Social Justice

Why can’t Olympians smoke weed?

Sha’Carri Richardson, once poised for Olympic gold, will not be running in Tokyo this summer. The news has drawn a sense from supporters that this young, Black track phenom has been wronged by sporting rules on pot that are overdue for a change. USA Track and Field announced that she had not been selected for the U.S. relay team on Tuesday, after she was disqualified earlier from the 100-meter race due to a positive test for THC. Her chances dashed at an Olympic debut, fellow elite athletes hav

7 takeaways from NewsHour’s investigation into harassment Black women in politics face

Black women in politics face a harrowing reality: Harassment, abuse and death threats for doing their jobs as Black women. To better understand their experiences, the PBS NewsHour requested interviews with more than 61 Black women who have held office or run for office at various levels of government and across the political spectrum Eighteen women, 16 of them Democrats, shared their stories. Here’s what they described. Black women are harassed differently than their white or male colleagues. M

More Black women are being elected to office. Few feel safe once they get there

Every day for more than four years, Kiah Morris lived in fear. She developed a safety routine for her family with the help of an international security expert, installed security cameras outside their home and received firearms training. When Morris took office as a Democratic state representative in Vermont in 2015, she was the first Black woman elected to the state’s legislature in 26 years. Her district was located in a county with an estimated population of 36,589 that was about 96 percent

21 lesbian bars remain in America. Owners share why they must be protected

Rachel and Sheila Smallman spent the summer of 2016 traveling the Gulf Coast, trying to find the best place to open a lesbian bar. There were queer bars along the coast, but they largely catered to cisgender gay men. The Smallmans visited at least five cities in four states. On one night, the Smallmans met a friend at a New Orleans gay bar. They were there for about three minutes before some of the patrons and employees started yelling at them to leave because they were women. The couple and t

'No wrong way to be queer': Phoenix nonprofit One n Ten empowers LGBTQ+ youth

'No wrong way to be queer': Phoenix nonprofit One n Ten empowers LGBTQ+ youth One n Ten’s mission is simple: empower LGBTQ+ youth and young adults and help cultivate a world where they are accepted and loved for who they are. The nonprofit provides housing for homeless youth, life skills training, educational programs, youth centers, a summer camp and a community in Phoenix. One n Ten served nearly 1,200 youth and young adults in 2019 and have continued to serve youth online through the COVID

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one has yet succeeded

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one has yet... HOUSTON — Nearly a decade ago, two U.S. cities with large homeless populations tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized giving people housing and help over temporary shelter. But Houston and San Diego took fundamentally different approaches to implementing that strategy, known as Housing First. Houston revamped its entire system to get more people into housing quickly, and it cut homelessness by more than hal

Arizona State University workers join UA in historic decision to unionize

Arizona State University workers announced Thursday that they are forming a union, joining University of Arizona workers in their efforts to advocate for employees in higher education. The union is “wall-to-wall,” meaning that it represents every employee of the university, from student workers to faculty and staff. The local chapter, University Campus Workers of Arizona 7065, was started by UA workers in September and is meant to represent higher education workers across the state. It’s a part

Racial Equity Q&A

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and leading national experts have said that racial equity should be at the center of homeless responses during the COVID-19 pandemic — a recognition that people of color are disproportionately affected by both homelessness and COVID-19. Here’s a look at the issues. Racial equity is not the same as racial equality. HUD addressed this distinction in June when it issued guidance to nonprofits working with homeless populations during the pandemic. Equ

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one succeeded

HOUSTON — Nearly a decade ago, two U.S. cities with large homeless populations tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized giving people housing and help over temporary shelter. But Houston and San Diego took fundamentally different approaches to implementing that strategy, known as Housing First. Houston revamped its entire system to get more people into housing quickly, and it cut homelessness by more than half. San Diego attempted a series of one-off projects but was

Grand Avenue thrift shop owner no longer facing eviction thanks to community support

Grand Avenue thrift shop owner no longer facing eviction thanks to community support Edward Blackwell moved into his thrift store — which is slightly larger than a walk-in closet — on Feb. 4. He said he fell on hard times and couldn’t afford rent at his apartment and the business, and his business landlord said he could live at his store, the Giving Vine Thrift Store inside Desert Sun Plaza on Grand and 15th avenues. Sales slowed down, and even though Blackwell was able to stay afloat with a s

'Houseless not hopeless:' Groups protest the criminalization of homelessness in Phoenix

About 30 people gathered on Twelfth Avenue and Jefferson Street in Phoenix by the Human Services Campus on Sunday afternoon to protest the treatment of people living on the streets by Phoenix police. Advocates and people experiencing homelessness walked by dozens living in tents and on sidewalks as they chanted "houseless not hopeless" and made their way to local nonprofit André House. Many wore shirts that said, "Homes Not Jails." Jesús Villa, a minister at Universal Life Church, said the dis

Protesters' indictments on gang-related charges criticized by attorneys, advocates

Gang-related charges brought by a Maricopa County prosecutor against 15 people protesting police violence drew condemnation from attorneys and community advocates, who said the charges were far too harsh and could intimidate people from exercising their free-speech rights. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office suggested the charges to a grand jury, which returned the indictment last week. The protesters worked together so they couldn't get arrested and turned violent when officers apprehended

Women gather at Phoenix courthouse to protest Amy Coney Barrett's planned confirmation

About 20 women, most of whom are attorneys, dressed in red cloaks and white hoods, walked synchronized in silence in front of the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix on Sunday to honor late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to protest the plan to replace her with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Christina Carter, an attorney who has represented many people arrested at protests against police violence this year, was one of the organizers for the event. The cloaks and hood

Gila County woman says she was forced to drink from jail toilet in lawsuit against Sheriff's Office

A 63-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against the Gila County Sheriff's Office alleging she was falsely imprisoned, assaulted and the county intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon her after she was forced to drink toilet water in the county jail. Tamara Barnicoat, a grandmother who lives in Miami, Arizona, was arrested on Oct. 10, 2019, during a mental health crisis, the lawsuit said. She spent 27 days without her medication prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and depression before

'It's caused us to become targets': 7 arrested in connection to Saturday protest

A protest calling for racial justice and equity began with mindful breathing, closed with a dance party and ended with seven arrests of protesters who were walking to their cars or already driving home Saturday evening. Earlier that evening, Lee Percy Christian — known as Percy — had given a speech to protesters about his experience being targeted by police. "We were in the streets, we were called civil disobedience, good trouble. But it's caused us to become targets," Christian said in the sp

Black Lives Matter mural organizer to host news conference on Phoenix's denial of street mural plan

A Phoenix activist will hold a press conference on Monday morning to address the city denying a request for a Black Lives Matter street mural. The conference will begin at 10 a.m. on the steps of City Hall in downtown Phoenix, said Gizette Knight, one of the organizers. She said she will be addressing inaccuracies in the city manager's letter denying the request and taking questions from the media. The proposed mural would have said "Black Lives Matter" on Third Street between Jefferson and Ja

Woman says she was hurt while being arrested in connection with protest she didn't attend

A Phoenix woman says police injured her while arresting her Friday in connection with a protest that she did not attend and for which charges against her were dropped the next day. Leslie Pico has been an active protester since late May, but she didn't attend the protest Friday commemorating the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. She had celebrated her 34th birthday the day before and said she was taking a bre
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