Equity & Justice

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

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.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

A judge has ruled in favor of Harvard University in a high-profile court case centered on whether the school's admissions process forces Asian Americans to clear a higher bar to get in.

Jeromy Brown, a 46-year-old teacher in Iowa, considers President Trump a white supremacist.

"If the shoe fits, then say it, and the shoe fits him," Brown said, while waiting in a photo line at an Elizabeth Warren rally in August. "Why should he be excused from that label?"

Patricia Powers went a few years without health insurance and was unable to afford regular doctor visits. So the Missouri resident, who lives near St. Louis, had no idea that cancerous tumors were silently growing in both of her breasts.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

As a host, 90-year-old Alfrida Lantong is somewhat passive. Lying resolutely on her back and gazing up through a pair of thick, dusty spectacles, she roundly ignores her son's murmured greeting as he enters the room, and she pays little heed to the gaggle of grandchildren clustered around her.

But Alfrida can hardly be blamed for her unresponsiveness. After all, she has been dead for the last seven years.

The Pope Opposes Adjectives

Sep 28, 2019

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Heartland Alliance Social Impact Research Center / Heart

Though the U.S. poverty rate has dropped to the pre-recession level, Illinois has not yet reached that target.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

Voices for Illinois Children

Nearly 90 percent of the children living in concentrated poverty in Illinois are nonwhite, according to a recent report by a child advocacy group. 

Concentrated poverty by the definition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation is when 30 percent or more of the population in a neighborhood is impoverished. The Foundation’s report was released this week.  

It shows there are about 300,000 children living in concentrated poverty in Illinois.

While Kelly Lytle Hernández was growing up in San Diego near the U.S.-Mexico border in the late 1980s and early '90s, she watched as people from her community, friends and neighbors, disappeared: Black youths disappeared into the prison system; Mexican immigrants disappeared through deportations.

These experiences affected her deeply.

"It was growing up in that environment that forced me to want to understand what was happening to us and why it seemed legitimate," Lytle Hernández tells All Things Considered. "And I wanted to disrupt that legitimacy."

Investigators are looking into whether a hostile work environment existed – particularly for African American employees – at the City of Virginia Beach leading up to a deadly mass shooting on city property earlier this year.

Mississippi voters will be choosing a governor and other statewide offices in November under a unique set of election rules that date to the 19th century. A federal lawsuit by four African-American citizens is challenging the system as racially discriminatory.

For people who live with chronic pain, getting up, out and moving can seem daunting. Some fear that physical activity will make their pain worse. But in fact, researchers find the opposite is true: The right kind of exercise can help reduce pain.

Today, Emma Dehne agrees. Dehne is 44, lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., and works as a business officer in the office of the executive vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina. She says her commitment to exercise is relatively recent.

A white former Dallas police officer who shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment goes on trial in Dallas on Monday.

The former officer, Amber Guyger said she entered the wrong apartment thinking it was her own, and shot 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean because she thought he was a burglar.

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Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincoln Library

The site of remains of burned down homes from the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield, in which a white mob lynched two innocent black men, is on the path to becoming a National Historic Monument.

Even in Times Square — crammed with tourists from around the world dodging people in superhero costumes — the playwright Jeremy O. Harris stands out.

He's walking down the sidewalk with two thick and long braids, standing six feet and five inches tall, wearing a see-through shirt, carrying bags from fashion designers and smoking a cigarette. He's between New York Fashion Week events and his Broadway opening.

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It happens on every road trip — you're driving from city to city, natural wonder to natural wonder. Every hour is a magical combination of rustic beauty and historic landmarks and fascinating people. Until, one day, things change: The scenery turns gray; the people lose their charm. You find yourself at a rest stop with no toilet paper, where the vending machine eats your last single. It's 90 miles to the nearest motel. Small, but menacing-looking rodents scurry across the road.

You, my friend, are in Podunk. Or as some people say, "Some Podunk town in the middle of nowhere."

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NOEL KING, HOST:

The 2020 election cycle is generating some strong feelings - no surprise there. Conservatives and progressives both are mounting voter registration drives targeting as many of their supporters as they can, even churches are getting involved. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized after photos surfaced showing him wearing brownface and blackface as a young man, saying he has no plans to resign and vowing to continue his campaign for re-election in October.

"Darkening your face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of black face," Trudeau said at a news conference Thursday in a public park in Winnipeg. "I should have understood that then and I never should have done it."

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Chicago Tonight

The woman who blew the whistle on Michael Madigan's silence in her #MeToo case is still searching for a job and closure.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for having worn brownface makeup at a 2001 costume party.

"I should have known better then, but I didn't and I did it and I'm deeply sorry," he said to reporters in his campaign plane in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

What's The Deal With Cults?

Sep 17, 2019

What exactly is the definition of a cult? How and why do people join them? And why are Americans so fascinated by them?

These are surprisingly difficult questions to answer despite the media saturation of cults in the United States. Cults are often thought of as inextricably tied to religion. However, the meaning of the word “cult” has shifted over time. Today, the term means a group with socially deviant behaviors.

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