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Natalie Moore is a reporter for WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio.

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The pandemic upended all of our lives in ways we never expected

So here we are in 2022, feeling like the COVID edition of Groundhog Day: adjusting for work, school, child care and relationships. Anxiety is up. Workers are fed up. Even when we’re fine, we need the caveat of "COVID-fine."

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Mrs. Laura Jolly, an unsung hero of Black Chicago

Mrs. Jolly lived through dark chapters of African American history yet triumphed as a lifelong educator. It’s important to acknowledge the contributions of our elders who made a difference in their communities and families.

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What I learned from visiting Finland’s open prisons

Open prisons allow inmates to leave for schooling or a job. In Finland, the model is seen as successful because it hasn’t led to a rise in crime. Rehabilitation is the philosophy.

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Photographer’s exhibit, Black and Brown youth reflect on how they feel unwelcome in many spaces

Englewood-based photographer Tonika Johnson’s latest exploration about race and place examines exclusion in the city. Washington High School students also have written an anthology on how they feel like they don’t belong.

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If you aspire to become a global citizen, Chicago is a good place to start

We should aspire to think critically past our own borders, identify with the human race while understanding global issues such as human rights, gender equality and climate change.

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Smothering my children won’t protect them in the long run

When my contemporaries say we were the last generation that could play outside without fear, I am dumbfounded. I grew up in this city.

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Let me break down all the fake outrage over ‘critical race theory’

Critical race theory is not a particularly pithy-sounding phrase, yet it is a catch-phrase along the lines of "state’s rights." We hear that it is propaganda to make white people feel bad and label them all as racists.

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My father taught me to be ‘a complete person’

My mother gave me the gift of books and reading. My father taught me how to season food and clean the kitchen as I cook. And I’m never too old to be given advice.

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Black memory is about trauma, yes, but also joy

The Black experience is more than slavery or Laquan McDonald police killings. The past is harmful, but it can also be blissful.

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Looking back, I really should have jumped up on stage and danced with Prince

To this day, I still sing Prince’s "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker’’ as a lullaby. Yes, I know it is probably inappropriate for my daughter to know all the words, but the melody puts her to sleep.