We The People Media
|4859 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60615
"What could be more exciting than people looked upon as the others writing of their lives. This is part of the oral history movement that preceded the Chinese invention of paper, that preceded the quill pen, and that preceded the typewriter."
- Pulitzer Prize winner Studs Terkel, at the presentation of the Studs Terkel Award to the staff of We The People Media, April 19, 2006
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We The People Media is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering public housing residents and other low-income Chicagoans. We The People Media publishes Residents’ Journal, an 11-year-old, national-award-winning magazine written for and by public housing tenants and distributed free of charge to 40,000 low-income households in the metropolitan area. Hundreds of thousands of inner city families rely on Residents' Journal to counter stereotypes of their communities and provide them with critical information about housing, policy changes and other coverage unavailable in the mainstream media. We The People Media also operates the Urban Youth International Journalism Program, a media skills training program for Chicago youths, a World Wide Web site, wethepeoplemedia.org, and broadcasts "Residents' Journal TV" over the Cable Access Network. In addition to its own media outlets, We The People Media is a critical source of information about public housing and the housing needs of low-income communities for opinion-makers including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and National Public Radio as well as researchers at Columbia University and the Urban Institute.
Ethan Michaeli, previously an investigative reporter with the Chicago Defender, founded Residents’ Journal in 1996 with a charter from public housing tenant leaders and funding from the Chicago Housing Authority. Michaeli created We The People Media in 2000, after CHA officials threatened the newspaper’s independence. In addition to Ethan, We The People Media is led by Editor in Chief Mary C. Johns, a public housing tenant who has become a national-award-winning journalist through her work at Residents' Journal over the past 12 years. We The People Media is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the McCormick Tribune Foundation and other philanthropies as well as private contributions and earned income.