Civil Rights & Social Justice

COMMENTARY

The ‘Green Book’ is out of print, but its message still resonates today | Opinion

BY: - February 26, 2019

The history behind the Best Picture winner. From the 1930s to the 1960s, 'The Negro Motorist's Green Book' and 'Travelguide: Vacation and Recreation Without Humiliation' offered African-American roadtrippers lists of black-friendly businesses.

COMMENTARY

Trump’s Title X gag rule is an attack on the most vulnerable | Opinion

BY: - February 26, 2019

The irony of taking away family planning services in the name of reducing abortion is startling.

Will paper personal mail return to prisons? Corrections secretary says ‘no’

BY: - February 25, 2019

Since September, people incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prison have not received original copies of their personal mail. Will that change? For the moment, the state’s Corrections secretary says “no.” Under a policy designed to keep drugs out of prisons, letters and photos are sent to Smart Communications, a Florida company with a three-year, $15.8 million contract […]

A view of the Old Eighth Ward looking west from the State Street Bridge. The buildings to the right were razed to make room for the Capitol Park. Source: Dauphin County Historical Society, reprinted with permission.

A monument at the Capitol will honor Harrisburg’s long-gone immigrant and African American neighborhood

BY: - February 25, 2019

The journalist J. Howard Wert journeyed to the underworld in 1912 — and he lived to tell the tale. “These shacks have been speakeasies, gambling halls, and foul dens of prostitution,” Wert wrote in a Harrisburg Patriot-News column, describing alleys just a stone’s throw from Pennsylvania’s state Capitol. “Around some linger legends of deeds of beastiality […]

ACLU asks Pa. Supreme Court to declare the death penalty unconstitutional

BY: - February 22, 2019

The Pennsylvania branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has asked the state’s highest court to declare the Keystone State’s death penalty statute unconstitutional, arguing that it violates equal protection provisions because of “the vast disparities across the commonwealth in the quality of representation for capital case defendants who are unable to pay.” Right now, […]

Pa. critics blast Trump’s federal funding ban for clinics that provide abortion, abortion referrals

BY: and - February 22, 2019

The administration's rule change would affect more than 169,000 Pennsylvania patients, about 38 percent of whom are served by Planned Parenthood

Legal mail policy at Pennsylvania prisons will be revised under settlement

BY: - February 22, 2019

A controversial policy on copying and storing legal mail at Pennsylvania prisons will be revised under a nearly finished settlement between groups that advocate for incarcerated persons and the state Corrections department. In a Friday press release, the Department of Corrections said it will implement a new policy by April 6 that allows incarcerated persons […]

COMMENTARY

One nation under who? New poll paints perilous picture for American pluralism | John L. Micek

BY: - February 22, 2019

America has a bunch of foundational myths — George Washington and his famed cherry tree; the belief that anyone can get ahead if they just work hard enough; and the stubborn belief that our occasionally sputtering constitutional republic is still more exceptional than any other nation on Earth. They’re core to our conception of ourselves […]

State civil rights commission will host meeting in Carlisle after KKK fliers found

BY: - February 22, 2019

The commission in charge of investigating civil rights violations in Pennsylvania will host at least one meeting in Carlisle after police found fliers seemingly distributed by the Ku Klux Klan. Carlisle Police said in a Feb. 2 tweet they “were made aware of malicious /unsolicited flyers being passed out.” A photo of the flier, shared by […]

Victims’ rights amendment Marsy’s Law moves out of House committee

BY: - February 21, 2019

A bill aimed at protecting the rights of crime victims advanced out of state House committee 19-4 Thursday, with Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the tally. Marsy’s Law, introduced by Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, would not create any new rights. Instead, it would amend Pennsylvania’s Constitution to enshrine existing laws that inform victims […]

As U.S. hate group activity hits a new high, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 36 hate groups in Pa. in 2018

BY: - February 21, 2019

Pennsylvania-based hate groups ranging from Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis to white nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan all popped up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s radar last year, providing a fuller picture of hate group activity in the Keystone State. You can view the full list of hate groups active in Pennsylvania here. You […]

‘His legacy lives on’: K. Leroy Irvis, Pennsylvania’s only black House speaker, remembered

BY: - February 20, 2019

K. Leroy Irvis is remembered as “the Lion of Pennsylvania” — a civil rights champion, incorruptible force for good, and the commonwealth’s first black state House speaker. Perhaps less noted is his great sense of humor. Once, while criticizing the death penalty on the House floor, Irvis was accused of being a “do-gooder” by a […]