civil rights

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, NPG.2009.36

On March 25, 1931, Illinois, and the nation, mourned the loss of suffragist and civil rights icon Ida B. Wells. But before she became a crusader for women’s rights, Wells came to national attention as a crusader against lynchings of African Americans in the South.

Sarah Jesmer

In May, the Department of Education made sweeping changes to Title IX regulations.

The new regulations change the definition of what qualifies as sexual harassment under Title IX. To meet the new standard, harassment must be “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive.”

Shiwali Patel is the director of justice for student survivors at the National Women’s Law Center.

“These rules, kind of in total, really just turn Title IX on its head as a civil rights law,” said Patel.

Illinois is joining a chorus of states condemning a Trump administration proposal to rollback protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act.

Health care insurers and doctors could deny service to transgender patients, under a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It would remove gender identity as a basis for sex discrimination. The rule would also remove protections for women who have had an abortion.

flickr user / Vox efx "I Voted" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Primary is fast approaching, and early voting has already begun. Election Protection, a national nonpartisan coalition, is offering a toll-free number staffed by attorneys to help. 

Timna Axel is with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, which leads the Coalition’s efforts in Illinois. She says citizens have a right to vote but, all too often, there are problems with the process.

district211.org

School officials in a suburban Chicago district may back out of a deal with the U.S. Department of Education allowing a transgender student to use a girls' locker room.

Wikimedia Commons

Today is  the 50th anniversary of one of the most important milestones in America's civil rights movement: on August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech to 200,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C.