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Virginia Makes Progress as Push to Restore Voting Rights Grows

Virginia Makes Progress as Push to Restore Voting Rights Grows

RICHMOND, Va. – On a steamy early August afternoon outside Broomfield Christian Methodist Church, along a desolate stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway in this former Confederate capital, William Irvin Banks Jr. recalled rejoicing when Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe restored his right to vote. But Banks’ eyes suddenly turned downcast. And he could hardly contain his […]

Restoring Voting for Ex-Felons Is a Civil Rights Focus for 2016

Restoring Voting for Ex-Felons Is a Civil Rights Focus for 2016

Disenfranchising people for past criminal convictions has a long history. In ancient Greece and Rome, they had a name for stripping away people’s voting rights and other rights: “civil death.” English colonists brought ex-felon disenfranchisement to America. Today, for 4.3 million American citizens who have left prison after doing time for a felony, freedom quickly […]

U.S. Government to End Use of Some Private Prisons

U.S. Government to End Use of Some Private Prisons

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration announced Thursday it will phase out its use of some private prisons, affecting thousands of federal inmates and immediately sending shares of the two publicly traded prison operators plunging. In a memo to the Bureau of Prisons, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told it to start reducing “and ultimately […]

Illinois Domestic Workers Win Wage Victory With Bill of Rights

Illinois Domestic Workers Win Wage Victory With Bill of Rights

Workers won what they are calling a “monumental change” Aug. 12, when Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation into law that will ensure an estimated 35,000 domestic workers are paid the prevailing minimum wage, earn time off and gain other basic workplace rights. The victory caps a five-year grassroots campaign to gain protections for house […]

Navajos Sue Over Mine Spill That Put Arsenic and Lead Into Rivers

Navajos Sue Over Mine Spill That Put Arsenic and Lead Into Rivers

Leaders of one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as their attorneys sued Tuesday, claiming negligence in the cleanup of a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye stood on the bank of the San Juan River in northwestern […]

Raising Voices in Chicago to Stop Crime and Foster Healing

Raising Voices in Chicago to Stop Crime and Foster Healing

On Aug. 4, more than 100 grassroots advocates and community members gathered in Chicago at the HopeWell M.B. Church to launch the “Survivors Alliance for Justice and Healing.” They also shared stories about their lives. For the participants, a key part of the solution to achieve that justice and promote healing in Chicago is a […]

Close Alabama’s Medicaid Gap to Save Money and Lives

Close Alabama’s Medicaid Gap to Save Money and Lives

Imagine you’re uninsured and thinking about buying health insurance. If good coverage is available, you’d want to know if you could afford the premiums and out-of-pocket costs. But those aren’t the only factors that determine affordability. You’d also need to subtract the cost of going without insurance: the doctor visits and prescriptions you’re paying for […]

Want to Fix U.S. Schools? Look to Native American Communities

Want to Fix U.S. Schools? Look to Native American Communities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hidden in a corner of this city, amid a gleaming office park, strip malls, vacant lots, Interstate 40, and perhaps the city’s nicest Starbucks, is a two-story school that holds one of the country’s most promising educational models for Native American students. The Native American Community Academy sits in New Mexico’s biggest […]

A Native American School Develops Future Leaders

A Native American School Develops Future Leaders

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you want to understand the Native American Community Academy, a good place to start is its relationship with one of this city’s pioneering grassroots organizations, Americans for Indian Opportunity. The academy, which is often simply known as NACA, has been working with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) since before its first school […]

Keep the Faith: The Lending Reform Movement in Ala. Will Win

Keep the Faith: The Lending Reform Movement in Ala. Will Win

It’s no secret that tremendous wealth can open doors, and you don’t have to look far to see the colossal power of money in the political process, both here in Alabama and across the country. In Alabama, the high-cost lending industries are throwing hefty sums of money around, merging affluence with influence and hoping to […]

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