WBEZ | African-Americans http://www.wbez.org/tags/african-americans-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Black Youth Project 100 Calls for Reparations, Releases Policy Agenda http://www.wbez.org/news/black-youth-project-100-calls-reparations-releases-policy-agenda-114668 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14736238518_ea1654827d_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Two groups have called recently for reparations in response to discrimination against black Americans.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">In its <a href="http://agendatobuildblackfutures.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/BYP_AgendaBlackFutures_booklet_web.pdf">policy agenda</a> released Monday, the Chicago-based advocacy group Black Youth Project 100 said dismantling the lingering impacts of white supremacy &ldquo;will require creative solutions that are a mix of financial settlements, implementing policies that eliminate obstacles to wealth for Black people and transforming the popular historical narrative about Black people in America.&rdquo;</div></div></div></div><p>The model is a landmark <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/06/462114331/victims-of-chicago-police-torture-paid-reparations-decades-later">Chicago reparations package</a> for police torture survivors.</p><p>&ldquo;Closing the gender and race gap, protection for queer and trans folks, workers&rsquo; bill of rights, investing in our communities -- all of these things can be put into a reparations framework because we have to look at the root cause of all of these issues and they&rsquo;re all a product of harm that&rsquo;s been done through government and corporations that profited off of black bodies and labor,&rdquo; said Janae Bonsu, national public policy chair for BYP100.</p><p>Last week a United Nations working group on racism against blacks concluded its U.S. visit and offered <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/un-experts-address-black-racial-discrimination-us-114650">preliminary recommendation</a>s, which include urging Congress to study reparations as a way to confront a racist past and policies that still hurt black people.</p><p>BYP100 wants its agenda to be a national &ldquo;lobbying tool or a guideline to empower young black activists and organizers to create actual legislative policy or to campaign to lobby officials,&rdquo; Bonsu said.</p><p>An extension of work around the Black Lives Matter movement, the report offers several recommendations, from raising the minimum wage to addressing predatory lending.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a big misconception about this entire movement -- that we&rsquo;re just young black people who are angry and we&rsquo;re just bodies at a rally protesting with signs and we have no real concrete vision of what we want,&rdquo; Bonsu said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s just simply not true. This [report] is a testament to what we want.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. You can follow her on <a href="http://ttps://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/black-youth-project-100-calls-reparations-releases-policy-agenda-114668 The Black Millennial Vote http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-25/black-millennial-vote-114609 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Millennial Voters-Jon Dickson.png" alt="" /><p><div>With the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the upcoming 2016 election, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/half-black-millennials-know-victim-police-violence-113628">black millennials</a> are a key demographic for Democrats.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But some young black men and women say they don&rsquo;t want to be seen as an automatic vote for whichever Democrat happens to be on the ballot.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/01/will_black_millennials_dance_with_the_party_of_our_parents.html">Will Black Millennials Dance with the Party of Our Parents</a>?&rdquo; That&rsquo;s the question <a href="https://twitter.com/NyleFort?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Nyle Fort</a> poses in his recent article for TheRoot.com. Fort, a minister, organizer and scholar at Princeton University, joins us for a discussion.</div></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-25/black-millennial-vote-114609 More African-Americans Are Learning Their Roots with Genetic Testing http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/more-african-americans-are-learning-their-roots-genetic <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/dnatest.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tracing your genealogy has become a popular hobby in the United States. More than 1 million people around the country have taken these tests. Shows like PBS&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Finding Your Roots</em>&nbsp;have shown the public how much information you can find out about your family tree with a simple DNA test.</p><p>It might be surprising that genetic sleuthing has become part of pop culture, but it probably isn&#39;t so shocking that this has become particularly important to one demographic. African-Americans of all different backgrounds were intentionally divorced from their ancestral stories by the slave trade and all that followed.</p><div id="con464181626" previewtitle="Book Edition Information"><div id="res464181658" previewtitle="The Social Life of DNA"><div><p>Author and Columbia sociology professor Alondra Nelson&#39;s new book&nbsp;<em>The Social Life Of DNA</em>&nbsp;looks at the interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the African-American community.</p></div></div></div><p>In an interview with NPR&#39;s Michel Martin, Nelson considers how this technology is changing the way many African-Americans see themselves and their place in the American story.</p><p>Interview highlights below contain some web-only answers. Click the audio link above to hear the whole interview.</p><div><hr /></div><h3>Interview Highlights</h3><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/464181585/the-social-life-of-dna-race-reparations-and-reconciliation-after-the-genome"><img alt="The Social Life of DNA" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/t/the-social-life-of-dna/9780807033012_custom-7f8b6d0faf53e58462abcb39fd65ac70dcf1735b-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson" /></a></p><p><strong>On African-Americans&#39; skepticism of medical testing</strong></p><p>How does a community that had really been the object of scientific and medical scrutiny for generations &mdash; with really negative outcomes &mdash; come to see science and technology as a positive thing, or something that can be used for self-knowledge and liberation? That was a question for me as well.</p><p>And what I discovered over the course of this decade of research is that people find the stakes are really high, but they also find that the benefits are really high for communities. ...