Stories by Erica Gunderson

Larry Snelling and Mayor Brandon Johnson shake hands while addressing the media during a press conference announcing Snelling’s appointment as the Chicago Police Department’s superintendent Aug. 14, 2023. (WTTW News)

Residents React to Chicago Top Cop Selection, Share Hopes for Community Engagement: ‘It’s a Two-Way Street’

If confirmed as superintendent, Larry Snelling faces a delicate balancing act — addressing the crime and violence that have plagued Chicago while also changing the way CPD trains and disciplines its officers.

(WTTW News)

Black Students Face Continuing Challenges in Chicago Public Schools

Data has shown that Black students in CPS schools are disproportionately subject to discipline, underrepresented in the city’s top-rated high schools and have to travel the farthest of any demographic group to get to school.

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance music project

‘Somos Un Solo Pueblo, Mexico y Puerto Rico’ Creates Cultural Connections Aug. 26

A first-ever concert will bring the musical traditions of Chicago’s two largest Latino communities together at Millennium Park.

A Ladies of Virtue mentor works with a group of girls. (WTTW News)

‘The Last Word’ on Providing Positive Role Models for Black Girls

In her sophomore year of college, Jamila Trimuel became a mentor. In 2011, she started her own organization, Ladies of Virtue, which offers mentorship and support to girls ages 9-18.

(Courtesy of Silver Room Block Party)

In Its 18th Year, Silver Room Block Party Gets Ready for Its Last Dance

Today, the Silver Room Block Party is a massive event in Hyde Park: Tens of thousands of people gather to dance, eat, shop and celebrate. But it all began as a small customer appreciation party in a Wicker Park alley.

Students walking. (WTTW News)

Navigating College Applications After Affirmative Action

Considerations start with getting admitted and continue with questions of an institution’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion once students get inside the gates.

(WTTW News)

Northwestern Medicine Study Suggests Multidisciplinary Care Best for Long COVID Patients

The Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive COVID-19 Center released the results of a study on 1,200 long COVID patients. According the CDC, one in five COVID-19 patients experienced long COVID three months later, about 150 million adults in the U.S.

(Erica Gunderson / WTTW News)

Chef Carlos Gaytán on Demystifying Mexican Cuisine Through Social Media

With slim margins and constantly shifting trends, the restaurant industry can be a tough business. Chef Carlos Gaytán uses thoughtful social media content to both attract more business and educate diners about the flavors of his home country.

“Encendidas: Women of the Young Lords” is on display at The Honeycomb Network, 2659 W. Division St., on Paseo Boricua through July 29.

‘Encendidas: Women of the Young Lords’ Exhibit Reveals History of Women in Puerto Rican Civil Rights Organization

Throughout much of Chicago’s history, immigrant communities have made their voices heard socially and politically through the formation of street gangs. During the 1960s in Lincoln Park, a Puerto Rican gang called the Young Lords came together after being pushed out of the barrio due to urban renewal projects.

(Courtesy of Arise Chicago)

El Milagro Workers Reach Settlement in Complaint Involving Labor Organizing

Beginning in 2021, workers at the El Milagro tortilla factories went public with their complaints about working conditions and labor violations, including charges of intimidation, harassment and retaliation.

(WTTW News)

Rogers Park Taco Crawl Showcases Savory and Sweet Eats from 14 Local Restaurants

Tacos are the perfect food to take on a walk — or in this case, a crawl. Fourteen businesses will offer their signature tacos, with a tequila cocktail at the end.

Artist Jesús Torres. (Courtesy of Jane Addams Hull-House Museum)

Explore the Legacy of 1930s Artist Jesús Torres at Hull-House and Graceland Cemetery

Throughout his career as an artist, Mexican-born Jesús Torres turned his hand to multiple mediums — but before he moved to Chicago in 1924, his hands were employed as a road construction worker.

