Diversity | WGLT

Diversity

Outside of the building
Illinois State University

By this time next year, Illinois State University's new multicultural center should be open for business.

Linda Foster
Tiffani Jackson

When Linda Foster moved to Bloomington-Normal in 1977, she noticed a lack of equal opportunity for minorities. Raised in a family of visionaries and problem solvers, Foster followed the same path and made bringing change a priority by joining the NAACP.

Dortch walks in
Jalen Golden / Courtesy

Thomas Dortch Jr., a community activist and national chairman of the 100 Black Men of America organization, brought his call for unity to Bloomington as he made a guest appearance at the local chapter’s 10th annual excellence gala.

Jada Turner, President Samiat Solebo, and Chief of Staff Hannah Woody.
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Illinois State University is seeing a spike in female students applying for student government positions. The student body administration say it’s likely a result of the university’s first all-female leadership team.

Kids pose with certificates
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

When Alicia Lenard heard about an award ceremony for minority students in Bloomington-Normal, she made sure her fifth-grader, Christina, was there.

"End Gun Violence" T-shirt hangs at event
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

In 2018, nine gun-related homicides happened in Bloomington-Normal. All the victims were people of color, and seven were black.

Woman with microphnoe and kids holding signs behind her
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Isaac Hollis strutted his way up the steps of the McLean County Museum of History on Saturday in 4-inch, patent leather, thigh-high boots.

“So before I get started, can I get everybody to give me their best yazzzzz?"

Tari Renner gestures
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said Wednesday that his comment about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas not behaving “like someone who is African-American” was a poor choice of words.

Women and members of underrepresented groups are at a disadvantage in STEM fields across the globe.

Heartland Truck Driving Training Student Holli Hays
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The American Trucking Association estimates the industry is short at least 50,000 drivers nationwide. The association estimates that number could triple by 2024 as older drivers retire.

Illinois’s new $15 minimum wage law doesn’t guarantee better pay for workers with disabilities. An exemption in federal labor law still allows some employers to pay them less.

Sara Darrow
Courtesy

A former county and federal prosecutor from the Quad Cities is now the first woman to become the chief federal judge for central Illinois.

Native American with placcard.
Kenn Little

Kenn Little takes aim at misrepresentation of Native Americans in the new documentary, “More Than a Word.”

Rob Ballantini
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Some McLean County residents with disabilities are doing more than simply fighting to live independently. They are finding their voice to help others overcome the same challenges they face. 

Why Are There So Few Black Men In Medicine?

Feb 14, 2019

Dr. Don Arnold’s home office overflows with medical textbooks, old anatomical prints and six pages of a recommendation letter from his first application to medical school - framed and hanging on the wall.

“It says I have very unique and viable talents that would serve me well, but on paper a very poor academic record,” he says. “So this is code. For those who don’t know. Nobody’s going to outwardly tell you not to take a person, but this is how they write it in code.”

Julia swings
Willis Kern / WGLT

Suan Guess-Hanson has never used a wheelchair, but the retired Metcalf School teacher worked with many children who did, so she naturally wants to see people with disabilities succeed in all facets of life, including sports.

An Illinois bed and breakfast that refused to host a gay couple’s civil union ceremony is also refusing to a pay a court-ordered settlement. Illinois’ Attorney General is now intervening in the case.


States like Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska have replaced Columbus Day with the designation of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day.' It's a trend that goes back decades, and in 2017 a law was signed that brought Illinois up to speed with that trend. Sort of.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

There’s a lack of minority representation and participation in Unit 5 schools, according to a 20-year Bloomington-Normal resident.

City of Bloomington / Facebook

We’ve seen again and again what can happen when the makeup of a city’s police force doesn’t match the diversity of its residents. Many cities are trying to hire officers of color.

MCLP Graduation Speaker Aims To Change Biased Systems

Apr 26, 2018
Courtesy of Charlene Carruthers

Community activist and author Charlene Carruthers says she believes in asking questions that challenge people and might even make some feel uncomfortable.

Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

College is an eye-opening experience. And for those students coming from majority-white communities, it may their first significant exposure to diverse cultures.

David Mercer / AP

The University of Illinois is in the midst of a national search for its first-ever chief diversity officer.