Our Chicago: Building Black

The half-hour special showcases people, organizations creating opportunities in the Black community
CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7 is proud to celebrate Black History Month with a special presentation of "Our Chicago: Building Black" (formerly "Heart & Soul"). From a revitalizing neighborhood construction project to programs that help fortify the mind, body and spirit, the half-hour special explores Chicago stories working to build new opportunities in the Black community.

This series is hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Burton and Hosea Sanders, with contributions from Jim Rose, Val Warner and Will Jones.

Regal Mile Studios and SRV Chicago



Cheryl Burton talks to two developers, Derek Dudley and Jim Reynolds, who in partnership with Chicago-born rapper Common are investing in the South Side with the Regal Mile Studios development. They are hoping to breathe new life into this area and change the perception of the South Side, envisioning film, TV and music production studios constructed on the vacant property where U.S. Steel closed its manufacturing plant in 1992.

Jim Rose explores SRV Chicago, a nonprofit that provides at-risk athletes free, elite fitness training as well as mentoring to help them prepare for success in sports and in their future careers. For more on SRV, follow their Instagram @srvacademy

Jumping the broom



EMBED More News Videos

Val Warner explores Black love, and the history of jumping the broom for Black couples getting married, a tradition that got its start during the time of slavery.



Val Warner explores Black love, and the history of jumping the broom for Black couples getting married, a tradition that got its start during the time of slavery. Chicago couple Arthur Haynes and Loren Jones tied the knot in 2019. Haynes said the decision to jump the broom at their wedding was a no-brainer.

"During slavery, we could not get married. We weren't allowed to get married," Wedding Planner, Kia Marie, said. "So jumping the broom, sealed the deal."

Entrepreneur Albert Person, Mobile Makers Chicago, and Common



EMBED More News Videos

A West Side entrepreneur who is looking to open Lawndale's only Black-owned supermarket.



Will Jones talks to Albert Person, a West Side entrepreneur who is looking to open Lawndale's only Black-owned supermarket. While also planning to build a café and ice cream shop next to the supermarket, Person's primary goal is to bring basic goods and services enjoyed by more affluent areas but lacking in Lawndale.

Oak Park native and architect Maya Bird-Murphy started Mobile Makers Chicago in 2017. She did so with the mission of teaching kids and teens the importance of design to increase diversity within the architecture field for the future. During the winter, Maya's team holds classes for kids to design unique projects. But when the summer hits, their showstopper comes out: a USPS van completely renovated and redesigned into a moving classroom.

Using the "mobile" part of Mobile Makers, they hold pop-up summer youth workshops in neighborhoods all over Chicago. To learn more about Mobile Makers Chicago, visit their website.

Cheryl Burton talks with Grammy winner, Academy Award winner and Actor Common on why the Regal Mile Studios project hits close to home and means so much to him.

Pink Hard Hatz



EMBED More News Videos

Pink Hard Hatz is a Black woman-led construction company working to get more women involved in the trade business.



According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up just under 11% of construction workers. Chicagoan Sashe Ivy hopes to diversify this field in Chicago through Pink Hard Hatz.

Pink Hard Hatz is a Black woman-led construction company working to get more women involved in the trade business. Ivy has partnered with the nonprofit organization Chicago Women in Trades which aids in helping women learn different trades. The founder said her goal is for Pink Hard Hatz Construction to expand to all 50 states.

For more on Pink Hard Hatz, follow them on Instagram @pinkhardhatzconstruction

Special thanks to The Stony Island Arts Bank for hosting us during this episode of "Our Chicago: Building Black."
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.