Category Archives: Voices

The Case for Reparations: Champaign County

According to the Descendants Truth and Reconciliation Foundation, Black people in America own 10 cents of wealth for every dollar a white person owns, have lower life expectancies and higher unemployment, will earn $1 million less during their lifetimes, are … Continue reading

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What is the Radical Black Church?

How Do We Define the “Black” Church? In some sense, the Black Church can be readily defined by its music, style of preaching and sounds. Yet these are only surface definitions—it is so much more. The Black Church was born … Continue reading

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Criminology Mixology

Criminalization, abolition, and prison reform have long been third-rail issues in America. The only benefit to this impasse of ideologies is the mountain of research that has been collected in the interim. Those of us in camp reality, camp humanity, … Continue reading

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The Prison Economy from the Inside

Nineteen-year-old Shamar Betts of Urbana had no previous criminal record when he was arrested for “inciting a riot” via a Facebook post he wrote after witnessing the video of George Floyd’s murder in 2020. He was sentenced to three years … Continue reading

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Black History: Is This Really 2024?

I am a mother of three sons and a grandmother of 83 years of age. This incident happened on Wednesday, January 31, in the middle of the afternoon. I was going to visit a friend and on the way, I … Continue reading

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Posted in African American, African American history, African American women, African Americans, Section, Voices, Voices of Color, Women | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Black History: Is This Really 2024?

Who is Un-American?

This article, commissioned for the Public i, appeared first in a longer version in Monthly Review on November 29, 2023, under the title “Gender, Labor, Democracy, and Americanism: U.S. History in the (Un)Making”; reprinted with permission. In the early hours of Monday, May 15, … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism, labor, Labor militancy, Labor/Economics, Section, Voices, Women, Women, wonen's rights | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Who is Un-American?

She’s Everything and Everywhere: Riffs on Barbie and the Barbie Movie

Barbie deserved her own biopic. More than one billion Barbie dolls have been shipped and sold around the world since her premier in 1959, and factories in Asia are still spewing her out. From her hair down to the pink … Continue reading

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At the Feds

Shamar Betts had no previous criminal record but was sentenced to three years in federal prison for “inciting a riot” through a Facebook post he wrote after witnessing the video of George Floyd’s murder in 2020. He was also made … Continue reading

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There Is Only Old People Here. All the Children Are Gone

There’s no hope for a better tomorrow. There’s no vision or dream for a better reason. The paths are darkened by fear and evil forces that dwells in the darkness that roams the corners of the street. There is only … Continue reading

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Pre-Roe Reproductive Rights Underground: The Story of the Janes

We are back in pre-Roe Chicago. A doctor speaks about sepsis, the emergency rooms overflowing daily with feverish women dying from botched efforts to rid themselves of unwanted pregnancies. Another woman recalls her phone interactions with a mob operative. Yes, … Continue reading

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The Danville Abortion Clinic Troubles

Mary Catherine Roberson, chair of the Danville chapter of Personal Pac, warns, “do not take it for granted that because you live in Illinois, you are safe. If the anti-abortion forces start organizing in your town, reach out to Personal … Continue reading

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Code Blue: Suffering through DWB in Rantoul

This essay, submitted to the Rantoul Press in 2009, was never published. The author shares it now to give context to community concerns with policing in Rantoul in the wake of recent police shootings of young Black men. “You were … Continue reading

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Posted in African Americans, African Americans, Champaign County, Justice, Police, police accountability, Police Brutality, Police brutality, Policing, Racism, Section, Voices | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Code Blue: Suffering through DWB in Rantoul

Community of Urbana-Champaign Cooperative Housing to Reduce the Post-Pandemic Youth Housing Divide

Housing cooperatives have a long history in the US. In university towns like C-U, those laboratories of young people assume new importance in the post-pandemic city. Escaping the logic of a typical landlord-tenant agreement, members self-manage and maintain the houses … Continue reading

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The Kingfisher is Flying to Illinois

In 2007 the UIUC Board of Trustees acknowledged the opposition of faculty, student organizations, and NCAA guidelines prohibiting the use of race-based mascots in intercollegiate athletics, and voted to eliminate “Chief Illiniwek” as the campus mascot. Tired of waiting for … Continue reading

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Anti-Abortion Centers Mislead People at Their Most Vulnerable

Reproductive justice: the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities. This past January, on the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, SisterSong … Continue reading

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Posted in abortion rights, Feminism, Healthcare, Reproductive Justice, Section, Voices, Women, Women, wonen's rights, Youth | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Anti-Abortion Centers Mislead People at Their Most Vulnerable

Diesel Therapy

The odyssey of Urbana resident Shamar Betts continues. Betts was arrested for authoring a Facebook post at age 19 in the wake of the George Floyd murder in 2020. He was sentenced to four years in federal prison and charged … Continue reading

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UIUC GEO Wins a Progressive Contract

Graduate workers across the US have been hard-hit by the skyrocketing inflation induced by federal mismanagement of monetary policy that is being felt by all too many working-class people. The laughable wage increases that were “handed” to many low-paid workers … Continue reading

Posted in labor, Labor/Economics, Public Universities, Section, Students, union soldarity, University of Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Voices | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on UIUC GEO Wins a Progressive Contract

The Lavenders: Past and Present Queer Journalism in Champaign-Urbana

On February 23, UCIMC Executive Director Miriam Larson hosted a virtual conversation with representatives of two generations of activists in Champaign-Urbana. Mary Lee Sargent, former director of Parkland College’s Women’s Studies Program (now residing in New Hampshire), was one of … Continue reading

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Slaves—Our Ancestors

We give praise to those who came before us, fighting for the right to be free. Who were they? They are our ancestors, who suffered unendurable pain. Pain, from the snake-like whip that mutilated their flesh as it bit into … Continue reading

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Posted in African American history, African American Women in Champaign-Urbana, African Americans, Arts, Local Arts, Section, Violence, Voices, Women | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Slaves—Our Ancestors

Illinois Correctional System: What Is It Really?

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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