</p><p>Many people talk to me about living their whole lives wanting to know who they were, in the sense of who they were before the slave trade, who they were with regards to African ancestry. And to have this as a prevailing question for your whole life means that if you can find something that might help you answer that question, that it might be worth making the leap, despite that history.</p><p><strong>On using the DNA technology for those seeking reparations for slavery</strong></p><p>This is a moment where genetic technology is being used for an endeavor that many African-Americans had tried to accomplish for decades and generations: reparations. And they&#39;re using genetic technology which has not always historically been a friend to black communities if we think about the legacy of eugenics for example. And they&#39;re using this to try to get freedom and restitution for black people.</p><p>So it&#39;s an interesting case in that it&#39;s &ndash; to the best that I could discern &ndash; it&#39;s the first time that genetic ancestry testing is introduced in a civil case. ... It continues the long drumbeat for reparations in American society by generations of people &ndash; a drumbeat that comes again in 2014 with the publication of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/">Ta-Nehesi Coates essay</a>&nbsp;in<em>&nbsp;The Atlantic</em>. And because genetics is thought here to pose a new answer to a very old and longstanding question in black political culture.</p><p><strong>On her own test results</strong></p><p>Part of what I learned in the course of doing the research is that I am an outlier in this regard. Many of the people I spoke to &ndash; whether they were 25 or 65, had lived their whole lives wanting to know where in Africa their ancestors were from. ...</p><p>I was well aware of the ritual and performance of the reveal. So I thought to myself if I&#39;m gonna do this I&#39;m gonna do it in a big public way &ndash; in a reveal. ...</p><p>When the chief science officer of the African Ancestry Company announced my results as being an inference to the Bamileke people at Cameroon, things just sort of went from there. I didn&#39;t have to perform so much because everyone was just so happy and enthused about the results for me. It was a very emotional experience.</p><p><strong>How she felt when learning about her heritage</strong></p><div id="res464182729"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>I had no idea what the result was going to be. I found it informative and interesting. So it was a bit surreal, and it was fun.</p><p>But it was actually more meaningful to my mother, who right away &ndash; like so many of the people that I interviewed in my book &mdash; within I would say, within a couple of weeks my mother calls and says &quot;I met a lady from Cameroon at church and she&#39;s Bamileke,&quot; and then she was at the dinner table &ndash; this was a few years ago. And this past Thanksgiving she was at our table with her husband and her son, she&#39;s part of our family now.</p><p><strong>On the future of genetic testing</strong></p><p>The industry is continuing to grow, it shows no signs of stemming. I think this will continue to happen as people will continue to make meaning and stories and relationships and new connections out of the evidence. I think that that space that you describe as on the one hand being knowledgeable about the technology or science at times being the enemy of black communities. On the other hand, being a friend. So friend or foe.</p><p>I think that&#39;s actually not a bad place to be. I think that&#39;s our contemporary modern condition for all of us.</p><p>You see it with the Black Lives Matter movement. The very technology that&#39;s used to surveil young activists, has also been turned against police authorities and the state to advance that political agenda.</p><p>So we&#39;re living in a moment that is the social life of DNA and is the social life of technology. It&#39;s very much the driver of who we are and what we do. I think having that critical, nuanced perspective that maybe we could say is particular to or comes out or has a particular inspiration in the experiences of black people who come to often science and technology with this critical perspective, is I think not a bad place to be in this historical moment.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/24/464181490/more-african-americans-are-learning-their-roots-with-genetic-testing?ft=nprml&amp;f=464181490"><em> via NP</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/more-african-americans-are-learning-their-roots-genetic How Film and Media Stereotypes Affect the African-American Experience http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-15/how-film-and-media-stereotypes-affect-african-american-experience <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/12%20years%20good%20good.jpeg" title="Lupita Nyong'o in a scene from the motion picture, ’12 Years a Slave’. For her performance, Nyong'o won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. (Entertainment One)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242572058&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">How Film and Media Stereotypes Affect the African-American Experience</span></strong></p><p>For Black women, combating negative cultural and media imagery has been an uphill climb. For <em>Worldview&rsquo;s</em> occasional series, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/images-movies-and-race"><em>Images Movies and Race</em></a>, we reflect on this Martin Luther King Day with a look back to a compelling and award&ndash;winning 2010 conversation on racial imagery in American media and film. Richard Steele will talk with Brenda Verner, an historian, media analyst and Chicagoan, about historic representations of Black women AND men in American culture and how it&rsquo;s affected the African-American experience. From her childhood in Altgeld Gardens - through her studies at Cornell and Harvard - to being a national writer and speaker &ndash; Verner says she&rsquo;s dedicated her life to &ldquo;informing and empowering&rdquo; African-Americans.</p><p><strong>GUESTS:&nbsp;</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/real-deal-best-wbezs-richard-steele-according-his-colleagues-110914">Richard Steele</a> is a host/producer for WBEZ and Vocalo</p><p>Brenda Verner is an historian and media analyst</p><p><em><strong>This conversation won a <a href="http://www.nabj.org/?STERADIO2011">2011</a> National Association of Black Journalists &#39;Radio Excellence Award&#39;</strong></em></p></p> Mon, 18 Jan 2016 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-15/how-film-and-media-stereotypes-affect-african-american-experience Sharp rise in black women's breast cancer rate http://www.wbez.org/news/black-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-match-white-womens-113565 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/breast-cancer_custom-cc9abf970b967f9332909f0b526dafb8a5d6c718-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res452832983" previewtitle="For decades, black women faced lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than did white women."