Social Justice

Former Athlete Helping Others Find Their Identity

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

High school athletes who don’t play sports in college all go through a transitional period of what life is like without a practice schedule.

Chloe Barnes went through that same transition and her experience, like that of thousands other athletes, wasn’t a smooth one.

So she created Elle Grace Consulting in order to help her fellow athletes find who they truly are underneath their jerseys.

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Back on ground

After her short-but-intense campaign in the Democratic primary to represent Illinois’ fourth Congressional District, Sol Flores returns to her roots as an affordable housing advocate.

by Vangmayi Parakala 
Medill Reports

Earlier this year, Sol Flores ran an intense 112-day campaign in the Democratic primary for Illinois’s fourth Congressional District Seat.

It was the same seat that Luis Gutierrez held for 13 straight terms, and the same seat political heavyweight Jesus “Chuy” Garcia also was contesting. She lost.

But Flores captured the imagination of both her constituency and political commentators alike—especially due to the sort of varied experiences she brought to the campaign, ranging from her candid #MeToo childhood story, to her profile as a middle-class, single, working woman of color. “We need more women at the table,” Flores says, shaking back her tight curls. But what she shaped and informed her participation in the campaign most was her work and experience as an affordable-housing activist in Chicago.

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International Rugby Coming to Chicago

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

At a news conference inside Soldier Field it was announced The Rugby Weekend will be held in Chicago once again.
The last time Chicago hosted the event in 2016  sell-out crowds packed the Chicago Bears stadium to see their beloved country-men and women play rugby.

Team members from Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United States all attended Tuesday’s announcement and answered questions on their anticipation of the event.


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Coach Jared Voss Gets Win Number 500

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Illinois high school baseball has a new member in the 500 club. Joliet Catholic Academy’s Head Baseball Coach Jared Voss just got win number 500 in a unique way.

Coach Voss, an alumnus of JCA, is looking to make another run at the state title and at this point their chances are pretty solid to do so.

Before the latest game against Marist High School, Voss was honored with a pregame ceremony and announcement that a commemorative plaque will be made to honor his achievement.

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The Chicago Wildfire: Chicago’s Professional Ultimate Frisbee Team

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Chicago has a professional ultimate Frisbee team, the Chicago Wildfire. Professional Ultimate Frisbee is played within the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), comprised of teams all across the country including three Canadian teams.

With a large youth movement of the sport in the Chicago suburbs, the Wildfire is reaching out to all parts of Chicago to spread their love for the sport.

It’s early in the season for the Wildfire and they’re looking to make a run for the 2018 AUDL Championship.

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Orland Park Teen Wants Everyone to Play Baseball

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Orland Park has a special resident who thinks beyond himself when it comes to improving his community. Sixteen-year-old Zachary Stack is on a mission to building a handicap accessible baseball field.

After hearing about a Challengers Field in nearby Tinley Park, IL he asked why his town of Orland Park, IL didn’t have a field that was handicap friendly. When it was apparent that the idea for one was never thought of, he decided to take action.

Zachary’s mission is to share his love for the game of baseball by making it accessible to those who haven’t always been able to play due to their disabilities.


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Survivors of Sexual Violence Find an Outlet in Performance

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Rory Beckett is 4 feet 11 inches tall, but as she thrashes her whole body to headbang, the shadows from her whipping hair tower over the stage.

When Beckett arrived for her performance at the Playground Theater, she had no plan for what she would do; only that she would dance to The Cranberries’ “Zombie.”

“What feels really good right now is that I cannot think of most of the thoughts that went through my mind as I was performing,” said Beckett a few days later. “I just let my body do what it wanted.”

Beckett’s performance closed Monday night’s show “Resilient,” a monthly exhibition for survivors of sexual violence.

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ParkWhiz finds Cubs fans better parking on opening day

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

When heading to a Chicago Cubs home game, you might want to check to see if you’ll have a place to park before you leave. Too often fans make the mistake of waiting until they arrive in Wrigleyville to shop around the available parking.

With limited parking spots and prices starting around $50 a space, fans are in need of a different option.

ParkWhiz is an on-demand parking app co-founded by Aashish Dalal, a Northwestern graduate. It finds your affordable parking near an event or by simply entering your destination.

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Punching Back at the Crime in Chicago’s Southside

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Children on the south side of Chicago are subjected to an alarming rate of violence from a very young age. Without after school activities to keep these kids from joining gangs, many find themselves in a gang before high school.

Sally Hazelgrove took it upon herself to create Crushers Club in Englewood in order to get the kids off the streets.

Her goal is to open multiple clubs like this one in order to turn off the stream of the next generation of gang members.

Photo at top: The walls are decorated with photos of Crusher’s Club members. (Nicholas Mantas/MEDILL)

Black girls perceived, often treated as older and less innocent, study finds

By Giulia Petroni
Medill Reports

In the summer of 2012, a 15-year-old black girl was arrested by police for using her student MetroCard in Harlem, New York. Officers questioned her age – they thought she was too old to use a card valid only for youths under 19 – and kept her in costudy until they got her birth certificate.

After being treated at a hospital for the damage caused by handcuffs on her wrists, Alexis Sumpter said she would have never gone to the same station again.

African-American females are perceived less innocent and more adult-like than white females, reveals the report “Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood” published last year by the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality.

“This is the evidence of what we call adultification,” said Thalia Gonzales, professor at Occidental College and co-author of the research.

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