Stories by Emily Soto

File photo of person in a medical setting. (WTTW News)

Thousands of Immigrants in Illinois May Lose Their Health Care as Advocates Call for More Funding

The programs rolled out during the pandemic, providing benefits for immigrant adults and seniors. They offered health coverage for low-income individuals who did not qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status.

Lupe Jimenez is pictured with her family at her graduation from University of Illinois. (Credit: Lupe Jimenez)

First-Generation Students Reflect on Experiences as Rising Number of Latinos Pursuing Post-Graduate Degrees

While the number of Latinos enrolling in post-graduate degree programs has increased 81% since 2010, that group still only makes up 8% of all post-grad students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

(WTTW News)

Mental Health Care Access is Key for Shooting Survivors’ Healing, Gun Violence Prevention

Mental health struggles can play a big role in a gun violence survivor’s recovery, but navigating that journey isn’t the same for everyone. Finding the right care can be difficult, and often involves unpacking complex trauma.

A group of protesters set up on Northwestern University’s campus in late April 2024. (WTTW News)

Amid Ongoing Campus Protests, Northwestern Students Discuss the Line Between Free Speech and Safety

Student protests over the Israel-Hamas war have popped up at college campuses across the U.S. after being inspired by demonstrators at Columbia University. As May commencement ceremonies near, administrators face added pressure to clear protesters.

(WTTW News)

Asian American Advocates Call on Illinois Lawmakers to Address Immigration and Language Services

The Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition has gathered over 300 members to take part in this year’s Asian American Action Day events to advocate for language and immigration services and education equity, among other causes. 

(WTTW News)

‘A Safer City’ Community Conversation: Addressing the Root Causes of Gun Violence

“Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices” host Joanna Hernandez moderated a conversation about how supporting victims of gun violence and finding a path toward healing plays a role in ending cycles of violence.

The Rev. Frederick Haynes III (at podium) and the Rev. Jesse Jackson (seated, right) at a news conference for Rainbow PUSH on July 18, 2023. (WTTW News)

Rainbow PUSH Coalition Searching for New Leader After CEO Steps Down Just Months After Taking the Job

The Rev. Frederick Haynes III announced last week he would step down as president and CEO after just months on the job. It has raised questions about the future of the historic civil rights organization.

Protesters pause at the 76th Street overpass on the Dan Ryan Expressway on July 7, 2018. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

New Bill Would Make It a Felony for Protesters to Block Major Roads in Illinois

The bill comes on the heels of recent pro-Palestinian protests that blocked traffic on I-190 near Chicago O’Hare International Airport, causing many travelers to pull their luggage along the freeway to catch their flights.

(WTTW News)

As Illinois Launches ‘New Stores in Food Deserts’ Grant Program, Local Groups Work to Fill the Gaps

A city report found 29% of Latinos in Chicago are experiencing food insecurity. Not only do families struggle to access enough food, but finding nutritious foods to stay healthy can also be more difficult.

Karen Clark Sheard, Lamar Campbell and The Spirit of Praise, Smokie Norful, and The Chicago Mass Choir.

Concert to Celebrate Chicago’s Place in Gospel Music History

Some of gospel’s biggest stars are coming together for a night of performances in the city where it all began.

(WTTW News)

Suicide Rates Rising Among Black and Latino Chicagoans, Study Finds

Mental health resources and early intervention can play a crucial role in preventing suicides, but researchers say those services are becoming harder to access.

(WTTW News)

Former Gov. Quinn Wants Voters to Weigh In on Stadiums: ‘It’s Better to First Ask the Taxpayers’

As the Bears and White Sox are on the hunt for taxpayer cash to fund new stadiums, Quinn says it’s once again time to ask the voters what they think.

Measles vaccine. (CNN)

Chicago Has Recorded 56 Cases of Measles This Year, More Than Half of the National Total

The Chicago Department of Public Health says they are fighting the spread through testing and vaccinations — particularly in the Pilsen migrant shelter where the majority of cases are emerging.

Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter” album cover. (Credit: Blair Caldwell / Parkwood Entertainment LLC)

Beyoncé’s New Country Album Highlights How the Genre Has Long Been Shaped by Black Culture

Black artists and culture have shaped the country genre for generations, pulling from the melodies of Black hymns and incorporating African instruments like the banjo. 

Parking lots on the Museum Campus near Soldier Field. (WTTW News)

Friends of the Parks Encourage Thoughtful Approach as Bears Prepare Proposal for New Lakefront Stadium

While the team hasn’t yet released plans, Bears president Kevin Warren stated they would commit over $2 billion to transform the Museum Campus and revamp the surrounding infrastructure — all of which Warren hopes could begin as soon as this year.

(WTTW News)

It’s Increasingly Difficult for Bilingual Parents to Raise Bilingual Children, Research on Chicago Spanish Speakers Finds

Research shows it’s becoming harder for bilingual speakers to raise bilingual children — but also points to factors that can improve opportunities for Spanish development.

File photo of a person getting a blood transfusion. (WTTW News)

What Efforts to Expand Access to Sickle Cell Treatment Could Mean for Illinois Patients

Sickle cell disease affects about 5,000 people across Illinois — and it’s mostly impacting Black communities. While gene therapies have emerged to treat the disease, high costs can limit access.

(WTTW News)

‘A Safer City’ Community Conversation: Violence Intervention

“Chicago Tonight” co-anchor Paris Schutz was joined by Vaughn Bryant, executive director of Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, and Kenoya Ali, the housing coordinator for Chicago CRED, to talk about violence reduction efforts.

Justice Jesse Reyes appears on “Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices” on March 21, 2024. (WTTW News)

After Illinois Supreme Court Loss, Jesse Reyes Reflects on Latino Representation on the Bench

The campaign highlighted the lack of Latino representation on the state’s top court — which has long been a concern of many in the Latino legal community and beyond. 

People speak out in support of Bring Chicago Home at a rally on March 15, 2024. (WTTW News)

Bring Chicago Home Referendum Still Too Close to Call as Mail-In Ballots Counted

The ballot measure would give Chicago City Council the power to hike the Real Estate Transfer Tax on property sales over $1 million to help fight homelessness. The close race could point to some disagreement among Chicagoans over how to support the city’s unhoused.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Voters to Decide Whether City Council Can Hike Taxes on Sales of Million-Dollar Properties to Address Homelessness

The question asks Chicago voters to decide if they support an increase of the real estate transfer tax on property sales over $1 million. The additional revenue would be used on programs to fight homelessness. 

File photo of an emergency room sign. (WTTW News)

Chicagoans Are Dying From Cardiac Arrest at Younger Ages: UIC Study

While researchers haven’t yet pinpointed the cause for the decreasing age, they caution it indicates a need for awareness from both patients and responders.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Community Groups Look to Build Support Systems as Part of Violence Reduction Efforts

Local organizations are focusing on those areas in an effort to work directly with those most impacted in an effort to stop cycles of violence

(WTTW News)

Syphilis Cases in Babies on the Rise in Chicago, Health Department Says

It’s part of a nationwide increase in congenital infections, passed along to an infant during pregnancy. If undiagnosed, the baby can be born with a number of health issues, including cataracts, deafness and a low birth weight, or can even be stillborn.

(WTTW News)

New Bill Aims to Eliminate the Road Test for Seniors in Illinois

Illinois is the only state in the country to require behind-the-wheel road tests for seniors renewing their licenses. Proposed legislation in Springfield is looking to eliminate that mandate despite conflicting research from some national safety groups.

(terimakasih0 / Pixabay)

‘Do You Want to be Informed or You Want to be Influenced?’: Navigating Social Media Misinformation

Nearly half of surveyed Latinos rely on social media sites like TikTok and WhatsApp for their news and information. This has allowed for the spread of misinformation and disinformation, where fact checking in Spanish is less available.