Equity

  There was something about the handwriting spelling out her address that caused Letitia Dewith-Anderson to lay the envelope aside when it arrived on Tuesday. When she finally opened it Wednesday night, and found a flyer featuring a swastika, “white power” slogans and an application to join the American Nazi Party. 

Illinois Issues: No Place To Call Home - Pt. 3

Dec 17, 2015
Kartemquin

The state budget impasse could put more young people out on the streets this winter.  

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a young black woman who recently graduated from Louisiana State. I asked her how she liked it there. She smiled, then sighed in exasperation. Without prompting, she brought up race. She had enrolled at LSU knowing Louisiana is one of the blackest states in the country, but once she got to campus, she realized black students made up a proportionately tiny fraction of the student body.

Pew Research Center

  The middle class is no longer the nation’s economic majority. That is according to last week’s Pew Research Center analysis of government data, and a local economist says the trends for the nation are likely duplicated in Illinois.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Muslims in Illinois are coping with increased scrutiny and incendiary rhetoric. We take you inside a local mosque and introduce you to a business owner in Champaign-Urbana during this two-part series.

Kenya Barris sometimes looks at his five kids in wonderment. Private schools, professional parents who can give them things and open doors. No sense of privation. And the kicker is, he's responsible! "We're kind of taught to give your kids more than you had," Barris muses. "But in giving them more, what do they lose?"

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Muslims in Illinois are coping with increased scrutiny and incendiary rhetoric. We take you inside a local mosque and introduce you to a business owner in Champaign-Urbana during this two-part series.

Wikimedia / user: ACBahn

A fight over locker room access for a transgender student in a Chicago suburb has gained national attention. The agreement reached between one of the state’s largest school districts and the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights could have implications for the rest of the country too.

Flickr/ Shiraz Chakera

Dr. Valerie Hoffman has taught about Islam and the Muslim faith for three decades. She teaches religion at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and has lived in the Middle East.

Attention Quantico viewers: This piece contains multiple spoilers.

When Quantico, the hit ABC drama about a group of FBI recruits who find themselves mired in a terrorist plot, first premiered in September, Bollywood-watchers predicted it would make Indian actress Priyanka Chopra a household name this side of the Atlantic.

Office of the comptroller

Domestic violence shelters were one of the social service groups hardest hit by the budget impasse. But $18 million for those 62 shelter agencies was among funds released through legislation passed last week.

Comptroller Leslie Munger recently explained to NPR Illinois what that means for the shelters.

The measure passed last week ordered the release of $3.1 billion, which includes payments to local governments, 911 energy phone services and Lottery winners. Those payments can be made because independent state funds are dedicated to those services, Munger says.

In Fresh Off The Boat's first episode, Eddie Huang walks into the cafeteria of his new middle school for the first time, toting a brown paper bag. As he looks for a seat, we're reminded that on top of the usual new school jitters, Eddie's the lone Asian-American kid in a sea of white faces, each with their prepackaged Lunchables and prepackaged friend groups.

For a busy man, André Mack is remarkably chill. He runs two companies, designs labels and coloring books and wine pun T-shirts (one reads "Beaune Thugs"), is in an upcoming documentary on minority winewakers in Oregon, and does some wristwatch modeling on the side (it's exactly what it sounds like). Oh, and he has two kids under 10, with a third on the way. "I woke up today, so that's plenty to be thankful for," he tells me when we talk.

As the pilot episode for ABC's counter terrorism drama Quantico begins, one of the biggest stars in Bollywood is lying in the ruins of a bomb blast.

It's Priyanka Chopra, and she's playing Alex Parrish, an FBI trainee falsely accused of setting off the explosion. She's also making history as the first South Asian woman to play the lead in a network TV drama.

"The bomber knew exactly what they were doing," Chopra says as Parrish in a later episode. "They framed the brown girl."

Not long ago, Kathleen Franz was sifting through the archives at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Franz is a curator there, and she was working on an exhibit about the history of American advertising.

Sarah Jane Rhee

In Illinois, thousands of African American men are released from prison each year. But, without support from government and community, many will go back. 

Spike Lee's latest, Chi-Raq, is designed to provoke: women in Chicago's south side go on a "sex strike" to curb gang violence, cribbing from Lysistrata, Aristophanes' comic account of the Peloponnesian War. Unsurprisingly, reactions are polarized. Detractors say it's exploitative, unfair, and sexist.

Hillary Clinton got side-eyed after blasting Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud" at a campaign stop in San Antonio where she called herself "La Hillary" and "Tu Hillary." Jeb Bush earned eye rolls after debuting a Spanish-language ad celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Growing up, Natalie Devora always questioned how she fit into her African-American family.

"Everyone was brown, and then there was me," Devora says. "I'm a white-skinned black woman. That's how I navigate through the world. That's how I identify."

Illinois Issues: No Place To Call Home - Pt. 2

Dec 3, 2015
David Wilson

The second installment of a three-part series on homelessness looks at how the problem plagues Illinoisans in the state’s rural reaches, too

Nelson Chenault / The Clinton Foundation

The fatal shooting last year of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer rocked the celebrated Chicago poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti.

He was so disturbed, he says, that he couldn't sleep and rose at 4:30 a.m. to write. What would become the book Taking Bullets: Black People in the 21st Century America Fighting Terrorism, Fighting Violence and Seeking Healing is now in galley form for final proofing. 

Recently, we've been talking a lot about onscreen diversity and how much browner TV has gotten in the past few years with shows like Empire, Master of None and Dr. Ken and showrunners like Shonda Rhimes and Nahnatchka Khan injecting more people of color into the system.

Hi Code Switch readers! I'm here from NPR Music, where I mostly cover jazz. I thought you might be interested two big performances we recently featured in which the artists took a moment to talk about police intimidation and violence against African-Americans.

http://quigley.house.gov/media-center

Earlier this month, people across the country and state recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was created by activists as a way to honor those who have been murdered in a hate crime. Transgender people say their biological sex does not match the gender they identify with. Studies show they are much more likely to face violence and discrimination than the general population.

Millennials of color — even highly educated ones — are finding it hard to get ahead and build wealth. But why?

In the current issue of Washington Monthly, reporter Mel Jones dives into why the racial wealth gap persists for a generation of young black and brown Americans who've had educational and work opportunities rivaling those of their white peers.

St. John's and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine have plans for a new women and children's medical center. The plot of land along 9th street contains the foundations of homes burnt during the 1908 race riot

Seminole patchwork is not well-known outside the state of Florida. The Seams looks at culture through clothing — and within this hand-sewn and folded patchwork is the story of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Alex Wroblewski

Chicago writer Jamie Kalven focuses on patterns of police abuse and impunity in Chicago. He heard about an attempted cover up of the details in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old wielding a  knife.

It's art imitating life, really. All American Boys is a young adult novel that looks at a specific instance of police brutality from the perspectives of two high school classmates: Rashad, who is savagely beaten by a local policeman who (wrongly) suspects him of shoplifting and assaulting a white woman, and Quinn, who sees the beating and initially pretends he didn't. It's a fictional reflection of real-life police encounters with young black men that ended badly.

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