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Diversity

Bloomington native Dashea Crockett is a leader at Illinois State University's Impact Ministry, a Grayslake North High School graduate, and community activist with the Next Gen Initiative group. John Findley, Dashea's grandfather, has called Bloomington home after living on a farm with his family in Tupelo, Mississippi, and coming north during the Great Migration. 

They spoke with student reporter Darnysha Mitchell for WGLT's series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Jayana Fennell and father Louis Fennell Jr.
Jon Norton / WGLT

Bloomington native Jayana Fennell is a Normal Community West High School graduate. She’s currently a junior telecommunications major for video production at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She’s also minoring in French. She spoke with Jon Norton for WGLT's series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Christopher Belt with son Louis
Jon Norton / WGLT

Christopher Belt is an English teacher at Normal Community High School. The Normal native spoke with Jon Norton for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

People marching with signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

After weeks of protesting for justice for black lives lost at the hands of police, commemorating the day that ended slavery meant a little more this year than others for some.

Grid of commissioners
YouTube

The Normal Human Relations Commission met this week to deliberate on how to make positive changes within the community.

William speaks to a man
Ryan Denham / WGLT

With churches partially closed, social distancing still the norm, and racism becoming bolder by the day, maintaining a sound mind during a season of pain can be difficult for some.

Crowds holding signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 200 protesters gathered Monday night at Clearwater Park in east Bloomington and marched through nearby neighborhoods to speak out against racism.

Woman holds her cell phone wearing tee-shirt saying More Love, Love More
Tricia Braid

Heyworth business owner Tricia Braid said she was tired of scrolling through social media feeds and seeing many people doubting the media reports about the military use of tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protestors to clear Lafayette Plaza for the president to have a photo taken with the Bible.

Georgia Nugent speaking at podium
Illinois Wesleyan University

Some students and alumni at Illinois Wesleyan say the university's delayed and muted response to George Floyd's death and calls for racial justice are the latest examples of what they have seen for years.

Jeremy Butler
Courtesy

Whether you work in an office, drive a forklift or teach kindergarten, the more confident you are in your training, the better you’ll perform. Confidence can make it more likely you’ll try harder or conquer adversity. A lack of confidence can make you skittish and impair decision-making.

It’s the same with police officers.

Justin speaks
Darnysha Mitchell / WGLT

A peaceful demonstration led in part by high school students was interrupted Wednesday when an agitator deployed what authorities called a harmless “smoke device,” in at least the second attempt to intimidate protestors in the past four days.

Justin and Jasmyn
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal organizers are looking to build on the momentum of four straight days of peaceful demonstrations against racism and police brutality. One of their greatest assets is a deep bench of young black leaders who have seized the moment and stepped forward.

Crowd marches
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Whenever an unarmed black man is shot in America, Ahmad Williams of Bloomington thinks about whether he will be next.

Demonstrators hold signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 50 people marched through some of Bloomington’s more affluent neighborhoods Monday calling for justice and unity in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis.

Willy Hunter
Illinois State University

Illinois State University will play an even bigger role in making sure school districts with underserved students have access to top-tier K-12 STEM teachers, thanks to a new grant.

Minnesote protesters hold sign
John Minchillo / AP

As police made their first arrest in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Bloomington-Normal branch of the NAACP said it is imperative to be on the battlefield for justice.

Women at event
Courtesy / Jack and Jill of America

When Memuna Lee moved to Bloomington-Normal in 2008, she felt out of place.

Linda Foster
Merlin Mather / Courtesy

The president of Bloomington-Normal’s branch of the NAACP says the coronavirus is sending the community a message.

“Corona has told us: You’ve got to change,” said Linda Foster.

Janessa and Linda
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

Four years ago, black voter turnout declined in the U.S. for the first time in 20 years for a presidential election. Aiming to make a comeback starting with Tuesday’s primary, black voters in Bloomington-Normal say they’re adamant about educating themselves on the issues, hoping to make strategic selections that will result in progressive policymaking in the future.

Ruth Handler with a barbie
Andrew Harnik / AP

You never forget your favorite toy or board game from when you were a kid. But those who invent those toys and games are often forgotten to time. Especially the women.

picture of a board of trustees meeting
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Illinois State University trustees on Friday approved nearly $18 million in spending on various projects and a 12.8% performance bonus for President Larry Dietz.

Doris Houston
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The president of Illinois State University has created a new high-level position to coordinate diversity and inclusion efforts. President Larry Dietz said Professor Doris Houston is the new interim assistant to the president in that area.

Director David Prete
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The words “I was there” resound through Ike Holter’s play “Hit the Wall.”  

Redbird Arena
ISU Athletics

Illinois State University Athletics will host its first Pride Night to support students who identify within the LGBTQ+ community.

Exterior of SF Hall of Business
Illinois State University

A tenured professor at Illinois State University claimed in a new sex-discrimination lawsuit that she’s unfairly making less than her male peers and was threatened with retaliation for raising her concerns.

Four young girls in dark and light blue dresses dance with outstretched arms
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

A gathering at Wayman AME Church on West Olive Street in Bloomington was more than a service. It was a Latin American celebration of traditions associated with the feast of the Epiphany.

Sheila Diaz, left, and Robin Landry
Ryan Denham / WGLT

On a day off from his 70-hour work week, David Cruz met with a tutor who helps him with language skills he hopes will bring him closer to his dream of a better job and U.S. citizenship.

Soledad O'Brien
Keppler Speakers

Former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien, the guest speaker for Illinois State University's Latino Cultural Dinner next month, said many of her journalism colleagues struggle with reporting on diversity issues.

Merlin Kennedy
Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home

One of Bloomington-Normal most notable civil rights leaders, Merlin Kennedy, has died.

NPR's Korva Coleman On Diversity In Media

Oct 18, 2019
NPR's Korva Coleman speaks
Staff / WGLT

After nearly 30 years, NPR newscaster Korva Coleman thinks public media has taken great strides towards creating a more diverse workforce.

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