Forging Ahead: Stories of Striving for Change

Talking politics is tricky. There’s the big “P” Politics: the operation of a government and its defined institutions and procedures.  Then there’s little “p” politics: how our daily lives are constructed, how individual people or groups have influence or power over each other. In light of the upcoming election, we ask ourselves: how does the political world play out in our everyday lives? In moments of decisions, we see what we stand for, and what we will stand up for. Join us for an evening of stories exploring how people make decisions as they strive to be better (and do better) for themselves and the world.

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The Storytellers

Jenan Mohajir

Jenan Mohajir is an educator, a storyteller, a mother and a believer in building relationships across the lines that separate us. For the last 10 years, Jenan has served as a senior staff member at the Interfaith Youth Core and trained hundreds of students from religious and non-religious backgrounds to be interfaith leaders who create a different story of engagement in our polarized world. Jenan is also a Founding Board Member at HEART Women & Girls, a nationally recognized nonprofit that promotes sexual health and sexual violence awareness in faith communities. Jenan is deeply inspired by the stories from her family and her faith to create change at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race and religion. Jenan loves collecting old children’s books and lives with her husband and three children.

Julie Albano Saltzman

By day, Julie Saltzman is a content developer and marketing strategist for the financial industry. By night, she is the worried parent of high school and college aged children. By choice, she writes and performs around Chicagoland with 2nd Story, Story Jam, the Uptown Writer's Space and at various corporate and charity functions.

LaTanya Lane

LaTanya Lane is a writer interested in how we use stories to construct and navigate our experiences. She holds a B.A. in English, and came to Chicago to earn an M.A. from Chicago Theological Seminary. LaTanya attended the Voices of Our Nations Arts Writer's Workshop and enjoys participating in Chicago's vibrant live lit scene as much as her six-year-old son allows.

Wyl Villacres

Wyl Villacres is from Chicago. He's the author of the chapbook, Bottom of the Ninth (WhiskeyPaper 2015), and his stories have appeared in The Rumpus, McSweeney's, and Hobart Pulp, among others. Wyl was included in the 2014 Best of the Net anthology and was a notable selection for Best American Essays in 2015. He holds an MFA from Sierra Nevada College, along with a tremendous amount of student loan debt. Follow him on twitter: @Wyllinois.  

About the Neighborhood Series

There is nothing like listening to a good story with great company and sharing drinks and food around the table. For over 17 years, 2nd Story has been offering up just that at venues throughout Chicago and beyond. Instead of finding one single new home for ourselves, we are always on the lookout to sow seeds in a variety of neighborhoods across the city. In pursuit of our vision of fostering community through the experience of sharing stories, we will host shows, workshops, and other events in each neighborhood. If you have a favorite neighborhood venue that you think would be great for 2nd Story, we'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line at!