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Hope from the Front Lines
16 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
"Daycare Double Bind" reported by Judith McCray
Nine months into the Coronavirus pandemic, childcare providers are doing double and triple duty supervising school aged kids with remote learning for much of each day, while doing their regular duties caring for the children of working parents. But providers fear that if and when schools reopen, their risk of COVID exposure will increase as kids shuttle back and forth between daycare and classrooms. They're placed between a rock and a hard place as their dilemma is unnoticed and under appreciated. In this episode, childcare providers Jamila Ife Wilson and Tahiti Tamer make their voices heard. Reporter Judith McCray is an award winning documentary filmmaker, broadcast journalist and producer. Twenty three years ago she founded Juneteenth Productions to find and tell stories from the perspective and experiences of people who matter, whom we hear too little about or from. She passionately believes that media is an effective tool for positive social change and reaching people and communities that are underrepresented. With Hope from the Front Lines, she's reminded that we all will need and be caregivers at different points in our lives. She loves sailing and horseback riding - but rarely gets to do either.
15 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
"Surviving Covid" reported by Bia Medious
Healthcare workers in homes face increased exposure risk to Covid-19, just like traditional front line workers. So why are employers using loopholes in the law to avoid paying some essential workers sick leave? The Families First Coronavirus Response Act covers pay, if you’re infected by COVID. For home healthcare workers, it’s only if they contract it from a client. The issue is that home healthcare workers exposure risks extend far beyond their clients. If they’re doing the job properly, they’re exposed to their clients, other caregivers, their family members and friends, as well as nearly daily contact with the public at large as they handle their client’s daily affairs. In this episode, one home healthcare worker talks about how she was able to finally get paid after catching COVID-19 on the job.Reporter BIA MEDIOUS (she/her) is a native Chicagoan, journalist and audio producer. Passionate about storytelling, she commits to projects that challenge traditional narratives, seek justice, and encourage civic participation. Bia investigated alternative courts in Cook County while completing a civic reporting fellowship with City Bureau, a local media organization. She helped produce podcasts at USA Today, including “The City” which investigated the environmental injustice that remained after the FBI closed Operation Silver Shovel. She later joined the podcast team at WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR Station. There, Bia worked on a variety of narrative and news-based podcasts, earning three Peter Lisagor awards for her work on “South Side Stories,” a first ever partnership between public media and a cable network - Comedy Central. She's most proud of her byline is with the historic Chicago Defender. And she recently founded her own audio production company, BIA Media, at the start of a global pandemic.
13 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
"Breaking Point" reported by Maurice Bisaillon
Throughout Chicagoland and across the country nursing homes continue to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the past 11 months the linoleum tiled hallways of these facilities have carried not only orderlies, gurneys, and residents, but also more than 38% of all Covid-19 related deaths in America. But what many don’t know is that staff of these facilities, and the industry advocates that fight for them were not in the least bit surprised by the magnitude of the tragedy. For decades now they have watched owners cut staff in favor of profit, leaving facilities unable to properly care for their residents.Reporter MAURICE BISAILLON is a media producer with more than 20 years of broadcast production experience, working with A&E, History Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS and more. His A&E Biography on Barack Obama is the most widely viewed episode in the history of the franchise. He’s a recent transplant to Chicago and has thoroughly lost his mind trying to furnish his apartment through Facebook Marketplace. Executive Producing Hope From The Front Lines has opened his eyes to the fact that the word caregiver describes far more than doctors and nurses.
16 minutes | Oct 29, 2020
"Enough Is Enough" reported by Judith McCray
Five months after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the struggle for justice and equality for African Americans continues in peoples’ hearts and minds, if not still in the streets. Many Black Americans are encouraged that the protests and larger number of allies joining the movement for Black Lives will bring real changes in policing and equity. In this episode, Enough is Enough, healthcare givers Shawndra Robinson, Coston Plummer and Ashley Mosley reflect on the circumstances and actions for racial justice. Reporter Judith McCray is an award winning documentary filmmaker, broadcast journalist and producer. Twenty three years ago she founded Juneteenth Productions to find and tell stories from the perspective and experiences of people who matter, whom we hear too little about or from. She passionately believes that media is an effective tool for positive social change and reaching people and communities that are underrepresented. With Hope from the Front Lines, she's reminded that we all will need and be caregivers at different points in our lives. She loves sailing and horseback riding - but rarely gets to do either.
