Tuesday ⦿ 7:00PM (CST) ⦿ CAN TV19

Thoughtful, fair, and honest “kitchen table” conversations with the people who make Chicago one of America’s greatest cities. Host (and CAN TV Executive Director) Darrious Hilmon will converse with the thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, businesspeople, and newsmakers, asking the obvious – and not so obvious questions.


Season 2 Episode 3

Madame Inspecter

Appointed to her first term in April 2022, she currently serves as the Inspector General for the City of Chicago. Previously, she served as the City’s Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety, as well as the OIG’s Chief Investigator for Public Safety, and Associate General Counsel for Public Safety, advising on legal and constitutional matters. This week's guest is Deborah Witzburg.

Season 2 Episode 2

Rewired for Success

Our special guest Connie Lindsey from 'Joy in the Breakthrough' steps in to the arena share insights on rewiring for success.

Season 2 Episode 1

The Power of Privilege

Roger Hochschild, CEO and President of Discover Financial Services, is this week's featured guest. Roger discusses his duty as CEO to foster an inclusive and equitable work environment for all employees.

Season 1 Episode 21

Youth Voice Edition

On the season finale of In The Arena, we let one of our partnering youth groups run the show. This week's guest is Corliss Garner, DEI Officer at Old National Bank.

Season 1 Episode 20

The Builder

In 1995, while Adam Alonso was working at Casa Central, which was located in the basement of Vida Nueva church near Kelvyn Park, he had a fortuitous encounter. One day, a 15-year-old arrived at the church seeking the pastor. Although the pastor was absent, Adam was there and informed the teenager, who was high and contemplating suicide, of this fact. As the teenager turned to leave, he heard a voice in his head saying, "Call him back." Acting on this inner voice, the teenager did just that, and as a result, 24-year-old Adam discovered his true calling. Today, Adam proudly serves as the CEO of BUILD, Inc., an organization that operates in some of Chicago's most challenging neighborhoods, providing at-risk youth with alternatives to violence. BUILD, Inc., is also known as Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development, and we are fortunate to have Adam Alonso as our guest this week.

Season 1 Episode 19

The Wilmette Wonder

Matt Strauss grew up in Wilmette, where professionals have no problem networking their way to new jobs. But while mentoring at tech incubator nonprofit I.C. Stars, he saw first-hand how many job seekers on the South and West sides of —particularly those with criminal pasts or gaps in employment didn’t have the same networking ability, or the resources so readily afforded to him and his Wilmette peers.. When he came upon research confirming that a person's ZIP code at birth is a major indicator of economic success throughout their lives, he was compelled to launch RiseKit, a software company that connects job seekers to employers and social services. This week's guest is the founder and CEO of RiseKit, Matt Strauss.

Season 1 Episode 18

The Simple Good

She is an international Speaker, fashion and lifestyle model, and children’s book author…she is also the producer of the upcoming documentary, Project: Building Hope. She’s also the founder and Executive Director of a non-profit committed to leaning into the ‘simple good’ in us all to empower youth to become positive activists through art and discussion. Last year, Crain’s Chicago Business named her one of its ‘Notable Leaders in Community Development’. This week's guest is Priya Shah.

Season 1 Episode 17

The Fixer

Be inspired by Tracy Baim, a trailblazer in the publishing industry. She transformed The Chicago Reader from a struggling publication on the brink of closure to a thriving non-profit with diverse funding sources. Tracy's impressive track record also includes co-founding Chicago's oldest LGBTQ newspaper and currently serving as its majority owner and board president.

Season 1 Episode 15


Throughout his 16 + year career, he has sought out opportunities that allowed him to combine his Technology & Finance skills with his passion for People + Culture. While US Born, his family returned to Lagos when he was only months old, when he returned to the US just in time for high school, he realized just how similar…and different his experience as a Black man was depending on the country…the continent..upon which his two feet stood. Our guest this week is Yemi Akisanya

Season 1 Episode 16

Leveling Up

Melanie Sillas, Executive Director of Chicago State Foundation joins Darrious Hilmon for an exclusive sit-down interview.

