SIU students, joined by striking faculty, protest around campus during a week long strike demanding a resolution to ongoing contract negotiations between tenured faculty and SIU administration. The strike ended Nov. 8 without a settlement between both groups.
I had the opportunity in the past few weeks to photograph the Community Gospel Choir in Kirkwood, MO, a suburb southwest of St. Louis. Cecelia Stearman started the choir in 2007 in response to racial tensions in the city. The choir’s objective is “to build bridges that restore unity to the community”. The February after the choir was formed Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton, an African American, killed five city officials and shot the Mayor of Kirkwood, Mike Swoboda, at a city hall meeting. Thornton, from the neighborhood in Kirkwood called Meachum Park, felt he and his neighbors were being treated unfairly in regard to redevelopment plans in the area. Since the shootings, improving race relations is a big topic in Kirkwood and Stearman hopes that her choir can help overcome a few barriers. For more information about race relations in Kirkwood visit: http://www.stlbeacon.org/issues-politics/region/race-frankly/14574?task=view
Judy Askew, mayor of Brookport, Il, commemorates Veteran’s Day by visiting the grave of her late husband, Colonel Donald Askew, at Mound City National Cemetery, in Mound City, Il., November 11, 2010. Instead of bringing the typical floral arrangement, Judy and her daughter, Leah, brought a paper flower made out of a McDonald’s wrapper and a McDonald’s cheeseburger to share. Judy Askew says, “He was absolutely crazy over McDonald’s cheeseburgers. We even put a cheeseburger in the memory box of his coffin. He wouldn’t be offended, he would have expected it!” Colonel Askew served in the military over 30 years and was a presidential adviser during the Regan and Carter administration.