Stories by erica gunderson

Logan Square Resale Shops Offer Style, Sustainability, and Savings

The offerings in Vintage Frills are sorted by color and era, from the ‘60s to the 2000s. (WTTW News)

Shopping second hand is growing in popularity as an affordable and eco-friendly way for young fashionistas to carve out a style niche for themselves. Two shops in Logan Square are hoping they can capitalize on that trend by adding a touch of luxury.

Illinois Way Forward Act Maps New Path for Immigrants

(WTTW News)

In August, Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed into law, the Illinois Way Forward Act. Among the changes are stronger protections for immigrants and an effective discontinuation of federal detention centers in Illinois by 2022. 

Embracing Cello with the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative

Kailie Holliday, began playing the cello at age 7, She says that as a child, it was the size of the instrument that drew her in. (WTTW News)

Back in February, we met four teenagers participating in a program that helps students pursue careers in classical music. Here, one of those students, Kailie Holliday, talks about playing the most huggable string instrument as she plays “The Courante” from Bach’s cello suite.

Latinos Lag in Vaccination as FDA Panel Recommends Moderna, J&J Boosters for At-Risk Adults

In Latino communities, rates of initial vaccination are still lagging with just 52% of Latinos in Chicago having completed their vaccine series according to the city’s public data portal. (WTTW News)

An advisory panel with the Food and Drug Administration is recommending that the agency authorize COVID-19 booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. However, in Latino communities, rates of initial vaccination are still lagging.

Home Appraisal Discrimination Puts a Dent in Black Wealth

Research shows Black homeowners are at risk of losing out on the value of their homes due to discrimination in appraisals in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Research shows Black homeowners are at risk of losing out on the value of their homes, due to discrimination in appraisals. Now, there’s a growing push to pass federal legislation to protect Black homeowners from appraisal discrimination. 

La Ultima Palabra: ‘Astro’ Joe Guzman

Joe Guzman and his organization Chicago Astronomer host free skygazing events all over the city to connect people to the cosmos. (WTTW News)

Chicago at night is a dazzling sight — but the skyline and streetlamps that light up our evenings also make it harder to see the natural wonders of the night sky. Still, Chicago Astronomer founder Joe Guzman, better known as Astro Joe, says there’s plenty to see — you just need to know how to look.

Meet the Illinois Latina Conservationist Fighting Fire with Fire

Ruth Campos works as a burn crew member and she wants more women – especially women of color to join her. (Courtesy The Nature Conservancy)

Ruth Campos works as a burn crew member. She uses controlled burns to restore life to landscapes. In the last year, she has traveled to Minnesota and California to help battle wildfires, and she wants more women – especially women of color to join her.

‘Game Changers’ Mural Series Brings Sox Diverse History to Colorful Life

Chicago artist Murrz created a mural as part of the Chicago White Sox’s “Game Changers” series that features broadcaster Gene Honda along with a trio of Asian-American players. (WTTW News)

The Chicago White Sox commissioned three Chicago artists to create murals inspired by the Sox past and present that celebrate the diversity of America’s pastime. 

How Chicago Can Stem the Tide of Black Population Loss

Since the 1980s, the city that helped shape the country’s first Black president has seen a steady stream of its Black residents flee. (WTTW News)

From its founding as a trading post by a Haitian man to the Great Migration to today, Chicago owes much to its Black residents. But since the 1980s, the city that helped shape our country’s first Black president has seen a steady stream of its Black residents flee.

Muralist Asend Blends Latinidad, Baseball Love in Portrait of White Sox’s Jose Abreu

In a mural by Chicago artist Asend, a larger-than-life Jose Abreu swings his mighty bat under the Cienfuegos streetlights of his childhood. (WTTW News)

In a mural by Chicago artist Asend, a larger-than-life Jose Abreu swings his mighty bat under the Cienfuegos streetlights of his childhood. Asend’s dreamlike rendering is one of three murals commissioned by the White Sox as part of their Game Changers series. 

From Behind Bars to Passing the Bar: Jarrett Adams on ‘Redeeming Justice’

Chicagoan Jarrett Adams was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for nearly 10 years. (Courtesy Penguin Random House)

At 17 years old, Jarrett Adams, a Black boy from Chicago, was convicted of raping a woman in Wisconsin. Adams spent 10 years of his life in prison for a rape he maintained he did not commit. He spent those years studying the legal system to overturn his own case —eventually, becoming a lawyer himself.

Chicago Artist Edo Brings Brilliance to Mural of White Sox’s Tim Anderson

Just like Tim Anderson’s exuberant style of play, Edo’s bright, boisterous style of art draws people in. (WTTW News)

No matter what form it takes, there is no mistaking the work of Chicago artist Edo. His wildly vibrant painting of fan favorite Tim Anderson is one of three pieces commissioned by the White Sox as part of their Game Changers series. The series throws a spotlight on the contributions of under-represented communities.