Season 1 Episode 14

Mining for the Social Good

This incredibly successful veteran of real estate private equity, has nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur…he also almost flunked out of college his freshman year. Father to Sofia and Solomon, and husband of Rebecca, he is a Chicagoan through and through…a Chicagoan whose love for his family – and his community – is palpable. Recently the commercial real estate firm he co-founded – and currently serves as CEO – announced plans to build a $257 million data center in the Illinois Medical District, making it one of the year’s biggest projects. Our guest this week is Craig Huffman

Season 1 Episode 13

The People's Politician

The son of a single black mother and an Ethiopian refugee father, he has committed his life to advocacy and public service. He is the first black person to serve the 7th District, the first openly gay member of the Illinois Senate and the third openly gay, black state senator in the nation. This weeks guest on In The Arena is Mike Simmons.

Season 1 Episode 12

Community Man

This week Andre Baker, Executive Director, Market Director-Consumer Banking for JPMorgan Chase steps In The Arena with Darrious Hilmon to discuss investing more in underserved, under-resourced communities.

Season 1 Episode 11

This Woman's Work

As President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women, she leads strategic efforts to invest in women and girls, transgender, and gender nonbinary people…fighting for gender equity, and building stronger communities for all.

Season 1 Episode 10

The Grace-filled Survivor

At the very height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Leslie Anderson-Rutland braced herself against the words no woman – or man – wants to hear “you have breast cancer. Leslie steps In The Arena to discuss her journey in battling breast cancer.

Season 1 Episode 9

The Heart of the Matter

It's hard to think of Chicago as anything other than a political town. The city is home to some of the most powerful politicians in the country, and politics are always on people's minds. But what many people don't realize is that Chicago has a rich history of activism and community organizing. Sylvia Snowden joins In The Arena to discuss how she makes politics make sense for Chicagoans who might otherwise find it an overly complicated exercise in futility and perceive it to be beyond their understanding.

Season 1 Episode 8

Agent of Change

A true agent of change, Sufyan Sohel has spent the past 12 years as the Deputy Director and General Council for CAIR-Chicago - one of the largest Muslim civil rights advocacy organizations in the nation. The host of CAN TV’s new Signature Program Change Agents joins Darrious Hilmon In The Arena to talk about affecting positive and lasting change in Chicago.

Season 1 Episode 7

Social Justice 2.0

Former NFL player and current Executive Director of Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, Vaughn Bryant joins the show to discuss his journey from pro footballer to the head of a $42 million dollar cross-agency effort supporting Chicagoans most vulnerable to gun violence.

Season 1 Episode 6

The Ultimate Transformation

He was the chief enforcer for one of Chicago’s largest and most powerful gangs. Today he’s a political consultant who promotes peace even when vengeance seems the more expedient route to justice. This week, Darrious Hilmon speaks with Wallace ‘Gator’ Bradley, a living example of the old adage: ”how you start doesn’t have to dictate how you finish.”

Season 1 Episode 5

When the Bough Breaks

Moments before taking the stage for the Chicago stop of the Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam national tour, the walls came crashing down around her. No longer able to ignore, outrun or out-will her demons, Bassey Ikpi began the long, often painful process of finally accepting – and addressing – her truth…she had Bipolar II. Undiagnosed for years, the calm was now the storm…and the journey to stronger mental health was just beginning. Join us for an intimate conversation with Bassey Ikpi.

Season 1 Episode 4

He's Got the Blues

Join Darrious Hilmon as he welcomes 10-time Grammy elected, Blues legend, Michael Charles on In The Arena. In the Arena is a CAN TV Signature Production.

Season 1 Episode 3

The Children's Champion

In The Arena welcomes Peggy A. Montes, the Founder and CEO of the Bronzeville Children's Museum. Peggy was also appointed as the very first executive director of the Chicago Commission on Women by the Late Mayor Harold Washington. In the Arena is a CAN TV Signature Production.

Season 1 Episode 2

The Art of Transformation

Sales executive turned community leader, education activist and wildly popular artist, Jeffrey Beckham Jr. joins Darrious Hilmon for In the Arena to talk about his journey to the C-Suite at Chicago Scholars Foundation. In the Arena is a CAN TV Signature Program.

Season 1 Episode 1

Triumph Over Trauma - Rae Lewis-Thornton

In the Arena host Darrious Hilmon is joined by author & activist Rae Lewis Thornton for an in-depth conversation about her life and achieving triumph over trauma. In the Arena is a CAN TV Signature program.

Web Exclusives

Series Trailer