana. It has been nearly three months since she got her papers but she has yet to fill the prescription.

The law that allows medical marijuana also stipulates that it must come from the state. But Illinois hasn’t grown any marijuana.

Sound like a Catch-22?

It is.

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GMOs: The scarlet letters of the grocery aisle?

By Shanley Chien

You walk down the aisles at Whole Foods spotting milk, cookies, pasta, and a variety of other products with the “Non-GMO Project Verified” label. The label tells you the foods don’t contain genetically modified organisms  – GMOs.

But the image of a butterfly sitting on a blade of grass shaped like a check mark subconsciously reassures you that this product is “safe.” After all, if it’s safe enough for a butterfly, it’s safe enough for you and your family. You put it in your basket, perhaps because people like Dr. Oz and food blogger Vani Hari of Food Babe tell you GMOs are unhealthy.

GMOs add to the nutritional value and preservation of foods and most scientists vouch for their safety. But critics abound.

“We have the whole government working against us,” Hari said in an interview on the Carolina Connection Talk Radio. “They don’t want Americans to figure out that these could be causing health issues, that they haven’t been tested, and they are increasing pesticide and herbicide use.”

Organizations and advocacy groups such as the Non-GMO Project, Dr. Oz, Food Babe, and other anti-GMO crusaders say GMOs are unnatural and unhealthy, according to their websites. Continue reading