Category Archives: Voices

Supporting Women, Girls and Families: An Interview with Stephanie Cockrell

Women are praised for being pillars of strength in their families and communities, but this same strength might lead them to be overlooked when designing services to meet the needs of a community. Women also need therapeutic activities that help … Continue reading

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Black Art Politicized: A Discussion with Leslie Smith

I had the amazing opportunity to interview Leslie Smith, a board member of the Urbana–Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) and the founder of Black Voices Theater Production. As someone who grew up in a household with a father who is … Continue reading

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Stop Asian Hate: A Local Perspective

The March 16, 2021 shootings in Atlanta, resulting in the tragic deaths of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, have raised awareness of anti-Asian violence, misogyny, and hatred in this country. In this unprecedented time when global viruses … Continue reading

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Bail Systems as Wealth-Based Incarceration, or “No Money, No Justice”

  The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits “excessive” bail, a prohibition that dates back to English common law, and is largely honored in the breach. In Champaign County Jail, on any given day this past winter, there were … Continue reading

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Shamar Betts: Caught in a Legal Drama that Started Before He was Born

No one wants to be the poster child for a Supreme Court challenge. However, finding his case before the Supreme Court could not only help Urbana resident Shamar Betts resolve his own situation, but it could redraw the legal lines … Continue reading

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The Haters Among Them

The number is thirty so far, thirty police officers charged with the act of participating in the Capitol insurrection last January. Many, many Americans felt shock, and media analysts expressed particular outrage, to find men in blue—perhaps even waving blue-line, … Continue reading

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Africa and COVID-19 Vaccines: The Politics Surrounding Equitable Access to Vaccines

Global North countries, including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are hoarding COVID-19 vaccines, leaving countries of the Global South behind in equitable access to vaccines. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, many Global North countries have already purchased half of the … Continue reading

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Thank the Suffragists: Celebrating the Women’s Rights History of Champaign County

Ever wondered why March is Women’s History Month? We at the Museum of the Grand Prairie invite you to answer that question with a visit to our latest exhibit celebrating the centennial of women’s voting rights, “How Long Must Women … Continue reading

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Countering Disinformationhttp://publici.ucimc.org/wp-admin/edit.php to Build a Just Society

We have heard a lot about disinformation during this past year, but learning more about how information is manipulated, distorted and deployed to shape social debates can help you recognize when you are being targeted in a disinformation campaign. It … Continue reading

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White Nationalism in our Own Front Yards

This past summer residents of West Champaign awoke to find their neighborhoods had been leafletted with an insulting anti-immigrant flyer bearing the imprint of the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA), a group designated as a white nationalist hate group … Continue reading

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“It’s Scary Having a Fifteen-Year-Old Son”: Community Voices on Gun Violence in C-U

In the midst of the global pandemic, Champaign-Urbana has its own local epidemic: gun violence. As of July 20, police had received 95 reports in 2020 of shooting incidents in Champaign alone. This is more than double the total for … Continue reading

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Separating Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism

The morning after the 2016 presidential election, I woke up wondering if I was still white. I am Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish, and had always felt confident in the safety my light skin afforded me. That day, for the first … Continue reading

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Blurs and Erases

We find ourselves at an interesting moment. Pivotal, in fact. As we collectively attempt to navigate uncharted waters, I am constantly thinking about how prepared I am. For a large portion of my life, lockdown was my reality. This in … Continue reading

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A Student’s Perspective on COVID-19

On January 21, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 within the US was confirmed. During the first few days of the University of Illinois spring break, it was announced that all courses would transition to online-only learning by March 23, … Continue reading

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Is the Addition of a Larger Police Presence to Urbana Schools a Human Rights Violation?

On February 4, 2019, I was in class at Urbana High School when a student came in and said there were students fighting in the hall and a teacher had been knocked out. My teacher quickly locked the door and … Continue reading

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University of Illinois “Old” Alums Return for a Conference on the 1960s Protest Movement

About 50 literally “old” University of Illinois alums returned to campus from around the country (and in one case, from Switzerland) to attend an October 4-5 conference about the 1960s UI student protest movements for free speech and against the … Continue reading

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This is going to take more than windmills: Addressing Trauma at the UN Climate Summit

Climate activists from around the world converged on New York City during the United Nations Climate Summit in September, 2019, and I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to this historic moment. There were scientists, lawyers, architects and … Continue reading

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University and High School Students Collaborate to Host September 20th Climate Strike

Between September 20 and 27, over 6000 protests took place in 185 countries as part of the Global Week for Future. Students walked out of classes, workers went on strike, and millions gathered to demand climate justice and take action … Continue reading

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Attacks on the Campus Left Then and Now: Fighting Student Activists on Illinois’ Campus in the 1930s

In the 1930s, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was home to a thriving anti-war and anti-imperialist community of different radical, socialist, and communist groups. The National Student League (NSL), later called the American Student Union (ASU), the Communist Youth … Continue reading

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For a World Without Borders

Speech by Tariq Khan at the UIUC Ayuda Rally at Anniversary Plaza, November 29, 2018. UIUC Ayuda was a student group/campaign to raise awareness about and material support for the Central American caravans made up of people seeking asylum. I … Continue reading

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