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Not too long ago, Quilen Blackwell, founder of Chicago Eco House, was tutoring at a high school in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. He encountered the challenges of inner-city poverty and how it affects young people who live in that community. In 2014, the Madison, Wisconsin, native who now calls Englewood home, began organizing local residents and…

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Blacks and Hispanics are housed in U.S. prisons disproportionately to their racial counterparts. Once released, finding stable income, housing and acceptance back in society are just a few obstacles they face. Hector Guadalupe, the founder of A Second U Foundation, might have tapped into a solution to finding a job while providing former felons with…

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It started simple enough. Through her church, Chicago Housing Authority resident and retiree Jeliner Jordan was asked to make masks for a nursing home. Jordan’s masks became so popular, word spread and Jordan’s second career was born. For many years, the Zelda Ormes Apartments resident worked for Robert Hall Clothes as a tailor in a previous…

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For the busy female professional or vacationer who wants to travel with the least amount of effort, fashion designer Karyn Pettigrew might have just the solution for you. The Chicago native has created a fashion line called ZoeGoes, a six-piece sustainable travel capsule collection for women that provides minimum classic choices with maximum results. Pettigrew…

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Shakespeare has been getting some much-needed reimagining of its characters and plays thanks in part to national theatrical companies across the country. Under the guidance of artistic director Barbara Gaines, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater brings Romeo and Juliet to the stage with actors Edgar Miguel Sanchez and Brittany Bellizeare in the lead roles. What are you…

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Playwright Donja Love makes the audience consider queer love among slaves. First Floor Theater launched its eighth season with the Chicago premiere of Sugar in Our Wounds by Love. Directed by Mikael Burke, the tale is set in the antebellum South on a plantation during the Civil War. A young slave named James reads about…

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Steppenwolf is unafraid to bring theater that makes you think about the world around us. With that being said, Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents The Brothers Size by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by acclaimed director Monty Cole. A Chicago native, Cole directs a talented cast in McCraney’s tale that weaves together poetry, music and Yoruba…

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OWN’s new coming-of-age drama television series from Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, “David Makes Man,” tells the story of David becoming a man with all the hopes, dreams and disappointments that come along with that endeavor. David is an exceptionally intelligent 14-year-old from the South Florida projects. His daily life consists of navigating his…

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The Gene Siskel Film Centers celebrates the 25th Anniversary of its Black Harvest Film Festival, which will showcase 17 feature films and over 40 shorts films by some of the most talented filmmakers in the business. Among the honorees, Sergio Mims will be recognized for his tireless contributions to the BHFF. One of the showcased…

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Steve McKeever’s Hidden Beach Recordings launched its highly successful Unwrapped series in 2001. With more than 10 million streams and sales in excess of 500,000 units, it is the premier fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Unwrapped’s eighth installment was released this passed May. Unwrapped Vol. 8: The Chicago Sessions includes reimagined versions of Travis Scott’s…

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