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="For decades, black women faced lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than did white women." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/29/breast-cancer_custom-cc9abf970b967f9332909f0b526dafb8a5d6c718-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="For decades, black women faced lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than did white women. (ColorBlind Images/Blend Image)" /></div><div><div><p>For decades, African-American women have been less likely to get breast cancer than white women, but that health advantage has now all but disappeared.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;For a while we&#39;ve seen the increase in black women and stable rates in white women,&quot; says Carol DeSantis, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who led the study. &quot;Even though we&#39;d seen the trend,&quot; she says, &quot;it&#39;s sort of shocking.&quot;</p><div id="res452824661"><div id="responsive-embed-breast-cancer-20151028"><iframe frameborder="0" height="571px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/breast-cancer-20151028/child.html?initialWidth=775&amp;childId=responsive-embed-breast-cancer-20151028&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fhealth-shots%2F2015%2F10%2F29%2F452650557%2Fblack-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-to-equal-white-womens%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D452650557" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="100%"></iframe></div></div><p>African-American women&#39;s risk increased by 0.4 percent a year from 2008 through 2012, a much sharper increase than in earlier years. Overall, 124.3 black women per 100,000 were diagnosed with breast cancer in those years, compared to 128.1 for white women.</p><p>Black women have the highest death rates from breast cancer, at 31.0 per 100,000 compared to 21.9 per 100,00. They tend to be diagnosed later, when cancers are more likely to have spread.</p><p>The number African-American women diagnosed with estrogen-positive breast cancer has been on the rise, and DeSantis says that may be due to rising obesity rates.</p><p>In 2012, 58 percent of black women were obese, compared to 33 percent of white women. More fat increases estrogen levels in the body, which is a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000913.htm">risk factor</a>&nbsp;for some forms of breast cancer.</p><p>Other risk factors are probably involved, DeSantis says, but &quot;I really don&#39;t know if there are changes in black women more than in white women &mdash; having fewer children, having them later in life. I&#39;d like to look into it some more. There may be other risk factors changing as well.&quot;</p><p>Women of all races should be aware of breast cancer risk factors, DeSantis says. &quot;Maintain a healthy body weight, be physically active and limit your intake of alcohol.&quot; She also notes that mammograms remain the best tool for catching breast cancer early, when it&#39;s more easily treated.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21320/abstract">results</a>&nbsp;were published Thursday in&nbsp;CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. They&#39;re based on data from the National Cancer Institute&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://seer.cancer.gov/">SEER program</a>, which has been collecting information on cancer patients since 1973.</p><p>The breast cancer rates for African-American women were actually higher than for white women in seven states: Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. They were lower in 11 states and the District of Columbia.</p><p>Breast cancer incidence also increased slightly for Asian and Pacific Islander women, but their rates are still much lower than those for white and African-American women, at 88.3 per 100,000. Hispanics also have lower rates, at 91.9 per 100,000.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/29/452650557/black-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-to-equal-white-womens?ft=nprml&amp;f=452650557" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 09:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/black-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-match-white-womens-113565 Israel courts African-American evangelicals, despite some hurdles http://www.wbez.org/news/israel-courts-african-american-evangelicals-despite-some-hurdles-113023 <p><p>Bishop Edwin Bass first set foot in the Holy Land last month, though he&#39;d sung songs and preached stories of Zion much of his life. Head of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cogic.org/hc2015/">Church of God in Christ</a>&#39;s Urban Initiatives program, which assists the Church&#39;s 12,000 congregations across the U.S. combat social problems, he called his week-long sojourn one of the most moving experiences of his life.</p><p>&quot;Just to have come and walked in the city of Jerusalem, to put the pieces together and understand the history of it, it&#39;s been a great experience.&quot;</p><p>Bass was part of a 20-member delegation representing the 6.5 million-member Pentecostal church. The visit was paid for by the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/eng/USENG_homenew">International Fellowship of Christians and Jews</a>, a charity supporting dozens of social projects in Israel and the Jewish diaspora, as well as Israel&#39;s tourism ministry. It was part of a new outreach effort to African-American churches by the interfaith group, which has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul.</p><div id="res441255276"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, welcomes Church of God in Christ leaders to a migrant assistance center in Tel Aviv." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/17/img_5384-edit-3c691db21e9b329c6d9455b78df1a77c53aaa118-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 231px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, welcomes Church of God in Christ leaders to a migrant assistance center in Tel Aviv. (Emily Harris/NPR)" /></div><div data-crop-type="">Fellowship founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein welcomed the visitors to a center in Tel Aviv that assists migrants seeking asylum in Israel, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea.</div></div><p>&quot;Shalom,&quot; he said, using the Hebrew greeting of peace, then joked, &quot;Are you all new immigrants here?&quot;</p><p>Eckstein&#39;s organization raises more than $100 million a year. He built the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/24/magazine/the-rabbi-who-loved-evangelicals-and-vice-versa.html?_r=0">charity over years of reaching out</a>&nbsp;for financial contributions from mostly white American evangelical Christians.