BLOGS

Innovations

Henry Louis Gates: Making Black America Through the Grapevine

  SHOP AIR DATES ABOUT THE FILM PREMIERES TUES., OCT 4 AT 9/8C MAKING BLACK AMERICA: THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE is a four-part series from executive producer, host and writer Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which will premiere October 4th on PBS stations nationwide. Professor Gates, with directors Stacey L. Holman and Shayla Harris, chronicle the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people beyond the reach of the “White gaze.” The series recounts the establishment of the Prince Hall Masons in 1775 through the formation of all-Black towns and business districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, destinations for leisure and the social media phenomenon of Black Twitter. Professor Gates sits with noted scholars, politicians, cultural leaders and old friends to discuss this world behind the color line and what it looks like today. MAKING BLACK AMERICA takes viewers into an extraordinary world that showcased Black people’s ability to collectively prosper, defy white supremacy and define Blackness in ways that transformed America itself.   MAKING BLACK AMERICA: THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE is a production of McGee Media, Inkwell Media and WETA Washington, D.C. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee is executive producer. John F. Wilson is executive producer in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Stacey L. Holman is series producer and director. Shayla Harris is producer/director. Deborah C. Porfido is supervising producer. Robert L. Yacyshyn is line producer. Kevin Burke is producer. Mattie Akers is archival producer. READ MORE ABOUT MAKING BLACK AMERICA   ABOUT PROFESSOR HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Professor Gates has authored or co-authored twenty-four books and created twenty-one documentary films, including Wonders of the African World, African American Lives, Faces of America, Black in Latin America, Black America since

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Innovations

Operating on the margins: Chicago hospitals commit to equitable care, but rising costs squeeze budgets and threaten progress

September 26, 2022 BY KATHERINE DAVIS Nestled on a leafy street and surrounded by multifamily buildings, a former hotel in Oak Park provides shelter for patients of Cook County Health with nowhere to go after receiving medical treatment. The Recuperation in a Supportive Environment Center, or RISE Center, came about during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Cook County Health was seeking ways to shelter homeless residents sick with the virus. Through a partnership with homeless nonprofit organization Housing Forward, and with help from federal funding, Cook County Health set up 19 beds across 15 rooms for individuals and small families, who can stay for free as long as they need. In its first year of operation, the RISE Center housed 110 people, says Cook County Health, which operates John H. Stroger Jr. and Provident hospitals and is one of the Chicago area’s largest public, safety-net health systems. The RISE Center is still in operation, providing a place for housing-insecure patients to recover from medical conditions and substance use disorders and eventually find their way to a permanent home. While providing housing doesn’t sound like traditional health care, Cook County Health considers the RISE Center one of its many programs aimed at addressing the root causes of health inequities in the region among those of different races, neighborhoods and incomes, says Shannon Andrews, chief equity and inclusion officer at Cook County Health. John R. Boehm Shannon Andrews, chief equity and inclusion officer at Cook County Health. “We believe that health is a fundamental human right, and this goes beyond having access to medical care,” she says. “When you leave the health care establishment is oftentimes when the hard work begins.” Lance Brooks is a current resident at the RISE Center. Earlier this year, the 30-year-old lost his apartment and began living at Pacific Garden Mission, a shelter on Chicago’s Near South Side. Soon after, he developed strep throat, which led to septic arthritis in his right knee. After a monthlong