19 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
"Esperanza en Practica" reportado en Ariel Mejia
Lakesia Collins es una CNA decidida a cambiar la narrativa. Trabajando en múltiples trabajos de cuidadora mientras criaba niños, tuvo que declararse en bancarrota porque su hogar de ancianos pagaba salarios de pobreza. Convirtiéndose en organizadora de la unión la empoderó para correr como representante estatal del noveno distrito de Illinois. Su plan no es solo conseguir que se aprueben los proyectos de ley, sino organizar su distrito alrededor de los problemas que ella comprende de primera mano: vivienda, levantar la prohibición del control de alquileres y vigilancia excesiva. En este episodio, Esperanza en la práctica, ella explica cómo estos problemas se entrecruzan con cómo COVID-19 está afectando de manera desproporcionada a la clase trabajadora y a las personas de color, y por qué organizarse es la respuesta. ARIEL MEJIA (ella) es nativa de Chicago que llegó al arte de audio y la producción de radio a través de la práctica feminista, la organización comunitaria y la educación en salud sexual. Su trabajo ha aparecido en el programa de la BBC Shortcuts de Falling Tree Productions, así como en Antibody, una serie de podcasts de The Dig de la revista Jacobin. Ariel también enseña narraciones en audio a adolescentes y aspira a convertirse en una experta bailarina de tap. Ella está más inspirada por la magia de la conexión humana, las posibilidades de transformación y el cambio de estaciones por sus sonidos y colores.
9 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Hope from the Front Lines: Mid-Season Review
At the midpoint of our first season of Hope from the Front Lines we look back at some of the episodes we have produced so far. Throughout the season we’ve heard from frontline workers receiving no pay for time spent in quarantine, daycare providers left to fend for themselves as they reopen in the midst of a pandemic, healthcare-providers working in unsafe conditions for unfair wages, and nursing home attendants left in the dark regarding infection rates of staff and residents. Join us as we listen to some first half highlights of the series.
28 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
"Pago Perdido" reportado por Aiden Kent
La industria del cuidado de la salud en el hogar está creciendo rápidamente, con un valor de más de $30B USD. La industria ya lucha con prácticas laborales justas, pero COVID-19 golpeó y expuso esas debilidades. Marisol García ha estado trabajando con la misma empresa de cuidado en el hogar desde 2003 y contrajo COVID-19 mientras trabajaba. La obligaron a estar en cuarentena durante un mes y aún no ha recibido el pago por el tiempo perdido.AIDEN KENT es buscadora, narradora y naturalista. Al trabajar en Hope From the Front Lines, Aiden se siente honrado de conectarse con personas que están tratando de hacer que el mundo de la cuidados en el hogar sea más equitativo y respetuoso con sus trabajadores. Ella está agradecida por la oportunidad de volver a conectarse con sus raíces de habla hispana y usar su título universitario de periodismo para hacer algo bueno en el mundo. Vive por todas partes con su esposo y su gato, y disfruta de las luces parpadeantes y las cálidas noches de verano.Música de Monplasair y Yasuharu Takanashi. Un agradecimiento especial a Parker Asmann.
12 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
"Home Sweet Home" reported by Jonathan Aguilar
Long-term healthcare workers have been overlooked for a long time, and during the time of a pandemic, things are no different. These healthcare workers are often the ones who are looking after those most vulnerable in our society. In this episode, we learn from two long-term health care workers, Monique Smith and Marybeth Linse, on the difficulties of taking care of a loved one during a global pandemic. Reporter JONATHAN AGUILAR recently graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. During his time at DePaul, Jonathan helped establish the university's first Spanish-language publication. Jonathan strives to document the news in an unbiased way, so that people can grow in their understanding and empathy for communities outside of their own. Hope From The Front Lines has provided him an opportunity to learn more about those who are often under reported, He's also been able to reflect on his own experience providing long term care for a relative. In his free time, Jonathan likes relaxing in his hammock with Mac Miller playing on repeat in his headphones.
15 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
"Hope in Practice" reported by Ariel Mejia
Lakesia Collins is a CNA determined to change the narrative. Working multiple caregiving jobs while raising kids, she had to file bankruptcy because her nursing home paid her poverty wages. Becoming a union organizer empowered her to run for state representative of Illinois’ 9th District. Her plan is not just to get bills passed but to organize her district around the issues that she understands firsthand - housing, lifting the ban on rent control and over-policing. In this episode, she explains how these issues intersect with how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the working class and people of color, and why organizing is the answer.Reporter ARIEL MEJIA (she/her) is a Chicago native who came to audio art and radio production by way of feminist praxis, community organizing and sexual health education. Her work has been featured on the BBC show Shortcuts from Falling Tree Productions, as well as Antibody, a podcast series from Jacobin Magazine’s The Dig. Ariel also teaches audio storytelling to teens and aspires to become a skilled tap dancer. She is most inspired by the magic of human connection, possibilities for transformation, and the changing of the seasons because of their sounds and colors.
