All posts by Jasmine Ellis

#BlackWomenMatter: The fight to support incarcerated black women

By Jasmine M. Ellis

A Medill Newsmakers Report

There are 106,000 women in prison in the United States. But how does race factor into this? According to The Sentencing Project, the number of African-American women in prison was more than double that of white women in 2014.  This edition of Medill Newsmakers will examine how black women are affected by incarceration. We will specifically address what the process is like for some black women transitioning back into society. In addition, we will discuss what organizations are doing to support black women who are in and out of prison.


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Leslie’s Place Gives Formerly Incarcerated Women a Second Chance at Life

By Jasmine M. Ellis

Second chances in life are far and few between, but Leslie Brown knows what it’s like to have one. Brown, who was formerly incarcerated gives a second chance to women through her organization Leslie’s Place.

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Medill Reports Newscast: NFL Draft Edition

By Jasmine M. Ellis

With the NFL Draft in town, Chicago expects a huge turn out from fans. Watch our team coverage on what to expect.

Photo at top: Chicago is ready for the 2016 NFL Draft in Grant Park. (Caroline Kenny/MEDILL)

One UIC Student’s Fight for Justice in Palestine

Jasmine M. Ellis

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict not only impacts people abroad but also in Chicago. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) student Manar Daghash spoke on her experiences as a Palestinian American.


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#WHERESTHEJUSTICE: Muslim students talk about social justice from an Islamic perspective

By Jasmine M. Ellis

Students at Loyola University Chicago are learning more about the Muslim community through Islam Appreciation Week. Hosted by the Muslim Student Association, the organization is focusing on social justice from an Islamic perspective. Using #WHERESTHEJUSTICE students are contributing to the conversation by sharing what social justice issues matter most to them. Muslim students hope to use this week as a platform to change the narrative surrounding Islam in the media.

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#SayHerName, hear her too: black women activists fight to be heard

By Jasmine M. Ellis

In the age of #SayHerName and #BlackLivesMatter social justice movements, black women have played a key role in protesting injustice across the country. Dedicated to changing the U.S. political and racial climate, they have demanded their voices be heard, while demanding change.

However, black women have been noticeably absent from many conversations surrounding feminism and civil rights. This sense of absenteeism is called “erasure,” referring to a group of people whose lived experiences are ignored by society and unaddressed by social policy. Even in historic social justice movements, black women have fought for acknowledgment: During 1960s civil rights movement and women’s movement of the ’70s, their voices were often muted in favor of black male voices or white women’s needs. For example, Dorothy Height, of the National Council of Negro Women, was not allowed to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, though she did share the podium with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


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Local college women answer the call for Hillary at Old Town phone bank

By Jasmine M. Ellis and Torene Harvin

With the March 15 Illinois primary less than a week away, local college students hosted an evening of phone banking for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday at the Parkway Ballroom in Old Town.

Sponsored by Hillary for America, several of the volunteers remember meeting Clinton at a young age and wanting to be like her since childhood. A mixed crowd, most volunteers were women.

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Civil Rights Legend: Black Lives Mattered — Then and Now

By Jasmine M. Ellis

In the age of Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName movements, America’s current racial climate eerily mirrors its past, according to renowned civil rights activist Diane Nash.

“My contemporaries had you in mind when we reacted,” said Nash, keynote speaker for Northwestern University’s campus observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday held on Jan. 25. “Even though we had not yet met you we loved you, and we were trying to bring about the best society we could for you to be born into and to come to age in.

“Future generations are going to look to you to do the same for them,” Nash said.
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Would Jesus really do that?: Experts weigh in on Wheaton College controversy

By Jasmine M. Ellis

Whose God is it anyway?

As a Christian, Dr. Larycia Hawkins thought she was doing what Jesus would do when she posted a photo of herself in December wearing a hijab head covering on Facebook in solidarity with Muslims worldwide.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of The Book,” she said in the status. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

Little did Hawkins know she was setting off a theological firestorm and set the stage for her potential firing by suggesting the religions worship the same God. Officials at the west suburban university suspended her and moved to revoke her tenure to fire her.
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Anti-abortion activists bring caroling to West Loop clinic

By Jasmine M. Ellis

In the midst of tension between pro-abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion protesters from various groups, Christmas carolers gathered in front of a West Loop abortion provider on December 5.

In frigid temperatures, escorts from The Clinic Vest Project accompanied people to and from the clinic past anti-abortion activists who sang Christmas carols and spoke about God’s love for the patients.

Organized by the Pro-Life Action League, such “Empty Manger” Christmas Caroling events are taking place across the country until December 19.

The group’s website lists a “Chicago Caroling Tour” scheduled for December 19 visiting four locations, including a Planned Parenthood and Family Planning Associates Medical Group, the target of the December 5 event. Continue reading