about the project

logo we are UPTOWN square icon

We are Uptown is an on going student photography project created by the Latin School of Chicago’s partnership with Uptown. Latin’s Uptown partnership is now in its third year. We partner with many organizations and do community service. For this project our students will be collaborating with Goudy school in Uptown with the goal of learning about journalism and literacy through photography.

This project began in March of 2016 with Latin and Goudy students. Our project was conceived by Latin School’s Photography teacher Betty Lark Ross and is, in part, inspired by the book “Uptown: Portrait of a Chicago Neighborhood In the mid-1970s” created by photographer Robert Rehak. The blog is edited and maintained by Latin School’s History teacher Milena Sjekloca.

Please join us at the Chicago History Museum on Monday, May 9 at 5:30 PM to hear Bob Rehak speak about his experiences taking over 5000 photos in Uptown in the 1970s. This event is open to the public. Bob Rehak will also be curating an exhibit of the student photography from the We are Uptown Project that will be open at Chicago City Hall on June 3rd. Work from this project was also showcased at the 2016 Exhibit of Literacy Through Photography in Houston, TX and was featured in the Chicago Tribune, Sunday May 30th print edition as well as on their website:


Special thanks to Michelle Casey, Goudy’s Technology teacher and Pamela Brandt, Goudy’s Principal for their work in this collaborative effort. Also, special thanks to Sarah Bunger, Latin’s Uptown Partnership Director, and as always many thanks to Latin’s Head of School, Randall Dunn for his continued support.

We would like to thank all of our partners who helped make this project possible along with the restaurant owners who were such wonderful hosts:

46th Ward Alderman Cappleman’s Office

48th Ward Alderman Osterman’s Office


Boys and Girls Club

Chinese Mutual Aid


First Ascent

Selfhelp Home


Fiesta Mexicana

Inspiration Cafe

Sun Wah BBQ

Thai Pastry

Tweet Let’s Eat

And finally, special thanks to artist Phillip Bernal for collaborating with the We Are Uptown Photography Project in bringing the exhibit to the City Hall and for reaching out to art collector Brian Martin, owner of Brian’s Speakeasy, who generously donated all the frames for the exhibit.