Chicago, IL

Racial segregation intensifies in Chicago: study

May 28, 2002
Latinos and blacks will most likely outnumber whites in the city of Chicago by the end of the decade, but most whites would never know it if they were to judge by their own neighborhoods, researchers at Harvard University said Tuesday.
     That's because far from promoting racial diversity, the increasing number of minorities has only strengthened the racial segregation of this Midwestern metropolis, which has long been demarcated along black and white lines.
     The problem is particularly evident in the suburbs of Chicago, where Latinos -- the fastest growing racial group -- congregated in Spanish-speaking enclaves during the 1990s, according to an analysis of housing and census data.

Chicago firefighters awarded $2.3M

May 19, 2002
Nine white firefighters won more than $2.3 million in back pay and damages because their scores on a lieutenant's test were lowered 16 years ago because the city wanted to promote minorities.
      A federal jury found Friday that eight of the men would have attained the rank of captain by now if they hadn't been passed over, and at least three of the men would have been promoted to battalion chief after promotional exams this past February.
      The city lowered the scores of white firefighters to even the results of what was believed to be a racially biased test in a practice called "race norming" – made illegal by the 1991 Civil Rights Act. In 2000, a jury found the test fair and that the city erred in lowering the scores of whites.

Profit and prejudice: America's denial of racism

May 14, 2002
Slowly, this society is beginning to face reality about slavery, about bigotry and about discrimination. And as it does, the heat around the argument about reparations may well turn to light.
     This month, Chicago's Unitrin Insurance Group agreed to pay $27 million in restitution to African-American policyholders across the country -- over 7,000 in Illinois alone -- who were charged more for insurance because of the color of their skin.
     The settlement was not controversial. The company had sustained race-based policies for years. They charged blacks more than whites for the same insurance. They robbed black policyholders on the basis of the color of their skin. As the Illinois insurance commissioner noted, the settlement was very lenient, since the company benefited over time from the use of that money and their black policyholders lost the ability to invest the money in other ways. 

Black factory workers get settlement

March 28, 2002
Factory employees who were harassed with epithets, racist graffiti and displays of hangman's nooses will receive a $1.82 million settlement, federal officials said.
     A lawsuit filed in January 2000 on behalf of 32 current and former black employees of Scientific Colors Inc. accused the company of racial harassment at its Rockdale facility.
     The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a settlement in the lawsuit Wednesday. 

Study says blacks get poorer care

March 12, 2002
Blacks get poorer quality care than whites when it comes to mental illness and certain other ailments, a study of patients enrolled in Medicare managed-care plans suggests.
      While other studies have found broad racial inequities in medicine, this is one of the first to show it exists in mental health treatment, the researchers said.
      The reasons for the gap found in the study are unclear, but the researchers said lack of access to medical care – a reason cited in other research – is unlikely because they compared blacks and whites enrolled in similar plans.

Halle Berry transcend labels

March 09, 2002
Halle Berry says she's on a mission to be a transcending black actress – a pursuit that has been an uphill battle at times.
      Berry said she has had several encounters with racism during her film career, which has included roles in "Monster's Ball," "Swordfish" and "Bulworth."
      "What's hardest for me to swallow is when there is a love story, say, with a really high-profile male star and there's no reason I can't play the part," Berry told The New York Times for Sunday editions. "They say, 'Oh, we love Halle, we just don't want to go black with this part.' What enrages me is that those are such racist statements, but the people saying them don't think they are."

Man settles disability bias suit for more than $160K

January 17, 2002
The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., and the law firm of Freeborn & Peters, announced that a settlement has been reached in a federal Fair Housing Act lawsuit filed on behalf of Michael Scialabba, a disabled young man; his parents, James and Barbara Scialabba; and HOPE Fair Housing Center against the Sierra Blanca Condominium Number One Association in Hanover Park, Illinois, and ABC Property Managers, Inc.
      Under the general terms of the settlement, the Condominium Association and Property Manager agree to pay $110,000 to the Scialabbas, HOPE Fair Housing Center, and their attorneys, and to take measures to prevent and eradicate discrimination against any current or future resident at Sierra Blanca on the basis of the individual's actual or perceived disability. The defendants also agreed to purchase an annuity for Michael Scialabba's benefit.
      In 1984, Michael, who was 16 years old at the time, suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident. As a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident, Michael's speech and movements are impaired, causing him to have difficulty speaking and to walk unsteadily.
      The lawsuit, alleged, among other things, that the Condominium Association and Property Manager failed to reasonably accommodate Michael's disability in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act, and that the association failed to follow its own rules and regulations in violation of the Illinois Condominium Property Act.

Joseph Galvan: New HUD Midwest Regional Director

December 03, 2001
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Joseph P. Galvan, from Downers Grove, IL, has been named as Regional Director for the six states in HUD's Midwest Region, based in Chicago.
     Galvan will be HUD's liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials, Congressional delegations, stakeholders and customers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. He will oversee the delivery of HUD programs and services to communities, and evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness. Galvan is one of ten regional directors in the U.S.
     Since 1997, Galvan has been a principal at Galvan & Associates, LLC, a minority-owned urban planning firm, where he conceptualized and directed planning and economic development projects for private and public sector clients. From 1984 to 1997, Galvan worked for Country Club Hills and the villages of Franklin Park and Maywood on zoning, urban planning and economic development issues.

Chicago Muslims share fears, mistrust of U.S. acts

November 19, 2001
As a Chicago native, and a woman, Amina Saeed ought to have nothing to fear by the FBI's decision last week to interview 5,000 young men who have recently entered the United States on business, student or tourist visas. But in the current environment, she fears, it just gives the uninformed another reason to target Muslims.
      "We want to know who did this [September 11 terrorist attacks] as much as anyone else," said Saeed, 30, an attorney of Pakistani ancestry who has lived here all her life. "My cousin was in the World Trade Center when it was bombed" in September and did not escape, she said. "But after the Oklahoma City bombing, we didn't say beware of all white men under 40. And after the Unabomber, we didn't warn everyone to beware of any male from Harvard. We can't start trampling on constitutional rights."
      Saeed was among 3,800 Muslims and non-Muslims who gathered at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago today to explore the shared fears and mistrust that has spread since the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York. The 19 hijackers involved were of Arab descent, federal authorities said.

Farrakhan seeks proof Bin Laden aided attack

October 18, 2001
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has embraced Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and condemned Zionism, says President Bush should make public the evidence that Osama bin Laden was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
      "Don't hide behind national security," Farrakhan said Tuesday. "The nation would be more secure if you give the American people a reason to fight."
      Farrakhan said it is not enough for America and its allies to say they have proof that bin Laden and his al Qaeda network were responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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