Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

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Chicago Tonight: Black Voices

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Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices

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WTTW News — Coverage and Context

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WTTW Community Conversations

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Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices logo

Latino Voices: A WTTW News Community Conversation

  • Joanna Hernandez moderated a panel discussing the significance of the Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos) and its importance in the Chicago’s Mexican community.

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Chicago Tonight: Black Voices logo

Black Voices: A WTTW News Community Conversation

  • Brandis Friedman led an online conversation into how local Black business leaders and retailers are faring more than a year and a half into the pandemic, and during this holiday season.

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Man playing piano with his left hand on stage in front of audience

FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty - Paths to Ending Childhood Poverty in America

WTTW and LIFT-Chicago hosted a conversation about the work being done in our state to lift children and families out of poverty — part of the FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty event series.

Man playing piano with his left hand on stage in front of audience

For the Left Hand: A WTTW Preview and Community Conversation

Sylvia Ewing moderated an online conversation about For the Left Hand, the latest film from the award-winning team at Kartemquin. The panel featured documentary subject Norman Malone; Gordon Quinn, Artistic Director and Founder of Kartemquin Films; and award-winning writer and producer Howard Reich.

Kwame Alexander

Performance and Talk with Kwame Alexander, Author of Becoming Ali

In a conversation moderated by Brandis Friedman, Kwame Alexander discusses his book Becoming Muhammad Ali. This event is presented in connection with MUHAMMAD ALI, the new four-part documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and co-directed by Sarah Burns and David McMahon. This event was hosted by WTTW and PBS Books.

Author Keli Jo Ford next to the cover of her book, Crooked Hallelujah

Author Talk: Kelli Jo Ford

In a conversation hosted by WTTW and PBS Books, author Keli Jo Ford discusses her new book Crooked Hallelujah and The Library of Congress 2021 National Book Festival: Open a Book, Open the World.

Author Cozbi A. Cabrera next to the cover of her book, Me & Mama

Trailblazing American Women: Author Talk with Cozbi Cabrera

In a conversation hosted by WTTW and PBS Books, author and illustrator Cozbi A. Cabrera discusses her new book Me & Mama. Me & Mama is an ode to the strength of the bond between a mother and a daughter as they spend a rainy day together.

Muhammad Ali in a hearing with the Illinois Athletic Commission on February 25, 1966 over whether to cancel his fight against Ernie Terrell for Ali’s refusal to serve in the military.

Muhammad Ali: A WTTW Preview and Community Conversation

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

'Justice is blind' statue with books in the background

FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty - The Intersection of Poverty and the Justice System

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.

School graduates being rained with confetti at graduation

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.

Black Lives Matter Protest - Washington, DC. Photo by Yash Mori

VOICES: A WTTW News Community Conversation - George Floyd One-Year Later

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).

Portrait of Ida B. Wells

IDA B. WELLS: A Behind-the-Scenes Preview & Discussion

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.

Encouragement for a Better Tomorrow image

FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty – Encouragement for a Better Tomorrow

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.

Students throwing graduation caps at sunset

FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty — Equity in Education

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.

Forgotten Genius film still

Forgotten Genius: Film Screening & Community Conversation

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.

Vintage photo of Black churchgoers

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song - A WTTW Screening & Community Conversation

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.

Vintage photo of protesters

9to5: The Story of a Movement: A WTTW Screening & Community Conversation

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.

Patricia Jackson

FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty – Preview & Discussion

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.

Lyric Opera's Blue image with two men dressed as police on stage

Policing in Chicago’s Black Community, Then and Now

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.

Jonathan Scott on roof with solar panels

Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip: A WTTW Screening & Community Conversation

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.

Asian Americans show image

Asian Americans: A WTTW Screening and Community Conversation

WTTW collaborated with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago on this screening and discussion around the documentary series Asian Americans.

Barbed wire fence

Seats at the Table: A WTTW Screening and Community Conversation

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.

Brandis Friedman

Chicago Tonight Voices: A WTTW News Community Conversation

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.

Harbor from the Holocaust

Harbor from the Holocaust: A WTTW Screening and Community Conversation

WTTW collaborated with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Asian Americans Advancing Justice to host a panel discussion about the film Harbor from the Holocaust.

Women's Suffragettes protesting outside the White House

The Vote: A WTTW Screening and Community Conversation

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.

Peace & Justice logo

PEACE & JUSTICE: A WTTW Community Discussion

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.

Deacon King Kong book cover and author James McBride

Virtual Engagement with author and musician James McBride

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.

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks book cover

Trailblazing Women Celebration: Gwendolyn Brooks

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

Racial Disparities in Health

Addressing health disparities is important as our population becomes more diverse.

The First Black Woman to Run for Vice President of The U.S.

Charlotta Bass was the first Black woman to run for Vice President of the United States.

Jovita Idar: Mexican American Activist and Journalist

Jovita Idar was a Latina journalist who worked for an end to segregation and racism.

Anna May Wong: The first Asian American Movie Star

Anna May Wong spent her acting career resisting racism and typecasting in Hollywood.

The First American-Born Chinese Woman Doctor

Margaret Chung became the first American-born Chinese woman doctor in 1916.

A Reckoning in Boston

A filmmaker teams with Clemente Course students to reckon with Boston's racial history.

The First American-Born Chinese Woman Doctor

Margaret Chung became the first American-born Chinese woman doctor in 1916.

This Body

A Black woman enrolls in a COVID vaccine trial to confront the history of medical racism.

Linh An | Decolonizing Mental Health

Anthropologist Linh An calls for a just mental healthcare system that dismantles racism.


WTTW & PBS Programming — For Kids & Families

Elmo talking with Wes and Elijah in park

Explaining What is Race?

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 talking remotely

Arthur

Arthur, Buster And Mrs. McGrady share their thoughts on racism.

Father and daughter talking to each other

PBS KIDS Talk About Race & 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.

Sesame Street characters

The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special

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.

Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism special

Coming Together: A Sesame Street Standing up to Racism Town Hall

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.


WTTW Mission, Purpose, Values

WTTW Mission

WTTW is committed to producing and presenting trusted, best-in-class content fueled by a distinctly Chicago sensibility. We engage our audiences by entertaining, inspiring, educating, and reflecting a diversity of perspectives.

WTTW Purpose

We enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration.

WTTW Values

Curiosity
We are driven by an appetite to learn and know more – inside the organization, the greater Chicago area, and throughout the wider world – and we use what we learn to inspire our audiences to explore.

Commitment
We are committed to building an innovative, creative, and collaborative culture that enriches, engages, and inspires our audiences.

Trust
We operate ethically, transparently, and with integrity.

Respect
We treat people fairly, value one another, and foster a safe environment that encourages collaboration, communication, and consideration.

Excellence
We strive to be a best-in-class content company by setting the highest standards of quality in all that we do.

Diversity & Equity
We celebrate differences, embrace inclusivity, and strive for equity. The stories we tell, as well as the people in front of and behind the camera and microphone, reflect the myriad faces and voices of our region.

Fun
We believe in an enjoyable, positive, and team-oriented workplace. We’re committed to hard work that produces great content, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.