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Civil Rights Act
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:48am
Fri Nov 7, 2014

Panelists: Movement For Domestic Workers' Rights Is Growing, But Much Work Remains

The national movement to win dignity and labor protections for domestic workers is growing, but there remains much work ahead to ensure nannies, house cleaners and caregivers are guaranteed basic rights on the job.

Domestic workers, Arise Chicago organizers and author Sheila Bapat spoke on the status of the domestic worker movement at a Thursday evening panel discussion at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Gallery 400. Bapat recently wrote a book on the fight to secure rights for domestic workers.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:48pm
Tue Oct 14, 2014

Chicagoans Speak Out Against School Actions Cited In Federal Civil Rights Complaint

U.S. Department of Education officials heard first-hand stories about the impact public school closings and consolidations are having in Chicago at a South Side community meeting held Monday night with parents, students and their supporters.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is currently looking into a complaint filed by education activists alleging "racially discriminatory" school actions and closings in Chicago. Organizers with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) and the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School spearheaded the town hall meeting, held at First Unitarian Church of Chicago in Hyde Park. The discussion was designed to allow education department reps to hear directly from the people affected by the school actions cited in the complaint. The two education department officials were at the meeting strictly to listen.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:04pm
Mon Jul 14, 2014

Foster, Community Leaders Analyze Modern Day Civil Rights Issues (VIDEO)

The country has made great strides in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, but much remains to be accomplished, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) said at a panel discussion on the topic in Darien Monday morning.

July 2 marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and natural origin.

"As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and all the steps forward ... we really have to continue to ask ourselves: What are the great civil right struggles that we face today," Foster asked at the talk with community members, held at the Indian Prairie Public Library in DuPage County.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:50pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Report: School Closures, Charter Expansion Causing 'Catastrophic' Harm To U.S. Minority Communities

On the heels of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared state-mandated public school segregation unconstitutional, dozens of grassroots organizations across the country say the push by education "reformers" to close and privatize schools is having a devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color. Progress Illinois takes a look at a new report on the matter released by Journey for Justice Alliance, a national network of grassroots community groups.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:23pm
Mon Dec 2, 2013

National Report: Many Domestic Workers Struggle To Make Ends Meet Due To Low Wages, Few Benefits

The country's growing number of in-home workers are more likely to live in poverty compared to those in other occupations due to low wages and the lack of benefits they typically receive, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows.

In 2012, there were nearly 2 million domestic workers, such as nannies, house cleaners and caregivers, most of whom were women and disproportionately immigrant, according to the report. Overall, in-home workers made up 1.6 percent of the nation's total workforce last year.

Many in-home workers are susceptible to exploitation on the job because they typically do not have employment contracts with their employer and often work in the shadows, the report noted.

“In-home workers, who are mostly female and largely women of color and immigrants, are a critical and growing part of the economy, yet they are grievously underpaid and lack the benefits that similar workers receive in other sectors,” EPI economist and the report's author Heidi Shierholz said in a statement. “Our country is wealthy enough so that workers who play such vital caretaking roles should be able to earn a decent wage. We need policies to protect these workers and help ensure they’re paid what they deserve.”