Equity & Justice

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

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A noose — among the most threatening and resonant images from America's long history of white racist violence — was left in the garage stall Sunday of NASCAR's only Black driver in the Cup Series, its top stock car racing circuit.

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What's Next For The Minnesota Freedom Fund

Jun 21, 2020

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We've talked a lot about big-city protests sparked by George Floyd's killing by police. But people in small towns and cities across America have also taken to the streets. We're going to hear now from two people with two very different experiences.

The protests since the death of George Floyd are being hailed by many as a watershed moment that might ultimately bring about an end to police brutality and systemic racism. But the high hopes are also tangled up in dark fears that the current uprising will eventually die down and will end up being just one more missed opportunity.

In the mid-1960s, after the passage of the Voting and Civil Rights Acts, Martin Luther King Jr. shifted his focus. King theorized that racial inequality could not be defeated without economic equality.

The result was the 1968 Poor People's Campaign, a multicultural, interfaith coalition with economic justice at its core. More than half a century later, a new generation of activists and faith leaders continued the charge.

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Another Confederate monument has fallen — this time in a city where such memorials were understandably rare to begin with: the nation's capital.

Protesters on Friday night toppled a statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike, the only outdoor Confederate memorial in the city. They yanked it down with rope and later set it ablaze as law enforcement looked on.

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As statues of Confederate generals have been toppled or ordered down across the American South, all still stand in West Virginia, the only state born out of the American Civil War.

One hundred fifty-seven years ago Saturday, West Virginia seceded from Virginia to join the Union and reject the Confederacy.

The second part of the order.
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Across the country, leaders and activists are seeking ways to improve relations between their communities and the police, including how to reduce encounters that lead to arrests and the use of force. In places such as Kansas City, Mo., this has renewed calls to ease marijuana laws.

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The weeks since the killing of George Floyd have been a cauldron of outrage, frustration and, at times, violence. But on Friday, Juneteenth brought another emotion to this simmering mixture: the joy of celebration.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that the city will officially observe Juneteenth as a city and school holiday starting next year.

"Every city worker, every student, will have an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of our history and the truth, and to think about the work that we have to do ahead," de Blasio said Friday.

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Juneteenth is getting unusually widespread attention this year, as Americans protest police brutality and racism.

But some Americans have, for years, celebrated it as the day that marks our ancestors' emancipation.

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The White House is preparing to fill several vacancies on the influential commission that makes policy used to punish tens of thousands of criminals every year, according to three sources familiar with the process.

But critics worry that the likely Trump nominees could adopt more punitive approaches at a time when a diverse group of protesters is marching for a different approach to policing and justice.

Corporate executives and sports officials are joining a growing number of elected officials who want to recognize Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery, as an official U.S. holiday. The movement is being fueled by the Black Lives Matter protests demanding reforms following the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25.

Juneteenth, which is on June 19, has long been an important holiday in the African American community, a time for celebration rather than mourning and remembrance.

Rebecca Anzel / Capitol News Illinois

Last week, the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit that says the year-old Reproductive Health Act requires employers to pay for coverage of abortion against their will.  The suit says unless the act is declared unlawful and enforcement of it is forbidden, plaintiffs will continue to “suffer irreparable injury."

Updated 5:30 a.m. ET Friday

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says she is withdrawing her name from consideration to be Joe Biden's running mate, calling on the former vice president to pick a woman of color.

"Since I endorsed the vice president on that joyful night in Dallas, I've never commented on this process at all," she said on MSNBC Thursday night. "But let me tell you this after what I've seen in my state, what I've seen across the country. This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment."

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