All posts by katangajohnson2017

Cuban entrepreneurs shatter glass ceilings

By Katanga Johnson

HAVANA, Cuba — Neatly laid out across a wooden table, the crepe-papered outline of a multi-colored mosaic serves as the legend for what Irena Martínez and Adriana de la Nuez have nearly completed designing: a stained-glass window depicting a bird–the Cuban trogon. Across the latitude of its 11-inch frame, the tropical island’s national bird wears a cape of green feathers. A red belly and beak, white throat and chest and crown of blue resemble the colors of the Cuban flag.

The workshop space both women occupy is notably crammed. A leased property under repair, the government provided the 26-year-olds this ideal location to reach tourists and locals alike in Havana’s historical center. Running a cooperative, a version of small business in Cuba, takes patience despite the space.

Cooperatives typically receive funding or material support from the government and are also responsible for raising their own funds. As part of the liberalizing of Cuba’s socialist economic system, cooperatives are opening the country up to capitalism and privatization while maintaining some of the revolution’s collectivist ideals.

Continue reading

Christian students offer their perspective on the presidential election

By Katanga Johnson

In the 2016 presidential election, young people supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a margin of 55% to 37%. In 2012, President Obama won an even larger margin, with 60% of the youth vote.

As a reliably blue state, Illinois had similar numbers of young voters in favor of Secretary Clinton. But that does not hold true everywhere in the state.

In and around Chicago, one likely place to look for Donald Trump young supporters is Wheaton College—an evangelical haven in one of the city’s western suburbs—which prides itself on teaching through a Christian lens.

In the video below, Wheaton students shared their perspectives as their fall term came to a close.

Photo at top: Justus Hanson, an International Relations student at Wheaton College, explains why he voted for Donald Trump.(Katanga Johnson/MEDILL)

Can’t vote? Next step: become a citizen

By Katanga Johnson

[An earlier version of this story ran election night on Medill Reports.]

As more than one hundred million Americans cast their ballots on Nov. 8, thousands of hopefuls prepared themselves for the next election. But first they need to become American citizens.

Rodrigo Vences, employee at the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Chicago, explaining citizenship process with prospective applicant. Nov. 06. (Screen still from video by Katanga Johnson/MEDILL)