"I would argue that the system is working as it is intended to work, does it serve communities that we all care about? No, but is it "working"? Sure. […]Some people can work any system, but if a system is set up so that a significant portion of people will not succeed in it, then those people will not succeed in it, and then we’re talking about exceptional-ism, which is so American." - Dr. Coya Paz on The Morning AMp.
Morning AMp hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon talked with Gail Stern whose company Catharsis Productions does rape prevention training with colleges, businesses, and the military. Stern stopped in before her upcoming Social Justice Stand Up event to give us some details about the show and her company. She also discussed what makes a joke funny or not, especially when pertaining to sexual assault.
When NFL quarterback Michael Vick signed to the NY Jets last week, some animal right advocates and fans reignited the conversation about whether Vick, convicted of felony animal abuse charges in 2007, should ever be forgiven. Is dogfighting a particularly egregious crime or does this attitude align with the way our society generally feels about ex-offenders? The AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams spoke with Cynthia Bathurst of Safe Humane about what kind of dogfighting is happening in the region and how her group makes connections between hurt dogs and hurt people.
Sex offenders have to register at a single office in Chicago once a year, or more if they move or change jobs. But the office can’t handle the volume of registrants and people can be left literally in the cold, in violation of the law. WBEZ reporter Rob Wildeboer joined the Morning AMp hosts Brian Babylon andMolly Adams as he explained how the gap is costing money and time.
To address the disproportionate rates of LGBT youth homelessness, and the lack of housing for them in all neighborhoods, a group of mental health professionals and volunteers have come together to form Project Fierce Chicago. Team member Cassandra Avenatti shares their plans to purchase a home in the South or West side and convert it to a transitional living home.
You may have noticed that the AMp doesn’t really “do” Black History Month because we have conversations every day about black history and history in the making. But of course that is not true for the rest of the world, from schools to media to advertising, where “Black History” can seem like, we were slaves, we marched, and now we’re here! Is Black History Month just an opportunity for Nike to sell more sneakers and kids to learn, once again, about George Washington Carver and Harriet Tubman? Comedian Sonia Denis and Ernest Wilkins of the Red Eye joined Morning AMp hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon and A LOT of callers from the West Side to Evanston to figure out what the ideal Black History Month (or year) would look like.
Ernest Wilkins, digital producer at the Red Eye, and comedian Sonia Denis, wrapped up Black History Month by talking about the high and low points. We dip into the world of sports to congratulate Michael Sam and Jason Collins for pushing forward the “normalization” of gay athletes, swing into the world of media to see how respectability politics are still a big part of conversations about black youth, and then knock on Bill Cosby for a bit. How was your Black History Month?
Our friend Jerome McDonnell, host of Worldview, wants to invite you to this year’s Global Activism Expo Part 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center. This year they are focusing on India, from food to dance to social activism.
Since 1971 the women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. have focused on helping young mothers stay healthy during pregnancy, hoping to decrease the infant mortality rate in the African American community. Cynthia McCoy, president of the Chicago chapter, talked with us about their new(ish) partnership with Jackson Park Hospital to run their pre-natal counseling program, The Stork’s Nest.
Yesterday just hours before the state playoff tournament was set to begin, the Homewood- Flossmoor basketball team was eliminated from the tournament because their head coach had illegally recruited players. The IHSA been trying to strike a deal with the team by offering 6 players the opportunity to stay and play in the tournament while the coach and the 11 players eliminated could not play. One of the eliminated players filed a restraining order that would have allowed the team to keep competing in the playoffs, claiming that the parents and the players were unaware of these eligibility requirements. On the flipside, the team did have more training time during the offseason from other teams, so did the recruiting even matter? The AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams along with Dr. Coya Paz discussed this story and explored further into the issue of gentrification.
Buzzer, the just opened play at the Goodman shows the effects of gentrification on the gentrifiers as an interracial couple move back to the “dangerous” New York neighborhood the boyfriend grew up in. Against better advice, they invite his recovering addict friend from childhood to move in with them. Actors Eric Lynch and Shane Kenyon joined us in studio.
The Department of Corrections has a $1.3 billion annual budget so our sister station WBEZ gave a survey to Illinois legislators to find out how many of them had actually visited a prison during their tenure. Reporter Rob Wildeboer joined us to break down the results and explain why it’s always good to do your research.
In support of her newest book titled “Redefining Realness”, Janet Mock, has been making the rounds on television and radio talk shows. The other night she joined CNN host, Piers Morgan, for an interview that Janet described as transphobic on twitter after the show aired. You can hear what Vocalo affiliates, Brian Babylon, Molly Adams, and Dr. Coya Paz have to say about the matter right here.
As a follow up from last week’s discussion, the men being prosecuted in NATO 3trial are being tried under Illinois’ rarely used anti-terror law, but critics of the trial are finding it hard to swallow that the three were capable of creating the kind of chaos the prosecution alleges they were planning. The AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams discussed the new evidence presented by the Prosecution of alleged Facebook messages that contained little evidence of their plot and why it is risky to continue this trial with terrorism laws that have never been used in Cook County before on a trial with too many gray areas.