Civil Rights & Immigration

Gov. Tony Evers speaks to students at Winnequah School in Monona

Evers signs executive order on Indigenous Peoples Day, apologizes for Wisconsin’s role in Indian boarding schools

BY: - October 11, 2021

On Monday, Indigenous People’s Day, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order formally apologizing for Wisconsin’s historic role in removing Native American children  from their homes and placing them in boarding schools funded by the federal government and operated by government and religious organizations. The order also includes a formal declaration of support for the […]

An example of a challenge coin distributed within the Kenosha Police Department following the unrest in August, 2020. (Photo | Kenosha Police Department)

Justice Department closes review of Jacob Blake shooting

BY: - October 11, 2021

The civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department and and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has closed its review of the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha officer last year. According to a press release, the evidence obtained was insufficient to prove Officer Rusten Shensky willfully used excessive force. […]

Disability rights banner (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Disability rights activist says state building code violates civil rights law

BY: - October 8, 2021

For more than two years, disability rights activist Dorothy Dean has been fighting the city of Burlington and a number of state agencies over what she and her lawyer see as violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — a federal civil rights law — in the state building code.  The ADA, which was […]

Mendota Mental Health Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center Annex from outside

Juvenile detention bill brought to state judiciary committee

BY: - October 7, 2021

A bill which would broaden the conditions under which hearings could be delayed for detained or incarcerated juveniles went before the Assembly Committee on Judiciary Thursday. Under current law, juvenile courts must hold a hearing to determine whether a juvenile will remain detained within 24 hours of an arrest, excluding weekends and legal holidays. The […]

Day three of the nine day march to Wisconsin's capital, demanding immigration reform from the federal government. (Photo | Joe Brusky)

Immigrant rights advocates call for a general strike

BY: - October 6, 2021

The immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera on Tuesday announced plans for a statewide general strike to be held Monday, Oct. 11. The strike and student walkout, part of a series of nationwide days of action beginning on Monday, Indigenous People’s Day, is intended to underscore the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy […]

Clusters of tents can be found in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, though the number varies depending on the day. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

The King Park tent community and Milwaukee’s housing struggles

BY: - October 5, 2021

“There’s way more homeless out here,” Willie T., a 63 year old man who lives, unhoused, near Martin Luther King Jr. Park told Wisconsin Examiner. Willie didn’t want his last name published, but still offered his insights on what life is like for those living in a growing tent community in Martin Luther King Park […]

Student Loan application form

Democrats’ vision for free community college would boost undocumented students

BY: - October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—The massive economic policy package Democrats are trying to muscle through Congress could open the door to free community college for undocumented immigrants. But that lifeline for many people now denied access to higher education could also reignite controversies in Republican-leaning states over immigration and federal overreach. The provision on immigrants was included in a plan drafted […]

child at a desk, covid mask

Parents say public health backlash risks their child’s life

BY: - October 2, 2021

Parents of a 6-year-old child with Down syndrome are invoking federal law to ask a northwest Wisconsin school district to reinstate and maintain COVID-19 prevention measures in the child’s school. An attorney for the parents filed a formal request Friday for the Menomonie area school district in Dunn County to institute strong pandemic mitigation policies […]

Newspapers on Bench

Bill Lueders named to National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame

BY: - October 1, 2021

Bill Lueders was a young journalist at Madison’s Isthmus newspaper in the late 1980s when he learned the value of public records. Lueders wanted to see the complaints filed by citizens against the Madison police. This straightforward request led to a lawsuit — and then another one — joined by the Wisconsin State Journal and […]

Welcoming Afghan school children

BY: - September 29, 2021

James Sayavong knows what it’s like to be a refugee in America. His father was a military officer in Laos when the communists overran his country after the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam and the surrounding area. His mother buried documents in the yard for fear that the communist government would come after their family. […]

Protesters gather to march on Mayor Tom Barrett's house, to demand a freeze on evictions. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Activists demand rental assistance, eviction protection for all

BY: - September 28, 2021

The Milwaukee Autonomous Tenants Union (MATU) participated in a national call to action to stop evictions over the weekend. Organized by the national Cancel the Rents movement, participants on the call demanded that Congress extend an indefinite eviction moratorium, cancel all mortgage and rent debt and to speed up the distribution of rental assistance funds. […]

Protesters gather to march on Mayor Tom Barrett's house, to demand a freeze on evictions. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Activists demand rental assistance, eviction protection for all

BY: - September 28, 2021

The Milwaukee Autonomous Tenants Union (MATU) participated in a national call to action to stop evictions over the weekend. Organized by the national Cancel the Rents movement, participants demanded that Congress extend an indefinite eviction moratorium, cancel all mortgage and rent debt and speed up the distribution of rental assistance funds. “At this point nationally […]