Stories by erica gunderson

‘The Doctors’ Host on Pandemic, Production Protocols and Vaccine Hopes

Dr. Ian Smith appears on “Black Voices” via Zoom. (WTTW News)

Dr. Ian Smith has been covering the COVID-19 pandemic from just about every angle. He joins us to discuss the pandemic and the importance of equitable distribution of a vaccine.

The Last Word: C. Spike Trotman

C. Spike Trotman (WTTW News)

As 2020 comes to a close, the events of this unprecedented year have devastated Chicago’s small businesses. Why it’s more important than ever to support neighborhood shops.

How Advocacy Journalism Can Help Communities

Activists in support of defunding the University of Chicago Police Department participate in a march on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. (Grace Del Vecchio / WTTW News)

In a year filled with twists and turns, news outlets are more important than ever. We discuss the role of advocacy journalism in effecting positive change for marginalized communities.

Hurricanes Eta, Iota Displace Thousands in Central America

Damage caused by the Category 4 storm Hurricane Iota. (WTTW News via CNN)

In the past three weeks, back-to-back hurricanes landed a double blow on Central American countries. Gonzalo Chavez, consulate general of Honduras, says the situation is dire. Find out how you can help.

Anti-Racist Health Care: Correcting Structural Racism in Medicine

(Photo by CDC on Unsplash)

What health care institutions and practitioners can do to unwind the systemic racism that continues to affect health care outcomes in Black and Latino communities.

Poverty and the Pandemic: Helping Marginalized Communities Weather the Storm

President-elect Joe Biden (WTTW News via CNN)

We speak with Audra Wilson, the head of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, on what the new Biden administration could mean for communities of color.

Chicago Businesses Struggle as COVID-19 Shutdown Appears Imminent

Jeri’s Grill in Lincoln Square is one of many restaurants in Chicago that have closed during the pandemic. (WTTW News)

Chicago officials say they’re trying to help small businesses survive what appears will be — as President-elect Joe Biden put it — a very dark winter.

Biden and the Black Vote: Record Turnout in Key States for Former VP

Bronzeville resident Sharifa Wicks-Lot voted at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library voting location and said she’s been voting since she turned 18 years old. “I have two children, a 11-year-old and a two-year-old, and I would want the best for their future in the coming years,” Wicks-Lot said. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Local journalists discuss national and local elections results following a dramatic Election Day that stretched into Election Week.

The Last Word: Vashon Jordan Jr.

Vashon Jordan Jr. (WTTW News)

The protests that swept across Chicago this summer had plenty of cameras on them, but who was behind the camera?

Election 2020: Latino Vote Makes Crucial Difference in Key States

(WTTW News)

We talk with local journalists about the wild election week — and one of the big stories to come out of the election: how the nation’s Latino population voted.

La Ultima Palabra: Dr. Evelyn Figueroa

Dr. Evelyn Figueroa (WTTW News)

Why our motivations for helping those in need matter just as much as how we help them.

The Last Word: Tiara Hughes

Tiara Hughes (WTTW News)

Chicago gets a lot of attention for its soaring skyscrapers and ornate downtown buildings, but there’s more to Chicago architecture than what’s in the Loop. 

There’s Still Time to Vote: How to Make Sure Your Vote is Counted

(WTTW News)

Election Day is around the corner, but if you haven’t yet made it to the polls, don’t fret — there’s still plenty of time to cast your ballot. We check in with Chicago Board of Elections Commissioner Jonathan Swain.

Anti-Racism Agenda: Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Unveils Agenda

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford appears on “Black Voices” on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (WTTW News)

This turbulent year spurred the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to develop an anti-racism agenda. State Sen. Kimberly Lightford tells us how Black legislators hope to dismantle systemic racism.

Latina Voters Share Their Hopes for Trump, Biden Presidency

From left: Stefanie Mingari, Jasmine Hauser, Sandra Figueroa Bast and Dana Cruz speak with “Latino Voices.” (WTTW News)

Women could decide who wins the election — we speak with four Latina voters about what they’re hoping to see in the next four years. 

La Ultima Palabra: Miguel Ruiz

Miguel Ruiz (WTTW News)

Librarian Miguel Ruiz has the last word on why supporting the work of public libraries is so important.

Election 2020: Record 32 Million Latinos Are Eligible to Vote

(WTTW News)

With just days to go until Election Day and millions of votes already cast, the Latino vote is more consequential than ever. Sylvia Puente of the Latino Policy Forum shares insights about this historic election.

‘Stroll to the Polls’: Black Sororities Lead the Way to Get Out the Vote

Kamala Harris, a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, makes history by accepting the Democratic nomination for vice president. (WTTW News via CNN)

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority has fought for voting rights for more than a century. We talk with AKA member Kimberley Egonmwan about what they’re doing to get the vote out today.

Ballot Referenda Allow Voters to Weigh In on Taxation, Broadband, Assault Weapons

(WTTW News)

Chicagoans are casting their votes for political candidates and making their voices heard on political ideas. A group of journalists walks us through the referenda on the ballot.

Sabor Latino: Tanta Restaurant in River North

Chef Jesus Delgado speaks with “Latino Voices” host Hugo Balta. (WTTW News)

Chef Jesus Delgado talks about making Peruvian plates for Chicago palates.

The Last Word: Thad Smith

Thad Smith (WTTW News)

Beekeeper Thad Smith offers his thoughts on honeybees, native bees and working together as part of our new feature on “Black Voices.”

Chicago History Resurfaced in ‘Lovecraft Country’

Lee Bey appears on “Black Voices” via Zoom on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (WTTW News)

Is the HBO horror series on your binge-watching list? Architecture critic and author Lee Bey unpacks the hidden history of the new show.

Latinos for Trump: Business Policies a Key Issue for Some Latino Voters

(WTTW News via CNN)

As a voting bloc, Latinos have traditionally leaned left. But President Donald Trump has been able to count on the support of about 30% of Latino voters, according to national polls. We speak with two such Trump supporters.

Former Trauma Surgeon Using Tech to Cure What Ails US

Dr. William Yates speaks with “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

Dr. William Yates has made public safety through technology his business, first by developing metal detectors to prevent gun violence, and now, by developing no-contact thermal scanners to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Black Women Among America’s Most Active Voters

(WTTW News)

Black women are considered the backbone of the Democratic Party, despite what advocates call a resurgence in voter suppression tactics. How they became a formidable force in U.S. elections.

La Ultima Palabra: Alice Setrini

Alice Setrini (WTTW News)

The executive director of the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute has the last word on closing the health disparity gap for Latinos.