By Cameron Albert-Deitch and Jason Plautz. Originally appeared in The Chicago Bureau.
In a bid to decongest the nation’s overpopulated prisons, the Obama administration has proposed leniency for certain drug cases, a move with uncertain consequences for juvenile inmates.
The president’s new Smart on Crime initiative has received national attention since Attorney General Eric H. Holder announced the policy at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco on Monday.
Attorney General Eric Holder / Creative Commons
The initiative – highlighted by an easing of mandatory minimum sentencing laws for low-level drug cases – could help reduce the booming prison population. But it’s unclear what impact that will have on the country’s juvenile incarceration rate, the highest of any industrialized nation. Read more
Originally appeared in Immigrant Connect
UPDATE: Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013. Same-sex married couples are now eligible for federal marriage benefits, including the ability to sponsor foreign spouses for citizenship.
Center on Halsted, the largest gay and lesbian community center in the Midwest, recently held a seminar on gay and lesbian immigration rights. Panelists had to tell the hopeful audience that same-sex provisions would not be included in the immigration reform bill heading to the Senate floor (click to enlarge)
Attorney Michael Jarecki had a client struggling to help her British partner stay in the United States.
Ordinarily, this situation wouldn’t be a problem. United States immigration law allows American citizens to sponsor a foreign spouse for lawful permanent resident status.
But Jarecki’s client wasn’t married. She was lesbian in a committed relationship, and securing residency for a foreign same-sex partner in the United States is nearly impossible. Read more
Originally appeared in The Chicago Bureau
Four women stood at the front of a room, speaking before the small crowd with strong voices despite each going through a harrowing and emotional experience.
Joyce Ann Brown attends the Women’s Project event. Photo credit: Randy Belice
The women – Joyce Ann Brown, Audrey Edmunds, Tabitha Pollock and Gloria Goodwin-Killian – had all been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. In total, they spent 45 years incarcerated, knowing all the while they were innocent and clinging to some hope that this fact would come to light.
Now free, thanks in no small part to innocence projects around the nation, their testimonies before the crowd headlined the commencement of the Women’s Project at the Northwestern University law school’s Center on Wrongful Convictions this month. Read more
The Guy Mendilow Ensemble features (left to right) Tomoko Omura, Sofia Tosello, Tareq Rantisi, Guy Mendilow and Andy Bergman.
Once upon a time. Four simple words. Yet we put them together and all of a sudden, we are ready to be mesmerized. These four words are a signal: we are about to be told a story.
On Wednesday, November 7, at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Guy Mendilow started his show with the words, “This evening, it’s our pleasure to share with you some of our favorite tales. And these stories have a bit of history. And because history is really nothing more than a story, we say, ‘Once upon a time.” Read more
RadioArte, based out of North Chicago, is enhancing LGBTQ visibility on the Chicago radiowaves.
RadioArte: Enhancing LGBT Visibility in the Latino Community from Cameron Albert-Deitch on Vimeo.
MEDILL // Cameron Albert-Deitch // Bilal Iftikhar // Megan Thielking // Leah Varjacques
Originally appeared in North By Northwestern
Teams of two raced around the Northwestern University lakefill on miniature tricycles Sunday while competing in the Deltona 500. As Delta Tau Delta’s first philanthropy event since returning to campus, the Deltona 500 raised funds for Drinks on Us, an organization founded by McCormick sophomore Zueber Juma to build wells in Afghanistan.
Tricycles for charity: the Deltona 500 from North by Northwestern on Vimeo.
North By Northwestern // Cameron Albert-Deitch // Mallory Busch
Now a ten year tradition, open mic nights at Uncommon Ground (two locations in Chicago) have become a hotbed for musical talent and cultivation.
SLIDESHOW: Open Mic Night at Uncommon Ground from Cameron Albert-Deitch on Vimeo.
Cameron Albert-Deitch // MEDILL
It’s a cold day with blustering winds, the first in a while that really feels like Chicago.
But weather can’t keep Chicagoans indoors. On the corner of North Winthrop Avenue and West Bryn Mawr Avenue, the sidewalks are as busy as ever.
This particular intersection features a restaurant at each corner and the different scents (Mexican, Indian, sandwich shop and Starbucks) create an unexpected blend. You can tell who’s new to the neighborhood – just take note of who wrinkles their noses as they pass by.
The signs overhead say “Bryn Mawr Historic District” and while historic districts often feel contrived, this feels authentic. Read more
Originally appeared in WNUR Sports
The Cardiac ‘Cats did it again.
The Northwestern Wildcats (1-0) fought off the Syracuse Orange (0-1) at the last possible minute in a 42-41 win Saturday afternoon, pulling ahead with a nine yard touchdown pass from sophomore backup quarterback Trevor Siemian to senior Demetrius Fields with 44 seconds remaining.
Syracuse scored first, going up 6-0 on two field goals from junior place kicker Ross Krautman in the first quarter. The two teams exchanged touchdowns – Northwestern on Mark’s punt return and Syracuse on a 14 yard touchdown run from junior tailback Prince-Tyson Gulley – before NU quarterback Kain Colter and the Wildcats went off for 28 straight points spanning the halftime break. Read more
Originally appeared in WNUR Sports
Introduction: Urban Renewal
There are two words on the tip of every Ohio State fan’s tongues. Those two words represent the hope of picking up this storied program that has fallen so far. They help soften the blow of the memorabilia-for-cash scandal that forced out 10-year coach Jim Tressel and quarterback Terrelle Pryor. They help Ohio State fans pretend that their first losing season since 1988 never happened and soothe the pain of having neither a conference championship nor a bowl game to play for.
Those two words: Urban Meyer.
Hiring Urban Meyer as the new coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football program has turned around the spirits of a dejected fan base. The 47-year-old Ohio native, whose first job was as an Ohio State graduate assistant in the mid-1980s, pronounced himself, “home,” and almost immediately began talking tough and backing it up with aggressive recruiting.
The savior-of-the-program talk is a bit overplayed, but there is a lot to be said for Meyer re-energizing the program. Read more