University of Illinois Press
February 13, 2014

The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers

After sifting through thousands of documents, Brian Dolinar finished a book started over 70 years ago. The work he helped to complete? "The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers."


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WILL AM-580 staffers in the 1930's
November 25, 2013

Encore: The Future for AM Radio

Can terrestrial radio survive in a digital era? This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a talk with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai about why he’s trying to save AM radio.


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WILL AM-580 staffers in the 1930's
September 16, 2013

The Future for AM Radio

Can terrestrial radio survive in a digital era? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai about why he’s trying to save AM radio.


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Associated Press
August 26, 2013

Remembering the March on Washington

50 years ago this week, hundreds of thousands descended upon Washington D.C. for one of the largest protest marches of the civil rights movement. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Champaign-Urbana native Bill Smith about what it was like to be there. We’ll also talk with Sundiata Cha-Jua about the march’s historical significance.


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James McCollum and his mother Vashti McCollum are pictured at a court hearing.
IllinoisTimes
March 07, 2013

McCollum v the Board of Education

It’s been 65 years since the US Supreme Court Case McCollum v Board of Education made Vashti McCollum of Champaign one of the most notorious atheists in the country. During this hour, host Jim Meadows talks with filmmaker Jay Rosenstein about his awarding winning documentary “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today” and Ken Paulson of the First Amendment Center about the case, it’s continuing implications and the now famous phrase “separation of church and state.”


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Rainbow Flag With Illinois Outline
January 09, 2013

Rainbow Illinois: A Survey of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Central Illinois

Attitudes towards and about the gay community are changing rapidly. At the ballot box this fall, voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington voted to support same sex marriage. Many organizations have anti-discrimination policies that include language regarding sexual orientation. Younger people seem more inclusive than previous generations when it comes to sexuality. And yet, there are still people in the gay community who feel they are not fully a part of the wider community around them. And there are those in that wider world who aren’t ready to accept gay people as full citizens.


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December 27, 2012

Interview with Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre.  A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status.  Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am


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December 07, 2012

This Indian Country: American Indian Activists and the Place They Made

For years, Frederick Hoxie asked students to name three American Indians and almost universally, the names mentioned were the same: Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Many Americans see Indians as occupying a position outside the central narrative of American history. It’s almost a given that Native history has no particular relationship to the conventional story of America. Indian history may be seen as short and sad, one that ended a long time ago.

In This Indian Country, Hoxie creates a counter-narrative; Native American history is also a story of political activism, with victories in courts and campaigns rather than on the battlefield. For more than two hundred years, Indian activists have sought to bridge the distance between their cultures and the republican democracy of the United States through legal and political debate. Over time their struggle defined a new language of “Indian rights” and created a vision of American Indian identity, engendering a dialogue with other activist movements.

Among the people discussed in “This Indian Country” is Sarah Winnemucca, who was the first American Indian woman to publish a book in the U-S. Follow the link below to read Winnemucca’s “Life Among the Piutes.”


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