The Life and Times of Chicago Writer Heidi Stevens: How Stories Shape Us
April 30 @ 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Heidi Stevens, former award winning Chicago Tribune columnist, will speak on the topic, The Life and Times of Chicago Writer Heidi Stevens: How Stories Shape Us. For 23 years Ms. Stevens had the privilege of growing up in a newsroom, with all the lessons and surprises and setbacks that entailed. The highlight, by far, was the chance to tell people’s stories. She sat at kitchen tables and cried with bereaved parents — people who’ve endured unspeakable grief and then found the strength to speak about it anyway. She interviewed people in pain. She interviewed people in celebration. She interviewed people who felt undervalued and underestimated and failed by the system. She interviewed people who had every reason to say “Leave me alone” and, instead, invited her to listen. Heidi has been on a mission to find people who are living, breathing examples of complicating the easy narrative. Who lift up beauty during chaos. Who look for joy while they grieve. Who remind us that life is complicated and gorgeous.
Heidi Stevens is currently the Director of External Affairs for the University of Chicago’s TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, which works to provide parents, caregivers and communities the knowledge and tools to optimize foundational brain development in all children. Prior to joining University of Chicago, Stevens worked at the Chicago Tribune for 23 years, where she wrote a daily column called “Balancing Act.” She was awarded the Anne Keegan Award for Distinguished Journalism in 2018. Stevens maintains a nationally syndicated weekly column, works as a fellowship coach for the OpEd Project and serves on the Family Action Network board of directors.