Equity

Race, Culture & Ethnicity

Pope Francis has some surprising things to say about the state of the world.

On Monday, Pope Francis delivered his annual address to his diplomatic corps, ambassadors from 183 nations to the Holy See. The speech outlined a bold vision for a peaceful, free and just world. The pontiff touched on themes that have been in the headlines, like the Syrian war and the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Quick, think of a physicist.

If you're anything like me, you probably didn't have to think very hard before the names Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton popped up.

But what if I asked you to think of a female physicist? What about a black, female physicist?

You may have to think a bit harder about that. For years, mainstream accounts of history have largely ignored or forgotten the scientific contributions of women and people of color.

The New Jersey Department of Corrections has lifted a ban on a book that links racial discrimination and mass incarceration after the ACLU called the prohibition unconstitutional and demanded the department reverse its position.

Inmates at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton and Southern State Correctional Facility in Delmont were barred from reading Michelle Alexander's 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The ACLU New Jersey chapter made the discovery as a result of a public records request.

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There are many spaces where women are discouraged from breastfeeding in public.

President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to highlight the historic drop in the unemployment rate among African-Americans, a day after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the rate fell below 7 percent for the month of December — the lowest mark for black Americans since the bureau began tracking the data in the early 1970s.

"The African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, the lowest rate in 45 years. I am so happy about this News! And, in the Washington Post (of all places), headline states, 'Trumps first year jobs numbers were very, very good.' "

President Trump was among the first to express public condolences after Mormon leader Thomas S. Monson died this week.

"Melania and I are deeply saddened," Trump said in a statement Wednesday marking the death of Monson, who served as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for nearly a decade.

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One of the biggest stories in a year of big stories was the intersection of sports, race and politics, and it's looking like that story won't go away in 2018.

And at several key moments one of the people who seemed right in the middle of this story was ESPN's Jemele Hill.

Back in February, ESPN relaunched the evening edition of its flagship sports news show, SportsCenter, with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith as its new anchors.

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When Bella Doolittle heard her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's last February, she sat in the car outside the doctor's office and cried. "He said, 'Well, we figured out what's going on with you and this is it.' And I'm like, 'No, it's not.' "

Doolittle's husband, Will Doolittle, sits next to her on the couch, recalling how she grilled the doctor. "You asked, 'How long does this take? How long do I have?' And he said, 'On average, eight years.' That really upset you."

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Any good circus has clowns, the acrobats and the high-wire acts. But chances are you haven't seen the sister act.

Seventy-year-old Catholic nun Sister Dorothy Fabritze has made the circus her mission. She has spent 18 years in the church's circus ministry, and for her, it's a second calling.

"I ran away joined the convent and then joined the circus. But I'm still in the convent, too," she says. "I have the best of both worlds."

Activist Erica Garner has died, after suffering brain damage following a heart attack. She was 27 years old.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Over the past few weeks, NPR has explored how discrimination affects people of all races, ethnicities and identities. Could one solution be a board game? Reporter Maanvi Singh has the story.

(LAUGHTER)

As 2017 ends, evangelical Christians in the United States are suffering one of their periodic identity crises. Unlike other religious groups, the evangelical movement comprises a variety of perspectives and tendencies and is therefore especially prone to splintering and disagreement.

The 10 Most Popular 'Fresh Air' Interviews Of 2017

Dec 29, 2017

In 2017, Fresh Air marked 30 years as a nationally syndicated, daily radio program by doing what it does best: more in-depth interviews.

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Copyright 2018 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

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The world lost a lot of notable people this year, and it feels as if they're departing even more quickly as the year runs out. Activist/humanitarian Dick Gregory, actress/singer Della Reese, musicians Fats Domino, Al Jarreau, Geri Allen and Dave Valentin were all well-known names. So was journalist Roger Wilkins.

And so at year's end we've compiled our own Code Switch list. It's not comprehensive; instead, we wanted to spotlight some of the people we might not have known as well, and share them with you.

Editor's Note: This encore story, originally published in September, seems especially relevant this week, as we all relax (aka sit! binge-watch! eat!) for the holidays.

Count the number of hours you sit each day. Be honest.

Across the street from Vienna's iconic Ferris wheel, the Schura Mosque is packed each Friday with Muslims who come to pray.

It's one of some 300 mosques and prayer rooms serving 700,000 Muslims who live in Austria and who've enjoyed the same rights as Christians and Jews since Islam was made an official religion there in 1912.

While across the country hate crime rates rose after the presidential election, Illinois has passed some laws addressing the issue. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center and FBI statistics - the last quarter of 2016 saw hate crimes go up more than 25% in the U.S.

Advocates say progress was made this year when it comes to rights of Illinois residents who are LGBTQ+.

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A Louisiana state legislator wants to cut off tax breaks and other funding for the state's only NFL franchise, the New Orleans Saints.

State Rep. Kenny Havard, a Republican, objects to player protests during the pregame national anthem. He plans to propose an amendment to strip any state funding that benefits the Saints, including free rental of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, their home venue.

Carl Luepker was 10 years old when he first noticed his right hand twitching slightly when he played piano. It was like it had a mind of his own.

When he was 12, doctors diagnosed him with a degenerative nerve disease called dystonia. The disorder causes nerves in the brain to misfire, causing uncontrolled muscle spasms that get worse over time.

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It's two hours from game time in Lot J across from the Cowboys' stadium, in Arlington, Texas. Andrew Brown, a 43-year-old IT executive, is surrounded by friends at his favorite tailgate spot — he's brought Frito pie, the grill's hot and the generator is humming.

Brown introduces three guests: High school juniors La'Dettrick Tyson and Bryan Baldomero and Dallas County Deputy Sheriff Claiborne Fountain.

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