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Innovations

Legendary Grassroots Innovator: Mary Gonzales, Gamaliel Foundation

She, her husband Greg Galluzzo and Mike Kruglick trained Barack Obama and countless community organizers, around the world. In Pilsen, community effort builds to close Chicago’s last big scrap-metal shredder Mary Gonzales, 81, is leading the push to close the pollution-emitting operation owned by Sims Metal Management.   At a West Side church last spring, Mary Gonzales trotted out a classic community organizing tactic, asking a group of elected officials and bureaucrats — one by one in front of a crowd of several hundred people — to pledge to do everything in their power to reduce pollution in the neighborhood.    Each person was asked: “Will you, within your authority, act to reduce air pollution in the next two years?” Every one of them — members of the Chicago City Council, state representatives and government executives — responded: “Yes.” Gonzales, 81, plans to press her case again Thursday night as community members gather at St. Paul’s Catholic Church at 2127 W. 22nd Place to discuss shutting down a nearby scrap-metal shredding operation owned by Sims Metal Management. RELATED Pilsen metal shredder could become next big environmental battle in Chicago With the 2020 closing of General Iron’s automobile-shredding site in Lincoln Park and City Hall’s subsequent denial of its bid to reopen at a new location on the Southeast Side, Sims, 2500 S. Paulina St., is the only large-scale metal scrapper still operating in Chicago, shredding cars, large appliances and other items for reuse.    RELATED Lightfoot to Biden administration on environmental racism claims: See you in court Gonzales — joined by her younger sister Theresa McNamara, 61 — has been organizing community residents, forming a coalition of community, health and religious groups that includes the 6,000-member St. Paul congregation, where Gonzales leads the social justice committee. Even with support of the church and others, Gonzales said she knows she’s facing a tough fight, but that she and her sister have been inspired by the work of their mother, Pilsen activist Guadalupe Reyes, who died in

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Innovations

Watch “Ken Burns Explores The U.S. Response To The Holocaust In New Series” on YouTube

So many similarities to the current moment- identification of “the other” as the enemy, not as Americans; pseudo-science; tension between American ideals and the reality when times are tough; replacement theory; the ascent of racist populism. Well worth watching and recommended-  Brian Banks   Let Chicago Grassroots Innovation Blog help you find funding for your ideas, Family, business, Non Profit or Neighborhood

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Innovations

Fred Eversley: The Artist Who Throws Newton a Curve

The artist who throws Newton a curve HILARIE M. SHEETS The New York Times Sep 7, 2022 COSTA MESA, Calif. — As a teenager in Brooklyn, Fred Eversley filled a pie pan with Jell-O and spun it on a turntable in his father’s basement laboratory. It was one of his many early science experiments, inspired by an article in Popular Mechanics about Isaac Newton’s contributions to modern physics involving a bucket of water and a rope. Eversley’s motion produced a concave parabolic hollow in the quivering Jell-O that turned out to be his first artwork, though he didn’t know it at the time. He pursued engineering first, becoming an artist in 1967 — and he has essentially applied the technique of centripetal force in endless variations for more than five decades in his sculpture practice. He casts liquid plastics tinted with pigments in molds and gives them a good spin on modified turntables, producing parabolic forms that he hand-polishes to a lustrous sheen. These seductive fish-eye lenses, varying in translucency and up to 8 feet wide, are central to the story of the Light and Space movement in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s, of which Eversley was an unheralded pioneer, working alongside artists like James Turrell, Robert Irwin and Larry Bell, all of whom explored perceptual phenomena.   Ever since, Eversley has been drawing viewers into mesmerizing optical and acoustic experiences, coloring and reframing the world through and around his lenses. “The parabola is the perfect concentrator of all energy to a single focal point,” said Eversley, now 81, who remembers being the only African American in the school of engineering at Carnegie Mellon. “I’m all about universality. I don’t like art that you have to know art history to appreciate.” Now the artist has come full circle. “Fred Eversley: Reflecting Back (the World)” is one of several inaugural shows opening Oct. 8 at the Orange County Museum of Art, on the campus of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

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Innovations

Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?

