By Neda Ulaby American high school students, who were born after the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, are grimly accustomed to shooting drills and regular, if not daily, reports of gun violence on the news. It was the 2018 school shooting at Parkland, Fla., that helped catalyze Enough! Plays to End Gun Violence. The yearly contest encourages young people to write plays addressing how ongoing shootings affect American lives. But founder Michael Cotey spent most of his professional life as a theater geek, not an activist. “We’re kind of always in a state of being bruised and battered,” he
By Nick Corasaniti Just three years ago, Mississippi had an election law on its books from an 1890 constitutional convention that was designed to uphold “white supremacy” in the state. The law created a system for electing statewide officials that was similar to the Electoral College — and that drastically reduced the political power of Black voters. Voters overturned the Jim Crow-era law in 2020. This summer, a federal court threw out another law, also from 1890, that had permanently stripped voting rights from people convicted of a range of felonies. (The case is currently tied up on appeal, with no
By Char Adams Journalists Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, authors of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “His Name Is George Floyd,” are still unclear why they were told they couldn’t read from their book or talk about systemic racism to a room full of high school students in Memphis. Two days before an event at Whitehaven High School, they said they were “blindsided” by the last-minute restrictions, which they believed event organizers issued in accordance with Tennessee laws restricting certain books in schools. They said they’d also been told the week before the appearance that their book wouldn’t be distributed at the event.
Written By Sequoia Carillo Each morning, Stephanie Nichols gathers her second graders around a table to eat breakfast and start their day. As the kids unpack their knapsacks and settle into the classroom, Nichols likes to listen more than she speaks. Breakfast table conversation can be about anything – from video games to the New England Patriots. But in recent weeks the table was buzzing about one thing: the mass shooting in Lewiston that left 18 people dead and 13 wounded. The event resulted in a multi-day search that closed schools and left the community on lockdown. Nichols teaches at Narragansett Elementary School
By Abbie VanSickle The Supreme Court issued an ethics code on Monday after a series of revelations about undisclosed property deals and gifts intensified pressure on the justices to adopt one. In a statement, the justices said they had established the code of conduct “to set out succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the members of the court.” Left unclear was how the rules would be enforced, and the court said that it was still studying how any code would be put into effect. “For the most part these rules and principles
By Kendra Lee When all the ballots were tallied on Friday, St. Paul, Minnesota, voters had done something remarkable: They had elected the first all-female council in the city’s history. According to the Star Tribune, the incoming council is historic for its youth and racial diversity, too. All seven members are younger than 40, and six are women of color. The City Council has not seen this much change at one time since the 1990s. It only makes sense that city leaders look like the people they serve. The makeup of the new council reflects demographic shifts in St. Paul’s population.
By Angela Johnson Conservative Republicans stay coming for White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Back in June, ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson hurled a series of insults her way, calling her “the dumbest, nastiest, most dishonest” person that President Joe Biden could find for the job. Name-calling, while disrespectful, is something that comes with the job. But this time, they took it too far when they tried to go after her pockets. Representative Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) introduced an amendment to reduce Jean-Pierre’s salary to $1. But it didn’t get the backing it needed to pass, as 54 Republicans sided with all Democrats against the
By Donna M. Owens In one of her campaign ads, Cherelle Parker, then the Democratic nominee for mayor in Philadelphia, speaks candidly about the power of representation. “We’ve had 99 mayors and not one of them looks like you or me,” she told voters. “Let’s just say that I’ll bring a different touch.” Indeed, Parker was handily elected Philadelphia’s 100th mayor on Tuesday, with 73.8% of the vote against Republican David Oh. The win is historic, with Parker shattering barriers to become both the city’s first woman and first Black woman in its executive seat. Born to a single teenage mother who died during Parker’s
Exonerated “Central Park Five” member Yusef Salaam won a seat Tuesday on the New York City Council, completing a stunning reversal of fortune decades after he was wrongly imprisoned in an infamous rape case. Salaam, a Democrat, will represent a central Harlem district on the City Council, having run unopposed for the seat in one of many local elections held across New York state Tuesday. He won his primary election in a landslide. The victory comes more than two decades after DNA evidence was used to overturn the convictions of Salaam and four other Black and Latino men in the 1989 rape
BY Thalia Beaty The HBCU Transformation Project, a coalition of 40 historically Black colleges and universities, on Wednesday announced a $124 million gift from philanthropic funders Blue Meridian Partners to increase enrollment, graduation rates and employment rates for the schools’ graduates. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF, which is acting as an intermediary overseeing the funding, called the donation a vote of confidence in the coalition, which includes public and private schools. “This very significantly scaled grant from them signals to the philanthropic community that this is a really good investment to make,” he said of the Blue Meridian gift.