</p><p>Last year, the fellowship&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/08/24/israel-trip-african-american-jewish/32152421/">began approaching specifically</a>&nbsp;African-American congregations. Like white evangelicals who have become ardent backers of Israel, members of the Church of God in Christ adhere to a theology that supports the country as the manifestation of a promise from God.</p><p>But Eckstein says his outreach efforts ran into political differences.</p><p>&quot;The land is the Jewish people&#39;s, we have a covenant, all that is there,&quot; says Rabbi Eckstein. &quot;But they&#39;re also African-American and Democrats, and in a very difficult position to go against the president.&quot;</p><p>He means President Obama, and he&#39;s talking specifically about Obama&#39;s work to negotiate the deal with Iran that is designed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.</p><p>Calling Iran an existential threat to Israel, Eckstein actively lobbied against the deal. So did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, deepening a rift with the Obama administration.</p><p>Kristina King, director of the fellowship&#39;s new outreach efforts, says many Obama supporters saw Netanyahu&#39;s behavior as disrespectful or even racist. King is African-American and previously worked for the pro-Israel lobby,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aipac.org/">AIPAC</a>.</p><p>&quot;Safety and security is the issue with the Jewish community,&quot; she says. &quot;Respect is the issue with the African-American community. So when you disrespect our president, it&#39;s a hard offense to overcome.&quot;</p><p>Several pastors on the trip agreed, but preferred to talk ministry over politics. Bishop P.A. Brooks, global vice president for the Church of God in Christ, said he believes Obama is &quot;completely dedicated&quot; to the safety of Israel. Bishop Bass, who represents the church with the White House, called the Iran issue &quot;too sensitive&quot; to comment on.</p><p>Rabbi Eckstein believes the tensions over the Iran treaty will blow over soon. When it comes to a relationship with the African-American community, he is thinking long term.</p><p>&quot;Here are potential allies,&quot; he says. &quot;Maybe we won&#39;t push them on that, but we will certainly soften them to overtures by others and build that support and solidarity for Israel.&quot;</p><p>So the schedule put together for the church group&#39;s recent visit included a stop at a Tel Aviv bomb shelter, as well as visits to historic religious places such as the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus preached, and the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Rabbi%20Yechiel%20Eckstein.jpg" style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 207px; width: 310px;" title="This April 2012 photo shows Rabbi Eckstein at a Passover food pantry event in Lod, Israel. (flickr/International Fellowship of Christians and Jews)" />The visiting pastors handed out backpacks for children at the Tel Aviv migrant assistance center and met with Jewish Ethiopians, a group Israel has struggled to integrate. Earlier this year, allegations of racist police behavior in Israel&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4671495,00.html">exploded into violence</a>.</p><p>Bishop Brooks says he&#39;d like to help Israel with racial integration.</p><p>&quot;I feel we can assist in that area, in funding,&quot; he says. &quot;And we could, in a consultative way, advise how best to handle these types of situations and not be in denial.&quot;</p><p>Highlighting such opportunities may be the right approach for the Israeli charity to build allies among African-Americans, says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.umass.edu/afroam/faculty/bracey.html">John H. Bracey, Jr.</a>, chair of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.</p><p>&quot;Getting money for some other black people is different from giving money to Israel,&quot; he says. &quot;This is more pan-Africanism than pro-Israeli sentiment. And it&#39;s an acknowledgment of racism in Israel.&quot;</p><p>That potentially raises the issue of Palestinians, says&nbsp;<a href="https://divinity.duke.edu/academics/faculty/valerie-cooper">Valerie C. Cooper</a>, associate professor of black church studies at Duke University. The ministers&#39; trip took place shortly after&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blackforpalestine.com/">1,000 black activists publicized</a>&nbsp;their support for Palestinians.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IFCJ.jpg" style="height: 398px; width: 600px;" title="African-American evangelical leaders visited a Jerusalem crafts workshop for elderly Israelis, a project supported by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The group and Israel's tourism ministry sponsored the pastors' trip to Israel, part of the Fellowship's new outreach effort to African-American congregations. (Courtesy of IFCJ)" /></div><p>Cooper says African-Americans have a history of common cause with Jews from civil rights struggles, but views on Israel have diverged since then.</p><p>&quot;Black and white evangelicals share an almost mythic understanding of Israel and a very unqualified support of Israel,&quot; she says. &quot;On the more progressive side, among African-Americans in particular, there are those who see the Palestinian struggle as racialized.&quot;</p><p>She says there is potential overlap between the interests of Israel and African-American church congregations.</p><p>&quot;This is an untapped field,&quot; she says. &quot;But I also think that there may be limits to how successful lobbying efforts will be.&quot;</p><p>If they are successful, says Josh Reinstein, director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://cac.org.il/">Christian Allies Caucus</a>&nbsp;in Israel&#39;s parliament, vocal African-American backing for Israel could shore up Democratic support for Israel after the divisive vote on the Iran accord.</p><p>He calls the record of Congressional Democrats &quot;just as pro-Israel&quot; as that of Republicans. But he worries that could shift.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s threats and there&#39;s cracks in the community that are saying maybe some part, or the left flank of the Democrats, will start taking on the Palestinian narrative, and not the pro-Israel position they have until now,&quot; Reinstein says.</p><p>The Church of God in Christ leaders did not meet with Palestinians on their recent visit. They didn&#39;t go to Bethlehem, Jesus&#39;s birthplace, which is in Palestinian territory &mdash; separated from Jerusalem by a military checkpoint and tall concrete wall.</p><p>Bishop Brooks, the church&#39;s senior figure on the visit, said the delegation was primarily concerned with the strength of Israel.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s not to say the Palestinian issue is not deserving of consideration as well,&quot; he said. &quot;Anything that helps humanity.