Workers, Labor Organizations Speak Out Against El Milagro Tortilla Plant at Rally

Workers, community members, and labor organization Arise Chicago rally at the 26th Street headquarters, Sept. 30, 2021. (WTTW News).

Worker walkouts amid calls for improved conditions continue at the El Milagro tortilla plant in Little Village. We get an update on the situation from Jorge Mújica, a strategic organizer for the community labor advocate organization Arise Chicago.

Moreno Family Has Given Midwestern Twist to Mexican Spirits Since 1977

(WTTW News)

Mike Moreno Jr. is the third generation to set up shop in the Little Village community. His grandfather, Jose, owned two grocery stores in the neighborhood, and his father, Mike Sr., opened the first Moreno’s Liquors in 1977.

Savor 14 Days of Sabor Latino with Chicago Latin Restaurant Weeks

Executive chef Jesus Delgado prepares lomo saltado. (WTTW News)

Chicago restaurants will offer special deals on some of their cultures’ most beloved dishes during the two-week celebration starting Oct. 4.

Doctors on Closing the Breast Cancer Mortality Gap for Black Women

a breast cancer screening is conducted at Jackson Park Hospital. (Courtesy Jackson Park Hospital)

For women in the U.S., breast cancer is devastatingly common, with one in eight expected to develop the disease over the course of their lifetimes. And for Black women in the U.S., what comes after the diagnosis is especially worrying.

La Ultima Palabra: Marisel Vera

Novelist and Humboldt Park native Marisel Vera gives la ultima palabra on what she says has to be done to save Puerto Rico’s future. (WTTW News)

The Humboldt Park native and author of “The Taste of Sugar” gives us the last word on giving Puerto Rico a brighter future.

Puerto Rican Festival Returns to Humboldt Park After Pandemic Break

After taking a year and a half off due to the pandemic, the Puerto Rican Festival has returned for its 39th year in Humboldt Park. (Daniel Ramos / Puerto Rican Festival)

After taking a year and a half off due to the pandemic, the Puerto Rican Festival has returned for its 39th year in Humboldt Park.

Black Voices Crossover: Reporter Roundtable on Mayor’s Budget Proposal

Brandis Friedman hosts a Black Voices/Latino Voices crossover with Chicago journalists on the mayor’s budget proposal. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has unveiled her budget plan for 2022, a plan that one alderman called a “Christmas list” of progressive spending items. Joining us now to break it all down are four Chicago reporters.

Latino Voices Crossover: Reporter Roundtable on Mayor’s Budget Proposal

Araceli Gómez-Aldana guest hosts a Black Voices/Latino Voices crossover with Chicago journalists on the mayor’s budget proposal. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has unveiled her budget plan for 2022, a plan that one alderman called a “Christmas list” of progressive spending items. We break it all down with four Chicago reporters.

On South and West Sides, Business is Blooming for Eco-Friendly Florist

A young flower farmer creates a bouquet at Southside Blooms. (WTTW News)

A fresh floral arrangement is a quick way to brighten up a room, but those buds and blossoms likely came from farms hundreds or even thousands of miles away. A local organization is on a mission to change that.

New Missing Persons Project To Focus on Women and Girls in Illinois

Angela Martin-Fields speaks about her mother Viola Martin, who has been missing since 2009. (WTTW News)

Black women and girls in the U.S. are disproportionately at risk for abuse, exploitation and homicide. In the Chicago area, an alarming number of Black women and girls have gone missing. Can a new initiative help find them?

ProPublica: DCFS Not Providing Services for Spanish Speakers

In 2019, ProPublica Illinois reported that the state’s child welfare agency was failing to serve Spanish-speaking families by not offering Spanish-speaking caseworkers and placing children into homes where Spanish wasn’t spoken. (WTTW News)

A new report says Illinois’ child welfare agency is failing to serve Spanish-speaking children and families in their language. ProPublica Illinois reporter Melissa Sanchez has details.

Caring for Black Mothers: Addressing Racial Disparities in Maternal Health Care

(culturarte86 / Pixabay)

As a Texas law that bans nearly all abortions in that state goes into effect, we take a look at what reproductive health care means for Black women. 

Little Village Arch Granted Preliminary Landmark Status

The iconic arch that welcomes everyone to La Villita has preliminary landmark status. (WTTW News)

Should full landmark status be granted, the arch will become the first symbol of Chicago’s Latino community to receive that honor, as well as the first time an architect of Mexican descent has had a structure landmarked here. 

‘Three Girls from Bronzeville’ Traces Young Women’s Divergent Paths

In her latest book, journalist and author Dawn Turner reflects on her own life’s path and how it diverged from the lives of the two girls she grew up closest to — her sister Kim, and her best friend Debra. (WTTW News)

Journalist and author Dawn Turner has been writing about race, politics and people her whole career. But in her latest book, she’s turned her pen inward as she reflects on her own life’s path and how it diverged from the lives of the two girls she grew up closest to — her sister Kim, and her best friend Debra.