Stories by Joanna Hernandez
Chicago’s Pullman and West Pullman areas were once industrial communities where workers lived and worked. The neighborhoods on the Far South Side have since experienced an economic downfall, but over the years people have pushed for growth to improve the quality of life.
Just under a month ago, the Highland Park chapter of March for our Lives organized an anti-gun violence rally at Sunset Woods Park – the same location of a Thursday candlelight vigil – following mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, and Tulsa among others. Attendees then marched through Highland Park, including right through the site of this past weekend’s shooting.
Irving Park on Chicago’s Northwest Side is a spacious community area with a variety of local businesses and provides easy access to transportation.
On the Southwest side, a small community with a population of about 20,000 people offers a suburban feel and is home to many families. And it’s promoting education as the foundation of its hopes and dreams.
Located two miles north of downtown, and about a mile from the lake, Old Town a neighborhood that has undergone a lot of change in the past decade. Residents have fought to preserve historic buildings in the area.
Located on Chicago’s South Side, neighborhood leaders are engaging in block-to-block outreach to tackle gun violence. Others are working to bring investment into a corridor that was once a hub for small businesses. We speak with residents and some of those leaders on the frontlines.
Guien the Agave Is Nearing Garfield Park Conservatory’s Glass Ceiling: ‘She’s Trying To Be a Skyscraper’Joanna Hernandez | Feb 8, 2022
Guien the agave continues to amaze. She’s now topped 20 feet and is fast approaching the Garfield Park Conservatory’s glass ceiling. Staff are trying to get the plant to slow her spurt.
In the fall, UCAN announced Christa Hamilton would be the first female and first Black person to lead the organization. More recently, lifetime resident pastor James Brooks became the CEO of the Lawndale Christian Health Center.
We spent the day in North Lawndale — the neighborhood Laquan McDonald grew up in — and spoke with family members and the community about Jason Van Dyke’s release as part of our community reporting series.
Kenwood stands along the shore of Lake Michigan with a mix of 19th century mansions and affordable housing. It’s an area that’s been fighting the closure of schools and gun violence. We talk with residents who have been here for decades about their investment into the community and more.
The area includes part of the Bronzeville neighborhood. And it has a rich history, from its churches to its hospital. We spoke with community leaders about that and efforts to bring people together this holiday season.
Located in the Edgewater community on Chicago’s North Side, Andersonville has one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish heritage and is home to a large LGBTQ community. Learn more about the history as well as what the area is doing to adopt eco-friendly initiatives.
Located about 35 miles north of downtown Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, North Chicago houses Naval Station Great Lakes, home of the Navy’s only boot camp.
Despite COVID-19 concerns, celebrations are coming together in Pilsen, a community just southwest of Chicago’s Loop with a substantial Mexican population.
Located on Chicago’s West Side, North Lawndale is a neighborhood that has dealt with decades of disinvestment and vacant spaces. Community members have taken things into their own hands by creating community gardens and safe spaces for the next generation.
Arlington Heights is a suburban neighbor to O’Hare airport and about a 40-minute drive from downtown Chicago. The village is one of the largest in the northwest suburbs and is home to what was, until last weekend, the world-renowned Arlington International Racecourse.
The vibrant Little Village community has been bustling with Mexican Pride as celebrations are in full force for Mexican Independence Day.
Des Plaines is a diverse suburb just north of O’Hare Airport. It has a high vaccination rate but is still facing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. It’s also looking forward to the reopening of a historic theater, and the expansion of one of its major employers.
Austin has dealt with decades of disinvestment and is acutely feeling the impact of gun violence. However, many residents, community organizations and local businesses are working to address some of the systemic issues the community faces and to bring investment to the area.