11 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
"Home Away From Home" reported by Briana Higgins
Loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety and other mental health crises have infiltrated nursing homes long before the March lockdown and peak of COVID-19 in Illinois, but the pandemic has only heightened those feelings among staff and residents. While the pandemic has been hard overall, the strict parameters limiting social activities, interactions and the disruption of normal routines pose the risk of a mental health pandemic that could be spreading even faster. This episode takes a deeper dive into the effects of COVID-19 on nursing home facilities, staff and residents with the current social distancing guidelines in place. Reporter Briana Higgins is a recent graduate from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, where she studied Broadcast Journalism. Some of her accomplishments are reporting and producing for the school’s student television network, reporting and directing for WTIU and studying HIV/AIDS in Uganda. As a perfectionist, she strives for great storytelling across all mediums including radio, print, videography, photography, documentary and podcast. She’s focused on telling unique stories on all issues and Hope from the Frontlines was the opportunity to do just that. If she’s not reporting or storytelling, she’s finding other ways to explore her creative energy and watching content on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+.
20 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
"Cuidado Infantil: Modo de Crisis" reportado por Erica Carbajal
La demanda de cuidado infantil asequible ha sido históricamente alta, con COVID-19 exacerbando el sistema ya inestable. Para que los padres vuelvan al trabajo, necesitan un cuidado infantil seguro y asequible, pero algunos proveedores aún no están listos para reabrir. Otros no tienen espacio. Los efectos del COVID-19 están exponiendo los desafíos estructurales que los proveedores de cuidado infantil como Maria Del Carmen Macias y Araida Palacios han enfrentado mucho antes de que llegara la pandemia. En este episodio, comparten sus esperanzas y luchas mientras atraviesan un momento de crisis. La reportera Erica Carbajal es una recién graduada de la Universidad DePaul donde estudió periodismo y español. Durante su tiempo como estudiante, Erica reportó para los medios de comunicación impresos y de transmisión de la universidad, con una cobertura que va desde la legislación sobre apuestas deportivas hasta el aumento de los niveles del lago de Chicago. Le apasiona contar todos los lados de una historia; las que muchas veces no son escuchadas o miradas, que es lo que la conectó con Esperanza desde las Primeras Líneas. Cuando no está viendo las noticias o reportando sobre ellas, puede encontrarla cocinando o viendo una telerrealidad.
9 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
"Protecting Me Means Protecting Us" reported by Kortni Smyers-Jones
With COVID-19 related hospitalizations increasing and many hospitals allowing visitation to resume, hospital workers worry about their protection from contracting the virus. In this episode, hospital workers Bernita Drayton and Caprice Nevils discuss the need for greater safety protocols as their exposure to the virus increases.Reporter Kortni Smyers-Jones recently graduated from DePaul University with a master’s degree in journalism. Her love for storytelling and documentaries inspired her while still a student to form her own production company, Behind the Dream, with a fellow classmate. Kortni was drawn to Hope from the Front Lines because she’s dedicating her career to focusing on the needs of people and to be a force of good. She loves anything that reminds her of summer: the sun, sun flowers, going to the beach and the color yellow.
18 minutes | Aug 20, 2020
"Divided We Stand" reported by Judith McCray
Nearly six months into the pandemic, hospitals across the U.S. still struggle to keep up with rising admissions of COVID-19 patients. While Chicagoland has yet to see a flattening of the curve, some hospitals have resumed elective surgeries and admitting visitors. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, located in the city’s center, was one of the first to do both and received a large CARES Act grant to keep its operations going. But little told is the hospital’s poor communication, inequitable PPE distribution, resistance to hazard pay, elimination of contributions to employees’ 401K plans, and seeming disregard for the safety and well being of its service employees. In this episode, three employees share their frustrations and vigilance fighting for hazard pay, respect and appreciation.Reporter Judith McCray is an award winning documentary filmmaker, broadcast journalist and producer. Twenty three years ago she founded Juneteenth Productions to find and tell stories from the perspective and experiences of people who matter, whom we hear too little about or from. She passionately believes that media is an effective tool for positive social change and reaching people and communities that are underrepresented. With Hope from the Front Lines, she's reminded that we all will need and be caregivers at different points in our lives. She loves sailing and horseback riding - but rarely gets to do either.
