Equity & Justice

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

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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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NOEL KING, HOST:

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.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the most comprehensive abortion law in the land.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

In 1996, the New Republic ran a bright, red cover that perfectly captured the tenor of the contemporary debate over welfare. "DAY OF RECKONING," a cover line read, above a photograph of an unidentified black woman. She was smoking a cigarette in one hand and holding a baby with a bottle in the other. The text beneath that image read "Sign the Welfare Bill Now." The racial optics were not subtle.

Linda Fairstein won fame prosecuting criminals and then wrote crime fiction. Did she allow her gift for fiction to guide her powers as a prosecutor?

For 25 years, Linda Fairstein led sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, which inspired Law and Order: SVU. She's written bestselling crime novels, like Blood Oath and Death Dance, about a hard-nosed, tenderhearted Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper who eats in a lot of New York's classiest Italian restaurants on a public servant's salary.

Now there's a mystery.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Employees at Sephora cosmetics went through inclusion training this week. It came about after the singer SZA said she was racially profiled at one of the stores. But does that kind of training work? Here's Karen Grigsby Bates from our Code Switch team.

Amanda Bacon's eating disorder was growing worse. She had lost 60% of her body weight and was consuming only about 100 calories a day.

But that wasn't sick enough for her Medicaid managed-care company to cover an inpatient treatment program. She was told in 2017 that unless she weighed 10 pounds less — which would have put her at 5-foot-7 and 90 pounds — or was admitted to a psychiatric unit, she wasn't eligible for coverage.

"I remember thinking, 'I'm going to die,' " the Las Cruces, N.M., resident recalls.

Maureen McKinney / NPR Illinois

All Illinois employers would have to conduct sexual harassment training under sweeping legislation adopted in the waning days of the General Assembly. 

“This really deals with sexual harassment, discrimination, and equity issues affecting every worker in the state of Illinois,’’ said  Democratic state Senator Melinda Bush of Grayslake, who is sponsor of the bill, which would protect independent contractors under the Illinois Human Rights Act. “So it is, I would say, probably one of the biggest pieces of civil rights law we’ve had in years.”

As a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Amber Scorah believed she had the answer to life's biggest questions. The answer was Armageddon, and it predetermined everything.

"If the world is ending, why would you go to college?" Scorah says in an interview. "Why would you get a career?"

So, she didn't. Instead, like every other member of the church, she dedicated her life to spreading the word.

Every time Jennifer Tidd's son was secluded or restrained at school, she received a letter from his teachers. Her son has autism and behavioral issues, and over three years — from 2013 to 2016 — Tidd got 437 of those letters.

"I see this pile of documents that's 5 inches tall that represents hundreds of hours of being locked into a room, and I feel, you know, horrible," Tidd says.

She's sitting in her living room in Northern Virginia, her head hanging over the stack of papers. Tears are in her eyes.

In a media landscape that can still be pretty awful for Muslims, Tell Them, I Am, a new podcast from KPCC, aims to give Muslims a space to define their own identities outside of stereotypes and broad generalizations.

The brown walls are peeling at all ends. Giant paint chips cake the ceiling. And the cash register — if you can call it that — is just a series of old wooden drawers.

"I'm going to put up a sign that says 'Enter at your own risk.' Otherwise someone is going to hold me liable," says Romin Kohinoor, one of the owners of the nearly century-old Britannia & Co., one of Mumbai's last Parsi cafes.

Luckily for Kohinoor, these quirky interiors have long been seen as more of an attraction than a liability.

I'm Converting: My First Ramadan

Jun 1, 2019

For Muslims all over the world, Tuesday will mark the first day of Eid al-Fitr — traditionally a three-day celebration to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Eid is a time often spent with family and friends — eating, drinking and rejoicing after a month of fasting and long nights of worship. But for many people who have converted to Islam and are struggling to find their way in the Muslim community, this family-focused holiday can be isolating.

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