Civil Rights

Missourians seeking food assistance saw call center wait times increase over the summer

BY: - November 23, 2022

In May, Missouri residents applying for food assistance by phone had to wait on hold an average of 56 minutes to reach the required interview process, a delay a federal judge deemed “unacceptably long.” Yet over the summer, wait times continued to increase each month, according to data obtained this week by The Independent. Callers […]

What to know about buying recreational marijuana in Missouri

BY: - November 22, 2022

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  On Nov. 8, Missourians voted “yes” on Amendment 3, which legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning you’ll now be able to buy weed, like marijuana flower or edibles, in the coming months. Starting Dec. 8, the state will begin transitioning its medical marijuana licenses to recreational […]

Kevin Johnson’s attorneys, special prosecutor ask Missouri Supreme Court to stay execution

BY: - November 22, 2022

Attorneys for a St. Louis man sentenced to die for a murder he committed when he was 19 asked the Missouri Supreme Court Monday to delay his execution to allow for a hearing on alleged constitutional violations in his original trial. Kevin Johnson was convicted in 2007 of killing a police officer. He is scheduled […]

Marijuana vote divided Missouri social-justice leaders. Can an equity officer be a bridge?

BY: - November 17, 2022

Longtime cannabis activist Brennan England has gotten lots of undeserved praise since Missourians approved a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana on Nov. 8. As the owner of a private cannabis consumption lounge in St. Louis, England understood why people thought he’d have a “go weed or go home” stance.  But it wasn’t that simple for […]

Bill protecting same-sex marriage gains bipartisan support in U.S. Senate

BY: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Senate cleared a key hurdle to passing a marriage equality bill Wednesday, garnering even more than the 60 senators from both political parties needed to move past a legislative filibuster. The bill, which could win final passage in the Senate as soon as this week, would ensure same-sex and interracial couples […]

Opposition growing to Missouri Secretary of State rules on library materials for children

BY: - November 16, 2022

When she was 13, Dakota Hommes felt scared and alone. She was having a crisis, didn’t feel she could talk to her parents about it and worried about her future. “At 13, I wasn’t sure that I would make it,” she said. Then, at a library, she found the novels “Parrot Fish” by Ellen Wittlinger […]

Bobby Bostic released on parole after being imprisoned in Missouri for 27 years

BY: and - November 9, 2022

Standing on the Missouri Capitol steps moments after being released from prison, Bobby Bostic said the first place he planned to visit was his mother’s grave in St. Louis — a city he’d last freely walked in 1995. “I’m a free man all because of you all who supported me,” Bostic, 43, said Wednesday morning […]

Federal officials run into resistance in Missouri over election monitoring

BY: - November 7, 2022

A Missouri election official says he won’t allow the U.S. Department of Justice entry to polling locations in his county as it investigates complaints involving accessible voting machines. Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer received a letter on Oct. 27 from Teresa Moore, the U.S. attorney for Missouri’s western district, saying her office had received complaints […]

Affirmative action supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court

BY: - October 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — The onset of rain did not deter students and supporters of affirmative action from protesting Monday morning outside the U.S. Supreme Court while justices considered two cases that could reshape the college admissions process. “It’s not a secret that if you eliminated race conscious policies, it would further diminish the number of students of color […]

U.S. Supreme Court justices cast doubt on affirmative action in college admissions

BY: - October 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Monday questioned the legality of race-conscious policies in college admissions, as the justices weighed two cases that could upend the admissions process many colleges use to try to boost diversity on campus. At issue are two cases that challenge the lawfulness of affirmative action at Harvard University, the […]

Black families fall further behind nationally on homeownership

BY: - October 26, 2022

This story was originally published by Stateline. Some cities and states are trying to boost Black homeownership, which dropped to a 60-year low even before the economic turmoil wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black homeownership fell in 2019 to 40.6%, down from the 2004 peak of 49.7%. The rate has rebounded somewhat since then, but […]

Spotlight is on Kansas City and its problem of missing black women

BY: - October 21, 2022

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  On Oct. 7, a terrified 22-year-old Black woman escaped from a home in Excelsior Springs. She told police she had been locked up there for about a month, after being abducted from Prospect Avenue in Kansas City by a man who lives in the home. […]