By Oleg Bestsennyy, Greg Gilbert, Alex Harris, and Jennifer Rost   Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?             Strong continued uptake, favorable consumer perception, and tangible investment into this space are all contributing to the continued growth of telehealth in 2021. New analysis indicates telehealth use has increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline. Update: July 9, 2021 Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage surged as consumers and providers sought ways to safely access and deliver healthcare. In April 2020, overall telehealth utilization for office visits and outpatient care was 78 times higher than in February 2020 (Exhibit 1). Exhibit 1 We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com MOST POPULAR INSIGHTS Four front-foot strategies to help create value in the net-zero transition Does your idea have the ‘voltage’ to scale? Space: Building a digital infrastructure above the sky The future of (hybrid) work Freelance, side hustles, and gigs: Many more Americans have become independent workers This step-change, borne out of necessity, was enabled by these factors: 1) increased consumer willingness to use telehealth, 2) increased provider willingness to use telehealth, 3) regulatory changes enabling greater access and reimbursement. During the tragedy of the pandemic, telehealth offered a bridge to care, and now offers a chance to reinvent virtual and hybrid virtual/in-person care models, with a goal of improved healthcare access, outcomes, and affordability. A year ago, we estimated that up to $250 billion of US healthcare spend could potentially be shifted to virtual or virtually enabled care. Approaching this potential level of virtual health is not a foregone conclusion. It would likely require sustained consumer and clinician adoption and accelerated redesign of care pathways to incorporate virtual modalities. As of July 2021, we step back to review the progress of telehealth since the initial COVID-19 spike and to assess implications for telehealth and virtual health1 more broadly going forward.

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Innovations

Building More Resilient Social Impact Networks

Social impact networks inevitably face moments of existential crisis. But networks can prepare for them by asking the right questions. By Michelle Shumate & Katherine R. Cooper Fall 2022 Stanford Social Innovation Review   The office space that coauthor Michelle Shumate visited was spacious and modern. It housed many of the 100-plus education-related nonprofits that comprised The Literacy Organization. After a tour, she entered the boardroom with the executive director, Jerry, to talk about why he had asked her there.1 She and Jerry chatted about the challenges networks often face, including the costs associated with running them and the difficulty of determining whether their efforts were making any difference. He wanted to know if she could help The Literacy Organization measure its social impact. Jerry was going to be disappointed. “I like the network’s mission, and the space is impressive,” she told him. “But the links between the activities you’re doing and the social impact that your network claims to have are tenuous at best. I doubt you’re making the social impact you claim. Your member organizations might be making that impact, but your network isn’t.” She offered to help The Literacy Organization evaluate the capacity-building work it was doing for its nonprofit partners, which she viewed as the network’s authentic contribution. But she suggested that attributing social impact—that is, citywide education-outcome improvements—to the work of the network would be disingenuous. Not long after this meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic closed the beautiful shared-office space that the leaders loved to show off to funders and potential network partners. Then the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd and the protests it spawned spotlighted the whiteness of the network’s members, prompting them to consider whether they were challenging the power structures within a racially and economically diverse city. And a major funder reduced its contribution to operating costs because of its own financial crisis. Together, these circumstances proved too challenging to overcome. The Literacy Organization ultimately dissolved, to the dismay of Jerry and the many organizational leaders who

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Innovations

Angela Davis’ legacy

‘Hell, Yes, We Are Subversive’ Fifty years ago this past June, Angela Davis was acquitted of murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy charges in a trial that catapulted her to worldwide fame. A young professor at UCLA who had recently been fired for being (unapologetically) a member of the Communist Party, Davis became a celebrated symbol of Black radicalism, emancipated womanhood, and academic freedom. Still, as Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor argues in an essay from our Fall Books Issue, her “contributions, observations, experience, and originality…have often been overlooked even as her male contemporaries from the 1960s have been exhaustively examined.” Why? Taylor is determined to bring those contributions to light. She asserts that Davis’s influence is stronger now than perhaps ever before: From the uprisings in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, to the outpouring of protests in the summer of 2020, the past decade has been not a period of Black pragmatism and obeisance…but an era of Black rebellion. The relentlessness of recent demonstrations, the glow of burning buildings, and the sheer brutality of police in response provoked memories of the Black radicalism of the 1960s. And the debates these protests inspired have thus also been debates over how to remember an earlier era of Black activism and political thought—and how best to continue that tradition. Below, we have collected several essays from the Review’s archives that demonstrate the reach of Davis’s anticapitalist, antiracist thought, including, from our January 7, 1971, issue, James Baldwin’s open letter to Davis, who was at the time three months into what would be a sixteen-month incarceration while she awaited trial. “What has happened, it seems to me,” Baldwin observed, “is that a whole new generation of people have assessed and absorbed their history, and, in that tremendous action, have freed themselves of it and will never be victims again.”    ​   Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor‘Hell, Yes, We Are Subversive’ For all her influence as an activist, intellectual, and writer, Angela Davis has not always been taken as seriously as her peers. Why not? ​          

