Category Archives: Voices

Women – Life – Freedom: Interview on Resistance in Iran

Public i: Just start with a basic overview of what’s happening now and what sparked it, an update on the latest, and also what do you think people should know that isn’t being covered in the mainstream US media. Faranak … Continue reading

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Why I Called Herschel Walker Coonish: The Right of Black People to Call Out their Traitors

Editors’ Note: This article has been held until after the Georgia runoff election so there would be no suggestion of a political endorsement. Since Donald Trump’s incursion into US politics in 2015, deprecation and intimidation have become pervasive. Trump and … Continue reading

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How The Issue of Representation Impacts Central Illinois

The issue of unequal representation of cultures has plagued the nation since its birth, often resulting in the perversion of people’s natural rights. In central Illinois, it extends that perversion through aggressive discrimination. Although minorities have seen more representation on … Continue reading

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Drag Shows in Champaign-Urbana: Interview with Amy Myers

“Drag is an art. It is a culture.” As a cis, straight woman, I did not fully understand the cultural importance of drag shows until 2019, when I was managing a community center that has a wonderful zine collection and … Continue reading

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Links

The Public i is partnering with the Education Justice Project (EJP) to share writing completed by incarcerated students at the Danville Correctional Center. The EJP is a comprehensive college-in-prison program based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Through its educational … Continue reading

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Donald Trump v. Shamar Betts

I, Shamar Betts, incited a riot through a Facebook post encouraging my people to join alongside the rest of the world in an attempt to express our feelings on the tragic death of George Floyd in May of 2020. Although … Continue reading

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A Time of Monsters: The New Nadir and the Crisis of the Black Worker

We currently reside in what Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called “A Time of Monsters.” Exacerbated by the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, the Black working classes continue to struggle under what Black Studies scholar Sundiata Cha-Jua has dubbed “the New Nadir.” For … Continue reading

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Juneteenth Freedom Day

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with … Continue reading

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Juneteenth 2022 at Randolph Street Garden

Seitu Ken Jones, a multidisciplinary artist who believes in the power of public art to link the past and present, spent 2020–21 as a visiting artist at the UIUC Center for Advanced Study. He returned this past June to work … Continue reading

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Reckless Law, Shameless Order: Behind the Scenes

  One afternoon in April of 2021 Faranak Miraftab called me to ask if I was interested in holding an art workshop with formerly incarcerated artists in continuation of the “IDENSCITY,” a conceptual art space that I had been developing … Continue reading

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Posted in African Americans, African Americans, Arts, Immigrants, incarceration, Local Arts, Prison Arts, Prisoners, Voices, Voices of Color, Women | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Reckless Law, Shameless Order: Behind the Scenes

Two Stories from Statesville Prison

Saving Your Mind: Mental Health in the Age of Corona “This is some next-level shit. I thought I’d seen it all in my 20 years in prison,” said Murder (no real names used), my Quarantine Sanitation Specialist co-worker, as we … Continue reading

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SB 148 and the Assault On Teaching Black History

Florida’s SB 148 represents the surging wave of white supremacist fascism sweeping across the country. Entitled “An Act Relating to Individual Freedom,” it symbolizes the deceptive, authoritarian, and racist motivations that characterize the white nationalist Republican Party. By making the … Continue reading

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Ending Gun Violence Requires Long-Term Investments in People and Communities

Quansay L. Markham (17 years old), Jonathon McPherson (17), Jadeen Moore (19), Acarrie Ingram-Triner (19), and Jordan Atwater-Lewis (17) are among the people who were shot and killed in Champaign-Urbana in 2021. Are there things we could have done as … Continue reading

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What’s Understood Need Not Be Explained

I’m curious to know, as a reading eye and listening ear, what are you expecting to hear from me? That the feds were somehow wrong, and Shamar was right? Or that he was justified in putting out some call to … Continue reading

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The Congolese Community of Champaign County

We are the Congolese Community of Champaign County. The estimated number of Congolese living in Champaign County is more than 6,000 persons. Our mission is to support each other and help our children learn about the country, as well as … Continue reading

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Ubuntu Project Statement on Automated License Plate Readers

The Ubuntu Project Urbana-Champaign is disappointed to learn that the Champaign City Council is considering voting to purchase license plate readers. Considering the well-documented controversial reputation and questionable value of license plate readers, the Champaign people need more information on … Continue reading

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Texas isn’t the Only Place where a Woman’s Right to a Safe and Legal Abortion is Under Attack

  Right here in in Illinois, women’s lives and safety are being sacrificed for the election-minded politicians of the Land of Lincoln. In Illinois, young women and girls’ safety is at risk under the Parental Notice Act. The Parental Notice … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Urbana Poet Laureate Ashanti Files

The Public i recently talked to Urbana Poet Laureate Ashanti Files Please tell our readers a little about yourself. “I am a wife, mother, and registered nurse. I currently work in mental health and addiction services. I enjoy reading, writing … Continue reading

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How the Campus Becomes the Border

In August, 2020, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) opted for a hybrid in-person/online semester. The decision to partially reopen was made possible by the innovative SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell initiative. A crucial part of this program was … Continue reading

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The Nest Postpartum Support

Five years ago, my world turned upside down after the birth of our first son. What should have been the happiest day of our lives turned into one crisis after another, a transfer to a hospital two hours away, and … Continue reading

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