Equity

Race, Culture & Ethnicity

Illinois House Democrats

Advocates of the so-called Illinois Human Rights Act "expansion bill" are urging Governor Bruce Rauner to sign that piece of legislation, which is currently on his desk. Otherwise, without his action, it would die by mid-August.

Blue tarps still dot rooftops, homes lack electricity needed to refrigerate medicines, and clinics chip away at debts incurred from running generators. Yet despite these residual effects from last year's devastating hurricanes, Puerto Rico is moving ahead with major cuts to its health care safety net that will affect more than a million of its poorest residents.

You can get away with calling something "white trash" in polite company, on cable television and in the headline of a magazine article. An article in The New Republic once posed the question of whether President Trump might be "a white trash icon." For some reason, the term manages to come across as less offensive than most other racial slurs.

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Last year, after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville turned violent, dozens of Confederate monuments came down, one by protesters in Durham, N.C...

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) No KKK, no fascist USA.

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Most of us remember the broad outlines of the story: 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was followed, shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., on the night of Feb. 26, 2012.

More than six weeks later, Zimmerman was arrested and, eventually, tried for second-degree murder in a case that would be as racially polarizing as the O.J. Simpson trial had been nearly 20 years earlier.

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson about two months after he was convicted of failing to report child sex abuse by a priest in the 1970s.

The Australian clergyman had previously stepped aside from his role but did not formally resign, saying he was planning to appeal the conviction.

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A prominent Vatican diplomat and the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., has resigned from the College of Cardinals over sexual abuse allegations. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick presented his resignation on Friday evening.

A federal appeals court handed workers in Birmingham, Ala., a significant win this week. The city is in a battle against state lawmakers over whether it has the right to raise its minimum wage.

The Birmingham workers and the Alabama legislature have been fighting in court since the city voted to increase its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25, in February 2016. That hike never took effect. The state legislature swiftly passed a law barring municipalities like Birmingham from setting their own minimum wage.

Read these sentences aloud:

I never said she stole my money.

I never said she stole my money.

I never said she stole my money.

Emphasizing any one of the words over the others makes the string of words mean something completely different. "Pitch change" — the vocal quality we use to emphasize words — is a crucial part of human communication, whether spoken or sung.

A pair of New Jersey radio hosts have apologized after they were suspended for referring to the state's Sikh attorney general as "turban man" during their Wednesday program.

WKXW-FM hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco issued a written apology to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, who was appointed in January and is the first Sikh in the nation to hold such a post.

Roseanne Barr has just given a master class on how not to apologize for a massive public flameout.

Appearing on Fox News pundit Sean Hannity's show Thursday, Barr claimed the backlash over a widely condemned racist tweet that led to ABC canceling her show was a huge misunderstanding.

The tweet implied that senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and an ape. Barr's defense? She didn't know Jarrett — who was born in Iran to American parents — was an African-American woman.

Isaiah Milton, 10, holds a candle at a memorial for his 19-year-old cousin Jeremiah Shaw, who was shot to death   in Chicago.
ALEX WROBLEWSKI

The gap, caused mainly by homicides, is one of the biggest in the nation.

During their daughter's freshman year of high school, Paul and Joy Orton spent afternoons describing biology diagrams and illustrations to her. She is blind, and the materials given to her in class were not in a format she could read.

Their daughter had no trouble understanding the material, but she was dependent on her parents. She wanted to learn on her own, like her classmates did.

Her parents successfully lobbied their northern Alabama district for a Braille biology textbook.

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Illinois poverty ratings
Social IMPACT Research Center / Heartland Alliance

About half of Illinois’ counties are on poverty watch or warning lists released Monday by an anti-poverty organization, the Heartland Alliance.

The number of counties with those poor ratings increased from 30 last year to 52 this year. 

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Flickr: Brianna Laugher

Planned Parenthood of Illinois is speaking out against proposed changes to the only federal program that provides funding for birth control. Those changes include a so-called "gag rule" that could affect thousands of Illinois residents.

Jose Belardo of Lansing, Kansas, spent most of his career in the U.S. Public Health Service. He worked on the frontlines of disasters in places like Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. At home with his three kids and wife, Elaine, he'd always been unfailingly reliable, so when he forgot their wedding anniversary two years in a row, they both started to worry.

"We recognized something wasn't right and pretty much attributed it to being overworked and tired," Elaine says.

A storm rolls in over the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. The clouds are low and dark as distant lightning cracks over a green prairie. Wade Running Crane is starting to get wet.

"This is like a sign from Ashley that she's here," he says of his family friend Ashley Loring.

Ashley's mother, Loxie Loring, is standing next to him.

"She liked this kind of weather," she says. Her daughter also loved riding horses and writing poetry.

"She was outgoing," Loring says. "She wasn't scared of anything, And for how small she is, she was..."

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A record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide or national office this election cycle, the most since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made Islam a political target for many, according to Muslim political groups.

In Illinois, prisoners with disabilities may end up staying behind bars, long after their release date has passed. Most inmates are put on mandatory supervised release, which requires a person to have stable housing before they can leave prison. An analysis by WBEZ in Chicago found many facilities on the department’s housing directory could not take people who use a wheelchair.

A federal jury has found Marq Vincent Perez, 26, guilty of a hate crime in the arson attack on a mosque in Victoria, Texas, in January 2017. Perez, who is set to be sentenced in October, faces up to 40 years in prison.

When fire devastated the Victoria Islamic Center last year, an outpouring of support followed, with neighboring Jewish and Christian congregations offering to host Muslim services in their buildings.

CTE has been part of the national lexicon in the U.S. since the 2015 movie Concussion dramatized the discovery of this degenerative brain disease among football players.

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