Building beauty from darkness: Black Monument Ensemble to bring hope in upcoming showcase

It’s not yet the holiday season but Damon Locks thought Chicago deserved a gift. On Nov. 15, Locks and the Black Monument Ensemble will present “Where Future Unfolds – Flowers for Chicago,” a sprawling 80-minute music-and-dance performance hosted at the Garfield Park Conservatory as part of the month-long Red Bull Music Festival.

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How 16 shots changed Chicago

Nearly four years after Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the Van Dyke trial began just this month. The prosecution rested its case last week. Now, the defense begins its attempt to prove Van Dyke was justified in shooting McDonald 16 times. As the trial nears its end, Chicago waits for the verdict with baited breath.

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A Fair Shake: Black and Brown Chicagoans Amplify Access to Legal Marijuana

There currently exist many organizations aimed at helping Chicagoans navigate the city’s medical marijuana program, but most are sponsored by cannabis companies in Illinois and very few groups service the South and West Sides of the city. Black and brown folks stand to benefit just as much from access to cannabis as anyone else, but they are readily skipped over by many advocacy organizations.

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Annual Harvest Day showcases West Side’s agriculture community

West Side residents looking to explore their inner farmer can attend the Garfield Park Conservatory between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 for the seventh annual Harvest Day. The recommended donation for attending the event is $5. Hosted by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, the event will be a family-friendly celebration of urban agriculture in the city of Chicago.

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This year's Mexican independence Parade has one message: Families belong together

Every year, thousands of spectators gather in Little Village and cheer “Viva Mexico” during the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade. This year, amid separation of families at the border and deportations in the Latino community, another message underlied the event: that families should not be split up.

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A Fair Shake: Black and Brown Chicagoans Fight for Equity in Legal Marijuana

In theory, legal possession and use of pot in Illinois could bring balance to the way it's policing disproportionately affects black and brown folks. But those communities stand to suffer the same systemic barriers in a recreational system that they already face within the medical one. With the city possibly on the brink of ending its prohibition on cannabis, Chicagoans on the South and West Sides are working to ensure that black and brown communities aren’t left out.

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