State of Mental Health Services in Chicago

From clinic closings to the threat of funding cuts from Governor Rauner’s budget, Mary Koptik describes the ongoing crises for mental health services in Chicago. More »

Obama’s Criminal Justice Plans: A Response to Ferguson?

Are President Obama’s recent proposals on criminal justice an adequate response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement? More »

Syrian Refugees Find Little Hope for Resettlement in the U.S.

John Vanderkloot finds the U.S. reluctant to do its part in addressing the Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis. More »

Ahmad Sadri Detention Reveals the Power Struggles Behind the Iran Nuclear Deal

Ahmad Sadri, Professor of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College, describes what his detention and release by Iran tells us about the fractured nature of the Iranian government and the nuclear weapons deal. More »


Policing Politicians: What Are the Presidential Candidate Plans for Combating ISIS?


By Alexis O’Connor

This is the third of our “Policing Politicians” series where we examine the views of the declared candidates for President on social justice issues. And no this does not include Republican Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, who just announced his candidacy on July 30th. Like Fox News, we can only include so many candidates in one forum. Today we examine the Democratic and Republican candidate plans or lack thereof for combating ISIS.

Op-Ed: Challenges for American Muslims in Government and Diplomacy


By Hanan Mohamed

As many professional fields diversify and seek to better represent the changing face of the United States, many remain alarmingly homogenous. One of these areas happens to be diplomacy, a field I hope to enter post-graduation. In the international arena, it is crucial that the representatives of the U.S accurately reflect our differing races, ethnicities, and religions, among other identifying characteristics. In our post 9/11 world, one with rampant worldwide Islamophobia, it is particularly important to include American Muslims in this field – not as token minority officials – but as valued contributing members to American diplomacy.

The Fifty-Four Year Cost of the Cuban Embargo


By Brooke Sartin

“El bloqueo,” as Cubans call the United States’ 1962 embargo, consists of commercial, economic, and financial sanctions, as well as restrictions on travel and commerce with the island.  The 54-year policy has failed to achieve its goals, namely that Cuba adopt a representative democracy and shed its communist rule.  Further goals of the embargo include the improvement of human rights and resolving $8 billion worth of financial claims (mostly in confiscated property) by corporations and individual families against the Cuban government.

State of Mental Health Services in Chicago


By Mary Koptik

Four years ago Rahm Emanuel took office as the Mayor of Chicago in a city that was drowning financially. The over 600 million dollar deficit was understandably a main concern for Emanuel. His solution came in the form of a heavily reformed budget for the city. That proposal was met with approval, in fact, the 2012 Budget was passed in a unanimous 50-0 vote. In the hours leading up to the vote however, the support was not so clear cut. While council members understood that things had to change, there was dissent on who the burden would fall on. One of the areas hit the hardest, and thus one of the biggest points of contention, was mental health services.

ERROR 404: No Internet Connection Available


By Ghufran Salih

CLICK! New status update on Facebook. TAP! Yesterday’s Panera Bread lunch is up on Instagram. TWEET! Just done a 10 hour Netflix binge #yolo. Congratulations on your achievements everyone, but who cares?

Sam has a homework assignment for English. Sam has a smartphone, Sam has a computer, but what she lacks is an internet connection. The solution is simple enough: go to a public library. Sure, alright, but what about the history paper due next month or the chemistry project due at the end of the year or just a desire to explore the abyss of information known as the internet? What then? Camp out at the library with a satchel of trail mix and a canteen of water? Her family can’t afford the $40 internet connection everyone else has, and neither can millions of other Americans.



(click image to enlarge)

MollyPictureThis cartoon was written/drawn by Molly Radley.

The views expressed in this cartoon are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Chicago Monitor’s editorial policy.

Obama’s Criminal Justice Plans: A Response to Ferguson?


By Michal Kranz

Just hours after announcing the historic nuclear deal with Iran on July 14th, President Obama moved to speak about a domestic issue that had been simmering on the back burner for years. He called for far-reaching criminal justice reforms focused on reducing sentences for non-violent offenders and eliminating racial inequities within the system.

Syrian Refugees Find Little Hope for Resettlement in the U.S.


By John Vanderkloot

The Syrian civil war, with its origin in the country’s 2011 Arab Spring anti-Assad protests, has left the country riddled with sectarian violence. As the various militant groups trade control over swaths of territory, death and destruction remain ubiquitous in the region. While television networks stay fixed on the conflict, especially with the recent rise of the Islamic State, Syrian civilians continue to be caught in the middle.

Ahmad Sadri’s Detention Reveals the Power Struggles Behind the Iran Nuclear Deal


By Bill Chambers

Last Tuesday, Ahmad Sadri, Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology at Lake Forest College and translator of a popular version of Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, spoke at Common Ground on his detention by Iranian authorities last December as well as the factors leading up to the nuclear deal with Iran.

Op Ed: The Hidden Actors in UCLA’s Divestment Campaign

UCLA Divest FaceBook Page

Twelve long months, sixteen hours of brutal debate, and one failed attempt. Even after these obstacles, the undergraduate student government of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) successfully passed a resolution that called for divestment from companies that profit from human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza.