The Nora Project

From left: Amanda Martinsen, Lauren Schrero, and Adam Levy The Problem:Shunning and social isolation of kids with disabilities The Fix:A school curriculum that connects disabled kids with their classmates and teaches empathy The Backstory:The situation was difficult enough for Lauren Schrero and her husband, Adam Levy, after their daughter, Nora, who was born prematurely, suffered … Read more

Chicago Beyond

Above: Liz Dozier The Problem:The do-more-with-less financial reality at many local nonprofits The Fix:A startup-style incubator fund The Backstory:There’s one word that Liz Dozier wants to banish from descriptions of the nonprofit she started in 2016: charity. “What charities do is set this really unhealthy system of how you’re giving people fish,” Dozier says, alluding … Read more


Above: Kortney Ziegler and Tiffany Mikell The Problem:A cash bail system that tends to leave poor people in jail The Fix:An app that allows you to donate bail money — automatically, a few cents at a time The Backstory:Roughly 60 percent of people in jail awaiting trial are there because they’re too poor to afford bail, which … Read more

City Bureau

From left: Harry Backlund, Bettina Chang, Darryl Holliday, and Andrea Hart The Problem:A lack of nuanced media coverage in South and West Side neighborhoods The Fix:A journalism lab created to nurture a new generation of social-justice-minded reporters The Backstory:Chicago needed a “J-school of the streets.” That was the conclusion reached by four local journalists: publisher … Read more

Recipe for Change

Above: Bruno Abate The Problem:Detainees released without job training — or self-esteem The Fix:A culinary arts training program at Cook County Jail The Backstory:As the owner of Wicker Park’s popular Italian restaurant Tocco, Bruno Abate can recite off the top of his head the ingredients needed for the perfect Neapolitan pizza or lasagna Bolognese. Just as easily, … Read more