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Emily has written for Chicago Sun-Times, KSMU News, The DePaulia and The Standard. Find links below to previous written work published in print and digitally.

When I was a kid in the late ’90s and early 2000s, I was not allowed to have Nike shoes or apparel. My mom wouldn’t buy them for us because, as I remember it, the shoes that everyone else at school seemed to have were made in sweatshops. Of course, the 10-year-old me didn’t understand that my parents were trying to instill a piece of ethical consumerism into me. I just wanted what everyone else had.

Am I the only one who was brought up brand-conscious? No, of course not, and those younger than me are even more cognizant of buying based on ethical business practices.

Three years ago, Lara Dunbar was getting used to being a stay-at-home mother after working full-time as an office administrator downtown when she started walking around Clarendon Park.

Park staff, she said, were a welcome resource for children’s activities.

Dunbar, 34, now brings her children — Evan, 6, Alexander, 3, and 6-week old Russell — to Clarendon Park at least three times a week to play. Evan attends the after-school program Park Kids. He’s home-schooled, so Dunbar values the chance for him to socialize.

“He gets to not only spend time with kids his own age, but older kids,” Dunbar said.

But Evan and other children in that program could be displaced. Planned renovations to the park’s community center, 4501 N. Clarendon Ave., may disrupt Chicago Park District programs.

The Clarendon Park Advisory Council is petitioning to save the community center from total demolition; they plan to voice their concerns at the Park District Board of Commissioners’ meeting Wednesday.

If Chicago Public School students participating in the Cooking Up Change competition do well on Wednesday, they won’t be traveling to Washington D.C. for a final culinary contest.

That’s partly due to the Trump Administration’s rollback of nutritional requirements in school lunches.

States are no longer required to meet the same standards for whole grains, lower sodium and low-fat flavored milks offered in school lunch programs that were initiated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during former President Barack Obama’s tenure.

As a ride-share driver, Mattia Nanfria said she has been propositioned and even been attacked by riders. What’s more, her wages fluctuate widely — but in bad weeks she earns less than minimum wage.

“The weeks where I’m clearing $10 to $12 an hour, that’s what I lose sleep over,” said Nanfria, 41, of Dunning, who says she has completed 15,000 rides for Lyft and Uber in the past four years.

For one recent DePaul University College of Law graduate, work has already been in full swing by helping Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in DuPage County maintain their benefits. Nolan Downey (JD ’18), originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, was attracted to the College of Law in part because the emphasis on public service matched his own values and there was the opportunity to be involved with service from day one.

“I want to use my career to advance equity and prosperity for everyone,” Downey said. “I want my work to mean something for other people and just to make the world better. There are certain things that people shouldn’t have to ‘earn,’ like housing, healthcare, food. It’s unthinkable, with all this country’s wealth, that anybody is going hungry.”

Cuba has new leadership, marking the first time in 60 years the nation is not being led by a member of the Castro family. The new Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who came through the ranks of the Communist Party, has been largely unknown to the Cuban public and foreign politicians. The 58-year-old politician became the new president  after Raúl Castro stepped down on April 19, 2018.

In an effort to roll back policies from former President Barack Obama’s administration, Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced last week that the Clean Power Plan (CPP) would be repealed. The EPA  is arguing that the plan exceeded the agency’s governing power given by Congress.

The number of Federal Emergency Management Agency safe rooms in Missouri has more than doubled since an EF5 tornado hit Joplin in 2011. According to the State Emergency Management Agency, 72 FEMA safe rooms were completed across the state between 2012 and February of this year.

More than 1,000 Springfield residents packed into the Teamsters Local 245 Union building on Friday to see Bill Clinton speak on his wife’s behalf.

People stood shoulder-to-shoulder, even craning their necks and standing on chairs to hear the former president speak on issues such as pension plans.

“Essentially, the treasury department should turn down the central state pension fund proposal,” Clinton says. “We don’t need any 50 percent cuts to people’s pensions that they worked their whole lives to get. And we can fix it.”

Dylan and Zach Beck haven’t always gotten along as brothers. Zach, a senior history major, is three years older than Dylan, a senior math major. Ask them about their separate ear-biting incidents as kids. Ask them because it’s too good to read here.

The Becks are normal siblings from Mountain Home, Arkansas, who have gotten closer as they’ve gotten older. As they got older, they formed the band Heidi Klum’s Bangs in 2009. On Saturday, Nov. 7 they released their sophomore long-play album “A Place We Know.”

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