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Yandy Smith-Harris discusses activism, the election and her career

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Yandy Smith-Harris discusses using her platform to empower social justice causes and more in conversation with Marc Lamont Hill.

Love and Hip Hop Star Yandy Smith-Harris sat down with theGrio host Marc Lamont Hill to discuss entrepreneurship and activism and using her platform to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.

Read More: Yandy Smith-Harris talks voting, activism on Students for Biden’s ‘On The Yard’ series

As summer protests continued, the popular reality TV star made news for not only protesting but going to jail while in the act. Alongside Real Housewives Of Atlanta star Porsha Williams and other demonstrators, Smith-Harris was arrested this summer for marching in Lousiville, Kentucky. As theGrio reported, Smith was horrified by the terrible conditions she and protesters endured while in custody.

“The bathroom is just completely disgusting, like feces on the toilet. Feces on the floor. You would think there was a puddle of water, but it was urine,” she said after being released.

During the Instagram Live conversation with Hill, the 40-year-old said the decision to not charge officers in Taylor’s violent death was “an egregious miscarriage of justice.” She also said Taylor’s mom stood with them during every protest.

It was disgraceful, to say the least, to be a Black woman and to realize that they felt like the wall was more important than her life,” Smith-Harris said. “It was the worst news that we could have heard. We put our bodies on the line. Every time we were out there protesting, every time we got locked up, her mom was there waiting for us. Her mom was on the front lines with us.”

Although Smith has made recent headlines connected to her fight for justice for Breonna Taylor, the entrepreneur detailed her beginnings with activism and protesting and finding purpose

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Education committee discusses long-term effects of remote learning

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Remote learning and school districts’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic were in the spotlight Wednesday at a Senate Education Committee and Higher Education Committee joint hearing.



a little girl sitting at a table


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The hearing was the latest in the Black Caucus’ agenda-building series of hearings focusing on education, criminal justice and health care.

Robin Steans, president of the education policy and advocacy organization Advance Illinois, said it is challenging to determine whether or not a teacher is reaching a student when they are not in the classroom.

“Just showing up and logging in is very different,” Steans said. “It is so much more challenging for a teacher to be able to understand whether a kid is really engaging in the material when you are trying to do things like hybrid fashion, remote, etc.”

Steans said being out of the classroom is causing kids to fall behind. She cited research that showed schools affected by Hurricane Katrina and long-running teacher strikes in Argentina had lasting effects on students, including lower incomes when they became adults.

“What you see in those events is that kids were, in fact, affected over time,” Steans said. “When things got back to normal, they didn’t necessarily get back on track.”

Dr. Barry Clark, executive director of Illinois Association of School Administrators, said it is a goal to get all Illinois students back into the classroom as soon as possible. To achieve that, he said schools will need access to a state-sponsored rapid response testing program. They will also have to prepare for the future.

“We need to think about what it is going to look like when there is a vaccine for COVID-19,” he said. “Is that going to be a requirement? If so, is it going to be a requirement to be in person