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/09/22/441252471/israel-courts-african-american-evangelicals-despite-some-hurdles"><em> via NPR&#39;s Parallels</em></a></p></p> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 10:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/israel-courts-african-american-evangelicals-despite-some-hurdles-113023 Where are Chicago's poor white neighborhoods? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-are-chicagos-poor-white-neighborhoods-112639 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/whitepovertythumb3.png" alt="" /><p><div><em>Editor&#39;s note: We&#39;re considering additional coverage for this story and we&#39;d like to know which follow-up questions about concentrated white poverty most interest you. Examples: How does Chicago compare to other Midwestern cities? How does this apply to the suburbs? What additional implications does this have for life in our region? If you like one of these or have your own, please place it in the comment section below. Thanks for considering it!</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Martha Victoria Diaz, a lawyer who grew up in Lake View during the late &lsquo;70s and &lsquo;80s, remembers the Chicago neighborhood as being fairly integrated. She remembers many Latino families like her own living on the block, as well as white households. But once the neighborhood began to gentrify, working class people of all races were displaced.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Martha says that got her thinking: It was easy to identify areas of Chicago where low-income Latinos live and, for that matter, where low-income African-Americans live, too. But where had all the white people gone? She followed up by asking:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><em>Where are all the poor white neighborhoods?</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Diaz was especially curious because she knows that nationally, most beneficiaries of some poverty programs are white. (We&rsquo;re talking <a href="http://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/distribution-by-raceethnicity-4/">Medicaid</a> and the <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ops/Characteristics2013.pdf">Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program</a>, aka food stamps.)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>So in Chicago, where are all those people living? We found answers in the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, which reveal striking differences in concentrated poverty between Chicago&rsquo;s three largest racial/ethnic groups. We then called experts to explain how the disparate pictures of poverty in Chicago came to be. They also offered some big takeaways about how our attitudes about poverty and race may be shaped by housing patterns &mdash; and what that means for public policy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size:24px;">First, the data. Where are Chicago&rsquo;s poor white neighborhoods?</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We began with U.S. Census data, which allowed us to drill down to individual census tracts across Chicago. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-are-chicagos-poor-white-neighborhoods-112639#data">After deciding on a methodology</a>, we generated a map showing areas of high-poverty for each of the races.</div><div><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/poverty/" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/mapstillFORWEB4.png" style="width: 620px; height: 395px;" /></a></div><div><div><a name="graph"></a>The data are striking. While it&rsquo;s easy to identify swaths of African-American poverty, and to a lesser extent Latino poverty, Chicago has just two isolated census tracts of white poverty, both of which are tucked away near the lake in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Looking closer, you might notice that those two tracts are in the area adjoining Loyola University&rsquo;s lakeshore campus. We might expect to see this in an area populated by college and graduate students!</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><p data-pym-src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/white-poverty/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/white-poverty/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script>This is not to say there&rsquo;s no white poverty in Chicago. Indeed, Census Bureau data from the 2009-2013 American Community Survey show 90,328 white Chicagoans living at or below the federal poverty level. But Martha&rsquo;s question is about concentrated white poverty. Our conclusion is that &mdash; those two North Side census tracts notwithstanding &mdash; there really is no concentrated white poverty in Chicago.<p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Why doesn&rsquo;t Chicago have concentrated white poverty?</span></p><p>This follow-up question is a logical one, given that <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf">whites represent the largest group of poor people in the United States</a>. For answers, we first spoke with Janet Smith, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Illinois Chicago and co-director of the Natalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement.</p><p><strong>Janet Smith:&nbsp;</strong><em>If I look back 40 years ago, I might have turned to a few communities that I can think of where you had more working poor people. But even then ... Hegwisch for example, you think of the far South Side of Chicago, close to the steel mills. Those were actually good-paying jobs. Even then you had white working class people ... but they weren&#39;t poor necessarily.&nbsp;I don&rsquo;t know if we ever really had concentrated white poverty in Chicago, and part of that is because whites, as opposed to blacks and Latinos, have been able to live just about anywhere. And so part of it is more of a diffusion of poverty among white folks, compared to blacks and Latinos.</em></p><p><em>What we&rsquo;ve seen since the 1970s ... is a shrinking of the white middle-income and lower-income families in the city of Chicago. So where we think they&rsquo;ve gone &mdash; and this is based on data that we get from the U.S. Census &mdash; is that they&rsquo;ve relocated probably outside the city and are living more in suburban areas.</em></p><p><em>I think that part of [why Chicago doesn&#39;t have concentrated white poverty] has to get back to a larger history of structural racism in the United States. And what I mean by that is the ability for different races to move to different places. So whites have long had an ability to move around the country and to move to different places. African-Americans have historically just not had as many choices. And Chicago &mdash; and I can think of a couple other Midwestern cities &mdash; has had a really strong history of race relations that have not been positive for African-Americans. So staying in these neighborhoods is probably a result of having limited opportunities to move elsewhere.