Equity & Justice

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

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a small group of disability rights advocates found itself in a race against time to save the life of a woman with an intellectual disability.

The woman was taken to the hospital with COVID-19. But the hospital, in a small Oregon town, denied the ventilator she needed. Instead, a doctor, citing her "low quality of life," wanted her to sign a legal form to allow the hospital to deny her care.

For more than 100 years, two statues representing Virginia have stood at the U.S. Capitol: one of George Washington and another of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

But early Monday, the Lee statue was removed from the National Statuary Hall's collection. It's expected to be replaced by a statue honoring civil rights activist Barbara Johns.

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The lead attorney for the city of Chicago resigned Sunday amid continuing fallout from a botched and mistaken police raid nearly a year ago at the home of a Black woman.

Attorney Mark Flessner said in a concise email to staff that he had resigned as Corporation Counsel for the city of Chicago. He said simply that he would work on a transition plan in the next few days.

Race And The Roots Of Vaccine Skepticism

Dec 20, 2020

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The protests that erupted after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police have largely faded — but the colorful murals they inspired still line streets across the country. These murals were mostly painted on the pieces of plywood used to protect storefronts, and often memorialize not only Floyd but other victims of police killings, including Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade. It's another way they live on, and remind passers-by of why this movement began in the first place.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Making Sense of 2020

During the coronavirus pandemic, monk JayaShri Maathaa continually turned to one powerful mantra: "thank you," a statement of genuine gratitude to provide solace and strength in troubled times.

About JayaShri Maathaa

Google Researcher Discusses Departure

Dec 18, 2020

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Christmas romantic comedies are known for cozy sweaters, roaring fireplaces, meaningful glances over cups of hot chocolate and stars who, until recently, looked like a bunch of models from a Land's End catalog circa 1985.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball has finally accepted players from the Negro Leagues as major leaguers. MLB says this decision comes 100 years after the start of the Negro Leagues. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Minnesota Board of Pardons on Tuesday commuted the life sentence of Myon Burrell, a Black man who was sentenced to life in prison as a minor.

Burrell, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, was accused of fatally shooting an 11-year old girl, who was struck by a stray bullet while doing her homework inside her family's Minneapolis home.

Following the announcement of his imminent release, Burrell held back tears.

"Thank you. Thank you very much," he said reaching a hand out to the camera.

Measures of child well-being have declined during the last 10 months as the COVID-19 pandemic has raged. But those economic, health and educational effects have taken the greatest toll on children from Black and Brown families.

A new 50-state report published this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count program quantified the damage. Kids Count analyzes surveys of families compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

John Thompson, Georgetown University's Hall of Fame former basketball coach, died in August.

I got the call most reporters (be honest, reporters) hate: "Can you give us a few minutes on his life? In about three hours?"

When you have the time, obituaries can be wonderful stories to write. New York Times obits are legendary for their beautiful prose and storytelling. But a few minutes on air? To capture a man's life? His highs, his lows, the good, the bad?

It's been said over and over and over again: 2020 has been a year like no other. So, as a team, we decided to look back at the episodes we've worked on over the past year and reflect on what they've meant to each of us. We remain in awe of just how much has happened — how many stories we were able to cover, and how many we're still itching to tell. We have a boatload of fascinating episodes in the works — so stay tuned. But before we venture into the uncharted waters of the new year, we want to share with you some of our favorite episodes from the past 12 months.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The last thing a lot of people want to do these days is get on a plane. But even a pandemic would not stop Victoria Gray. She jumped at the chance to head to the airport this summer.

"It was one of those things I was waiting to get a chance to do," says Gray.

She had never flown before because she was born with sickle cell disease. She feared the altitude change might trigger one of the worst complications of the devastating genetic disease — a sudden attack of excruciating pain.

Black Lives Matters signs and banners on two historic Black churches were destroyed Saturday night during pro-Trump rallies in Washington, D.C.

A video shows people who appeared to be affiliated with the Proud Boys, which is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, destroying a Black Lives Matter sign in front of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.

More than 300,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

It is the latest sign of a generational tragedy — one still unfolding in every corner of the country — that leaves in its wake an expanse of grief that cannot be captured in a string of statistics.

"The numbers do not reflect that these were people," says Brian Walter, whose 80-year-old father, John, died from COVID-19. "Everyone lost was a father or a mother, they had kids, they had family, they left people behind."

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

On the morning of April 21, Sarah McSweeney woke up with a temperature of 103 degrees — and it kept rising. Staff at her group home worried that the woman with multiple disabilities — she couldn't walk or speak words — had contracted COVID-19. They got her into her bright pink wheelchair and hurried to the hospital, just a block down the street from the group home in Oregon City, Ore.

That afternoon, Heidi Barnett got a phone call from the doctor in the emergency room.

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team is the latest professional sports franchise to announce it will abandon its longtime name, which is widely seen as racist or culturally offensive.

The baseball club, known since 1915 as the Cleveland Indians, announced in a statement Monday that it will "begin the process of changing the name," according to a letter to fans from owner Paul Dolan.

The annual pilgrimage that draws millions of people to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City was canceled this year, and many churches celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe limited the number of people attending.

But a church serving Mexican and other Latin American immigrants in Siler City, N.C., had a different solution.

The Rev. Julio Martinez put a portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the back of a pickup truck and celebrated the festival on Saturday in the front yards of church members.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, falls in the darkest time of year. Days are short, sunlight is scarce, and this year, there's the added darkness of a pandemic.

Cantors from around the country have stepped in to bring music and spirit to the Jewish community. In Wisconsin, the group Cantors of Wisconsin has found a "silver lining" in sheltering at home. With virtual conferencing, it became easier for them to meet and organize.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Gerald Harris has been busy during this pandemic, along with two other friends. Here's how their weeks usually start.

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