Adam Toledo vigils, J&J vax updates and talks on cannabis equity

Also — we're hiring!

Editors note: this newsletter was supposed to be published last night, Monday April 19, but erroneously was scheduled for today, April 20. So sorry! Thank you for reading!


Hey y’all! Welcome back to your weekly newsletter. It’s your team — Francesca, Justin, Cam, Robin, Aneesah and Claire — back for another week of updates and more. A couple things first: 

We’re hiring! Yes, it’s that time of year again! We are looking for curious and enthusiastic journalists and non-journalists alike to join our team for the 2021-22 school year. You can learn more about the positions available and apply through our hiring application form. The deadline to apply is this Sunday, April 25, at midnight. If you have any questions or need a deadline extension, reach out to Francesca Mathewes at franmathewes98@gmail.com. No journalism experience, cover letter or resume is required — just an interest in online storytelling and the city of Chicago! 

Plus, another reminder that tomorrow is Pueblo’s Public Newsroom with Manny Mendoza of Herbal Notes, a culinary cannabis pop-up supper club, to talk about the evolving process of cannabis legalization and how it relates to racial and economic equity. Register + learn more on the Eventbrite page


A Weekend of Action and Remembrance in Chicago, Plus a Lowdown on the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

On Friday, thousands of people gathered in Logan Square to march and demand justice in the police killing of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy from the Little Village neighborhood. 

Protests came after bodycam footage was publicly released of the incident, showing Toledo facing police with his arms raised. Block Club Chicago published a description of the video contents without actual video footage here. The video, which shows Toledo empty handed, contradicts earlier statements by a Cook County prosecutor and city officials that Toledo had been holding a gun when he was shot by police. 

The protest began at the Logan Square monument and moved throughout the neighborhood, organized by a number of community groups, including Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), GoodKids Mad City, Únete La Villita and others. There were performances of prayer and memorial for Toledo and calls to end police killings by activists and community members.  

The protest was peaceful for over five hours, according to reporters on the ground, but ended with some more violent confrontations by police in which two people were arrested.

The GoFundMe for Toledo’s memorial fund has been closed, but you can donate, volunteer and support the following organizations who continue to uplift Toledo’s family, fight against police violence and contribute to community mutual aid efforts:

  • GoodKids Mad City: Donate here

  • Chicago Freedom School: Donate here

  • Únete La Villita: Get info on calls to action and volunteer opportunities here.

  • Assist AJ, a 17-year-old who was injured and hospitalized after an encounter with police on Friday —  donation information here.  

  • Donate to LVEJO here

Vaccine Update

Last week, the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine was put on pause while the CDC and FDA investigate several rare cases of blood clotting reported after vaccination. 

If you’ve already gotten the J&J vaccine, there is no need to panic. According to national health officials, the rare form of blood clotting was reported in seven women aged 18 to 48, who began developing symptoms six to 13 days post-inoculation. One woman has died and another is in critical condition. 

However, a direct connection to the vaccine has not been officially established yet, and if you received the shot more than two weeks ago and haven’t had symptoms of clotting (severe headache, abdominal and leg pain, shortness of breath), you’re very likely not at risk. Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a White House briefing to “remember it’s less than one in a million,” but to be on the lookout for those symptoms. To put that in perspective, many common forms of hormonal birth control can raise your risk for blood clotting more than the J&J vaccine, according to VICE.

The city of Chicago released an updated rollout plan for substituting other vaccines for the J&J shot — check it out if you planned to receive a J&J.

A couple more vaccine-related things:

As of today, everyone in Chicago and Illinois 16 and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine! Since eligibility is open, the state of Illinois has announced the rollout of College Vaccination Days, where university students can get vaccinated. There are sites with spots available for tomorrow, April 20, outside of Cook County at the following locations: 

DuPage County Fairgrounds, Building 1

  • 2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton

  • Note: Use code UniversityApril20 when scheduling an appointment.

Shabbona Middle School (Grundy County)

  • 725 School St., Morris

Lake County Fairgrounds

  • 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake

  • Note: Sign up on link, then call 847-377-8130 and state you are part of College Day

Will County Mass Vaccination Site (former Toys R Us)

  • 3128 Voyager Lane, Joliet

  • Note: Use code WILLCOUNTY420 when scheduling an appointment.

In addition to these collar county locations, there will be a Pfizer clinic this Thursday, April 22, from 9 a.m to 5 p.m in Old Town. Register and learn more here.


Chicago headlines

  • After a weekend of social-media rumors surrounding her personal life, Mayor Lightfoot has announced that she will not resign from her position, saying on Twitter that she will “continue to serve” Chicago. 

  • A seven-year-old was killed and her father was shot at a McDonalds drive-thru on the West Side in a tragic incident. The father remains in serious condition and there are no suspects at this time, according to ABC7 Chicago. 

  • Disgraced singer R. Kelly will be moved from Chicago to New York for his sex-trafficking trial, which was initially delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


DePaul News

Today, April 19, is the last day for 2021 graduates to submit name pronunciations for their graduation slides. In lieu of an in-person ceremony, convocation will be occurring virtually, with personalized slides for graduates, which may be submitted using this link. The deadline to add photos and quotes to personalized slides is April 27.

While convocation is virtual, several in-person graduation celebrations will be taking place from May 19 to 28. These include the Graduation Experience Canopy, which will contain a decorated stage and professional photographer for students to take graduation photos; a reflection wall for Class of 2021 graduates to share their memories; sculptures around the Quad; and nighttime lighting for the Quad, to provide a unique nighttime experience for students and their families.

Tee off with DePaul After Dark this Wednesday, April 21, for a night of mini golf and games in room 120 at the Student Center. The event lasts from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and students may RSVP using this link.

Ramadan began last Tuesday. This month-long period of Muslim spiritual observance is one of the five pillars of Islam and uses fasting to foster spiritual growth. To better educate the DePaul community on Ramadan, members of DePaul’s United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA) organization put out an informational video highlighting the significance and challenges of observing Ramadan as a college student.

In College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) news, DePaul’s game design program was ranked 41st out of over 700 private schools in the nation and fifth overall in Illinois by Animation Career Review.

In an article published by The DePaulia, student employees in a number of departments reported a lack of adherence to health and safety guidelines on campus. This has included a lack of proper mask-wearing and social distancing in on-campus spaces like the Student Center. 

Kyle Tomlin, a student employee in the mailroom, told the DePaulia that he left his job after experiencing a “persistent unsafe COVID-19 work environment.” Several other student employees are quoted in the article as having felt unsafe at work. 

DePaul has reported 10 COVID-19 cases over the past eight weeks, according to the DePaulia. Students in the article urged university higher-ups to more effectively enforce safety guidelines. 

Editors note: Justin Myers, who is on-staff at 14 East and contributes to this newsletter, is quoted in the DePaulia article regarding on-campus student employee safety. He did not contribute to the inclusion or depiction of the article in this section.


National headlines

  • Vox reports that President Joe Biden opposes marijuana legalizations as Democrats and the American public largely support it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll move forward with his legalization bill despite Biden’s opposition. Marijuana legalization is popular, with two-thirds of Americans backing it, according to Gallup and the Pew Research Center. Pew also found that 55 percent of Republicans back legalization and Democratic support percentages are in the high 70s and 80s. 

  • Half of U.S adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot according to The Associated Press. About 130 million people 18 or older received one dose of the vaccine per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 84 million adults have been fully vaccinated. The states with the highest vaccination rates are New Hampshire, New Mexico, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, while Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are states with the lowest vaccination rates, especially in rural areas.

  • USA Today reports that ex-police officer Stephen Broderick has been arrested after a 20-hour manhunt through the state of Texas and is being charged with capital murder. Broderick killed two Latina women and a Black man that he reportedly knew.

  • The gunman of a shooting at an Indiana FedEx facility bought two rifles after police seized his shotgun according to The New York Times. Nineteen-year-old Brandon Hole killed eight people at the facility on Thursday. Before this incident, police retrieved a shotgun from Hole when his mother raised concerns about this mental state. Despite Hole’s mother's warnings, authorities did not subject Hole to Indiana’s red flag law, barring people from possessing a firearm if they are deemed a risk.


Recommendations

  • If you’re looking for a damn good show to watch, let me introduce you to Fargo. The FX seriesis a critically acclaimed American crime drama written and created by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the 1996 film of the same name featuring hitmen for hire, snowy landscapes and quaint Minnesotan accents. The show’s first — and arguably best season –– aired in 2014 to widespread praise, receiving numerous awards and accolades, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series and the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries. At its core, the season centers around a cat-and-mouse chase between a crafty hitman and a cowardly Minnesotan man turned murderer. What may sound like an uninspired plot has been lauded by many as visionary television for its intricate storylines, compelling characterization and impeccable use of tension. But if the first season doesn’t appeal to your taste, no worries! Hawley’s series functions as an anthology, with each season introducing fresh storylines and new characters all backdropped by a unique location and time period. Unlike most anthology series, the cast also changes from season to season, with notable appearances by Billy Bob Thornton, Jesse Plemons, Ted Danson, Ewan McGregor, and most recently, Chris Rock. So next time you’re looking for a new series to binge, make sure to check out Fargo. All four seasons are currently streaming on Hulu. — Claire Malon


Resources

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Resources

All of these testing sites and vaccination sites can be accessed for free and without insurance. 

  • Howard Brown offers free, walk-in COVID-19 testing at multiple locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, in addition to mobile testing sites that are updated weekly, which you can access here.

  • The Illinois Department of Health and the City of Chicago have opened more free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here.

  • In the spring, the City of Chicago partnered with CORE response to set up free drive-thru and walk-in testing sites in the city, primarily on the South and West sides, with appointments available Monday through Friday. Register here. 

  • The city has also updated its COVID-19 testing program with more mobile sites, which change weekly. More info here. 

  • Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine in Chicago? Check out appointments via Zocdoc, the City of Chicago’s Vaccine Finder or pharmacy websites such as Walgreens and CVS to see what is available in or around your zip code. 

Mental Health Resources

  • At Open Counseling, there’s a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low cost.

  • This website compiles mental health resources, including therapist/counselor directories and other online resources. 

  • The Center on Halsted offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources for LGBTQIA+ people.

  • Howard Brown Health offers anti-racism resources and sliding scale counseling specializing in the LGBTQ+ community.

  • This document is a resource for Black people experiencing racial trauma. This master list includes specific resources as well as protesting tips and donation links. 

  • This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago. 

  • This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75.

  • Here’s 7 virtual mental health resources supporting Black people right now, including Chicago-based community organization Sista Afya’s support groups

  • And the Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline is a resource operated by transgender and nonbinary staffers for the trans community: 877-565-8860.

  • The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago is a nonprofit that provides affordable, sliding-scale counseling. Call (312) 263-4368 extension 9081 to schedule an intake appointment (counseling is not religious-centered). 


That’s all from us, folks! Have a lovely week and we’ll see you back here next Monday. 

Francesca, Justin, Cam, Robin, Aneesah and Claire