Clear eyes full hearts can choose

What do you get when a bunch of devoted Americans decide to raise some money to help the women of the Lone Star State protect their constitutionally protected right to reproductive choice?

From 7-10 Eastern tonight, you get a “Pop-Up Telethon” at LadyPartsJustice.com!

Comedians Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead will be hosting an all-star online cavalcade where donations will be given to benefit The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity,Texas Equal Access Fund, Whole Woman’s Health, and Fund Texas Women.

And event organizer Alison Turkos joins SPAR to talk about the event which begins right at the end of this show!


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Science, politics and race

By Jamila Bey

We have two special guests today to discuss the need for inclusivity in science realm. Dr. Danielle Lee, The Urban Scientist, is a biologist and expert in animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology. Dr. Chris Emdin is an Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Both join the Sex Politics And Religion hour to talk about the fact that there’s much work being done to make science more inclusive.

From code-switching to becoming an economy of entrepreneurs, science is at the heart of what we do, but we’re unfortunately missing the story that much of what’s happening.

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Part 2:

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Wikler’s ‘The Good Fight’

Progressive news talk media has been left wanting since the demise of the Air America Radio network, which existed just from 2004-2010.

The network launched the career of Rachel Maddow, proved that Chuck D was far more than a definitive rap artist–he is a consummate intellectual as well–and helped comedian Al Franken rise from the halls of Rockefeller Center to the halls of the US Senate.

Another Air America voice, Ben Wikler, is now back on the air with a new show called “The Good Fight.” He’s taking the opportunity to tell stories that too often are left untold and unshared by most media. We also manage to sing some Julie Andrews during the interview as a show of solidarity!


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‘Illegal, or Just Sleazy?’

A viral comedy video is illustrating to New York state residents that women often don’t get the same legal protections as men.

The video is set as game show, “Illegal or Just Sleazy?”, which asks New Yorkers if various scenarios break the law. The actress playing the contestant role does a convincing job showing her character’s outrage over learning that she can be fired legally for discussing salary with men who out-earn her, that she can be denied an apartment because of her status as a victim of domestic violence, and that it’s merely “sleazy” if her boss at a company with 4 or fewer employees sexually harasses her.

President of NOW-NYC, Sonia Osorio, joins SPAR to discuss how these topics, despite the video making the case as comedy, are no laughing matter, and that voters across the country need to take on the fight for equality under the law that New Yorkers are demanding.


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Diversity in news

A number of disturbing stories in the news this week have required analysis in terms of race and gender.

From the locker room “banter” that saw the suspension of a Miami Dolphins football player, to the Washington Post column criticizing interracial families, to the coalition of New York women’s rights groups whose viral game show video points out gender inequity in NY state law, SPAR has a lot to discuss.

Joining Jamila to analyze the way such stories are covered, and who is chosen to cover them, is Syracuse University educator and Ph.D. candidate Sherry Williams. Williams donned her media analyst cap to critique the manner in which hyper-masculinity and casual dismissal of the voices and experiences of women and non-white sources are routinely undervalued.


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Women’s vote 2013

Melissa Fabello, editor of “Everyday Feminism” and a sexuality educator, makes her debut on SPAR with Jamila.

The two look at the gubernatorial race in Virginia and the Mayoral race in New York City, assessing what women and those voting for women’s interests may wish to consider as the country sees its population change. The rise of the youth and the female vote as major segments capable of swaying major elections is not unexpected, but still needs some time to coalesce in a manner that can bring more political power to those voters.

Fabello says there is much to be happy about, but there’s still some work to be done in terms of making a more politically active and aware voting public.


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Louisiana vouchers–for more segregation as well as less science

For the first time since starting to cover the issue of school vouchers in Louisiana, the show will not be arguing about science standards!

Dr. Kevin Welner, the Director of the National Education Policy Center joins me to talk about Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s fight against the US Department of Justice.

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Over the past several months, there has been a well-orchestrated political outcry against the DOJ for filing a legal motion in a long-standing desegregation case. The motion asks the court to require Louisiana to collect and report relevant data about the impact of that state’s voucher policy on racial segregation.

Louisiana’s new voucher law may undermine established desegregation orders issued as a result of unconstitutional discrimination by the state of Louisiana as well as many of its school districts.

However, Welner stresses that the DOJ motion is not designed to stop the implementation of the state’s voucher program. Instead, the motion seeks to bring the program within the scope of existing law and to avoid further segregation in the state.


Kerry Washington hosts SNL

Last Saturday night brought some relief for all who are tired of watching a man in a dress on SNL whenever the skit calls for a black woman character.

 “Scandal” star Kerry Washington brought her acting chops to the late night sketch fest, and unfortunately, left something to be desired. Arguing that the writers simply don’t know what to do with Black women characters, Washington found herself being symbolized as all that is lacking in diversity for the show. New York City comedian Leighann Lord from www.VeryFunnyLady.com makes her debut on SPAR with Jamila to talk about the brouhaha that has been the issue of black women on SNL for some time.


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Black girls rock

The BET network aired the annual “Black Girls Rock” awards ceremony.

“The Griot” called the celebration the “antidote” to negative media portrayals of African-American women. Music journalist Shannon Barbour joins me to talk about the ceremony and also about the myth that there hasn’t been a talented black female lyricist, producer and artist who wasn’t manufactured by industry handlers since the days of Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill ruling even the Pop Charts. There are a number of Black women making art and making history on their own terms.

 Shannon also shares some of the artists who are creating and making great music in Atlanta that might be interesting to check out and learn from.


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Greece v. Galloway preview

Tomorrow the Supreme Court hears a case which can be summarized thus: Will a New York town be able to start its municipal meetings with prayers?

Host of Due Diligence and frequent SPAR partner Carmen Russell-Sluchansky joins me to argue why this case may not be as clear to decide as State/Church absolutists might believe.

The conversation invokes Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s quote that “(religious) Endorsement sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.”

Jamila and Carmen enjoy much disagreement about how the Supreme Court will rule in the case.


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‘American Promise’

Seun Sommers and Idris Brewster were admitted to the prestigious Dalton School in New York City as five year-olds.

Brewster’s parents, Joe Brewster and Michelle Stephenson, are filmmakers, and for thirteen years they chronicled their son and his friend’s lives in and out of Dalton.

The resulting film, “American Promise” tells stories about how race and gender can conspire to derail the education of black boys.

American Promise opens in DC this Friday at the E Street Cinema at 7PM, with the filmmakers present for a Q&A session after the screening.

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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A very racist Halloween!

#BlackTwitter strikes again! When a trio posted on social media a photo of themselves dressed up as “Robbin’ da Hood,” “George Zimmerman” with fingers pointed as if a gun toward, a bloody-hoodied, black-faced “Trayvon Martin,” folks inundated the workplaces of at least two of the posers with e-mails, phone calls and social media messages.
Joining me to talk about the power, and the responsibility of online activists is Mikki Kendall. She’s a blogger, a writer, and the brains behind “Hood Feminism”. We also bring up Julianne Hough and her unfortunate blackface Halloween costume as well.

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