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Innovations

‘Sweet’ Charlie Brown: Chicago basketball giant

If statues honoring the former DuSable High School’s most revered alumni were erected in front of 4900 S. Wabash Ave., “Sweet” Charlie Brown would be standing in bronze alongside Nat King Cole, Mayor Harold Washington and Sweetwater Clifton, the first Black player to sign a contract to play in the NBA. Like Clifton, Brown was a basketball player. But he was that and a whole lot more. Brown was a star on the DuSable team that lost to Mount Vernon in the 1954 state title game remembered as the “most controversial” game in IHSA tournament history, the stellar sidekick of superstar Elgin Baylor on the Seattle University team that finished second in the 1958 NCAA Tournament, an esteemed high school referee, and co-founder and guiding light of the Windy City Senior Basketball League. “If it all ended tomorrow I will have enjoyed more than any NBA All-Star ever did,” Brown wrote in a 2008 letter to Bill Frey, one of the multitude of close friends he made through the Windy City Senior League and its summer national tournament, the Windy City Shootout. ADVERTISEMENT Brown died Friday, Aug. 26, at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was taken after a fall two days earlier at Peterson Park Health Care Center. After living on the South Side for almost all of his adult life, he was taken to the center on the North Side in late July because of severe respiratory problems and other health issues. He was 86. Born in Canton, Miss., on Feb. 24, 1936, Brown came to Chicago before he started elementary school at Betsy Ross on the South Side.   He made his first appearance in the public eye during his junior year at DuSable when he was one of the best players on coach Art Scher’s team that reached the first round of the 1953 state tournament before losing to eventual state champion Lyons and finishing with a 27-3 record. The following season Scher left to coach Sullivan.

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Innovations

Serena Williams: Power and Grit That Changed the Game

By Christopher Clarey Aug. 28, 2022Updated 12:25 p.m. ET Serena Williams did not invent a tennis shot, although she certainly came close to perfecting one with her serve. She was not, in the absolute sense, a pioneer for elite Black tennis players. Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe were the first Black players to face down the barriers to entry and succeed at the highest level, followed by champions like Zina Garrison and Yannick Noah. But there is no doubt, with Williams about to play in her farewell U.S. Open just ahead of turning 41, that she changed the game she long dominated; the game she has learned, over time, to treasure.   Her legacy, which is in many respects shared with her older sister and soulmate Venus Williams, is evident in the powerful, aggressive style that has become the norm, if not quite the rule, on tour. See the full-cut, all-action, rip-the-return approach of No. 1 Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina, the new Wimbledon champion.   “One of the greatest impacts Serena had is she definitely took the game to a different level,” said Mary Joe Fernandez, the ESPN analyst and former WTA star whose playing career overlapped with those of the Williamses. “Serena changed it in different ways, whether physically, mentally or movement-wise. It just got better, and it got better because of Serena and also Venus.” The legacy is also there in the presence of talented young Black women’s stars like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka and in the increasing number of Black junior players, who, along with their families, have used the Williams sisters as a template. Another indicator: 10 of the top 30 Americans in this week’s WTA singles rankings are Black or biracial (and none of those 10 is a Williams sister at this stage).   ImageWilliams, right, talks to Naomi Osaka after their women’s singles semifinal at the 2021 Australian Open.Credit…William West/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images   “I think everything started with Venus and Serena,” said Martin Blackman,

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