The Latino Vote, Maria Hinojosa, Cristela and Hispandering: Catch Latino USA This May 5 at DePaul

If you are in Chicago this Thursday May 5 and love politics, don’t miss this free event brought to you by DePaul University’s Department of Latin American and Latino Studies and the Futuro Media Group, producers of Latino USA, Humanizing America, In The Thick and America By the Numbers With Maria Hinojosa:


The event is open to the public. You can register for free at this link. Here is the schedule of events:


9:00-9:30am – Introductions and Coffee

9:30-11:00am – Deconstructing the Myth of Numbers with Maria Hinojosa (Futuro Media Group), Mark Hugo Lopez (Pew Research Center), Cristina Mora (University of California, Berkeley), Michael Rodriguez (University of Chicago), and Julio Ricardo Varela (Futuro Media Group)

11:15-12:30pm – Humanizing America viewing and guests with Christian Diaz (“Young and Latino”) , Anthony Downer (“Leaders of Color”), Omar Lopez (“Senior and Progressive”), Reema Ahmad (“Young and Muslim”), and Maria Hinojosa

12:30-1:00pm Networking and Strategizing Break

1:00-2:15pm – Black/Brown Coalitions with Valerie Johnson (DePaul University), María de Los Angeles Torres (University of Illinois in Chicago), and Laura Washington (Chicago Sun Times)

2:15pm-3:00pm – Hispandering with Latina comedian Cristela Alonzo

DePaul University Lincoln Park Student Center – 2250 North Sheffield Avenue Room 120A (Multipurpose Room), Chicago, IL 60614 – View Map

Meet the Chicago Millennial Helping to Register Thousands of Young Latinos

In the latest Humanizing America with Maria Hinojosa, we meet Christian Díaz, a Latino millennial from Chicago whose non-partisan organization has registered over 20,000 young people to vote in the last three years.

“I believe Latinos can come out to vote if we organize…if we’re out there sharing our stories,” Díaz said.

For more episodes from the new series, go to or follow @HumanizingUSA.

Watch This Very Creative Latino USA Fan Video

You want to know why I still love Twitter? The answer is simple: because some of the best digital ideas pop up in a place this is so often misunderstood and underestimated. Take the case of @ChicanoPlanner, who earlier today tweeted this to our @LatinoUSA account:

As you might imagine, I got a bit giddy when I saw the tweet. I mean, getting an unsolicited fan video via Twitter featuring one of our tracks, with gorgeous summer images of Chicago as the backdrop? These types of videos don’t come in every day, so I tweeted @ChicanoPlanner to see if he would email me the actual file. Of course, we would credit him.

He happily did, and told me the following via email: “This is what I listen to on my commute, keep up the great work!”

Within the past hour, I posted the video to our Facebook page.

I also uploaded it to our YouTube channel:

This is how I giddy I got. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea’s quaint creativity, so much so that if anyone else wants to send a fan video our way showing how YOU listen to Latino USA, you can tweet me @julito77 and tag @LatinoUSA.

By the way, the audio @ChicanoPlanner used for his fan video is the introduction to a June segment produced by Antonia Cereijido about Operation Pedro Pan. Give it a full listen here:

Chicago’s Fight Over Street Vending

Chicago is one of the few major U.S cities that bans street vendors from selling prepared foods, except in parks. New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver and Austin, for example, all allow some form of street vending on their sidewalks. The Chicago city council is considering a measure to do away with the ban. If it passes, it would mean safer conditions and more economic opportunity for vendors who now risk fines and even arrests. But as Colleen Pellissier reports, there are strong feelings on both sides.

 Photo courtesy of Colleen Pellissier


In Chicago, officials plan to shutter 54 schools they say are under-utilized. The closings are expected to save the city millions of dollars, but many are angry and upset. Students from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University examine the impact at two schools in a heavily Latino neighborhood on the west side. Paige Sutherland, Tanya Basu, Ananth Baliga and Lisa Carter report.

Image courtesy of Flickr/chicagopublicradio.

TanyaTanya Basu is a graduate student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she focuses on economic reporting.


Lisa CarterLisa Carter is a journalism graduate student at Northwestern University. She is a native Texan who has written for publications in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, Austin and San Antonio.



ananthAnanth Baliga is from Mumbai, India and he is currently studying public policy reporting at the Medill School of Journalism. He began to study software engineering, but switched careers to follow his interest in political and public policy reporting. He previously worked in New Delhi Television, a national news channel in New Delhi, India, as an intern reporter.


Sutherland_biopicPaige Sutherland is a graduate student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she focuses on urban reporting. She is originally from Boston, MA and received her bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.


The Illinois legislature passed a law which will allow undocumented immigrants residing in the state to obtain driver’s licenses.  With this move, Illinois joins three other states — New Mexico, Washington and Utah that allow undocumented immigrants to drive legally. Dan Weissmann reports.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Dan Weissmann is a Chicago-based radio producer and multimedia reporter. His work has appeared regularly on WBEZ (Chicago Public Media, 91.5 FM) and can be found at


An Illinois federal judge recently cleared the way for a lawsuit that challenges the U.S. government’s use of immigration detainers which instruct local police to hold suspects until being picked up by ICE, often indefinitely, and sometimes even U.S. citizens. Mark Fleming, an attorney with the Heartland Alliance, the Chicago-based group heading the lawsuit, tells us more.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Mark Fleming is the National Litigation Coordinator at Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) located in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Fleming focuses on litigation and public policy related to immigration enforcement and detention. Prior to joining NIJC, Mr. Fleming was a staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, where he monitored migrants’ rights in the western hemisphere. In that capacity, he coordinated the Inter-American Commission’s investigation into human rights concerns with U.S. immigration enforcement, detention, and due process.

Surviving Torture: the Super Marios Story

The Kovler Center in Chicago was designed to help victims of torture overcome their turbulent experiences. As part of our year-long series about Latinos in health, reporter Dan Weissman brings us the story of one of the people who received treatment there and the doctor who helped him.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of Hektoen International.

Dan Weissmann is a Chicago-based radio producer and multimedia reporter. His work has appeared regularly on WBEZ (Chicago Public Media, 91.5 FM) and can be found at

StoryCorps Historias’ Teachable Moments

As the school year ends, we hear two stories about teachers from StoryCorps Historias, one from a student who dropped out in Los Angeles and one from a student in Chicago who started his first business as a teenager in an unusual way.

Click here to download this week’s show.



Roger Alvarez (l) and his former teacher, Antero Garcia (r) in Los Angeles.



Noe Rueda (r) and his former teacher, Alex Fernandez (l) in Madison, WI. Noe grew up in Chicago.



All audio and photos courtesy of StoryCorps. Noe’s story was produced by Michael Garofalo. Roger’s story was produced by Brian Reed.