Melody Benjamin works as a personal assistant for her mother Mae Benjamin.

Courtesy of Melody Benjamin

September 25, 2018

Illinois Issues: The Janus Effect - Will African-American Women Pay?

Some experts say black women could feel financial pain if union membership declines as a result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, which decreed that public sector unions can no longer force workers they represent to pay fees in lieu of union dues. But conservative groups are cheering Janus v. AFSCME as a victory for workers’ free speech rights.


Aretha Franklin performs at the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C., in 2013. Franklin died on Thursday in Detroit.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin Was America’s Truest Voice

Aretha Franklin's voice is the voice of America. No other contemporary artist embodied the nation's brash optimism with as much flair, nor exemplified its sorrow-forged resilience as convincingly. No one better expressed American joy. Her murmurs gave shape to a sensuality that defeated repressive moral codes and replaced them with the commandments of tenderness, of sweet bitter love. Her high notes made hope happen. When she sang, we remembered that we could walk on the moon.


Delia Barajas and Elizabeth Morales, members of the community group Ixchel, review materials they’ve used to educate Cicero and Berwyn residents about school discipline and racial disparities.

April Alonso/The Chicago Reporter

July 20, 2018

Racial Disparities Persist In School Discipline

A series of state laws meant to reduce the number of kids getting kicked out of school appears to have worked. That’s the good news. But the bad news is: Those same laws also seem to have magnified racial disparities in school discipline.


University of Illinois Press

July 02, 2018

‘Reflections Of An Undocumented Immigrant’; The ‘Old Slave House’; Joffrey Ballet

On this encore edition of the 21st: Our conversation with Jose Angel N., author of 'Illegal: Reflections Of An Undocumented Immigrant.' Plus, the story of a house in southern Illinois whose owner kidnapped free black men and women -- and sold them back into slavery in Kentucky. And, we revisit our interview about the Joffrey Ballet's 8th Annual 'Winning Works' competition.


Donte' Lotts of CU Fresh Start speaks in front of a crowd of people at the Douglass branch library.

Lee V. Gaines / Illinois Public Media

June 30, 2018

As Shootings Rise, Champaign-Urbana Leaders Grapple With Gun Violence

The group gathered at the Douglass branch of the Champaign Public Library for a special meeting of the Champaign Community Coalition. It was an opportunity, said facilitator Tracy Parsons, to brainstorm why shootings are on the rise, and what the community can do to curb the violence.


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Stories behind the people working within the classical music discipline in central Illinois


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