Category Archives: Voices

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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Women Workers on the March: UNITE HERE Hotel Workers Strike

Currently women workers are leading the march of labor in this country. Although it is lost amid the headlines of the #MeToo movement, this movement’s call for an end to sexual harassment and assault is at its core a demand … Continue reading

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Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago

If you’ve read Robert Caro’s biographies of Lyndon Johnson, you know what it’s like to be kidnapped by a historian who’s also a great story teller. The reading lamp burns late. I’ve just finished a new book on Illinois history … Continue reading

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A Muslim on the Inside

“Praise the Gods, Martin Luther King is dead.” Monroe Haynes was an 18-year-old in Vietnam fighting a war he did not understand, with people he did not know, when he heard his commander proclaim this statement. Just barely an adult, … Continue reading

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1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

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Trustee Trip

This past spring, two U of I Trustees set out on a secret mission to solve the seemingly endless Chief Illiniwek problem once and for all. And they did it. But I doubt they’re happy with the result. They hoped … Continue reading

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An Exciting Change in Children’s Literature Book Awards!

Back in February of 2018, I was astonished and excited when I learned that the American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) was taking a look at the names of its book awards, asking if the award … Continue reading

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Trump Pardons Jack Johnson

On May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump officially signed a posthumous pardon for heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson. As a radical and a sports fan, it was a surreal moment on a number of levels. But to explain how, it is … Continue reading

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Police Gun Violence: An Epidemic in America

By Salma El-Naggar Salma El-Naggar is a sophomore at Uni High and a member of the student organization team for the local walkout and other social justice even In the light of the recent Florida school shooting, gun violence has … Continue reading

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Student Coalition Protests Gun Violence

By Annemily Hoganson, Anya Kaplan-Hartnett, Victoria Kindratenko and Emma Lowenstein.   Left to right: Annemily Hoganson is a junior at Uni High and an organizer of the CU-March For Our Lives. Anya Kaplan-Hartnett is a sophomore at Uni. Victoria Kindratenko … Continue reading

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History Matters: Remembering Two “Dangerous” Labor Union Women

By Stephanie Fortado Dr. Stephanie Seawell Fortado is a Lecturer at the University of Illinois Labor Education Program, providing workshops and extension programming for unions and the general public on the Champaign-Urbana campus and throughout Illinois. Before joining the University, … Continue reading

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The Alt-Right Comes to Town

by David Prochaska TARIQ KHAN INCIDENT Last November 16, on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election, Tariq Khan, a 39-year-old Ph.D. student in history, was just finishing speaking at a rally when hecklers, including Joel Valdez, called out, “No … Continue reading

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Abused: Working Women Face Widespread Harassment and Violence

By Pat Simpson Pat Simpson, Emerita Professor, Loyola University, formerly taught in the Labor Education Program, UIUC. A longtime labor and social justice activist, she is  currently a member of the Chambana Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and of the … Continue reading

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