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Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Freedom School aims to empower the next generation of Black leaders in Waterloo

Nikole Hannah-Jones describes herself as “just a girl from Waterloo.” But her career suggests so much more. Hannah-Jones was the recipient of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her introductory essay to The New York Times’ The 1619 Project, which discussed slavery as foundational in American history and its legacy seen today in U.S. […]

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Great Plains Action Society unites Indigenous Midwesterners to seek justice for state violence, past and present

Sikowis Nobiss has two kids at home, both in elementary school. She has a full-time job and volunteers on Iowa City’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Ugh, trying to deal with COVID and just keep the house clean? That’s my day today,” she said. Nobiss is the founder of Great Plains Action Society (GPAS), a nonprofit […]

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‘Names carry power’: Johnson County is now named for a different Johnson

Johnson County remains Johnson County, but has shed some historical baggage. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Thursday to change the county’s eponym — the person it is named for — from Richard Mentor Johnson, vice president of the United States (1837-1841) and lifelong slaveowner, to Iowan Lulu Merle Johnson, the first African-American woman […]

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Watch: J.E.D.I. training brings anti-racist conversations to marginalized youth

“We are either in support of justice movements or we continue to perpetuate an unjust society.” -Jonny Stax Young padawans are invited to participate in J.E.D.I. training this month. Led by ArtForce Iowa and Jonny Stax Creations, the J.E.D.I. (justice, equity, diversity and intersectionality) program seeks to bring anti-racist conversations to marginalized youth in Iowa, […]

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Linn County introduces marijuana diversion program

Individuals charged with marijuana possession in Linn County who don’t have a criminal record may be eligible for the county’s new marijuana diversion program. However, it’s unclear whether or not the program will address the county’s racial disparities for marijuana arrests. Linn County announced the marijuana diversion program was on Dec. 28, and it went […]

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The Loneliest Number: Being Black in Iowa

I used to loathe the end of January. Around that time, anxiety-ridden managers would start suggesting that I help organize the Black History Month activities for February. Bless their hearts. They either genuinely felt our staff needed to be more conscious of the contributions African Americans made to society, or somewhere in their manager handbook, […]

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