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Why does Chicago have so much concentrated black poverty?</span></p><p>It&rsquo;s clear from the data that different factors are at play within the black and Latino communities. To unpack some of the reasons that have contributed to Chicago&rsquo;s extensive areas of concentrated black poverty, we spoke with Mary Pattillo, the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Northwestern University.</p><p><strong>Mary Pattillo:</strong><em> So the answer to the question of why there isn&rsquo;t concentrated white poverty in Chicago &mdash; and many other cities, Chicago is not alone in this &mdash; rests on two big points. One is racial residential segregation, and the other is the different poverty rates in the various race/ethnic groups. So when you combine those two together, you get concentrated black and Latino poverty, and pretty much no concentrated white poverty.</em></p><p><em>Racial residential segregation ... Let&rsquo;s begin with the fact that Chicago is an old city, much of which was built before the Fair Housing Act of 1968 [and] a lot of which [was] built during a time when we had what were called racial restrictive covenants. [These] were agreements ... that white homeowners entered amongst each other to exclude mostly blacks, but in some cities and in some times they also excluded Jewish people. They also excluded Chinese people, depending on what city and what was the marginalized group at the time.</em></p><p><em>The federal government is not at all innocent in this. The federal government very much underwrote the suburbanization of whites and the concentration of blacks in the city. So the building of the suburbs was very much supported by the federal government&rsquo;s insuring of mortgages, and that allowed the banks to give a lot more mortgages, but they only insured those mortgages in neighborhoods that, as they said, didn&rsquo;t house &ldquo;inharmonious racial groups&rdquo; ... which basically meant if there were any prospect of black people moving in, they wouldn&rsquo;t support the mortgage. So this very much created residential racial segregation, not just in the city of Chicago but also in the metropolitan area, by supporting the suburbanization of whites and the concentration of blacks in the city in &mdash; what the federal government also built &mdash; which were public housing projects.</em></p><p><strong>WBEZ: Do any of these factors still play out today, or have new ones crept in?</strong></p><p><strong>Mary Pattillo: </strong><em>The research today still finds housing discrimination. Sometimes it&rsquo;s the blatant discrimination: A black person calls and the realtor says that apartment&rsquo;s been rented. ... So black folks have to work extra hard to see the same number of units as whites. ... But there is something to preferences and knowledge. What neighborhoods do people know about? And, how do you know about neighborhoods? You know about the neighborhoods where your friends live. And if our friendship patterns are racially segregated, then we know about the neighborhoods where other black people live if we&rsquo;re black, or the neighborhoods where other Latinos live if we&rsquo;re Latino. So there&rsquo;s knowledge, and there&rsquo;s preferences and comfort.</em></p><p><strong>WBEZ: Are we seeing higher-income blacks mix up the incomes in some of these high-poverty neighborhoods?</strong></p><p><strong>Mary Pattillo:</strong> <em>That&rsquo;s an excellent question. Let&rsquo;s say you had complete racial residential segregation &mdash; which we don&rsquo;t have, but in Chicago, we almost do &mdash; so that if the black poverty rate is 30 percent, that means all black neighborhoods should have a 30 percent poverty rate, if everybody is kind of shuffled around. But that&rsquo;s not the case. You have class segregation within race. Class segregation among blacks is higher than among both whites and Latinos. So when you measure, as you mentioned, the evenness of the classes within the predominantly black, Latino or white neighborhoods, you find that there is greater pull-away between poor blacks and upper income blacks than there is between poor whites and upper income whites and poor Latinos and upper income Latinos.</em></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-are-chicagos-poor-white-neighborhoods-112639#graph"><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Chart: Comparison of Chicago residents living in poverty, by race</span></strong></a></em></p><p><strong>WBEZ: Can we account for the psychology, in any way, behind that high level of class segregation among blacks?</strong></p><p><strong>Mary Pattillo:</strong> <em>It is both that many populations don&rsquo;t want to live around poor people (it&rsquo;s a reflection on them, they think) and because what goes along with neighborhoods that have high poverty rates are things like fewer services, schools that are less well invested. ... I think for many reasons people see high-poverty neighborhoods as lacking in the kind of resources and amenities that they want for themselves and for their kids.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Why is there concentrated Latino poverty in Chicago?</span></p><p>Our experts told us that some of the factors behind concentrated black poverty in Chicago also apply to the question of why we see some areas of concentrated Latino poverty. Researchers have conducted studies where &ldquo;testers&rdquo; of different races and ethnic backgrounds are deployed to inquire about available housing in cities across the U.S. These studies have exposed disparate treatment of Latinos and whites, just as they have found disparate treatment between African-Americans and whites.</p><p>However, many Latino neighborhoods are also landing spots for new immigrants, so we spoke with Sylvia Puente, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum. We asked her how immigration, and other unique explanations, might lie behind the data.</p><p><strong>Sylvia Puente: </strong><em>So Latino poverty, to a large extent, you&rsquo;re really going to see families, you&rsquo;re going to see two-parent households &mdash; a married mom and dad with kids &mdash; but they&rsquo;re only able to earn a wage which doesn&rsquo;t take them past the poverty level.</em></p><p><em>A significant number of adults are working in low-wage labor markets. ... That&rsquo;s among all Latinos, but especially for those who are undocumented or unauthorized in this country. They&rsquo;re living in a shadow economy that sometimes doesn&rsquo;t even pay minimum wage. ... A significant number of Latinos are low-wage workers for a variety of reasons, and then people choose to live where they have friends and family. Where they go to church and Mass is in the language that they&rsquo;re most comfortable in, and they can go grocery shopping and know people from their home communities.</em></p><p><em>It&rsquo;s always, I think, an interesting question to say, &ldquo;Are these ethnic enclaves, or are they ghettos?