Stories by Aida Mogos

Growing Push to Bridge Digital Divide as University of Chicago Study Highlights Deep Disparities

(WTTW News)

The Internet Equity Initiative is analyzing data from the U.S. Census and city of Chicago Data Portal which shows 80% of Chicago households are online, but there are deep disparities between neighborhoods. In some neighborhoods, especially on the South and West sides, nearly 40% of the neighborhood doesn’t have internet.

Lisa Holder White, First Black Woman on Illinois Supreme Court, Reflects on Historic Nature of Appointment

 Justice Lisa Holder White appears on “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on May 14, 2022. (WTTW News)

The state’s highest court will soon have its first Black woman justice as Fourth District Appellate Court Judge Lisa Holder White is set to replace Justice Rita Garman, who’s retiring this summer. Holder White’s term begins in July. 

The Last Word on Supporting Black-Owned Businesses: Chicago French Press CEO Kris Christian

Chicago French Press Founder and CEO Kris Christian appears on "Chicago Tonight: Black Voices" on May 15, 2022. (WTTW News)

While many companies struggled during the pandemic, Chicago French Press saw sales skyrocket. The coffee brand can now be found on Amazon and in several stores, including Chicago-area Targets, which started selling the products in February. 

Mothers, Relatives Team Up to Raise Awareness for Missing Women

King Walker and Diamond Bynum have been missing since 2015. (Submitted)

In 2021, 521,705 people were reported missing, according to the National Crime Information Center. Of that number, 89,020 were Black women and girls. That means despite making up about 7% of the U.S. population, Black women and girls were 17% of missing person cases last year.

Chicago Community Trust CEO Dr. Helene Gayle Steps Down, Will Lead Spelman College

Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust. (Credit: Chicago Community Trust)

The first Black woman to lead the Chicago Community Trust, Dr. Helene Gayle, will leave her role in June to serve as president of Spelman College in Atlanta. 

‘The Birth of Gospel’ Showcases Chicago’s Place in Music History


The birth and growth of gospel music in Chicago is the subject of the latest episode of WTTW’s documentary series, “Chicago Stories.”

More Than 100,000 Applications Started for Chicago’s Cash Assistance Pilot Program; Deadline Is May 13

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at the April 27, 2022, Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Eligible applicants will be entered into a lottery to determine who will get $500 a month for one year. Ultimately, 5,000 households will receive checks in one of the largest tests of guaranteed income across the country.

Drastic Drop in Life Expectancy for Black Chicagoans Exposes Inequities in Health Care

(WTTW News)

For the first time in decades, life expectancy for Black Chicagoans fell below 70 years old. In 2020, the gap in life expectancy between Black and White residents was 10 years, an increase from 8.8 years in 2017. Overall, life expectancy in Chicago dropped almost two years from 2019 to 2020.

TV Series Set in Woodlawn Explores Police, Community Relations

“61st Street” is set in Woodlawn and explores the relationship between community, police and the courts. (Courtesy of AMC)

A new television series shot on Chicago’s South Side is airing now on AMC. “61st Street” is set in Woodlawn and explores the relationship between community, police and the courts.

Early Intervention Key to Best Outcomes for Children with Autism, Local Advocates Say

(WTTW News)

Autism affects about one in 44 children, and while therapists say early intervention is key to treating it effectively, Black children are five times more likely to be misdiagnosed or diagnosed later in life.

Black Voices Book Club: ‘How to Fight Racism’

(Courtesy of Jemar Tisby)

Helping young people figure out how to take a stand against racism is the topic of the latest selection in our Black Voices Book Club Series. “How to Fight Racism: A Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice” aims to give young people information and tools to fight racism and effect change.

Chicago’s Top Cop Says CPD Needs to Build Trust, Engage with Community

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown joins “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on April 16, 2022. (WTTW News)

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown says his department needs to do a better job of engaging with the community. He joined “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” to discuss everything from ghost guns to police reform in Chicago.

Hispanic Transplant Program Encourages Latinos to Become Donors

April is National Donate Life Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about organ donation. (WTTW News Graphic)

Dr. Juan Caicedo says it’s important to have culturally appropriate programs to increase and encourage organ donation among Latinos.

