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 28

The Conversations

On the series finale of 'In the Arena' we take a momentous journey back through the groundbreaking conversations that have defined the show since September 2022. This final episode offers a reflective and celebratory look at the impactful dialogues and debates that have engaged and captivated our audience. Tune in for a nostalgic recap of the discussions that have shaped our understanding of crucial topics, marking the end of a remarkable series that has brought diverse perspectives to the forefront of public discourse.

Season 2 Episode 27

The Engineer of Change

This riveting episode of 'In the Arena' features Clarence Booth, a dynamic tech leader and fervent community advocate. At West Monroe Partners, Clarence is at the forefront of tech transformations and leads the Small Minority-Owned Business Initiative. Beyond his professional endeavors, he is deeply involved in DEI strategy formulation and actively contributes to community development through his church and the Emmaus Board. This episode dives into Clarence's multifaceted role as an Engineer of Change, exploring his impactful work and the drive behind his commitment to fostering inclusive growth and innovation.

Season 2 Episode 26

The DEI Champion

This riveting episode of 'In the Arena' features Nikki Lang, the distinguished Head of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at Bimbo Bakeries USA. As a trailblazing DEI Champion, Nikki sheds light on her profound journey toward cultivating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Delve into the strategies she's implemented, the obstacles overcome, and the victories achieved in her quest to foster a culture of belonging within one of the nation's foremost companies. This episode offers a rare glimpse into the dedication and innovation required to drive meaningful change in corporate America, providing inspiration and insights for anyone committed to the cause of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Season 2 Episode 25

The Compassionate Competitor

This episode of 'In the Arena' features an uplifting conversation with Sean Cattouse, a dedicated educator and former NFL player who has made a significant transition from the gridiron to the classroom. Sean shares his journey of using the lessons and discipline from his sports career to influence the education sector positively, focusing on mentoring and shaping the next generation. Listen as he discusses the parallels between his athletic and academic experiences and how they've equipped him to make a lasting impact on young lives and futures. This episode is a testament to the power of transformation and the impact of role models in education.

Season 2 Episode 24

The Agent of Faith

Don't miss an inspiring episode of 'In The Arena' featuring Monica Rubio, who shares her incredible transformation journey that not only reshaped her life but also propelled her into a pivotal role as a Community Lending Market Executive at Old National Bank. Monica's dedication to empowering women- and minority-owned businesses showcases her commitment to fostering change and promoting equity. After a life-altering photo sparked her to lose ninety pounds and redefine her purpose, Monica has emerged as a motivational care coach, embracing and embodying her mantra for 2024: CHANGE. Join us as Monica recounts her journey of personal and professional evolution, inspiring listeners to embrace their potential for transformation.

Season 2 Episode 23

The Woman Behind the Smile

Host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Bianca Cotton, the compelling force behind 'Behind the Confident Smile,' to 'In The Arena' for a deeply engaging conversation. Bianca shares her mission of creating a platform for women to unveil the stories behind their smiles, advocating for breaking the silence on suffering and empowering them to embrace their purpose daily. This episode is a testament to the power of authenticity and the strength found in vulnerability, offering listeners a profound insight into the journey of empowering women to live their truths openly and confidently.

Season 2 Episode 22

The Freedom Rider

On a special one-hour edition of ''In the Arena,' a once-in-a-lifetime conversion with a once-in-a-generation leader: librarian, curator, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world, Tracie D. Hall. 

Season 2 Episode 21

The Courageous Artist

Host Darrious Hilmon invites Rahmaan Statik, a celebrated muralist, painter, and digital artist, for an in-depth conversation about the dynamic world of street art. Discover Statik's journey from aspiring artist to influential creator, his innovative creative process, and the profound impact his art has on transforming urban landscapes and enriching communities. This episode offers a unique glimpse into the life and work of one of the most vibrant figures in contemporary street art, highlighting how his creations breathe life into public spaces.

Season 2 Episode 20

The World's Auntie

Host Darrious Hilmon welcomes the unparalleled Imani Vanzap, affectionately known as social media's number 1 Auntie. Imani steps into the spotlight with a treasure trove of experience from her 25 years in the entertainment industry. She is renowned for her unique blend of humor, heart, and wisdom, along with her bold and thought-provoking commentary on topics ranging from politics to pop culture. This episode is a deep dive into Imani's inspiring journey from her humble beginnings to becoming a beloved voice of the people and the cherished Auntie of her community.