11 minutes | Aug 13, 2020
"A Failure To Communicate" reported by Maurice Bisaillon
Take a look at how communication between nursing home management and their staff and residents is vital to treating and preventing the spread of the Covid-19. In this episode we look at two Chicago facilities taking very different approaches to protecting their staff and residents during the pandemic. Bridgeview Healthcare Center neglected to test residents showing symptoms of Coronavirus, leaving uninformed staff members at risk of catching the virus. Sheridan Village took an opposite approach testing all residents who showed symptoms, and immediately quarantining them if they tested positive. Two different approaches, two different outcomes.Reporter MAURICE BISAILLON is a media producer with more than 20 years of broadcast production experience, working with A&E, History Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS and more. His A&E Biography on Barack Obama is the most widely viewed episode in the history of the franchise. He’s a recent transplant to Chicago and has thoroughly lost his mind trying to furnish his apartment through Facebook Marketplace. Executive Producing Hope From The Front Lines has opened his eyes to the fact that the word caregiver describes far more than doctors and nurses.
14 minutes | Aug 6, 2020
"Detective Caretaking" reported by Ariel Mejia
In group homes for developmentally disabled adults, the contraction of COVID-19 happens faster, and deadlier than any other population. Not only are these numbers under-researched, but also underreported. In this episode, one home care giver uses her investigative instincts to keep residents in a group home in the southwest suburbs of Chicago healthy, safe and alive - against the odds.Reporter Ariel Mejia (she/her) is a Chicago native who came to audio art and radio production by way of feminist praxis, community organizing and sexual health education. Her work has been featured on the BBC show Shortcuts from Falling Tree Productions, as well as Antibody, a podcast series from Jacobin Magazine’s The Dig. Ariel also teaches audio storytelling to teens and aspires to become a skilled tap dancer. She is most inspired by the magic of human connection, possibilities for transformation, and the changing of the seasons because of their sounds and colors.
16 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
"Child Care: Crisis Mode" reported by Erica Carbajal
Demand for affordable child care has historically been high, with COVID-19 exacerbating the already unsteady system. For parents to get back to work, they need secure and affordable child care, but some providers aren’t ready to reopen yet. Others don’t have the space. The effects of COVID-19 are exposing the structural challenges child care providers like Maria Del Carmen Macias and Araida Palacios have dealt with long before the pandemic arrived. On this episode, they share their hopes and struggles as they navigate through a time of crisis.Reporter Erica Carbajal is a recent graduate from DePaul university where she studied journalism and Spanish. During her time as a student, Erica reported for the university’s broadcast and print media outlets, with coverage ranging from sports betting legislation to Chicago’s rising lake levels. She’s passionate about telling all sides of a story; the ones that often go unheard and overlooked, which is what connected her to Hope From the Front Lines. When she’s not watching the news or reporting it, you can find her cooking or unapologetically watching some reality television.
24 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
"Lost Pay" reported by Aiden Kent
The home health care industry is growing fast, poised to be worth over $30B. The industry already struggles with fair labor practices, but COVID-19 hit and exposed those weaknesses. Marisol Garcia has been working with the same in-home care company since 2003 and contracted COVID-19 while at work. She was forced to quarantine for a month, and has yet to receive pay for the lost time.Reporter Aiden Kent is a seeker, storyteller and naturalist. Through working on Hope From the Front Lines, Aiden is humbled to connect with people who are trying to make the world of home care more equitable and respectful of its workers. She is grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her Spanish-speaking roots and use her journalism degree to do a bit of good in the world. She lives all over with her partner and cat, and enjoys twinkling lights and warm summer nights.Music by Monplasair and Yasuharu Takanashi. Special thanks to Parker Asmann.
1 minutes | Jul 21, 2020
Trailer: Stories by health caregivers of color in the time of COVID-19
Hope from the Front Lines peaks behind the COVID-19 headlines to reveal the voices and day-to-day challenges of essential health caregivers and staff who support Chicagolands’ most-at-risk during the pandemic: the ill, seniors, people with disabilities and children. Predominantly Black and LatinX, they work long hours for little pay and even less recognition. Their stories of resilience, perseverance and commitment to those they care for shine a light during these dark times.
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