WWP Continues School Partnerships

School Partnerships

In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding Chicago Pubic Schools, WWP continues its partnerships with both Willa Cather and Melody STEM by providing more media workshops for area students.

After a very engaging ‘Digital Storytelling workshop where 8th graders got the chance to create their own short videos, students at Melody STEM are now involved in a podcasting workshop learning how to create and produce their own podcasts.

School PartnershipsRecently students got to hear from Robin Amer, Chicago Reader’s Deputy Editor for News on the finer points of podcasting. Robin talked about her work in creating podcasts and her love for storytelling. She also introduced the students to podcasts created by students similar in age.

School Partnerships

Later this spring WWP will offer an after school media series at Willa Cather School. The series will build upon earlier sessions and will involve 8th graders serving as news reporting covering the Garfield Park community.

WWP’s Town Hall Event a Huge Success

Town Hall Event - March 19, 2016

On March 19th, WWP partnered with City Bureau to host a town hall meeting to discuss police accountability on the West Side. The hands-on, data driven event was educational and engaging, providing an in-depth look at how police misconduct allegations are handled. The event included break out sessions to allow for smaller group discussion and to gather questions posed by those in attendance.

Some of the questions centered around the issue of ‘military policing’ verses ‘community policing’. Others wanted police officers involved in fatal shootings to submit to drug/alcohol testing immediately.

The event was well attended and attracted a very diverse crowd from long time West Side residents to current college students to former Chicago police officers and members of the founding African American Patrolmen’s League. Town Hall Event - March 19, 2016 Those in attendance were treated to an afternoon of data analysis and very enlightening discussion as City Bureau staff members gave a step-by-step walk through on how to access and analyze the database.

Pamela Hunt, founder of Hunt for Cultural Brilliance, came to the event prepared to research the data base and share information with others. “I was very impressed. The information was very informative and accessible and I’m so glad it was held on the West Side.”

According to the database, which looks at data from March 2011 through September 2015, the overwhelming majority of police misconduct allegations against Chicago police officers were deemed unsustained.

It is important to note that the agency that deemed these cases unsustained was none other than the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the same agency that justified the LaQuan McDonald shooting and others prior to the tapes being made public.

For West Side communities the numbers were staggering:

Community Name # of complaints % unsustained
Austin 1,732 98.44
N. Lawndale 1,058 96.22
Humboldt Park 942 99.89
East Garfield 741 95.95
West Garfield 604 98.84

Richard Marion, long time WWP participant and current junior at Iowa Sate Univ., happened to be back in Chicago for spring break during the event. He added, “The event was very informative. I had no idea stats like these even existed. It was also really cool to see everyone in the audience engaged and participating in the discussion.”

Chaclyn Hunt, a civil rights attorney with the Invisible Institute, provided updates on current bills pending in the state legislature. She also explained how the Invisible Institute in a legal battle with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to access misconduct allegations going back more than five years. Check back for more developments on this issue.

Town Hall Event - March 19, 2016



* WWP strengthens partnerships for 2015-2016. WWP is set to begin the new school year by providing digital media/arts sessions for 8th graders at both Melody STEM and Willa Cather Elementary Schools.

In addition, WWP will also continue to facilitate digital media workshops at Amundsen Park as part of Chicago Park District’s Arts Partners in Residence program.

These six week, hands-on sessions will provide students with exposure, guidance and support in areas of digital media, journalism and technology.


* WWP recently completed the 4th year of its summer Broadcast News program at CAN-TV where students researched, produced and hosted their own weekly news show discussing current events and other relevant items from a youth perspective. Students discussed topics ranging from the deaths of unarmed African-Americans Sandra Bland in Texas and Jonathan Sanders in Mississippi to the current CPS budget crisis, to the escape of Mexican cartel boss El-Chapo Guzman. The program provides students with added exposure and hands-on experience to being a part of a broadcast news show.  WWP also wrapped up its summer programming at Amundsen Park where 35 students gained exposure in operating video cameras, public speaking, including interviewing


* WWP founder and Executive Director Frank Latin featured in 2015 edition of Loyola University’s Mosaic Magazine



* WWP partners with The Westside Source – The project involves a team of university journalism students, WWP students and neighborhood residents working in a collegial environment to identify, discuss and report on, events and people who impact life on the city’s West Side. It also provides an opportunity for journalism students to gain real world experience practicing their craft while learning about the history and the dynamics of one of the city’s most neglected areas. In addition to the site, www.westsidesource.com, stories will also appear in various community newspapers that cover the West Side providing students with even greater exposure.