YR Media Secures New Physical Location in Chicago to House its Growing Midwest Hub

Oakland-based award-winning youth media organization increases its national footprint; unlocks paid opportunities and wellness support for young creatives.

OAKLAND, Calif. & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#YRMediaYR Media announced today that it has secured a new physical space in the Chicago area to serve as the award-winning youth media nonprofit organization’s Midwest hub. The 5,200-square-foot office, located in the diverse community of Pilsen between Chicago’s South and West sides, will transform YR Media’s current virtual Midwest operation into a physical learning and multimedia production hub for historically underrepresented content creators ages 14-24.

Complete with a fully functioning newsroom and recording studios, the new hub location will include state-of-the-art equipment. It is easily accessible by public transportation, making it seamless for YR Media content creators from across the Chicagoland area to access the offices located at 1100 W. Cermak Road.

In keeping with YR Media’s model, the location will provide learning stipends, paid career pathways, and support resources, including mental health counseling, academic advice, financial coaching, access to a case manager, and healthy meals.

“Chicago is the third largest media market in the nation, with an undeniable, talented pool of highly diverse content creators who are all too often left out of the storytelling and creation equation,” said Kyra Kyles, CEO, YR Media. Kyles moved to Oakland three years ago to take over as CEO following a mostly Chicago-based career that includes award-winning work with EBONY, JET, Tribune RedEye, WGN-TV, and the Chicago Sun-Times. “As a native Chicagoan with deep ties to the media and music landscape, I am so excited that YR Media will be able to deliver its training, wraparound support, and award-winning content production to the City of Win and throughout the Midwest region.”

YR Media’s Midwest hub launched virtually in 2020 with the hire of acclaimed Chicago journalist and youth advocate Kathy Chaney, who oversees YR Media’s national newsroom from her location in Chicago. Chaney, a recipient of the George Polk Award for Local Reporting and the Studs Terkel Community Award among other accolades, worked with her team to increase the number of recurring contributors across the country. The Midwest hub has cultivated and deepened storyteller relationships in states including Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

YR Media’s Board Chair, Julius Toledo, also expressed excitement for this milestone, taking place just as the nonprofit celebrates 30 years of operation.

“As a longtime member of the Board of Directors and a former employee of YR Media, I am grateful to have witnessed the important impact that YR Media has achieved in the Bay Area and how it has become a hub for award-winning journalism, media training and youth development,” said Toledo. “Now with a brick-and-mortar Midwest location, we are thrilled to continue to grow our roster of national contributors and are excited to see how many more stories, interactive projects, and videos will come out of this expansion. And, just as importantly, this new location will allow the organization to increase access to the various support services that are critical for our emerging creators.”

For more information on YR Media, visit https://www.yrmedia.org/.

About YR Media

YR Media (formerly Youth Radio) is an award-winning leading media, technology, and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators, who use their voices to change the world. Headquartered in downtown Oakland, California, the nonprofit has invested almost 30 years in helping future generations build foundational skills in journalism and multimedia content creation. They produce journalism, music, graphic design, podcasts, and documentaries that disrupt and shape the mainstream narrative. For more information on YR Media, visit yrmedia.org.


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