Meet Your Neighbor: WITS Chicago

(Special thanks to Brenda Langstraat of WITS Chicago for her time and insight) At a time when immediacy and brevity of digital and social media drive our discourse, literacy can be easily dismissed…but the volunteers and staff of WITS Chicago work hard to promote a love of reading – and literacy – in Chicago youth. I... Read more »

Blogger Outreach: An Insider's Perspective

Blogger Outreach: An Insider's Perspective
As a Chicago Now blogger, I’m finding myself in a middle of a popularity contest: between helping friends with their efforts, getting requests from media and organizations to profile them, and creating real-time topics…I am never at a loss for topics that make great posts. However, I also recognize that many nonprofit, community and other mission-driven... Read more »

Meet Your Neighbor: Esperanza Community Services

Meet Your Neighbor: Esperanza Community Services
  (Special thanks to Joy Decker of Esperanza Community Services for her time and insights) “Community” often gets used in a variety of contexts without understanding the full meaning of the word. In social media circles, “community” is often used to describe followers without necessarily any context other than a given brand. In Chicago neighborhoods,... Read more »
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Meet Your Neighbor: Chicago CRED

Last week, I had the opportunity to check out the opening of Pullman Peace Park. After all, it was simply a few bus rides away, but it was an opportunity to learn about the work of Chicago CRED through the eyes of one of their participants. It was an outing to the newly-opened Pullman Peace... Read more »

Self-Care When Freelancing and Caregiving

Self-Care When Freelancing and Caregiving
Last week, I crashed hard. Between marketing an immigration rights fundraiser and being dragged into a crisis involving a former volunteer gig, I’ve spent most of the past few days relaxing. Losing two assignments have resulted in a more diligent search for freelance work, but my mother’s health issues have meant an increase in caregiving... Read more »

Facebook, Free Speech, and Social Media

After posting my interview with Dawn Xiana Moon about the Raks Inferno fundraiser on August 2nd, I did what many of my fellow Chicago Now bloggers do in these situations: post a link to this blog’s Facebook page. As a blogger, I feel a responsibility to highlight great nonprofit and community-based initiatives, so featuring this... Read more »
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Immigration Rights Fundraiser: A Conversation With Dawn Xiana Moon

Immigration Rights Fundraiser: A Conversation With Dawn Xiana Moon
(Special thanks to Dawn Xiana Moon for her time and her insights) With Americans increasingly divided over immigration policies, those with direct impact – children and families – are often ignored. Raks Inferno is holding an August 2nd fundraiser at Uptown Underground to benefit the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. Recently, I had the chance to... Read more »

How Do You Get Scott Adams To Block You On Twitter?

Scott Adams of Dilbert
Yesterday, I learned the answer to the question, “How do you get Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, to block you on Twitter?” It wasn’t an answer I was actively seeking but resulted from Scott Adams explaining the proper use of “pour” and “pore” when discussing documents. (This was in reaction to the President’s recent Tweet). I... Read more »

How Harlan Ellison Influenced My Writing

Photo by Pip R. Lagenta via Flickr With Harlan Ellison’s recent passing, I have to admit that…well, he’s been on my mind a great deal. Not out of concern…just a group of unread ebooks on my phone. In fact, I was so bored recently that I found – and watched – the 2008 documentary Dreams... Read more »
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This Is Not Normal

This Is Not Normal
Back in November 2016, John Oliver hosted an episode of Last Week Tonight focusing on the election of Donald Trump. Towards the end of the episode, John Oliver gave his viewers some apt advice: with the relative chaos of the election, people would learn to adopt that chaos as being the “status quo”. Oliver advised her viewers, whether... Read more »