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WTTW Community Conversations
On-Demand (Watch Now)
Latino Voices: A WTTW News Community Conversation
Guest host Araceli Gómez-Aldana (reporter and host at WBEZ in Chicago) moderated a panel conversation that shed a light on Latinx LGBTQ+ history in Chicago and beyond.Watch Now
Paris Schutz, co-anchor of WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, moderated a preview and discussion about Ken Burns’ new documentary, MUHAMMAD ALI. The panel featured the film’s co-directors Sarah Burns and David McMahon; Donald Lassere, President of the Chicago History Museum and former head of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville; and Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. The panel discussed the years Ali lived on the South Side of Chicago, his life and legacy, and the intersection of sports, race, and politics. Visit the companion website: wttw.com/ali #MuhammadAliPBS
FIRSTHAND executive producer Dan Protess moderated the panel featuring documentary subject Andino Medina; Melissa Staas, Legal Aid Chicago Supervisory Attorney; Regina Hernandez, Legal Aid Chicago Supervisory Attorney; and Amy Campanelli, Vice President of Restorative Justice for LCLC and the former Public Defender for Cook County. The conversation explored the poverty trap of the justice system, navigating the child welfare system, criminal records relief, and restorative justice.
FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty - Building a Pathway from Poverty to Success, Empowering Chicago’s Youth to Thrive
Domonique Battle, portfolio director at A Better Chicago moderated the screening and conversation. The panel featured Aarti Dhupelia, Vice President of Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate College at National Louis University, Kelly Hallberg, Scientific Director at the UChicago Inclusive Economy Lab, and Stephanie Owens, Executive Director at Reach Higher. The panel explored how to empower first-generation college students from low-income communities to succeed and break the cycle of poverty.
Co-anchor for Chicago Tonight and Black Voices Host Brandis Friedman moderated a discussion focusing on the somber one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Panelists included Berto Aguayo (Increase the Peace), Grace Pai (Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago), Xavier Ramey (Justice Informed), Jazmine Salas (Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression) and Arewa Karen Winters (Justice For Families).
WTTW previewed IDA B. WELLS, the newest documentary and website in WTTW’s CHICAGO STORIES series, which brings to life the Chicago investigative journalist, racial justice and equity activist, and suffragist as never before. Sylvia Ewing led a conversation with the film’s producer and writer Stacy Robinson; motivational speaker, success coach and Ida B. Wells’ great grandson Dan Duster; and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and creator of the landmark 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah Jones.
Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, Juan Salgado moderated FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty – Encouragement for a Better Tomorrow screening and conversation. The panel featured documentary subject Melissa Fonseca, Jesus Gonzalez (AON Global Cyber Insurance Solutions), Reina Goodman (Fifth Third Bank) and Karina Ayala-Bermejo (Instituto del Progreso Latino). The panel discussed their journey from humble beginnings to the board room, their common ground with the film’s participants, and how it has affected the ways in which they lift their community as they climb.
WTTW, the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, and the UChicago Inclusive Economy Lab hosted a virtual conversation on issues of equity in education, part of the FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty event series. The panel featured the story of Dominetrius Chambers. Dominetrius was joined by Juan Salgado, City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor; Z. Scott, President of Chicago State University; and Shantá Robinson, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Crown Family School and research affiliate at the UChicago Inclusive Economy Lab. The conversation explored what is and isn’t working in our educational system for ensuring equity for all students – and the way forward. The panel was moderated by executive producer Dan Protess.
Sylvia Ewing, host for PBS fundraising specials, moderated a live, online conversation featuring Llewellyn Smith (writer, director, and producer of "Forgotten Genius"), Dr. Katherine Julian (physician and professor of medicine at USCF; Julian's granddaughter), and Akilah Siti Easter (biology/physiology professor at City Colleges of Chicago). The panel discussed the life and legacy of Percy Julian, and how the legacies of Black scientists have shaped and inspired new generations, and the challenges that remain today.
On February 10, WTTW hosted a virtual conversation about the Black church moderated by Sylvia Ewing, featuring some illustrious experts: Rev. Dr. Waltrina Middleton, the executive director of the Community Renewal Society; Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, the senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Washington Heights; Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray, Jr., the president of Hyde Park's Chicago Theological Seminary; and Taurean Webb, the director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston. Rev. Dr. Moss and Rev. Dr. Ray are both featured in The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song.
