How do Chicago institutions and seats of power work for, or at times against, the city’s residents?
That question is one of several at the heart of a new WBEZ series in collaboration with the University of Chicago.
The series is called “Re-Imagine Chicago” and is hosted by Sasha-Ann Simons, who joined WBEZ in December as host of the station’s flagship midday show “Reset.”
Simons says since taking the reins at WBEZ she has immersed herself in a city she previously viewed through news headlines from afar.
“I’ve learned so much about who’s in power here, who’s not,” Simons said. “And the different institutions and levels of government — how things are working, community residents, different neighborhoods, different foods — just everything.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Toronto, Simons comes to Chicago from Washington, D.C., where she was a program host and reporter covering race, identity and affordability for WAMU, the city’s NPR station.
Simons said the experience she gained covering issues in the nation’s capital translates directly to her work in Chicago.
“Food insecurity, poverty, maternal immortality — things that were at rampant rates over there are also playing out here in Chicago,” Simons said.