Introducing: Our First Public Newsroom Guest Curators

We’re handing over the reins of the Public Newsroom to two Chicago authors. Find out how you can get involved.

Roseland native Rayshauna Gray is one of our two guest curators for the Public Newsroom this November.

The Public Newsroom just turned two years old, and to celebrate, we’re launching something special this November. Nearly all of next month’s workshops (except for a special People Powered Publishing 2018 pre-conference session on November 14 with Free Press) have been designed by our first-ever guest curators Rayshauna Gray and Daniel Kay Hertz. We are proud the Public Newsroom is an open, free, brave space where participants can discuss, deconstruct and debate some of the most pressing issues in Chicago. And what could be more open than handing over the reins to two incredible local authors?

Local author and public transit enthusiast Daniel Kay Hertz will also be curating November’s Public Newsrooms.

Born and raised in Roseland, Gray is currently living in Cambridge where she’s completing a book about the “last 200 years of U.S. history through seven generations of women in her family” to be out on Belt Publishing in Fall 2019. Hertz, who grew up in Chicago, Madison and Evanston, released his book The Battle of Lincoln Park earlier this month.

For their curated workshops, Gray and Hertz wanted to discuss the theme “How Do We Memorialize Chicago?” Together they’ll examine what, how and why we think about the city’s past, present, and future. Presenters selected by Gray and Hertz will explore the ways we build narratives and monuments — physical or otherwise — out of people, events and memories.

So what’s in store? We’re still confirming the full line-up but here’s a short rundown of each week:

  • The City We Inherit: On November 1, Hertz will kick off the series with Young Lords Founder José Cha-Cha Jiménez. Jiménez will speak about the history of that group’s work and his efforts to document the history of Young Lords Organization and Puerto Ricans in Lincoln Park.
  • The City We Inhabit: On November 8, Gray will lead a workshop with Black Owned Chicago founder Tanikia Carpenter to talk about reconciling the city’s history with our present as a Black millennial.
  • The City We Impart: On November 29, Hertz and Gray will close out the series with a discussion featuring youth activists and organizers leading local campaigns.

We’re honored to have Hertz and Gray as our inaugural guest curators. Stay tuned for how you can apply to become a Public Newsroom Guest Curator in 2019! And please note, this is a paid opportunity.

Want to pitch a Public Newsroom workshop? Email

Support the brave space at City Bureau’s Public Newsroom by becoming a Press Club member. Your full-year membership value will be matched (doubled!) thanks to the News Match program.