One-woman play honors MLK, Black History Month
Jan. 26, 2011

Text by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill On a hot summer day of July 27, 1919, a race riot erupted in Chicago, leaving 38 people dead, 500 wounded and 1,000 mostly black families homeless.

According to historical and newspaper accounts, the deadly event was triggered by the drowing death of an African-American teenager, who drifted into a section of Lake Michigan reserved for whites.

A group of white teenagers reportedly threw stones at Eugene Williams, for violating the “invisible boundary” at the beach, between 25th and 29th streets. Williams, who was swimming with two others, was hit on the head causing him to drown. Others said he died of exhaustion while swimming, too afraid to come ashore.

“Either way, he drowned, touching off the deadliest episode of racial violence in Chicago history,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

This fading piece of Chicago history came to life Sunday, during a stirring performance of Yolanda Adrozzo’s The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie.

Continue reading “One-woman play honors MLK, Black History Month”

Chinese isn’t so foreign at Niles High schools
Jan. 25, 2011

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — “Ni Hao!”

Amid the chattering of teens flocking out after their final exams, Wileen Hsing said “hello” in Chinese to one of her students as she marched down a hallway at Niles West High School.

If not for her horned-rimmed eyeglasses and teacher’s identification card, the 38-year-old Hsing could easily be mistaken as a college graduate.

In reality, the Flossmoor, IL, native has been an instructor at the school for 10 years. By virtue of her lineage and Chinese proficiency, the former English teacher has since 2008 undertaken the challenge of teaching the complicated foreign language to District 219 high school students.

“There was a lot of interest from the community. Several parents were interested in starting a Chinese program,” Hsing said in explaining the genesis. She added that interest was further heightened when other school districts started programs.

Continue reading “Chinese isn’t so foreign at Niles High schools”

Korean-Americans celebrate heritage, showcase talent
Jan. 21, 2011

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Donning vibrantly colorful chima jeogori Korean dress, Junghee Lee and four of her fellow performers gracefully glided onstage to perform the Buchaechum fan dance, one of the numbers presented during Korean-American Day.

From traditional dances to contemporary pop music, the Skokie Public Library’s Petty Auditorium was the epicenter of Korean pride and heritage last Saturday, the fifth event of its kind in Skokie.

“We are so proud of our Korean community in America,” Kee Nam Chang, president of the Korean American Association of Chicago (KAAC) told Skokie Patch, while touting South Korea’s economic strength following the devastating Korean War in the 1950s.

Continue reading “Korean-Americans celebrate heritage, showcase talent”

‘Schoolhouse Rock’ gets young feet moving
Jan. 19, 2011

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — There’s more to a child’s life than sitting 0n a couch and playing Nintendo.

As a former schoolteacher, Jennie Meyer gives her seal of approval to the musical hit Schoolhouse Rock for its fun and effective way of teaching pre-school children basic math, science, grammar and even social studies.

So last Tuesday, Meyer and her 3-year-old daughter, Adelina, attended a packed performance at the Skokie Public Library’s Petty Auditorium.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Meyer said. “It was a flashback for me. I actually was a teacher and used some of these songs when I was teaching. So it was fun to hear and see them live.”

Continue reading “‘Schoolhouse Rock’ gets young feet moving”

Skokie officials praise cultural diversity festival
Jan. 15, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Underscoring the need to strengthen literacy and cultural understanding , Skokie first lady Susan Van Dusen joined community leaders Tuesday in launching the second Coming Together in Skokie festival.

This developed as Mayor George Van Dusen encouraged students to learn a foreign language or two “because the world is getting smaller.”

“By reading books we really learn other people, other worlds, other subjects,” said his wife. “And so, we created Coming Together in Skokie around a book.”

Continue reading “Skokie officials praise cultural diversity festival”

Harvard grad finds inspiration in Haiti
Jan. 12, 2011

By Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — As Haiti marks the anniversary of the deadly 2010 quake that claimed at least 220,000 lives, a Skokie lawyer and humanitarian worker is appealing for direct help to rebuild one community in the struggling Caribbean nation.

Rosalie Selinger Murphy, chairwoman of the Sharing Committee at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston, said even with small donations, Chicagoans can make a difference in the lives of children and adults at St. Anne Parish in Limonade, Haiti.

While her work is centered on education and microfinance, Murphy told Skokie Patch that the effort to help the community recover from last year’s devastating magnitude 7 earthquake has been complicated by the recent cholera epidemic.

“Many people have died. That [cholera] has spread throughout the country. It’s very serious and people are very frightened,” said Murphy, who visited  northern Haiti in September shortly before the outbreak. Continue reading “Harvard grad finds inspiration in Haiti”

Northshore Congresswoman on AZ shooting: ‘Shocking’
Jan. 10, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Ranking Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky joined a bipartisan chorus of condemnation against the “terrible act of violence” directed toward her House colleague, Gabrielle Giffords, her staff and several Arizona constituents.

“Congresswoman Giffords conducts herself in a dignified, civil manner and with a kind demeanor, making it particularly shocking that she would be the target of such violence,” Schakowsky said in a statement issued Saturday evening.

Schakowsky, who represents Illinois’ 9th Congressional District that includes Skokie, said she was “horrified” of the news and is praying for the “full recovery” of her fellow Democrat, who is reported to be in critical condition at the University of Arizona Hospital in Tucson.
Continue reading “Northshore Congresswoman on AZ shooting: ‘Shocking’”