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Social Issues

The alluring trend of moving to a more affordable locale to work remotely as COVID-19 upends our lives will likely not hold up in the long run. That’s because places like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other large metropolitan areas have the traits that make them hubs for a strong, innovative economy.

Read about innovation in cities

Big Cities Hero
The Northwestern Alumni Association’s career programs moved to an all-virtual format after the pandemic began. Amid increasing uncertainty in the job market and high unemployment rates, the NAA offers a range of virtual learning and mentorship programs for alumni at all stages of their careers, whether they are looking for their first job, making a change or seeking professional development.

Read about the NAA’s career programs

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Historian Lina Britto reflects on how growing up in Colombia and working as a journalist inspire her understanding of how the present reframes the past. An associate professor, she teaches courses that examine Latin American and Caribbean history with a focus on the drug trade and the war on drugs, the impact of music on nation building, and Cold War terror.

Read about Lina Britto

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As America grapples with a history of injustice and in light of the recent attention given to the Black Lives Matter movement, a historical and educational reckoning is occurring that has been decades in the making. Northwestern alumni and faculty are part of a growing chorus of teachers, students and lawmakers reminding us that Black history — and the histories of other marginalized communities — are as American as apple pie and should be accurately and contextually taught to all.

Read the story

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Ashley O’Shay’s documentary Unapologetic follows the work of two young Black women who organize for Black political, economic and social liberation. The feature-length documentary premiered at the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia last summer.

Learn about the film

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Surging Forward

Winter 2021
First-time director Wendy Levine Sachs co-directed and produced Surge, a feature documentary film that follows three female candidates who fought to flip their districts from red to blue in the last midterm election.

Read about the film

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Seeing her own family members treated unfairly in health care settings gave Melissa Simon ’06 the resolve to become a doctor and change health care from the inside. Today, she combines research and community outreach to reduce gaps in health care services for medically underserved communities.

Read more about Melissa Simon

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Through award-winning mystery novels and popular TV scripts, Attica Locke tells stories of Black Americans’ experiences that probe the inequities of class and race.

Read more about Attica Locke

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Emergency medicine physician and former Wildcats offensive lineman Ryan Padgett ’97 was one of the first healthcare workers in Washington state to test positive for COVID-19. His harrowing story has become both a symbol of hope and a cautionary tale about the ­­­dangers of the global pandemic.

Read more about Ryan Padgett

Padgett Hero Image
Broadway actor Adam Kantor ’08 co-founded StoryCourse, which mixes food and theater, creating “a multisensory, delicious, profound, moving experience,” says Kantor. He and his StoryCourse team are now developing at-home interactive theatrical culinary experiences.

Read more about Adam Kantor’s StoryCourse

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