Monthly Roundup: News Highlights from September

September 26, 2013

Each month, we give you a roundup of the highlights in national and local news relevant to social justice topics. Our goal is to let the stories spark productive conversations about race, gender or any trait that can divide people.
 
On September 15th, 1963, four girls, Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing. A pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement, the City of Birmingham planned a series of events called Empowerment Week around the anniversary of their deaths in honor of the Civil Rights movement. As we covered on the blog, there was a special screening of Spike Lee’s “Four Little Girls.” The other events included: a panel discussion with mayors from across the U.S., another panel discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder and Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and a memorial service at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
 
The University of Alabama Greek System was under fire when alumni blocked prospective black sorority members. Many watched the story develop, including the New York Times. John Archibald, local journalist, described the roles people played in the story up to this point.
 
Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, was crowned Miss America. Many conversations about race have resulted from her win. She is the first Indian-American to hold the title, and her platform is “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency.” Immediately after she was crowned, Twitter exploded with racist tweets.
 
Soledad O’Brien was in town to speak at UAB in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Awareness month. She spoke about race and journalism. Be on the lookout for an upcoming guest post covering this event.
 
One of the YW’s top public policy priorities is Payday Lending, so we were happy to see this article run by the Anniston Star.

Finally, rape cases in the military have been a frequent topic in the news. This article from TIME talks about how court can be a barrier to sexual assault victims coming forward. 
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