Stories by Josclynn Brandon

Kids in the Kitchen

| Jay Shefsky

The Metropolitan Club and Breakthrough Urban Ministries team up to prep middle school kids on how to cook a holiday meal for their families.

Local Reaction to Obama’s Action on Cuba

| Kristen Thometz

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced a stunning policy shift on Cuba. We discuss the policy changes and local reaction to the news. 

Amnesty International Brings Write for Rights to Chicago

Amnesty International partnered with art-based nonprofit Donda’s House in the fight for human rights.

Winter Weather Forecast

| Kristen Thometz

Last year's winter was known as "Chiberia." Will this year's winter be a repeat? We talk with WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling about what to expect in the winter weather forecast.

Aim High Mentoring Program Visits The White House

A Chicago mentoring program that strives to ensure that 100 percent of participating students graduate high school, enter college, and gain skills to succeed in the workplace, participates in The White House College Opportunity Day of Action.

Chicago Defender: Serving News to the Black Community for 110 Years

The Chicago Defender was founded in 1905, and at one point was the nation's most influential black weekly newspaper. We hear from the new editor and publisher about future plans for the publication.

Lawmakers Convene for Final Week of Veto Session

| Kristen Thometz

The Illinois General Assembly is in session. The governor-elect talks about the state budget, and we dive into legislation that could make state government less transparent.

North Lawndale Students Use Coates' Article for School Project

When Atlantic magazine correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote his article, The Case for Reparations, he sought out to tell the history of the North Lawndale neighborhood, to educate readers, and encourage critical thinking among the masses. What he didn’t expect was for his piece to be used as a teaching tool and the premise for senior projects at North Lawndale College Prep. 

Holiday Cookies

Each year, the Chicago Tribune hosts a nationwide holiday cookie contest, and only the best are selected for publication. Now the first collection of winning recipes can be found in a new cookbook, Holiday Cookies: Prize-Winning Family Recipes from the Chicago Tribune.

‘Slowing Time’

In this seasonal guide to wonder and wisdom, the author Barbara Mahany takes readers through the process of finding the divine in ordinary moments.

Judicial Elections

More than 80 judicial candidates are running for election, with many of them running unopposed. Each year the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Chicago Bar Association screen and rate judicial candidates, and the organizations use their ratings to determine whether they would recommend a judge for retention. 

Local Researcher Working on Ebola Vaccine

Ebola is rapidly spreading in West Africa, killing thousands of people; and the first case in the U.S. was recently reported. Learn more about the virus and local research that focuses on treating and preventing Ebola.

Providing Summer Outlets and Creating Fall Jobs

Chicago Urban League Strives to Produce Opportunities

For nearly 100 years, the Chicago Urban League has been creating opportunities within the African American community.

Living Your Truth

Arts Program Teaches Young People to Find Their Voice

A vibrant 17-year-old with a beaming smile, Mekel Johnson walked into the room prepared for an interview that could grant him the opportunity to end his summer with a memorable trip.

I Grow Chicago

In Swahili, Kusanya means to collect and gather the people and strengths within the community to build a stronger, more hopeful, and more peaceful neighborhood. Kusanya is also a café in Englewood which has embarked on a journey of bringing hope and love to the community. 

Local Filmmakers Spotlight Chicago’s ‘Bucket Boys’

Chicago filmmakers and brothers Jarrell and Jerome Lucas’ first major project aims to tell the stories of the city's infamous bucket drummers.

A Mother to the Whole Community

One Woman’s Mission to Provide a Safe Haven

Diane Lanitker opened her home to help Roseland youth to provide them a safe haven from violence. Since Kids Off the Block’s founding in 2003, the organization has expanded beyond the walls of Lanitker’s home as word spread among local youth that there was a woman who would help them.

#ChicagoStandUp

Bulls' Noah joins the Fight Against Chicago Violence

Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah teams up with rapper, actor, and Chicago native Common to unveil a new anti-violence program including a star-studded public service announcement.

“Emotionally, I feel…”

One Summer Chicago provides teens with summer jobs. Learn about one participating organization whose founder hopes the program will help curb violence. 

The Power Lunch

Minority Women Look To Empower Their Careers

Following an appearance on Chicago Tonight, Chicago actress Drew Sidora leads an event geared toward empowering minority female entrepreneurs.

Repairing Broken Winggz

Foundation Helps Paralyzed Gunshot Victims

A gunshot victim who became paralyzed created a foundation to help others who suffer the same fate. Learn about Eric Wilkins and Broken Winggz.

Fighting For Change

Boxing Club Gives Youth Hope One Punch at a Time

Now that school is out, and summer has officially begun, children can be seen running, playing, and riding their bikes down their blocks; the same blocks where you can hear gunshots, cries, and whispers of retaliation. As the temperature outside rises, it often appears that the violence that plagues some of Chicago’s neighborhoods does too. Learn about a boxing gym that helps rehabilitate Englewood’s youth.

Web Extra: Brenda Myers-Powell Shares Her Personal Story

Brenda Myers-Powell is the executive director of The Dreamcatcher Foundation. Read her firsthand account of human trafficking.

Clock Ticking on State Poison Center

Without Funds Center Set to Close

Come July, Illinois may no longer have a poison control center. Tonight we look at the possibility of the long-standing Illinois Poison Center closing, analyze what that would mean for the state's only poison center. 

The Berlin Patient

In 2008, Timothy Ray Brown made international headlines as The Berlin Patient when he received a stem cell transplant that eradicated the virus that causes AIDS from his body. We’ll hear from Brown and the head of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Read an interview.