What the End of Pandemic Border Restrictions Means for Migrants

Border wall between the United States and Mexico in El Paso, Texas. (Levi Meir Clancy /Unsplash)

Title 42 was issued in March of 2020 as a public health order to expel migrants due to coronavirus concerns. The CDC decided this month that the order is no longer needed.

38th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival Begins April 21

The 38th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival films will be shown at Chi Town Movies Drive-In, Landmark Century Center, and virtually. (Courtesy CLFF)

Festival organizers say they try to highlight first time directors, films made by women, and stories about marginalized communities including LGBTQ people, indigenous people, and Black Latinos; expanding on the original mission to create a platform for Latino filmmakers and stories. 

Chicago Lawyers Call Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court Confirmation a Sign of Hope

Ketanji Brown Jackson appears at the White House on April 8, 2022. (CNN)

Judge Ketanji BrownJackson will not only be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, she’ll also be the first former public defender.

One-on-One with Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump Who Represents Families Impacted by Police Violence

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump. (CNN)

Attorney Ben Crump has become a household name as the go-to lawyer for families impacted by police violence, including those of Michael Brown, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and many others. He was in Chicago Tuesday calling for federal police reform.

Renée Elise Goldsberry of ‘Hamilton’ Makes Chicago Concert Debut

Singer and actress Renée Elise Goldsberry. (Courtesy of “An Evening with Renee Elise Goldsberry”)

Broadway Star Renée Elise Goldsberry was in Chicago Saturday for a one-night-only concert performing classic songs from artists like Aretha Franklin, along with her own Broadway hits.

The Last Word: Shaqui Reed, Visual Artist and Teacher on Black Creativity

Shaqui Reed is a visual arts teacher for The Chicago High School for the Arts. (WTTW News)

An exhibit celebrating Black creativity is open from now until April 17 at the Museum of Science and Industry. 

Freedom School Advocates Say $17M Grant Brings Hope for Future Programs

The state recently announced a $17 million grant to build the first state-funded network of Freedom Schools in the country. (Courtesy Springfield Urban League)

The state recently announced a $17 million grant to build the first state-funded network of Freedom Schools in the country. The schools date back to the 1960s when volunteers traveled to Mississippi to teach Black students how to read and write, along with lessons on constitutional rights and African American history.

LGBTQ Community Speaks Out Following Deaths of Two Chicago-Area Black Trans Women

(Courtesy of Paul Goyette and Justin Russell)

Tatiana LaBelle, also known as “Tee Tee,” was found in a trash can, beaten to death in the Chatham neighborhood on March 18. Her death was ruled a homicide. One day later, transgender activist Elise Malary was found dead along the lakefront in Evanston, a week after she was reported missing.

Chicago Doctor’s New Book, ‘The Emergency,’ Examines US Health Care System


Pandemic inequities and how health care systems contribute to them are the focus of the latest selection in our “Black Voices Book Club” series, “The Emergency: A year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER.”

Youth Researchers Identify Mental Health Challenges for Young Men of Color

In collaboration with Lurie Children’s Hospital, young researchers with the racial justice organization Communities United conducted a study focused on the mental health and well-being of Black and Brown young men in Chicago. (Courtesy of Communities United)

In collaboration with Lurie Children’s Hospital, young researchers with the racial justice organization Communities United conducted a study focused on the mental health and well-being of Black and Brown young men in Chicago. 

Chicago Cannabis Company Joins Production of Marijuana Decriminalization Documentary

Michael Thompson is pictured after he was released from prison in 2021. (Courtesy of Michael Thompson)

A Chicago-based cannabis company is now working to expose harsh sentences for recreational marijuana use as it becomes legal in several states. Cresco helped produce a short film on the sentencing of Michael Thompson, a Michigan man who was given 42 to 60 years in prison for a marijuana-related arrest.

Ordinance Aimed at Slowing Gentrification Passes as Pilsen Rental Prices Increasing, Latino Population Shrinking

(WTTW News)

Chicago City Council voted this week to extend an ordinance aimed at slowing gentrification and displacement in Pilsen and areas near the 606 trail. The measure imposes a fee on permits for the demolition of buildings with residential units.

Historic Supreme Court Hearings Begin for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 21, 2022. (CNN)

Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson began with opening statements from both sides of the aisle, and from Jackson herself, who alluded to the historic nature of her nomination.