Sylvia Ewing moderated a conversation on 9to5: The Story of a Movement, an Indie Lens Pop-Up film. Sylvia was joined by Tina Tchen (Time’s Up Now and Time’s Up Foundation), Felicia Davis (Chicago Foundation for Women), Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance), Linda Tortolero (Mujeres Latinas en Accion), and Emily Green (Ellevest). The panel discussed the intersection of race and class with gender; and how women’s participation in social justice movements has empowered women workers, especially women of color and immigrant women.
Executive producer Dan Protess of Firsthand: Living in Poverty moderated a panel discussion featuring Carmelo Barbaro (Executive Director, UChicago Poverty Lab), Ebony Scott (Partnership Director, Family Independence Initiative), Audra Wilson (President & CEO, Shriver Center on Poverty Law), and documentary subject Melissa Fonseca. Special introduction by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Inspired by the Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere of the opera Blue and WTTW’s FIRSTHAND: Gun Violence digital series, this virtual conversation focused on the evolving relationship between the Chicago Police Department and Chicago’s Black community.
Following the screening of Jonathan Scott's Power Trip documentary, Sylvia Ewing moderated a panel of community leaders in which they discussed renewable energies, equity and environmental justice in our communities.
WTTW collaborated with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago on this screening and discussion around the documentary series Asian Americans.
Jamelle Bouie, New York Times columnist, moderated a panel discussion on how the power of innovative education can engage students and create a more equitable world.
WTTW News presented a virtual behind-the-scenes look at Chicago Tonight: Black Voices and Latino Voices, two additions to WTTW’s influential and independent news and public affairs programming lineup.
WTTW collaborated with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Asian Americans Advancing Justice to host a panel discussion about the film Harbor from the Holocaust.
WTTW hosted a discussion and screening around the role Illinois played in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and how race impacted Women’s Suffrage and voting today.
WTTW hosted a conversation with Chicago community and thought leaders discussing policing in Chicago, economic inequality, and the role individuals and institutions play in addressing peace and justice.
In a conversation moderated by Tim Russell, WTTW’s Vice President of Community Engagement, James McBride discusses The Library of Congress 2020 National Book Festival: Celebrating American Ingenuity.
In a conversation moderated by Tim Russell, WTTW’s Vice President of Community Engagement, Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks author Suzanne Slade and illustrator Cozbi A. Cabrera explain the process of writing the book.
WTTW & PBS Programming — Coverage and Context
Discover the diverse species and personalities of bees who live in a British urban garden.
A young poet confronts his city’s violent history after being arrested at a demonstration.
Dr. Vivian Jackson’s 6 As and how they tackle the many disparities of mental healthcare.
This digital event brings AA and NHPIs together to celebrate experiences and culture.
A Black woman enrolls in a COVID vaccine trial to confront the history of medical racism.
Anthropologist Linh An calls for a just mental healthcare system that dismantles racism.
Once a “profoundly disabled” kid, DEEJ is now a college student standing up for his peers.
Brandis Friedman hosts the 51st episode of “Black Voices.”
Lizards' fascinating and competitive history
WTTW & PBS Programming — For Kids & Families
When Elmo notices that some of the leaves in the park match his red fur and some match his friend Wes's brown skin, he wonders how skin gets its color. Wes's dad Elijah explains it's from melanin—something everyone has in their bodies that gives us our skin, eye, and hair color. These things make us who we are, and many people call this race. But like the leaves on a tree, the colors are most beautiful when they are standing together!
Arthur, Buster And Mrs. McGrady share their thoughts on racism.
Hosted by inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, this half-hour program features authentic conversations between real children and their parents and includes content from DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, ARTHUR, and XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM. The show looks at race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way and offers viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.
Follow Elmo, Abby, Tamir and Gabrielle as they prepare for a virtual community singalong as they stand up against racism by expressing love, kindness, and respect. Tamir and Gabrielle belong to an affinity group called the Power of We, led by Chris Jackson.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms takes questions about how to combat racism and shares a message with kids about how they can help make a change. Sesame’s Dr. Jeanette Betancourt shares tips on how grown-ups can talk to kids about these tough topics.
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