Equity & Justice

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

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Annie E. Casey Foundation

Looking at the well-being of Illinois’ children through a racial lens … shows big disparities, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS count report.

Racial disparities show up on measures of health, educational achievement, and economic well-being.

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Dr. Ayaz Virji was a Muslim living in small-town, white America.

He had left a good job in a leadership position at a successful hospital in Harrisburg, Penn., in order to practice medicine in a rural, underserved area.

Virji says he "had the BMWs, the nice house, but it wasn't enough for me, I wanted to do more." Rural America faces a shortage of doctors, with many residents forgoing care and saying locations are too far away. "So I felt like I should do something about that. And it was back to the idea: If not me, then who?" he says.

Exactly two months to the day after a fire blazed through the roof and spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the church celebrated its first Mass on Saturday.

Instead of his traditional miter hat, the archbishop of Paris wore a white, hard hat, along with about 30 others in attendance.

The Mass was closed to the public for security reasons, and those there were mostly clergy and people who work on the site.

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When students pose a threat to themselves or others, educators sometimes need to restrain them or remove them to a separate space. That's supposed to be a last resort, and it's a controversial practice. As we've reported recently, school districts don't always follow state laws or federal reporting requirements.

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Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Jun 14, 2019

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he might accept damaging information from foreigners about political opponents. After Stephanopolous pressed him on whether he would hand this information over to the FBI, the president said, “I think maybe you do both.”

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This week, Susan Codone traveled to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. She went there to share something that happened to her when she was a teenager. It started when she was playing a game of tether ball with her youth minister.

Why Air Ambulance Bills Are Still Sky-High

Jun 14, 2019

In April 2018, 9-year-old Christian Bolling was hiking with his parents and sister in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, near their home in Roanoke. While climbing some boulders, he lost his footing and fell down a rocky 20-foot drop, fracturing both bones in his lower left leg, his wrist, both sides of his nose and his skull.

A rescue squad carried him out of the woods, and a helicopter flew him to a pediatric hospital trauma unit in Roanoke.

Bonnielin Swenor has devoted her life to studying visual impairment in older adults. But for a long time, she didn't often discuss the motivation fueling her work — that she herself has low vision.

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The Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, follows reporting that shook the faith community. In The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, victims described widespread sexual abuse by Southern Baptist clergy and employees.

One key takeaway from their reporting?

Carol Burgos is worried her neighbors think she is bringing the neighborhood down.

She lives in a mobile home park in a woodsy part of Columbia County, N.Y, just off a two-lane highway. The homes have neat yards and American flags. On a spring Saturday, some neighbors are out holding yard sales, with knickknacks spread out on folding tables. Others are out doing yardwork.

Burgos' lawn is unruly and overgrown.

"How bad do I feel when these little old ladies are mowing their lawn and I can't because I'm in so much pain?" she says.

Lonnie Bunch III's interest in the past began with an incomplete story. His grandfather, a sharecropper-turned-dentist, would read history books to him, and Bunch would wonder why the pictures of black children contained little detail — why the captions simply read "unknown children" or "anonymous."

It can be hard to quantify the problem of elder abuse. Experts believe that many cases go unreported. And Wednesday morning, their belief was confirmed by two new government studies.

The research, conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finds that in many cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies, though that's required by law.

The Southern Baptist Convention has voted to make it easier to expel churches that mishandle claims of sexual abuse.

Delegates representing some 47,000 Southern Baptist churches gathered at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Ala., approved an amendment allowing individual churches to be expelled from the Convention if they mishandle or cover up sexual abuse cases. Delegates also established a special committee to evaluate abuse claims against churches.

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Southern Baptists, who in 1995 apologized for their past defense of slavery and in 2017 denounced white supremacy, are resolved once again to show their sensitivity to a pressing social concern. The 2019 convention in Birmingham, Ala., is focusing heavily on the problem of sexual abuse by church leaders.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Denise Rotheimer, who accused an Illinois state senator of sexual harassment at the start of the #Me-Too movement, now wants Gov. J.B. Pritzker to throw out part of an anti-harassment bill state lawmakers just passed.

The Vatican department charged with overseeing Catholic education released an extensive document Monday decrying what it calls a "crisis" on whether gender can be an individual choice rather than being set by God or biology.

The document describes a culture-wide "disorientation" that serves to "cancel out" the natural difference between man and woman, as well as "destabilise the family as an institution."

Jeannine, who is 37 and lives in Burbank, Calif., has endured widespread pain since she was 8. She has been examined by dozens of doctors, but none of their X-rays, MRIs or other tests have turned up any evidence of physical injury or damage.

Reading Into Changes To The Lord's Prayer

Jun 9, 2019

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La Sagrada Familia, the famous Roman Catholic Church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, has stood unfinished for more than a century.

Now, 137 years after construction began, the city of Barcelona has finally issued a building license for one of its most famous tourist attractions.

The permit, granted on Friday, allows construction to continue, with a projected completion date of 2026.

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