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Rich Egger

Around 75 people from Macomb and surrounding communities gathered at Veterans Park on a sunny, breezy, and mild November morning. They sang and read from scriptures to promote unity through diversity.

A propane tank painted to look like a watermelon sits in front of a produce stand on Highway 150 in Fayette County, Iowa. Its long-time owner, Atrus (Attie) Stepp, who was Black, launched Fayette’s annual Watermelon Days festival in 1976.

“Everybody’s got good things to say about Attie,” said Charles Downs, who runs the stand now. 

Downs, who is white, bought the stand from Stepp’s daughter, ending the family’s long legacy. 

“Conservatively, I’d say it’s been here 80 years, at least, and it’s probably... maybe a hundred,” Downs said.

Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun had the honor of casting Illinois’ votes during the traditional roll call Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, helping nominate Joe Biden for president.   

 

The number of families experiencing food insecurity has hit a record due to the pandemic, and Black and Hispanic families are disproportionately affected.

 

Rich Egger

The only Black member of the Macomb City Council said a fellow city council member made a false accusation against her, and she does not take it lightly.

TSPR file photo

This year's Juneteenth celebration in Macomb included another Black Lives Matter demonstration along the north end of Chandler Park. Food and beverages were also available as people gathered in the park for the late afternoon event.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin met with faith and community leaders in Springfield over the weekend at Union Baptist Church to discuss legislation to address police conduct.

Durbin said the measure - set to be introduced this week - would include a ban on the use of chokeholds, outline acceptable use of force by officers, and make recommendations on recruitment and training. He’s joining Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both former Democratic presidential candidates, in sponsoring the Justice In Policing Act.

Chicago Reps Want Special Session to Deal with Police Reform Issues

Jun 4, 2020

At least three Illinois House members say they want a special legislative session to strike on issues of law enforcement reform and accountability while police brutality has the nation's focus.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said state government has been extending help to communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic . The governor also offered a stern warning to employers failing to protect their employees from contracting the virus on the job.

Citing statistics showing blacks with COVID-19 are five times more likely to die than white patients, the state is taking steps to address the disproportionate impact. 

Courtesy of Lindsey Jensen

About half of Gladys Marquez's students can't access the internet at home. Marquez teaches English language learners at Dwight Eisenhower High School in Blue Island on Chicago's south side. The school serves predominantly students of color from low-income backgrounds. 

Rich Egger

In recent weeks, there have been hosted discussions and meetings, as well as dialogue on social media, regarding race relations, inclusivity, and moving our community forward. As the mayor of Macomb, I have been involved in the meetings hosted by the NAACP and others, and I have personally met with many of our community's leaders and residents.

Why Are There So Few Black Men In Medicine?

Feb 18, 2019

Dr. Don Arnold’s home office overflows with medical textbooks, old anatomical prints and six pages of a recommendation letter from his first application to medical school - framed and hanging on the wall.

“It says I have very unique and viable talents that would serve me well, but on paper a very poor academic record,” he says. “So this is code. For those who don’t know. Nobody’s going to outwardly tell you not to take a person, but this is how they write it in code.”

The Democratic candidate for Illinois governor is facing a racial discrimination lawsuit against his campaign — from his own campaign workers.

Ten current and former staffers accuse J.B. Pritzker’s campaign operation of subjecting them to harassment and retaliation. Pritzker denies the accusations.

Joyce Russell/Iowa Public Radio

Racial profiling by Iowa law enforcement was the focus of discussion Tuesday at the annual Summit on Justice and Disparities, sponsored by the NAACP.   The gathering focuses each year on the disproportionate presence of African-Americans in Iowa's Criminal Justice System.  

Earlier this month, we reported on the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield and what's being done to remember and reconcile 110 years after the violence broke out. As part of that reporting, we spoke with Kelly Wickham Hurst, CEO and founder of the advocacy organization Being Black at School.