Social Justice Learning: LGBTQ+, Pride, and Allyship

In honor of Pride Month, our digital Social Justice Learning space is revisiting the experiences of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning in America. Begin exploring this topic today.

Left: Reginald Hardwick, Right: Elzie Johnson

Photo courtesy of Reginald Hardwick

The 21st Show - June 17, 2021

Gaining Family Again After 48 Years

The 21st spoke to an Illinois man, born to an American serviceman in Vietnam, who connected with his birth father through DNA testing — only to find out they'd been living less than 100 miles away from each other. They joined The 21st to speak about meeting after 48 years.

John Hanlon, right, has stayed in contact with Rolando Cruz, left, a man he describes as “a great father” to four children.

Illinois Innocence Project

The 217 Today Podcast - June 17, 2021

217 Today: Thursday, June 17, 2021

In today's deep dive, a conversation with John Hanlon, who is retiring. Hanlon is the director of the Illinois Innocence Project who helped change the state of Illinois.

The 21st Show - June 16, 2021

Rebroadcast: Lincoln’s Thoughts Documented Through Archived Scraps of Paper

Through fragmented notes left on scraps of paper, Lincoln aimed to document his best thoughts that could later come in handy when he needed to write a speech or lay down his arguments in debates. Over 100 of these notes have been archived and are considered the closest thing to a diary by author Ronald C. White. White joined The 21st to further discuss Lincoln's documented thoughts. 

Mike Mozart/Flickr

The 21st Show - June 16, 2021

Why Are the Ice Cream Machines Always McBroken?

The internet is full of memes poking fun at how often McDonald’s ice cream machines seem to be broken — but there may be some truth to the McBroken stereotype. The 21st spoke to a technology reporter about this cold case of failing ice cream machines and what’s behind it. 

Nearly half of Illinoisans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and some are relishing the freedom to resume certain activities. Others are struggling with feelings of anxiety, despite being vaccinated.

David Kovaluk/St. Louis Public Radio

The 217 Today Podcast - June 16, 2021

217 Today: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

In today's deep dive, with nearly half of Illinoisans fully vaccinated against COVID-19, some people are relishing a return to normalcy, while others are struggling with anxiety. A psychologist explains where this anxiety might come from and ways to cope with it. 

UIS Brookens Library Archives via NPR Illinois

The 21st Show - June 15, 2021

Race Massacres in Illinois

Black soldiers who fought in the World War were hopeful that their efforts fighting for the country would be enough to finally grant them equality, but instead they were greeted with a sweeping of racial violence and riots across the country in 1919, a period known as the Red Summer. 

AP Photo/Jenny Kane

The 21st Show - June 15, 2021

Ransomware Threats in IL

Rasomware attacks have become increasingly common and to discuss the proliferation of ransomware attacks in Illinois, The 21st was joined by the CEO of a cyber reconnaissaince company, a reporter covering cybersecurity and Chair of the Department of Information Technology and Management at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

Capitol News Illinois

The 217 Today Podcast - June 15, 2021

217 Today: Tuesday, June 15, 2021

In today's deep dive, most states don't allow trans people to correct their names on marriage certificates, even after going through a legal name change. But legislators and advocates hope to make Illinois the second state to permit marriage certificate name changes.

Juneteenth flag

The 21st Show - June 14, 2021

Celebrating Juneteenth In Illinois

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Major Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army, informed enslaved people in Texas that they were free. It happened years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The 21st was joined by three guests to talk about Juneteenth celebrations across Illinois.

With a gift of $5 or more per month, WILL Passport provides extended access to your favorite PBS and WILL-TV programs, on-demand, anytime, anywhere.

Be a Sustainer Make a One-Time Gift

Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Newsroom powered by WILL

Visit for the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including COVID-19 disease cases in Illinois.

WILL Highlights

The 21st

21st century radio for the 21st state. Weekdays at 11 am on WILL-AM 580.

Support Provided By