Equity & Justice

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

Dora The Explorer's Lasting Impact

Aug 12, 2019

Dora the Explorer is one of the most recognized Latinx characters on TV. She debuted on Nickelodeon almost 20 years ago. This past weekend, Dora moved to the big screen, in Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

But before she was an explorer who traversed the world with her backpack and map, she was Stinky.

Sister Helen Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, Dead Man Walking, about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty.

This is a story about two small-town Virginia churches with the same name, but two very different congregations. They've each found themselves caught up in controversy tied to President Trump's racist rhetoric. NPR's Sarah McCammon recently visited both congregations.

A century ago, a new world order began.

The Treaty of Versailles concluded the war to end all wars. Constructed through diplomacy, a fragile peace replaced global bloodshed.

The treaty's proclamations are now iconic: that nations should have the right to self-determine, that a war's victors should negotiate how to move forward, that the defeated powers should be held responsible for the damage.

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In September of 1885, a mob of about 150 white men, armed with rifles, descended upon the Chinatown in Rock Springs, Wyo. They issued an ultimatum to the people who lived there: you have an hour to leave town.

The assembled horde was angry at Chinese laborers in the region, who they blamed for keeping the choicest mining areas and depressing their wages. They felt that the Chinese were working the choicest areas of the coal mines, the part that would yield the most coal and thus the most compensation. The Chinese, they felt, were taking what was rightfully theirs.

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There's a summer camp for kids with disabilities in Nashville that does things a little differently. Instead of accommodating the campers' physical challenges, therapists make life a bit tougher, in hopes of ultimately strengthening the kids' ability to navigate the world.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed a sweeping anti-sexual harassment law. But one woman who accused a lawmaker of harassment is disappointed with an aspect of the new rules.

Denise Rotheimer says she objects to part of the new law that levies a fine of $5,000 on accusers for leaking information from an inspector general  report's release.

The Racial Roots Behind The Term 'Nappy'

Aug 9, 2019

A black man walks into my barber shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side and removes his hat, revealing hair that is thick and tightly coiled. There's usually a hum of hair clippers buzzing through the loud bachata music in the shop, but the moment the man walks through the heavy glass door, a silence seems to befall the place.

"Este muchacho tiene pelo malo," one of the barbers says to the others, shaking his head. But in English, the barber doesn't tell the man his hair is bad (malo).

Instead, he says, "Your hair ... it's ... ehm ... nappy, yes?"

When one thinks of American blackness, there is the unsaid ugly truth that nearly all American blacks who have descended from the historical African diaspora in America have one (or several) rapacious white slave owners in their family tree at some point.

Pittsburgh International Airport recently opened a suite of "sensory rooms" inside its airside terminal to help travelers on the autism spectrum decompress from the stress of flying. It's one of a handful of airports internationally that have made changes to be more accommodating to people with special needs.

Keith Cooper / Flickr (BY-CC 2.0)

A Chicago-based think tank on Tuesday called for a federal investigation into racial disparity in small-business lending.

Banks in Illinois, and the nation as a whole, are more likely to lend to white-owned small businesses as opposed to their minority counterparts to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

If Jess Row, born in 1974, received a legacy from the white writers of the 20th century, it was one of "silences, defensive postures, lacunae, conscious and unconscious self-limitations" on the subject of race.

But that doesn't mean race is absent from their work, as he notes in his new book White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination: "even writers who would seem to have almost nothing to say about race...are saying a great deal."

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET

When Toni Morrison received her Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, her remarks began with a reflection on the phrase once upon a time. In her signature, measured cadence, Morrison told the Swedish Academy she believed these were some of the first words we remember from our childhoods.

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Studies tell us that young Latinos exhibit higher rates of depression when compared to their black and white peers. And the shooting here in El Paso over the weekend has deepened that anxiety for many Latinos. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel.

Emily French

An inmate’s complaint about an Illinois prison’s refusal to let her breastfeed has led to a system-wide policy change at the Illinois Department of Corrections

Emily French said she tried to breastfeed her newborn son Elijah but guards at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln ordered her to stop, citing Department of Corrections’ rules.

“We offered to use a blanket to cover and they said no. So, it was, it was uncomfortable. I felt guilty that I couldn't do anything about it.”

The Benioff Children's Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco is a sleek new building with state-of-the-art facilities — a place where the sickest children go for leading-edge treatments.

Which is why it might be surprising to find Robyn Adcock, who practices acupuncture and acupressure, walking the halls.

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church doesn't outwardly attract much attention. The small brick building is situated in the middle of Charlottesville, Va., across the street from the University of Virginia's campus. But over the past ten months, the church has become emblematic of the city's immigration activism, since it became home to an undocumented woman avoiding deportation.

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Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman is sitting in a rocking chair on a farmhouse porch in the hills of rural east Tennessee. She's granting a rare interview on the farm she bought 25 years ago to use as a retreat to train a new generation of activists.

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The Trump administration is moving to weaken the civil rights-era Fair Housing Act — making it much harder to bring lawsuits alleging discrimination in housing, according to housing advocates. But conservative groups applaud the move and say it would stop frivolous lawsuits.

Tuesday morning highlighted the disconnect between President Trump, the political pugilist who's never afraid to punch back at his critics, and President Trump, the head of state of a large, diverse country.

What's the link between war and religion? Does living through the traumas of conflict make people more religious – or turn them against religion?

Those age-old questions are probed in two studies.

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On a hot Maryland summer day, two toddlers play in the wading area of a community pool. Their glee is uncontainable as they dump water-filled plastic pails over each other's heads. A few weeks earlier, these little ones would not come close to the water.

Altovise Ewing was a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., when she first learned what a genetic counselor was. Although she had a strong interest in research, she suspected working in a lab wasn't for her — not enough social interaction.

Then, when a genetic counselor came to her class as a guest lecturer, Ewing had what she recalls as a "lightbulb moment." Genetic counseling, she realized, would allow her to be immersed in the science but also interact with patients. And maybe, she thought, she'd be able to help address racial health disparities, too.

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