Mayor Brandon Johnson unveils the report compiled by his 400-member transition committee on Thursday, July 6, 2023. (WTTW News)

Examining Johnson’s Transition Plan for Chicago’s Latino Communities

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration recently released a transition report, “A Blueprint for Creating a More Just and Vibrant City for All,” the work of his 400-member transition committee.

Chicago police officer and nonprofit leader Kenneth Griffin. (WTTW News)

Chicago Cop, Nonprofit Leader Gives ‘The Last Word’ on Showing Up for the City’s Youth

Kenneth Griffin said as a young man growing up in Englewood, he didn’t have many positive interactions with the police. That’s part of the reason the trained chef became a Chicago police officer — to create connections between young people and police in his community.

(WTTW News)

Study Finds Illinois Worst State in Nation for Racial Financial Equality

In recent decades, Illinois has lost a significant portion of its Black population. While a variety of issues have been cited as reasons for Black families to leave the state, a recent study suggests financial equity could also be a consideration.

(Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Young Performer Tryouts for T.I.P. Fest Scheduled for July 15, Aug. 25

The Chicago Park District is asking the city’s youth performers to try out for its 8th annual T.I.P. (Teens in the Park) Fest, where singers, rappers, dancers and poets ages 14 to 24 can showcase their talents.

(WTTW News)

Renault Robinson, Co-Founder of the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League, Dies at 80

Renault Robinson, co-founder of the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League who served in various roles under Mayor Jane Byrne and Mayor Harold Washington, died on July 8 at age 80.

(Raven Domingo / Pexels)

Study: Latino, Black People Less Likely to Receive CPR From Bystanders

According to a 2022 American Heart Association study, Black and Latino people experiencing cardiac arrest are 41% less likely than their White peers to receive CPR from a bystander. But health professionals say just about anyone with hands can help save a heart.

(Courtesy of Mujeres Latinas en Accion)

Monuments Honoring Latina History Coming to Pilsen

The Pilsen Latina Histories Monuments Project is beginning the process of creating monuments that represent a fuller spectrum of history depicted by the Latinas who lived it.

(Courtesy of “The League” / Byron Motley)

‘The League’ Explores How Negro Leagues and Black Baseball Players Changed the Game

While modern pro baseball draws its players from all over the globe, America’s pastime wasn’t always so diverse. The new documentary “The League” gives an in-depth look at how Black baseball players and the Negro Leagues forever changed the game.

Flooding in Chicago on July 6, 2023. (WTTW News)

West Side Hit Especially Hard by Flooding From Week of Storms

The entire city was drenched with torrential rain earlier this week, but residents on the West Side were hit especially hard as more than 8 inches of rain fell in the Austin community and nearby suburbs.

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García appears on “Latino Voices” on July 7, 2023. (WTTW News)

US Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García on Immigrant Support, Supreme Court Rulings and Debt Ceiling Vote

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García said he doesn’t believe the federal government is providing enough support to Chicago and other cities that are receiving large numbers of migrants from other states.

The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. (WTTW News)

The Road Ahead for Higher Education After Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, a policy that withstood challenges reaching as far back as 1978. Now, higher education institutions wishing to achieve racially diverse student bodies have to find a new way forward.

Illinois International Port District leaders are asking for funding to bring the port’s infrastructure back into shape. (WTTW News)

Port District Leaders Call for Funding to Get Port of Chicago Back Into Shape

Erik Varela of the Illinois International Port District said the port brings in steel, iron, concrete and sand. “If the port were to go away or not be invested in, you have to imagine that those commodities are going to go elsewhere, those jobs and those things will go there.”

(WTTW News)

As Fentanyl Overdose Rates Rise Among Latinos, So Do Calls for Government Action

The synthetic opioid fentanyl remains a danger in Chicago, especially in Black and Latino communities, where the odds of a fentanyl-involved overdose have significantly increased in recent years.

(hanmoohyun / Pixabay)

Minimum Wage Increases in Chicago, Cook County

Some workers in Cook County will find a little more in their paychecks starting this month.