Brian Williams, at the Church Street Barber Shop, offers his thoughts on unemployment in Evanston to Toni Gilpin.

Howard to Isabella, the RoundTable’s new in-print and online feature, debuts in the Nov. 8 edition.  Howard to Isabella – abbreviated as H2I – provides an in-depth exploration of vital issues as experienced by the people of Evanston.  The first issue to be examined will be “Unemployment in Evanston.”

 “We’re hoping to provide an understanding, at an up-close, personal level, of how national issues affect people in all parts of our community,” says Nancy Traver, a journalism instructor who once was Time Magazine’s White House correspondent.  Nancy’s profiles of Evanstonians struggling to find work will appear in the first issue of H2I.
H2I will also provide context for these accounts. “Individual stories anchor this project, but statistics, policy initiatives which affect Evanston, even local history – that provides a framework for understanding them,” says Toni Gilpin, who holds a doctorate in American history. 

“We want Evanstonians to feel genuinely, objectively informed about each issue we tackle,” adds attorney Michelle Kavoosi, who has done issues writing for the MacArthur Foundation.
 Howard to Isabella will appear periodically, each time examining a different topic.  H2I online will expand and supplement what’s in print, featuring videos of Evanston residents, at spots all over the City, offering their points of view.

“Engaging and easy to access – that’s our goal,” says Adam Finlayson, an IT specialist at Northwestern who designed the H2I website.

“You’ll see videos, interactive graphics, photos – I think this will be an exciting way for Evanston residents to get to know their community better,” says Mr. Finlayson.

 “Howard to Isabella grew out of conversations we had when we were frustrated because much of what’s in the news these days consists of pundits opining, or yelling at each other, rather than working the streets to find out what’s really happening to people out there, and listening to what they have to say,” says Ginny Holbert, an Evanston realtor and former Sun-Times reporter. “So finally we said, ‘We’re all Evanston residents who care about our town; why don’t we go ahead and do that here?’  We presented this project to the RoundTable and we’re very pleased they took us up on it.”