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About | FIRSTHAND: Segregation


Chicago is one of the most segregated big cities in America, and it comes at a cost. The Metropolitan Planning Council found that segregation costs the region $4.4 billion in lost income, 83,000 fewer bachelor’s degrees, and about 200 lives cut short by homicides every year. In FIRSTHAND: SEGREGATION, WTTW explores the impact racial divisions have on individuals, the city, and our region with a documentary series, reported stories, expert talks, and community discussions.

FIRSTHAND: SEGREGATION is part of the award-winning FIRSTHAND multiplatform, multi-year initiative focusing on the firsthand perspectives of people facing critical issues in Chicago.

Community Engagement Partners

Folded Map Project visually connects residents who live at corresponding addresses on the North and South Sides of Chicago, and investigates what urban segregation looks like and how it impacts Chicago residents. The project invites audiences to open a dialogue and question how we are all socially impacted by racial and institutional conditions that segregate the city to understand how our urban environment is structured and its impact on our social networks.

Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has been dedicated to shaping a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth.

Text Journalism Partners

The South Side Weekly is a nonprofit newspaper dedicated to supporting cultural and civic engagement on the South Side, and to developing emerging journalists, writers, and artists. The Weekly publishes in-depth coverage of politics, the arts, and issues of public interest alongside oral histories, poetry, fiction, interviews, and artwork from local photographers and illustrators.

The Invisible Institute is a journalism production company on the South Side of Chicago working to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable. They produce investigative reporting, multimedia storytelling, human rights documentation, the curation of public information, and the orchestration of difficult public conversations.

WTTW News drives in-depth coverage and analysis of Chicago news and public affairs across WTTW’s television and digital platforms, and in the community, including, Chicago Tonight, Week in Review, Black Voices, and Latino Voices. WTTW News is committed to providing trusted journalism, fact-based news, and authentic engagement that is inclusive and reflective of the diverse voices in the Chicago region.

Major support for FIRSTHAND was provided by

Ann and Rich Carr
Jim and Kay Mabie Family
The Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation
Edwardson Family Foundation, in memory of Ed Marciniak
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Denny and Sandy Cummings
Philip and Rene Alphonse
Lewis Collens and Nancy Sindelar
The Duncan Family
The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation
Larry and Mary Mages
Marc and Jeanne Malnati Family Foundation
Rande and Cary McMillan
Neal Gerber Eisenberg, in honor of Scott Fisher

As of February 22, 2022



Justin Henderson
Jenny Macchione

Justin Henderson
Kevin Crowley
Mike Scipioni

Still Photography
Ajani Akinade
Ken Carl
Davon Clark
Miguel Zuno, Jr.

SVP, Marketing & Digital Media
Anne Gleason

Community Engagement

Vice President of Community Engagement
Tim Russell

Senior Manager, Community Engagement
Emily Dehm

Community Engagement Specialist
Laura Wilson Fallsgraff


Latesha Dickerson

Executive Producers
Dan Protess
Anne Gleason

Teresa White
Margaret Byrne
Esaú Melendéz
Latesha Dickerson
Pat Odom
Sam Rong
L. Anton Seals, Jr.

Directors of Photography
Margaret Byrne
Joshua Jackson
Alejandro Marin
Sam Rong

Lesley Kubistal
Amber Love

Aerial Photography
Nick Blaising

Original Score
Allie n Steve Mullen

Matt Taylor

Re-Recording Mixer
Shawn Duffy

Art Director
Linda Fox

Sayou Cooper
William Trlack


Judith McCray

Engineer in Charge
Dave Moyer

Technical Director
Al Williams

Charles Evans

Jim Mancini

Tape Operator
Mark Anderson

Tim Boyd
Tim Jackson
Felix Mendez

Floor Director
Bruce Rehberger

Dan Rozkuszka

Tim Jackson

Gabriel Irimia

Art Director
Linda Fox

Executive Producers
Anne Gleason
Dan Protess

Text and Visual Journalism

Justin Agrelo, South Side Weekly
Alma Campos, South Side Weekly
Heather Cherone, WTTW News
Grace Del Vecchio, South Side Weekly
Chima Ikoro, South Side Weekly
Leonel Hernandez, South Side Weekly
Jamie Kalven, Invisible Institute
Madeleine Parrish, South Side Weekly
Charmaine Runes, South Side Weekly
Jason Schumer, South Side Weekly
Pat Sier, South Side Weekly
Jacqueline Serrato, South Side Weekly

Discussion Guide

Maria Krysan, PhD