Category Archives: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Fraternities, Sororities and Racism at Illinois’ Flagship Land-Grant Institution

Efad Huq, Stacy Harwood and Ruby Mendenhall Research from the 2011-2012 Racial Microaggression online survey indicates that one area of concern expressed by students of color is the explicit racism they experience when interacting with largely White fraternity and sororities. … Continue reading

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The Struggle for Tuition-Free Education

By Mary Grace Hebert A breathtaking piece by Black Students for Revolution in the January 2016 Public i called for tuition to be eliminated because it perpetuates an unjust system. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has called for free college; similarly, Republicans … Continue reading

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Where is My Radical Gender Equality?

In my youth I had a sense that my generation was perfectly poised to make a leap toward gender equity. A child of the 1970s, I admired the strength of my grandmothers’ generation, which had negotiated the Depression and World … Continue reading

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A Running List of CU Businesses Supporting White Supremacy

Offensive imagery is a big problem on our campus.  That is, the entrenched white supremacy that formed and birthed my institution of higher learning resists erasure in powerful ways.  Each year we see a familiar slew of problems – in residence halls, some students hang Confederate … Continue reading

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Important Questions Related to the Steven Salaita Case at the U of I

For university faculty, when, if ever, is speech that includes what may be perceived as vulgar, discourteous or uncivil language protected from putative action by university administrators and/or boards of trustees? Is speech which uses such language, even swear words, … 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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Central Illinois Jobs With Justice’s Statement on the Termination of James Kilgore by the University of Illinois, Urbana

Central Illinois Jobs with Justice (CIJWJ), a coalition of labor, faith-based, and secular civic organizations that advances the interests of the  unemployed and working people in both the public and private sectors, condemns the  termination of  James Kilgore and calls … 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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April 4-6: Books to Prisoners Book Sale

Ten years ago Urbana Champaign Books to Prisoners began its program of sending books through the mail at no cost to inmates in Illinois prisons.  Since then, over 92,000 books have been sent out to more than 14,000 inmates.  The … Continue reading

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Why Tenured Professors Need Unions

I once got stuck in an airplane sitting next to an off-duty pilot. As we sat on the runway for an hour, only to find that we had to change flight crews and pilots because of the long delay, a … Continue reading

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SEIU Holds 3-Day Strike on U of I Campus

After 9 months of negotiating at UIUC, Building Service and Food Service Workers pulled off an enormously successful strike with 97 percent of the workforce walking off the job and 2/3 picketing over the three days. Garbage overflowed, food was … Continue reading

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Service Employees Fight Back at UIUC

“The … administration has followed a reverse policy of hiring incompetent leadership at the highest prices. If it were up to the university no hourly person would make much more than minimum wage. How are we going to support your … Continue reading

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The New Jim Crow Comes to Champaign-Urbana

If there was one constant during my six-and-a-half years in prison (apart from bad food), it was being surrounded by thousands of  mostly African-American and Latino men doing sentences like twenty, thirty or forty years for drug-related crimes. One friend … Continue reading

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Building a Solidarity Union

How do you build a solidarity-oriented union? Our Graduate Employees Organization has found that looking beyond the campus and using our voice, funds, and organizing skills to help community causes has made us one of the strongest locals in east-central … Continue reading

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Graduate Employee Tuition Waivers, Protecting Public Education, and Boxed Coffee

      As I write this, the Graduate Employees Organization, or GEO, at the University of Illinois is engaged in an effort to protect access to quality public higher education here in Champaign-Urbana. The GEO is a union that … Continue reading

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“Black Cultural Politics in a Color Blind Nation” Lecture by Tricia Rose

“Black Cultural Politics in a Color Blind Nation” Lecture by Tricia Rose (Africana Studies, Brown University) Date: November 1, 2012 Time: 4:00 p.m. Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum Co-Sponsored by IPRH and the Spurlock Museum. David R. Roediger, Kendrick C. … Continue reading

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GEO Holds Rally For Fair Contract

On Sept. 20, the Graduate Employees’ Union held a rally outside of Leavis Faculty Center where inside negotiations were taking place over a new contract.

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UIUC Conference: The Problem of the Twenty-First Century: Race and Racism in and Beyond the United States

THE PROBLEM OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: RACE AND RACISM IN AND BEYOND THE UNITED STATES Transnational Studies and Race/Class/Gender Workshop University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign September 7-8, 2012 Keynote Speaker, Howard Winant, Howard Winant is author of Racial Formation in the … Continue reading

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Wherefore Cultural Centers at UIUC? A New Way Forward

On February 20, 1969, J.W. Peltason, the first Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana (UIUC) and the Faculty Senate began the process to establish the Black Cultural Program-commonly referred to as the Black Cultural Center. Three major factors … Continue reading

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Pre-1968 Foundations of African American Recruitment at the U of I

(767 words)   Pre-1968 Foundations of African American Student Recruitment at the U of I (edited)   Joseph H. Smith   Joseph H. Smith served the U of I as an administrator and English professor from 1964 to 1994.  He … Continue reading

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