&rdquo; And I think that a community can be both, and I don&rsquo;t mean ghetto in a negative way. But [with ghettos], we see large concentrations of poverty. We don&rsquo;t see a lot of economic activity. We see large concentrations of people in the same ethnic group living there who don&rsquo;t have a way out. [Whereas] ethnic enclaves have, maybe, a lot of those same characteristics. ... Ethnic enclaves are [where] people are choosing to live in these communities, because certainly with Latinos, they can go to the store in Spanish. They can go to the grocery store and find products from their home country, they can cook meals that are familiar to them. A lot of what we&rsquo;ve seen in terms of Latino concentration are people literally coming from the same village in Mexico or in another country, so you go where you know people. And ethnic enclaves also [are] people choosing to live with people who are like them because it&rsquo;s home, it&rsquo;s familiar. There&rsquo;s a certain comfort in that.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">What does it mean if, when we talk about concentrated poverty in Chicago, we really are only talking about communities of color?</span></p><p><strong>Sylvia Puente:</strong> <em>One of the concerns that I have around it is that we have two Chicagos. We have a thriving white middle class Chicago who largely lives along the lakefront and on the Northwest Side of the city, and Chicago is big enough that you don&rsquo;t have to go into a South Side neighborhood ever in your whole life. And I&rsquo;m certainly of the belief that to have compassion, to really address all the social challenges that we have in our state, you&rsquo;ve got to get out of your comfort zone and understand how people live.</em></p><p><strong>Mary Pattillo:</strong> &nbsp;<em>I think that that contributes to our misunderstanding of poverty in general, our misunderstanding of welfare and social services, and I think it contributes to a kind of political conservatism because we can point to those &ldquo;other people.&rdquo; If we&rsquo;re white, we can point to those other people (and think) &ldquo;Something&rsquo;s wrong with black people, something&rsquo;s wrong with Latinos. White people &mdash; look, you don&rsquo;t see any poor white neighborhoods.&rdquo; But there are poor white people, there are lots of poor white people. But because they&rsquo;re not visibly located in a single place, it doesn&rsquo;t lend itself to our stigmatizing them.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Martha&rsquo;s conclusions</span></p><p><a name="data"></a>After hearing input from our three experts, we asked our questioner, Martha Diaz, to reflect on what resonated with her, as a Latina who grew up in a working-class background but attained a college education and lives in today&rsquo;s gentrified Lake View neighborhood.</p><p><strong>Martha Diaz:</strong> <em>Well, I suppose much of the outcome of your life depends on circumstances that are really beyond your control. My parents bought the three-flat that we have in Lake View not because they were speculating, not because they thought that Lake View was going to be the next big thing, but because it was cheaper than the house near the brickyard mall that they had originally been scoping out. And as a result of that, they put themselves and our family in the middle of a community that was about to gentrify. And, as a result of that, my brothers and I had access to better schools probably than our peers did in other parts of the city. And it was serendipitous and wonderful in the example of our family because it made everything for us possible, it made my life possible. But that&rsquo;s obviously not the case for a lot of people in this city.</em></p><hr /><p><strong>How we worked with data</strong></p><p>To get to the bottom of Martha Diaz&rsquo;s question, we had to decide whether a geographic area can be associated with a single, predominant race. We also had to define &ldquo;concentrated poverty.&rdquo; There are lots of ways that one could slice and dice the data, and we took just one approach.</p><p>We started with the 2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, and examined racial breakdowns within each census tract in Chicago. We decided on a generous definition, characterizing a census tract as predominantly of a single race &mdash; Latino, African-American or white &mdash; if a plurality of people in the tract were of that race.</p><p>Next, we looked at incomes of the predominant races in those census tracts. We used the commonly-accepted definition of &ldquo;high-poverty areas,&rdquo; which are census tracts where the poverty rate (the percentage of people living at or below the federal poverty level) is at or exceeds 40 percent. To find tracts of concentrated white poverty, for example, we looked at the &ldquo;white tracts&rdquo; and asked whether more than 40 percent of those whites are living in poverty. We also disqualified tracts with population counts low enough to raise concerns about statistical confidence. (See &quot;Coefficient of variation&quot; and related listings in the Census Bureau&#39;s <a href="http://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/standards/glossary.html#c" target="_blank">Glossary of Statistical Quality Standards</a>). &nbsp;</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>. Chris Hagan analyzed Census data and generated maps for this story.</em></p><p><em>Chris Hagan is a data reporter for WBEZ. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/chrishagan">@chrishagan</a>.</em></p><div><em>CORRECTION: A previous version of this story used a graphic that displayed incorrect figures regarding national poverty rates relative to those of Chicago&#39;s. The graphic has been corrected, suggesting a closer alignment between national poverty rates within white, black and Latino communities and their Chicago counterparts.</em></div></div><script src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/white-poverty/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script></p> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-are-chicagos-poor-white-neighborhoods-112639 Study finds high-achieving minorities shun teaching http://www.wbez.org/news/study-finds-high-achieving-minorities-shun-teaching-108963 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Teacher diversity_131018_oy.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A <a href="http://www.siue.edu/ierc/">decade-long study of more than 225,000 Illinois public high school graduates</a> finds many reasons that minorities are not becoming teachers. The Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville&nbsp;tracked the classes of 2002 and 2003 as they moved beyond high school and into their careers. The study sheds light on where students, including African-American and Latino graduates, drop out of that pipeline.