Racism

Experts Testify About Systemic Racism in Illinois Home Loan, Banking Industries

Oct 18, 2020

In Illinois and around the country, an increasing number of universities, investigators and researchers are turning up evidence of systemic racism in the financial sector that has plagued Black Americans for decades.

Committee looks at land use, gentrification, lingering effects of redlining

Oct 2, 2020
Blueroomstream.com

Redlining and gentrification were the latest topics discussed Thursday in a series of committee hearings spurred by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus as its members lay the groundwork for its veto session agenda.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony about the university's response and plans surrounding COVID-19, and also recent "Conversations of Understanding" and initiatives combatting racism throughout the system.

Illinois House Democrats on Monday accused State Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) of making racist and homophobic statements during a phone call with a purported GOP donor.

The phone call, which was recorded, included instances of Grant mentioning her opponent Ken Mejia-Beal's race and sexuality. Mejia Beal, of Lisle, is Black and openly gay. 

COVID-19’s effects on learning for Illinois students emerged in a state Senate committee this week.

Robin Steans, president of the education advocacy nonprofit Advance Illinois, said COVID-19 has placed a reliance on remote learning that has put students at a disadvantage.

On a Friday evening in late June, Liliana Quintero received a call from one of the Spanish interpreters working at a COVID-19 testing site in Goshen, Indiana. The area has one of Indiana’s higher Latinx populations and higher rates of COVID-19 cases, according to state data.

“[He was] saying, ‘Liliana I need to inform you that the nurse who is in charge of this site just told me that each time that she sees Hispanics coming to this site, she's going to call the police,’” recalls Quintero, director of the Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition, an Elkhart-based health education and advocacy nonprofit.

Members of the Illinois General Assembly’s Black Caucus Tuesday released a four-pronged agenda that they say will dominate this fall’s legislative session. 

The group of lawmakers wants several areas addressed: criminal justice reform, which includes violence prevention and  police accountability; education and workforce development; economic opportunity and equal access; and health care and human services.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat,  said the time to address racism at the federal level, and in Illinois, with legislation is now.

A group of current and former employees of the Illinois Department of Transportation are accusing the agency of a history of systemic racism, particularly in its operations in southern Illinois.

Students are back in class both on- and off-campus across the Southern Illinois University system, and administrators hope they can continue through the fall semester with little interruption.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony. In this edition of InFocus, they discuss how COVID-19 has changed SIU's Fall 2020 semester, along with additional conversations addressing racism in higher education.

Statues of two former Illinois leaders with ties to slavery will be removed from outside the state capitol building in Springfield.

It was only a matter a time that recent events caused someone to focus in on Illinois State Capitol statues dedicated to those with racist pasts.  Now, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is calling for the removal of two statues sitting outside the State Capitol and a portrait inside the chamber of the Illinois House.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports on SIU's Conversation of Understanding, the first in a series of town hall-style events to address racism and other issues across the system. 


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Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University will host the first in what leaders hope is a series of conversations Monday night, aimed at addressing racism within the system.

How Redlining, Racism Harm Black Americans' Health

Jun 26, 2020

Systemic racism has a huge impact on the health of Black Americans, and not just in the doctor’s office. In a Facebook Live event, Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson spoke with three experts on topics ranging from generational mistrust to the impact of COVID-19. 

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony, as he prepares for a virtual town hall focusing on racism and bias.

Mahony also addresses challenges the university faces because of COVID-19, and plans for the coming weeks and months.

Demonstrations are flaring up across the country to protest the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police. They’re also calling attention to broader inequalities. One of those areas—health disparities—kills Black Americans in massive numbers.

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WSIU/Kevin boucher

Dozens of, mostly young, sign-carrying demonstrators gathered at the Pinckneyville town square on Thursday to raise awareness of racism and police brutality.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin met with faith and community leaders in Springfield over the weekend at Union Baptist Church to discuss legislation to address police conduct.

Durbin said the measure - set to be introduced this week - would include a ban on the use of chokeholds, outline acceptable use of force by officers, and make recommendations on recruitment and training. He’s joining Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both former Democratic presidential candidates, in sponsoring the Justice In Policing Act.

In the midst of protests this week, there were plenty of messages sent along on social media about looting.  In some areas, those messages were just outright wrong. 

There were many incidents of vandalism and looting across Illinois. There were also false reports.  In some towns, the violence was non-existent. Some posted and passed along rumors of busloads of people coming to towns to loot. They were not.  

Shay Miller

More than 150 people turned out for a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Carterville Wednesday evening.

As outrage and protest against police brutality and racial injustice has spilled into the streets of cities across the country, several Black Illinois state lawmakers are offering their plans for how to fix those problems.

People
Monica Tichenor

More than 100 people gathered at Carbondale's Turley Park on Sunday to protest the death of George Floyd, as well as racial injustice across the country.

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NPR

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker had some strong words on the death of a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a Minneapolis white police officer knelt on his neck.

An Illinois study of racial profiling in police stops is set to expire in July. State lawmakers are considering whether to keep collecting data.

The  Chicago-based child advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children wants Illinois lawmakers to consider how their policies might worsen racial and ethnic disparities.

According to a spokeswoman,  state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is expected to introduce a measure that would create a “racial impact note” – where a lawmaker could ask for additional information tacked onto a bill that would estimate the impact on minorities.

They would be similar to fiscal notes that detail how a policy would affect the state’s finances.

Updated with comment from the school district and plaintiff — The Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education has to switch to a weighted voting system for its April elections, as ordered by a federal judge more than two years ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear the appeal by the Ferguson-Florissant School District, codifying a lower court ruling and bringing an end to a lawsuit first brought by the ACLU and NAACP in 2014.

Steph Whiteside/WSIU

 

Few people like going to the doctor. But for some, that fear is compounded by discrimination and history. For black Americans, the pervasive history of racism in America bleeds into virtually every facet of life, including the doctor’s office — with devastating results.

Rahim Khalil is a beauty supply store owner in Carbondale. He also has a degree in social work. As a black man, he says he’s felt disrespected by the medical system, and he’s talked to customers with similar feelings.

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Carbondale Racial Justice Coalition

The Carbondale Racial Justice Coalition says flyers promoting white supremacy were placed on vehicles parked Tuesday at John A. Logan College.

On its Facebook page, the coalition posted a photograph of the flyer that included a headline in bold type that read, "It's Alright to be White."

A series of state laws meant to reduce the number of kids getting kicked out of school appears to have worked.But, they also seem to have magnified racial disparities in school discipline.

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