Season 2 Episode 19

The Collaborator

Join Host Darrious Hilmon as he sits down with special guest George Burciaga, Managing Partner at U.S. Roundtable, LLC. George brings a wealth of experience and insights into effective partnership and leadership strategies. Join us for this engaging conversation that promises to inspire and enlighten.

Season 2 Episode 18

The Wordsmith

Join Host Darrious Hilmon as he sits down with special guest Rich Robbins, the dynamic host of 'Soft and Tender'. A Chicago-based rapper and teaching artist, Rich's genre-defying sound has roots stretching from Philly to Oak Park. Raised in the Young Chicago Author’s Louder Than a Bomb poetry festival, he brings his unique energy from a Hip Hop scholarship in Madison, WI, to our screens.

Season 2 Episode 17

The Change Agent

In a special episode, CAN TV's Executive Director, Darrious Hilmon, is interviewed by his former high school teacher from Detroit, Deborah Thompson.

Season 2 Episode 16

Lessons in Leadership

Join Host Darrious Hilmon as he sits down with John Robak, former Chairman and CEO of Greeley and Hansen, who shares his invaluable lessons in leadership. Don't miss these insights from a renowned philanthropist.

Season 2 Episode 15

The Connector

Join Host Darrious Hilmon as he sits down with Jacki Robinson-Ivy, esteemed Chair of the City Club of Chicago. Tune in for a compelling discussion on civic engagement and the city's pressing issues.

Season 2 Episode 14

The Collector

Join Guest Host Channing Lenert, Program Officer at Polk Bros. Foundation, as he sits down with Patric McCoy, a renowned photographer and art collector. Dive into a fascinating conversation exploring the world of art, photography, and the stories behind the collections.

Season 2 Episode 13

The Educator

This week on In The Arena, huest host Clayton Pryor, Chief Mission Officer at Goodwill Industries, welcomes Austin Lane, Chancellor of SIU-C, for a compelling conversation. Don't miss these insights from two influential leaders.

Season 2 Episode 12

Fearless Authenticity

This week on In The Arena, guest host Roderick Hawkins, Associate Dean at Northwestern University, sits down with the dynamic Channyn Parker, CEO of Brave Space Alliance. From activist to advocate, from Southern Belle to BOSS, Channyn's journey has left an indelible mark on Chicago and Illinois. Dive deep into her story and the mission of Brave Space Alliance, Chicago’s South Side's Black-led, transgender-led LGBTQ+ Center.

Season 2 Episode 11

Social Justice Champion

This week on In The Arena, guest host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Josina Morita, Cook County Commissioner to the show.

Season 2 Episode 10

The Art of Engagement

This week on In The Arena, host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Jeremy Hodges, Founder of LOVEMORE, to the show to dive deep into the heart of the movement.

Season 2 Episode 9

Chicago's Native Daughter

This week on In The Arena, host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Kim Foxx into the arena on the fall season premiere of In The Arena. Foxx became the first African American woman to lead the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on December 1, 2016, and was reelected in 2020. She has focused on criminal justice reforms, public safety, and equity, leading to over 175 overturned convictions through a revamped Conviction Integrity Unit.

Season 2 Episode 8

The Joy-Filled Leader

This week on In The Arena, host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Dorri McWhorter, President and Chief Executive Officer YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. to step into the arena for a riveting interview.

Season 2 Episode 7

The Gift of Gab

This week on In The Arena, host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Art 'Chat Daddy' Sims to step into the arena for a riveting interview.

Season 2 Episode 6

Good Trouble

This week on In The Arena, host Darrious Hilmon welcomes Clayton Pryor, Chief Mission Officer for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin to the show.

Season 2 Episode 5

Dr. Wendy Borlabi

This week on In The Arena, our guest host Corliss Garner welcomes Chicago Bulls Director of Performance and Mental Health, Wendy Borlabi Psy.D.

Season 2 Episode 4

Ximena N. Beltran Quan Kiu.

This week on In The Arena, our guest host Diana Palomar interviews Ximena N. Beltran Quan Kiu.

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 16

Leveling Up

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

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 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 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.

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Series Trailer