Equity & Justice

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

In the second episode of 1619, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones' New York Times-produced podcast, she interviews sociologist Matthew Desmond about the ways in which the institution of slavery in the United States both drove and was driven by economic concerns.

ACLU of Illinois

The Illinois Human Rights Commission, in the first case of its kind in the state, ordered a Chicago area school district to give a transgender student access to a communal boys’ restroom.

In 2015, the Komarek School in suburban North Riverside refused to let a now-12-year-old use the communal boys’ restroom, forcing him to use the male staff members’ bathroom.

The Human Rights commission ruled that was discrimination based on gender-related identity.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

The very day President Trump was sworn in — Jan. 20, 2017 — he signed an executive order instructing administration officials "to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, while Congress got ready to repeal and replace President Obama's signature health law.

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SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

A white police officer fired through the window of a black woman's home early Saturday and killed her after responding to a call that a neighbor placed about an open front door, authorities in Fort Worth, Texas, say.

Around 2:25 a.m., officers responded to an "open structure call" made by a neighbor to the police department's nonemergency number. Inside the home, Atatiana Jefferson, 28, and her 8-year-old nephew were playing video games.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Editor's note: This story includes images that some readers may find disturbing.

Sherrine Petit Homme LaFrance was crying on the side of a road when China Laguerre spotted her.

Hurricane Dorian destroyed LaFrance's newly constructed house in Great Abaco Island on the northern edge of the Bahamas the same night she moved in. That was on Sept. 1.

Visitors often get to know Harlem, N.Y., through its many walking tours – from gospel music to architecture to food. But on a recent Sunday morning, two dozen people join their guide to learn about something else in the neighborhood: the history of Muslims.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Experienced Sexual Misconduct at an Illinois University or College? We Want to Hear From You

Oct 10, 2019
Pat Nabong, special to ProPublica

We’d like to hear about your experience with misconduct on campus, or if you were subjected to it but did not or could not file a report. We need help understanding flaws in the systems intended to hold perpetrators accountable.

This article was produced by the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Editor's note: This interview contains a homophobic slur.

Growing up as a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper was taught that God hated gay people. The church, which was founded by Phelps-Roper's grandfather, Fred Phelps Sr., became infamous for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers — whose deaths it believed were a punishment for America's sins and its tolerance of homosexuality.

President Trump uses his Twitter feed the way past presidents used the White House briefing room. It's the place where he announces policy and delivers his message to the American people. And it's also the place where he, often gleefully, tries to skewer his political opponents.

As the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry continues and Trump's own reelection efforts gather speed, an NPR analysis shows that Trump's broadsides against Democrats in Congress have intensified since July. And his language about nonwhite lawmakers has also grown more heated.

Editor's note: This book review includes a homophobic slur.

Many people in Topeka, Kan., first became aware of the Westboro Baptist Church in the early 1990s, when members began what would become their trademark public action: picketing to protest what they saw as the ills of an ungodly world.

The airstrikes and artillery bombardments had barely begun in the Syrian city of Qamishli, just across the border from Turkey, when Bassam Ishak's cellphone began ringing.

"People were so scared," Ishak said. "They were telling me, 'They are bombing us right now!' "

Ishak, a Syriac Christian leader, was in Irbil, Iraq, monitoring developments along the Syria-Turkey border.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Yom Kippur In Uganda: An Easier Fast This Year

Oct 8, 2019

Before Yom Kippur begins at sundown Tuesday, members of Uganda's Namutumba synagogue will sit down to a festive meal to prepare themselves physically and spiritually for the Day of Atonement.

This Jewish custom of the seuda hamafseket is new for this community, whose members have often entered the 25-hour-long fast on empty stomachs owing to drought and food shortages.

This August, Aibota Zhanibek received a surprising call in Kazakhstan from a relative through Chinese chat app WeChat. It was about her sister, Kunekai Zhanibek.

Aibota, 35, a Kazakh citizen born in China, knew that Kunekai, 33, had been held for about seven months in a detention camp in China's Shawan county, in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. For six of those months, Kunekai was forced to make towels and carpets for no pay, Aibota says. On the call, Aibota was told that Kunekai had been released and assigned a job in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A majority of parents rarely, if ever, discuss race/ethnicity, gender, class or other categories of social identity with their kids, according to a new, nationally representative survey of more than 6,000 parents conducted by Sesame Workshop and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Plannned Parenthood

*The city of Fairview Heights in southwestern Illinois has drawn national attention for the stealthily built Planned Parenthood Clinic that will open there later this month.

The 18,000-square-foot clinic will dwarf another one that  Planned Parenthood already operates in Fairview Heights, about a dozen miles from downtown St. Louis.  That site only provides medication abortions and other medical treatments.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

An Illinois agency is conducting a survey to gauge violent crime against LGBTQ  individuals.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority points out research has shown a higher incidence of violence against those who identify as LGBTQ.  That’s according to the agency’s Jaclyn Houston Kolnik. Twenty percent of hate crimes reported in 2015 were related to sexual orientation or gender-identity bias.

Willie Ito, 85, wanted to be an animator from the moment he first saw Snow White in theaters as a young boy.

"I remember the seven little men walking across the screen, singing, 'Heigh-ho, heigh-ho!' and I thought to myself, 'Wow, that's what I want to be.' Not one of the seven dwarves, but an animated cartoonist," Willie told his son, Vince Ito, 60, at StoryCorps last month.

Maureen McKinney / NPR Illinois

An Illinois lawmaker has filed legislation that would prohibit the state from requiring employees to travel to any state that has enacted tight abortion restrictions.

State Rep. Daniel Didech, a Buffalo Grove Democrat, says his bill covers states with laws aimed to restrict abortions within eight weeks of pregnancy or laws that could trigger a criminal investigation if a woman miscarries, as some have interpreted a Georgia measure to do.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

Brandt Jean's extraordinary response to a convicted murderer — he hugged Amber Guyger as she was sentenced for killing his brother, Botham Jean — has provoked an array of reactions, from admiration to frustration. It has also deepened a national debate over regulating police use of force.

About 7 miles outside of Albany, Ga., Shirley Sherrod stands on a dock overlooking a tranquil pond, Spanish moss-draped Bald Cypress trees reflecting on the still green water.

"They're resilient whether you're in a drought or whether you are in a flood. They last. And that's the way we feel we are," Sherrod says. "We will last."

For 24 years, Karen Bradley worked as a nurse at St. Clare's Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. The pay wasn't great, she says, but it was a good hospital, the place where her father once worked as a pharmacist. Bradley thought that if she stayed she'd have a nice pension for retirement.

"I enjoyed what I did there and believed in the promises that were made about the pension," she says.

But a year ago, Bradley got a letter saying her pension was gone.

"Why is there nothing left? Who screwed up?" she wondered.

Chicago Tonight

Illinois' Legislative Inspector General says a former aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan sexually harassed a subordinate, Alaina Hampton.

Inspector General Carol Pope’s report says Kevin Quinn harassed Hampton, relentlessly pursuing a relationship over her objections. Pope says that harassment created “an intimidating, hostile, and offensive working environment.”

In a letter, Quinn accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to Hampton.

Artificial stone used to make kitchen and bathroom countertops has been linked to cases of death and irreversible lung injury in workers who cut, grind and polish this increasingly popular material.

The fear is that thousands of workers in the United States who create countertops out of what's known as "engineered stone" may be inhaling dangerous amounts of lung-damaging silica dust, because engineered stone is mostly made of the mineral silica.

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