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Youth Development Opportunities with Playworks

Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional health. They are currently hiring for the Back of the Yards program. Applicants must be 18+, have a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) and be able to pass a background check. For more information and to […]

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CTA to Provide Free Train and Bus Rides on New Year’s Eve

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will offer free rides on New Year’s Eve to encourage people heading out to celebrate the New Year to take transit and avoid driving. CTA will offer free rides on all buses and trains beginning 10 p.m. Sunday, December 31 until 4 a.m. Monday, January 1. MillerCoors’ Miller Lite is […]

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Back of the Yards celebrates first tree lighting ceremony

The blustery winds didn’t stop hundreds of Back of the Yards (BOTY) students and their families from decorating holiday trees for the first annual tree lighting ceremony. Organized by Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC), the new neighborhood tradition was celebrated on the unseasonably warm Monday evening of Dec. 4. The celebration included the participation of […]

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Inspired coaches lead a championship team

Passion for the game of football brought two coaches together to start a new youth football team in Back of the Yards. Anthony Martinez also known as “Coach Tony” and Paul Shackelford known as “Coach Big Dawg,” were inspired to start a football league for youth ages eight to 14 to Back of the Yards […]

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Meet Juan(ito) Doe Review

I walked into the small storefront turned “story front,” and a sense of wonder immediately washed over me. Shopping carts, bikes, cortinas, altares, and chile jalapeño cans doubling as flower pots and walls were all suspended from painted grey- brick walls. The small space which I had visited before, had become an ingeniously envisioned and […]

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Seward students counter narrative in BOTY

Growing up in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood, you can expect the scent of Fabuloso or PineSol to be paired with music-especially on weekends-like it’s a ritual. “Every time I hear music coming from a house I think that their mom or their dad is making them clean or something,” said Nancy Mejia, 12. Mejia is […]

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BOTY celebrates community heroes

Back of the Yards residents came together on Wednesday, Oct. 18 to celebrate heroes of the community. Mauricio Hernandez, 19, was one of more than 15 youth in attendance at the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) Quarterly Council Meeting, where four 9th District police officers and Back of the Yards business owner Ricardo […]

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TAMED: An Interview with Oaxacan artist Ricardo Angeles

Oaxacan artist, Ricardo Angeles spent the month of September working on canvases in preparation for his first solo gallery opening at Pilsen Outpost. TAMED, the show’s name is a play on the restrictions he gave himself while preparing his artwork for the show. There were days when the weather was perfect to go out and […]

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An Open Letter to Young Brown Girls Everywhere

Dear Brown Girl, You see everything. You notice people around you growing and changing, because you are perceptive. Keep that. Trust your instincts. This world will tell you that feelings are not real and that logic trumps all of that, but know that those feelings are generationally taught. You’ve inherited an eye and an instinct […]

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Youth Stay Up ’til Dawn in the Name of Peace

With hair all over the floor, two barbers and a little more than 200 teens, walking into the Port Ministries cafeteria was a humbling sight to see. Kae, from Rockstar Barbershop in Pilsen spoke to teens as they huddled around him and his business partner Jon. He spoke to them about the recent experience he […]