Equity & Justice

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

With the holidays approaching, it's the time of year for families to come together and share their traditions. But which traditions?

Hanukkah Lights 2019

Dec 22, 2019

Hanukkah is a time to share light, miracles and faith. We discover new insights and heartwarming tales to share with those nearest and dearest to us.

Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz read original stories from authors Dvora Zipkin, Temim Fruchter, Ellen Orleans and David Ebenbach. Listen to the full special above or hear individual stories below.


Dec. 21 is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. And across the country, some churches are offering "Blue Christmas" services — setting aside the tinsel and other trappings for a night, to acknowledge the darkness in life.

Carolyn Nelson's husband died 15 years ago, and she misses him. Especially around the holidays.

"That's someone I celebrated with," Nelson explains. "And when that's gone — you feel lost. It can be a hard time for people."

The Department of Labor's workplace safety agency is getting ready to take new action to reduce workers' exposure to dangerous silica dust that can irreparably damage the lungs.

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A vote to impeach President Trump has come from an unlikely corner: the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, whose editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, says the president's "generally disreputable moral behavior" and his actions in the White House prompted him to write an editorial titled "Trump Should Be Removed from Office."

We're betting that there are a lot of us out there who remember getting books as presents back in the day. I definitely remember receiving a copy of Little Women for Christmas when I was about 10 and later, copies of Jane Eyre (still one of my faves), Emma and Pride and Prejudice. When I was older, James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni joined them on my bookshelves.

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Christianity Today supports President Trump's removal from office. This is a well-known evangelical magazine founded in 1956 by the evangelist Billy Graham. And the magazine invokes Graham's name at the very start of an editorial.

Herman Boone, the high school football coach who inspired the Denzel Washington film Remember the Titans, has died, according to Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia. Boone, who was 84, died just seven months after the death of Bill Yoast, his fellow coach at T.C. Williams High School.

In 1971, Boone, who was black, and Yoast, who was white, formed a new community around football, attempting to heal the wounds of segregation with a newly integrated team – and winning a state championship in the process.

Updated on Feb. 6, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. ET

"I don't think as a kid I ever saw a minority physician," says Russell J. Ledet.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed a bill restoring voting rights to more than 80,000 people who are on probation or parole, making New Jersey one of several states to enact legislation granting former felons access to the ballot box.

When it comes to children's prospects in life, the neighborhoods where they grow up matter a lot. Schools, safety, access to healthy food, places to play are all things that help to shape their futures.

Now, new data from the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University reveal a sharp racial divide in access to such opportunities in almost every major metropolitan area of the country.

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Pope Francis is giving legal authorities access to documents and testimony about sexual abuse cases that were previously kept under the Catholic Church's highest level of confidentiality. By abolishing the concept known as the "pontifical secret" when it comes to clergy misconduct, Francis will also let victims see more information about their cases — and speak out about their experience.

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For many people, a package of applesauce is simply a convenient lunchbox staple or a snack you turn to when you're feeling sick or can't keep much else down. But when Tunde Wey looks at applesauce, he sees a tool for social justice.

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Thirty-four - that's how old Richard Hatcher was when he was elected mayor of Gary, Ind., in 1967.

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Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET

Mississippi man Curtis Flowers was tried for the same crime six times: the murder of four people at a furniture store in 1996. He was convicted four times — but each was overturned. Two others ended in mistrials.

Earlier this year, the conviction in the sixth trial was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that prosecutors had shown an unconstitutional pattern of excluding black jurors from Flowers' trials.

Any day now, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could rule that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

At least it seemed that two of the three appeals court judges were leaning that way during oral arguments in the case, State of Texas v. USA, in July.

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Gendered traditions and norms abound in religious life — like male and female seating areas in Orthodox temples. And those who believe that biological sex must be the same as gender often point to scripture as evidence.

But in these types of religious institutions, what space is there for gender non-conforming individuals?

That’s a question at the center of Abby Stein’s life. She was born and raised as a boy in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, where she was set to marry and become a rabbi.

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Updated at 6:18 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act apply to anti-Semitic acts. The order is generating concern that it will stifle free speech by those who oppose Israel's policy toward the Palestinians.

The executive order takes indirect aim at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that has generated intense controversy on college campuses.

Updated Wednesday 5:43 p.m. ET

"They're designed to terrorize and menace."

That's how artist Kehinde Wiley describes towering monuments to Confederate leaders that stand in the middle of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy. One statue depicts cavalry commander Gen. J.E.B. Stuart sitting upon a muscular horse, striking a heroic pose.

About a mile away, a similar bronze sculpture has been installed; but instead of a Confederate general, it portrays a black man with dreads, wearing a hoodie and Nikes.

When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it's a necessity.

The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah Aylward, is one-half of the YouTube duo Squirmy and Grubs — has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects motor neurons and causes muscle wasting and weakness. The disorder contorted his limbs and he has used a wheelchair for mobility since he was 2 years old.

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali American population in the U.S.

It’s a community that’s been in the headlines often, but if its members had a direct line to the nation, what would they say?

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