Civil Rights

U.S. House condemns Atlanta shootings and Asian American racism

BY: - May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to combating racism and violence against the Asian American community, which has seen a spike in hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic. The resolution, H.Res. 275, passed, 244-180, though more than a dozen […]

Advocates fear homeless crisis with federal eviction moratorium on shaky legal ground

BY: - May 17, 2021

At least once a day, housing advocate Melissa Pashia speaks to someone who is living in a car.  Once the situation gets to this point, it’s hard to get people back into stable housing, said Pashia, a housing resource specialist for the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council.  “Landlords don’t want to rent […]

Missouri lawmakers send bill to prevent abuse in religious reform schools to governor

BY: - May 13, 2021

Inspired by horrific stories of abuse and neglect that former students experienced at unlicensed religious reform schools in Missouri, lawmakers sent to the governor’s desk a bill Thursday that aims to provide greater oversight and better protections for students. House Bill 557, which was sponsored by Reps. Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville, and Keri Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit, […]

Missouri Senate approves oversight of unlicensed faith-based reform schools

BY: - May 11, 2021

A bill that aims to provide increased oversight over unlicensed religious boarding schools in Missouri that have faced allegations of abuse and neglect moved one step closer to passage Tuesday. Despite a handful of senators expressing their opposition to the bill, the Senate passed House Bill 557 with an emergency clause by a vote of […]

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Secrecy around ownership records raises questions about Missouri marijuana networks

BY: and - May 10, 2021

Greenlight Dispensary advertises 16 medical marijuana locations across Missouri, from Cape Girardeau to Kansas City, and all points in between. Justice Grown, a Pennsylvania-based company, has ties to 14 dispensaries in Missouri. Yet Missouri’s constitution prohibits the state from granting more than five dispensary licenses to any single entity or individual. The goal was to […]

Furious lawmakers demand answers from Missouri DSS for undercount of abuse reports

BY: - May 6, 2021

Lawmakers slammed the Department of Social Services on Thursday for underreporting the number of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect at youth residential facilities during a previous legislative hearing. For nearly an hour-and-a-half on Thursday, the House Special Committee on Government Oversight pressed DSS officials on why the number of findings of abuse, neglect and […]

The Ferguson movement is on the cusp of revolutionizing political power in St. Louis

BY: - May 6, 2021

This is part two of a collaboration between The Missouri Independent and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Read part one. Hear the audio version of this story here. The race was too close. Kayla Reed, co-founder and executive director of Action St. Louis, curled over her desk. Her long, dark locs created curtains […]

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Missouri House passes bill criminalizing protesters blocking traffic, banning chokeholds

BY: - May 5, 2021

A bill criminalizing protesters that intentionally block roadways and shielding police disciplinary records from public view grew even more controversial on Tuesday, with the House adding dozens of amendments before sending it back to the Senate for consideration. Senate Bill 26, which was inspired by protests nationwide this summer decrying police brutality, also sought to […]

‘The fight has to change’: Why Ferguson activists ditched police reform

BY: - May 3, 2021

This is part one of a collaboration between The Missouri Independent and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Read part two. Hear the audio version of this story here.  Ten days after Michael Brown, it was 25-year-old Kajieme Powell. Two months later, it was 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers Jr. All in the St. Louis region. […]

Georgia Democrat works to remedy decades of USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - April 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff […]

Biden calls for sweeping ‘once-in-a-generation investment’ to reshape the nation

BY: - April 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Standing in the same House chamber where a violent mob temporarily disrupted the certification of his victory, President Joe Biden on Wednesday heralded the country as “on the move again” as he sketched out his expansive vision for a post-pandemic America. Biden in his first address to a joint session of Congress touted quick […]

EPA investigation finds Missouri out of compliance with federal civil rights rules

BY: - April 29, 2021

Federal officials are investigating whether Missouri environmental regulators violated the civil rights of St. Louis residents by issuing an air pollution control permit to a fuel transport business located near predominantly Black neighborhoods.  Already, investigators with the Environmental Protection Agency have found the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is out of compliance with regulations requiring […]