Kids serve as translators for parents who speak little English

By Shanshan Wang Idalia Cervantes still recalls vividly when she accompanied her mother to the doctor as her interpreter at age seven. Not yet knowing the word “cough,” she faked several coughs to help describe the symptom. “I was learning English myself and I only knew a few words,” Cervantes said. Even though she was […]

Coming Out of The Shadows: Students speak openly about being undocumented

By Shanshan Wang Audio by Ya Zhou For many years, Tamara Montes De Oca, a senior in communications at Northeastern Illinois University, never told others about her undocumented status. “I hid it because I never wanted to be treated differently. I wanted to be given the same challenges and opportunities as everyone,” Montes De Oca […]

Asian American community members unite against Anita Alvarez

By Shanshan Wang Accusing Anita Alvarez of inaction during police brutality investigations, two dozen Asian Americans protested in downtown Chicago Tuesday against the incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney. Participants, mostly young people from a variety of communities, chanted “Anita Alvarez must go” in English as well as in Korean, Cantonese, Bangla and Tagalog. Their hope […]

Volunteers phone bank for Asian American civic engagement

By Shanshan Wang Audio by Jenny G. Zhang Rebecca Ozaki has been trying to encourage Asian Americans to vote through phone banking, which she hopes will be effective in getting them to the polls. “Why we call is because a lot of people may not be told what difference they can have by voting in […]

One bullet, two victims: Protesters rally for convicted NYPD officer

By Shanshan Wang Thousands of people, mostly Chinese-Americans, marched in downtown Chicago Saturday, calling justice for former NYPD officer Peter Liang, who was convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black man in 2014. The protesters chanted along the way, holding national flags, signs and banners with slogans conveying the message that selective justice is not […]

Rena Sternberg: Collecting from the heart

By Qingwei Chen and Shanshan Wang Rena Sternberg’s living room is “decorated” with artworks such as Frog Substitute,Yellow, Henning Bohl’s sculptural mural featuring a yellow bike helmet. “It was purchased in 2010 from the Casey M. Kaplan Gallery in New York,” said Sternberg, who remembers the source of every work from 40 years of collecting. […]

Chinese Seniors Celebrate the Lunar New Year

By Shanshan Wang Welcoming the Year of the Monkey, about 80 elderly residents originally from China celebrated the Lunar New Year with traditional music and cuisine in Chinatown on Monday. “We want to bring warmth to the older adults, [the] majority of which live alone in senior buildings or with family members who work days […]

Literacy program helps immigrants overcome language barriers


By Shanshan Wang Zubeda Begum, who came to the United States from Pakistan 15 years ago, believes that practice makes perfect. That is why the 67-year-old has just passed examinations and graduated from the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at the Indo-American Center in West Rogers Park. “I learn so many things,” Begum […]