Stories by Maya Miller

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Fourth of July

Head to Naperville for fireworks and finger-licking food. (Naperville Ribfest / Facebook)

Fireworks, festivals and plenty of live music usher in the holiday weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Study: Cosmetics Complaints Rise, But Products Remain on Market

Consumer complaints about cosmetics and hair care products nearly doubled in 2016, prompting some in the medical community to call for greater transparency between the industry and the agency that regulates it.

Reports of Discrimination Against Muslims Rise in Chicago

Hoda Katebi of CAIR Chicago speaks during a press conference. (Courtesy of Council on American Islamic Relations)

So far this year, the Chicago Council on American Islamic Relations received about 400 complaints of discrimination against Muslim-Americans—the same number it received during all of 2016. 

Women Who Code Relaunches Chicago Chapter

The Chicago chapter of Women Who Code wants to help shape the culture of the city’s technology industry.

The international nonprofit Women Who Code boasts 100,000 members worldwide. This week, it’s relaunching its Chicago chapter and plans to offer meet-ups and other networking opportunities.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 22-25

Lake Michigan’s first floating water park features a floating trampoline and slides. (Courtesy of Wibit Sports)

Lake Michigan’s first floating water park, street festivals, the NHL draft and the annual Pride Parade. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Austin Community Leaders Kick Off Summer with Parade, Festival

A festival in Columbus Park wraps up a day of activities celebrating opportunity in the Austin community this Friday. (MrHarman / Wikimedia)

Hundreds of summer jobs are cause for celebration. “We want to make sure people know there are a lot of great things happening in this neighborhood besides bullets,” said one organizer of Friday’s event.

Program Gives Voice to Chicago’s Misunderstood, ‘Forgotten’ Youth

Brittney Shepherd, left, Kelly Fair, center, and Tara Campbell, right, of mentoring program Polished Pebbles. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

Young women from Chicago’s South and West Sides can face the same roadblocks as young men, but their struggles often go unnoticed. How one mentoring program is communicating its message to girls—and teaching self-expression.

Madigan Joins Coalition of Attorneys General in Opioid Investigation

(David Kessler / Flickr)

Attorney General Lisa Madigan will join a bipartisan effort to investigate the role opioid manufacturers may play in contributing to the country’s opioid epidemic. 

Chicago Techweek Throws Away Old Script, Doubles Down on Mission

Chicago Techweek takes place from June 19-23. (Courtesy of Motion PR)

The technology festival Chicago Techweek returns for a sixth year. We speak with the Techweek CEO about this year’s “radical shift” in programming.

Rhymefest Reminds Chicago Bike Riders to ‘Stay in Your Lane’

Che “Rhymefest” Smith appears on Chicago Tonight on Aug. 29, 2016.

When Hyde Park resident Connie Spreen wrote song lyrics about bicycle safety a few years ago, her children begged her not to produce them. Now, she’s a co-producer alongside Rhymefest for “Stay in Your Lane.”

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 15-18

(Chicago Pride Fest / Facebook)

Street festivals, vintage sales, funny femmes and plenty of tacos usher in Father’s Day weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Founders ‘Pushing Color’ at Chicago Women’s Funny Festival

Liz McArthur, left, and Jill Valentine, right, co-founded the Chicago Women's Funny Festival. (Courtesy of Stage 773)

When two local comedians launched the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival in 2012, they were regularly asked: “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?” Find out what’s in store for this year’s fest—and how the business of comedy is evolving.

DuSable Museum Seeking World War I Artifacts, Stories for New Exhibit

Men line up to enlist in World War I. (Courtesy of Christopher Reed)

The museum is turning to the public for help in telling the story of African-Americans who served as combat soldiers during World War 1.

Report: For Minimum Wage Workers, Affordable Housing ‘Out of Reach’

(Trey Ratcliff / Flickr)

A new housing report offers a bleak look at the cost of renting an apartment in Illinois for those earning minimum wage.

Mixed-Income Housing Plan for 3 Chicago Neighborhoods Moves Forward

(Smart Chicago Collaborative's photostream / Flickr)

A plan to develop affordable housing units under the same roof as public libraries moved forward Wednesday, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the winning architects and developers for each of the three projects.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 8-11

Indulge in a meaty weekend at Ribfest Chicago. (Beking Joassaint / Beking Joassaint Photography)

Live blues, lit wits, neighborhood festivals and ribs galore usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Calls to 911 Drop by Tens of Thousands in First Quarter of 2017

A significant decrease in calls to Chicago 911 emergency services is not matched by an overall decline in crime. We take a look at the numbers.

Catchy Ringtone Offers Upbeat Reminder of Immigrants’ Rights

As concerns over deportation rise in many immigrant communities, a local union has found a unique way to spread an educational message.

Music Education Class Sets the Tone for Bright Futures

A group of students who participated in the M.U.S.I.C. Inc. program. (Courtesy of Sarah Dupuis)

Can the violin lower student dropout rates? A classically trained musician and a social worker think music lessons have the power to inspire change.

Hyde Park Home an Alternative to Detention for Refugees, Asylum Seekers

Vida, a 20 year-old asylum seeker from Ghana, lives at the Marie Joseph House of Hospitality for Women in Hyde Park. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

The Marie Joseph House of Hospitality for Women in Hyde Park houses 10 asylum seekers and refugees. Thanks to a unique partnership with ICE, women who would otherwise be in detention facilities live in the co-op style home.  

Looking for Love? Local Experts Say ‘Get to Work’

(Fibonacci Blue / Wikimedia Commons)

In a culture where swiping left and right has become part of the dating ritual, a local clinical psychologist and her former student have some advice: get to work.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 1-4

German traditions are in full swing in Lincoln Square. (Royal Opera House Covent Garden / Flickr)

Art fairs, comedy shows and street festivals usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Ed Paschke Exhibit Features Rare Works of ‘Mr. Chicago’

When asked to describe the late artist Ed Paschke, Vesna Stelcer, the director at the Jefferson Park art center that bears his name, chooses one word: timeless.

Rumors of Underground Railroad in Irving Park Prompt Archaeological Dig

The Gray-Cloud house in 2017. (Courtesy of David Cloud)

A farmhouse built in 1856 may have ties to the Underground Railroad. This summer, the homeowners and a Lake Forest archaeologist will begin work to uncover the mystery.

Community Initiative to ‘Reclaim Southwest Chicago’ Expands

A bird’s-eye view of the new soccer field, running track and basketball court at Donald Morrill Math & Science Elementary School. (Courtesy of Southwest Organizing Project, Chicago).

A program targeting vacant homes and crime in a 20-block section of Chicago’s Southwest Side is expanding after a four-year pilot – and a noticeable change in the neighborhood.