Equity & Justice

Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Culture, Income, and Justice

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Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

In 2007, decades after Maxine Powell had retired from training a generation of black artists at Motown, a reporter from a Cleveland television station asked her whether anyone had been particularly difficult to work with.

Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."

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Is The U.S. In A Debt Crisis?

Oct 15, 2013

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"I think Malala is an average girl," Ziauddin Yousafzai says about the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who captured the world's attention after being shot by the Taliban, "but there's something extraordinary about her."

It's been 521 years since the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus "sailed the ocean blue/in fourteen hundred and ninety-two." Since then, there have been thousands of parades, speeches and statues commemorating Columbus, along with a critical rethinking of his life and legacy.

But the question remains, how did a man who never set foot on North America get a federal holiday in his name? While Columbus did arrive in the "New World" when he cast anchor in the Bahamas, he never made it to the United States.

When the Canadian billionaire and businessman Paul Desmarais died last week at the age of 86, nearly every one of his obituaries described him as a "tycoon" when discussing his career.

Holding Onto The Other Half Of 'Mixed-Race'

Oct 14, 2013

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Muhammad Ali's first title defense, a first-round TKO of Sonny Liston in 1965, propelled Ali to the status of icon. In Ali's training camp before the fight was an icon from an earlier era: Lincoln Perry. He was the first African-American movie star, who went by the stage name Stepin Fetchi. The relationship between the two men is the subject of an off-Broadway play called Fetch Clay, Make Man.

Pledge Of Allegiance Past Its Prime?

Oct 11, 2013

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I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. In today's fast-moving world, especially in the world of music, the shelf life of many artists seems to be just a few years. But every once in a while there is a star who seems to defy time.

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Switching gears now. If you watch reality TV, you might have stumbled across those shows like "Clean House" and "Hoarding: Buried Alive."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE")

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Elizabeth Smart: My Faith And 'My Story'

Oct 11, 2013

Elizabeth Smart was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. She was held captive for nine months and forced to act as Brian David Mitchell's second wife. He raped her nearly every day and told her that the ordeal was ordained by God.

Smart says there were moments when she felt there was no one to turn to — except God. She writes about how her Mormon faith played a key part in her survival in her new memoir, My Story.

We spend our days looking at coverage of race and ethnicity. And there's often more good writing that we can explore. So we just wanted to take a moment to round up some of the reporting that's caught our eye of late.

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Every year there's Black History Month in February, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May and Native American History month in November. And then there's Hispanic Heritage Month, which actually starts mid-September and ends in October.* These heritage months often leave people wondering what is the best and least hokey way to celebrate these cultures.**

Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.

"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."

Visual artist Carrie Mae Weems has been celebrated for her art and activism for decades, and now she can add a MacArthur 'Genius' Grant to her collection. In a 'Wisdom Watch' conversation with host Michel Martin, Weems discusses life, love and turning sixty.

Latino Hackers: Encouraging Innovation

Oct 10, 2013

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The nation is in the 10th day of a government shutdown, and the deadline over raising the debt limit is quickly approaching. But all that might seem like a day at the park for Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). He explains why in his new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.

He speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his political journey and the fight for immigration reform.

This week, a federal judge found that historically black colleges in Maryland were harmed when better-funded traditionally white institutions offered up the same degree programs in the state.

Tricia Bishop of The Baltimore Sun summed up the judge's ruling this way:

According to the Police Assessment Resource Center*, or PARC, far too many people in Los Angeles County are being bitten by police dogs — and the overwhelming majority of those victims are black and Latino.

In PARC's latest report, released on Monday: "Victims of the dog bites are almost universally African-American and Latino." And while the rates of bites of whites, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans have remained low over the past 8 years, "the percentage of apprehensions involving a dog bite has trebled in recent years."

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So finally today, you might have noticed I've been out of the office a bit lately. I'm taking that trip a lot of us have, or will be taking: having to get more involved in caring for an elderly parent. And because I've been on that road, I have found myself going through old drawers and boxes in a way I had no reason or right to do before now.

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