Author Archives: Brian Dolinar

About Brian Dolinar

Brian Dolinar has been a community journalist since 2004.

Jail is Not Drug Treatment

If you were to believe those like Champaign County Board Chair Pattsi Petrie, who spoke recently at a meeting of Champaign County’s Racial Justice Task Force, those in the local jail are dangerous people that shouldn’t be let out on … Continue reading

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#BlackLivesMatter Founder Opal Tometi Visits C-U

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20-Plus ICE Raids Reported in Champaign County

A longer version of this article originally appeared in Truthout. Reprinted with permission. Four men in unmarked cars showed up at the Shadowwood trailer park, where many Latinos reside in Urbana-Champaign. It was 8 a.m. one cool morning this past … Continue reading

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Children With Incarcerated Parents Played Key Role in Phone Justice Victory!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted recently to cap the rates of phone calls from prisons and jails after years of profiteering by telecommunications companies that have made millions off of those incarcerated and their families. In her comments before … Continue reading

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What Happened New Year’s Night? Black Youth Shot Twice In Back By University Police

On New Year’s night, a Black Lives Matter protest broke out in Savoy after two University of Illinois police officers fired bullets into a carload of African American youth, wounding two people, with one of them shot twice in the … Continue reading

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Securus Technologies: How a Carceral Conglomerate Makes Millions from Mass Incarceration

Miguel Saucedo grew up in the Latino neighborhood of Little Village in Chicago. Now almost 30, Miguel recalls as an eight year old taking a five-hour drive to visit his older brother who was incarcerated downstate at Menard Correctional Center. … Continue reading

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UIUC Report on Hiring of James Kilgore

On Monday, November 10, the Friends of James Kilgore held a press conference outside the Henry Adminstration building on the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. They encouraged the Board of Trustees, meeting this Thursday, to reinstate Dr. Kilgore. After a right-wing … Continue reading

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New MRAP Soon To Be Rolling Down The Streets Of C-U

Earlier this summer, the News-Gazette ran a story that Sheriff Dan Walsh had acquired a Mine-Resistant Armor-Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Titled “Something Big Just Arrived,” the article touted the benefits of the new truck. Yet in the wake of Ferguson, a … Continue reading

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CUCPJ Stands in Solidarity with James Kilgore

As a grassroots movement  working to address racial, gender, and economic injustices produced by our local criminal justice system, we have made one of our main efforts in recent years the prevention of new jail construction and the mass-incarceration mindset … Continue reading

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“A Day at Stateville” Captures Life As It Is On the Inside

On Friday, May 9, “A Day at Stateville,” a play written by men currently incarcerated in Stateville prison, and performed by those formerly incarcerated there, was staged at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Urbana. I spoke with one of the … Continue reading

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Pete Seeger’s 1958 Visit to UIUC Amidst the Red Scare

A series of events took place in May celebrating the life of folk singer, banjo player, and political activist Pete Seeger, who passed away earlier this year. After a flyer for the events was circulated, my friend Barbara Kessel emailed … Continue reading

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New MLK Sculpture by Preston Jackson

A new sculpture by African American artist Preston Jackson has been installed at King Park in Urbana. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., it makes reference to major moments in the Civil Rights struggle, depicting a bus from the Montgomery … Continue reading

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Talk on the Black History of Illinois

Saturday February 15, 2-3 p.m. Urbana Free Library, Lewis Auditorium (ground floor) On Saturday, February 15, 2-3 p.m., the Public i‘s own Brian Dolinar will talk about a book he recently published, The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers. The … Continue reading

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“University of Inequality?”

“University of Inequality?” The rich are getting richer while working families are falling behind at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A new report shows that the school’s clerical and technical staff have seen their wages stagnate in recent years and … Continue reading

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Angela Davis with CUCPJ at the IMC

Angela Davis gave a talk at the University YMCA’s Friday Forum on September 27, 2013 in its series “Beyond Mass Incarceration.” That morning, she spoke at the IMC and talked with members of CU Citizens for Peace and Justice, who … Continue reading

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Photos from Unity March X

The tenth annual Unity March took place Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. The march met at the Champaign County Housing Authority and ended in Bristol Park, highlighting the need for affordable housing, not jail housing, in our community.   Women smiling. … Continue reading

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Labor Day Parade – 2013

Here’s a photo spread of some of the groups that participated in this year’s AFL-CIO Labor Day Parade.    

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Champaign-Urbana Rallies for Immigration Reform

On Saturday, August 31, 2013, a rally organized by the local Immigration Forum took place at West Side Park in Champaign. Some 300 people attended in the 90 degree heat. The rally was aimed at swinging the vote of Rodney … Continue reading

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Treyvon Rally in Douglass Park

On Sunday, July 14, a rally was held for Treyvon Martin. The rally also corresponded with the birthday of Kiwane Carrington, who in 2009 was killed by a Champaign police officer.

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How Privatization Destroyed Award-Winning Suicide Prevention Program in Champaign County Jail

Several years ago, while working at our local Books to Prisoners, I met a volunteer who had formerly worked as a mental health counselor in the local jail. This was just after there had been three jail suicides within a … Continue reading

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