</p><p>Illinois education officials have been wrestling with a significant mismatch between the number of minority teachers and the number of minority students in the state&rsquo;s public schools. While almost half of students are non-white, more than 80 percent of their teachers are Caucasian. A <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/push-teacher-quality-illinois-takes-toll-minority-candidates-108601">recent push to increase teacher quality standards </a>threatens to exacerbate the difference.</p><p>The Illinois Education Research Council study, meanwhile, finds that while roughly one-third of Illinois public high school graduates earned a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree, only 3 percent became teachers. Within the pool of 4-year college degree earners, minorities went on to become teachers in Illinois public schools at a noticeably lower rate than their white counterparts.</p><p>&ldquo;The minority numbers were actually surprising to me,&rdquo; said Brad White, lead researcher on the study. &ldquo;I sort of went into the study thinking that a lot of that story could be told simply by looking at different rates of enrollment and graduation from college. And that wasn&rsquo;t the case at all.&rdquo;</p><p>White said minority graduates with Bachelor&rsquo;s degrees, and particularly those who fell into the top third of ACT scores, opted to earn teaching certificates at lower rates than similarly qualified white students. And beyond that, African-Americans who did receive teaching certificates were less likely to get teaching positions in Illinois public schools.</p><p>White suggested that the state could increase its pool of minority teachers by recruiting promising students into the profession as early as high school. He said the state could also focus on improving educational opportunities for minority students before they get to college.</p><p>&ldquo;We might be able to see changes in the number of those students that are interested in pursuing teaching as a career if the career is perceived as more prestigious and more difficult to enter,&rdquo; White added. This is an approach state officials say they are trying to take, by increasing testing standards required to enter the profession.</p><p>A spokesperson for the Illinois State Board of Education noted that the state encourages colleges and universities to partner with local school districts to recruit diverse students into the teaching profession, and that the state has expanded funding for Teach for America recruitment. The study found that alternative certification programs such as TFA appear to be good pathways for academically gifted minorities into the teaching profession.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p><p>Note: This article incorrectly stated that the Illinois Education Research Council is at Southeastern Illinois University in Edwardsville. It is at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.</p></p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/study-finds-high-achieving-minorities-shun-teaching-108963 Alderman accuses bank of ‘redlining’ http://www.wbez.org/news/west-side-alderman-accuses-us-bank-owner-%E2%80%98redlining%E2%80%99-103151 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5396_Mitts1-scr.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 279px; width: 250px; " title="Ald. Emma Mitts, 37th Ward, is angry about a plan by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp to close a branch in her neighborhood. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />An alderman on Chicago&rsquo;s struggling West Side is steamed about a plan by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp to close a full-service branch in her neighborhood.</p><p>Ald. Emma Mitts (37th Ward) said the company&rsquo;s decision to shut down its U.S. Bank outlet at 4909 W. Division St. blindsided her. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re leaving high-and-dry with no warning,&rdquo; she said, calling the process &ldquo;disrespectful.&rdquo;</p><p>The branch is an anchor of Austin, a mostly African-American neighborhood hit hard over the years by factory closings and, more recently, home foreclosures.</p><p>But Mitts said there is still plenty of banking business for company officials to keep the branch open. &ldquo;The money is good but they don&rsquo;t want to be in the neighborhood,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s redlining.&rdquo;</p><p>U.S. Bancorp spokesman Tom Joyce bristled at the alderman&rsquo;s accusation. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s off base and unfortunate,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;In 2011, we put more than $152 million into affordable housing and economic development in metropolitan Chicago,&rdquo; Joyce said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re a proud citizen of the Chicago area and the Austin neighborhood and we&rsquo;ll continue to serve the neighborhood.&rdquo;</p><p>When the branch closes November 16, Joyce added, the company will leave an ATM and start shuttling seniors from that part of Austin to nearby U.S. Bank locations two or three times a month.</p><p>The branch on the chopping block was once part of Park National Bank, a&nbsp;commercial chain owned by Oak Park-based FBOP Corp. The chain was known for charity and investment in low-income areas. U.S. Bancorp acquired FBOP holdings as part of a 2009 federal rescue.</p><p>Austin community groups fought the U.S. Bancorp takeover. In 2011, bowing to pressure from the groups, the company agreed to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into affordable-housing efforts in Austin and Maywood, a nearby suburb.</p><p>U.S. Bancorp says it has 88 branches and 1,600 workers in the Chicago area.</p></p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 05:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/west-side-alderman-accuses-us-bank-owner-%E2%80%98redlining%E2%80%99-103151 State Black Caucus makes push to increase African-American blood donations http://www.wbez.org/story/state-black-caucus-makes-push-increase-african-american-blood-donations-96834 <p><p>The Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers is working with the General Assembly's Black Caucus to increase blood donations in the African-American community. The campaign is called "Make Every Drop Count."</p><p>Rare blood traits and certain diseases like sickle cell anemia are more prevalent among African-Americans and require frequent blood transfusions.</p><p>Dr. Louis Katz is executive vice president of medical affairs at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, and he says a well-matched blood transfusion is the difference between life, disability and death for some patients.</p><p>Katz says 30 percent of sickle-cell patients develop antibodies that destroy transfused blood cells. The antibodies make it almost impossible to find compatible blood outside African-American donations.</p><p>Coalition president Ann McKanna says nationally African-Americans donate less than 1 percent of the country's blood supply.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 16:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/state-black-caucus-makes-push-increase-african-american-blood-donations-96834