Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The U.S. Secretary of Education stopped by Hartford on Wednesday to talk about the importance of school diversity. 

Secretary John King only has a few months left in his position, but he made one thing clear to an audience of about 100 educators and students -- diversity helps everyone.

Joe Brusky / Creative Commons

An officer-involved fatal shooting and subsequent violent protests has brought Milwaukee’s police department to the national spotlight. The force has been led for the past eight years by Ed Flynn, who has ties to Massachusetts, including a brief stint in Springfield. 

A New York City man was charged Monday in Saturday's shooting deaths of an imam and his associate as they left a mosque in Queens. Police say the suspect, Oscar Morel, 35, of Brooklyn, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Police Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner describes how the crime occurred:

Milwaukee saw a second night of unrest on Sunday following a fatal police shooting this weekend. Sunday's protests were smaller and less destructive than the previous night's, although some violence continued and one person was shot and wounded under unknown circumstances.

The weekend's demonstrations and rioting were prompted by the police killing of a 23-year-old black man, identified by police as Sylville Smith, on Saturday. Smith ran from police during a traffic stop. Police say he was carrying a gun.

Riots Follow Fatal Police Shooting In Milwaukee

Aug 14, 2016

Riots erupted in Milwaukee's north side late Saturday night, in the same neighborhood a police officer fatally shot a 23-year-old man earlier in the day.

Milwaukee police said in a statement that at approximately 3:30 p.m., two uniformed officers stopped two male occupants in a car, who proceeded to flee the scene on foot.

USA Swimming Wants More Diversity In The Pool

Aug 13, 2016

Simone Manuel made history Thursday night by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.

Adam Frenier / NEPR

Mayor Domenic Sarno told a national news outlet that he feels Springfield, MA’s police department “accurately” reflects the diversity of his city. But the department’s own numbers — from August of 2014 — tell a different story.

Editor's Note: This piece contains language that some readers may find offensive.

It was a hot day in Cleveland at the height of the Republican National Convention and Stevedore Crawford Jr. was angry. He stomped through the city sweating through his white T-shirt, stopping at corners to denounce police. Right next to him was his young daughter, wearing the same camouflage pants as her dad. She also wore the same white T-shirt, scrawled with Tamir Rice's name.

Tamir was a 12-year-old boy killed by Cleveland police in November 2014.

Maudib/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut's Department of Insurance is holding public hearings this week on double-digit rate increases requested by the state's health insurers for the 2017 coverage year.

The increases would affect more than 100,000 residents insured by three companies.

Esther Shittu / WNPR

When we did our show on Romeo and Juliet a few months ago, Tina Packer invited us to come up to Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass., to see her new production of The Merchant of Venice this summer. Colin said we'd love to; we'll come up there and do a show!

It seemed like the sort of niceties that people often toss off on the radio.

But it turns out they meant it. And so, so did we! So we went up and taped a show in the Berkshires with Tina and her Shylock, Jonathan Epstein.

Michael Jordan is condemning violence against both African-Americans and police. His forceful and emotional statement, released by ESPN's The Undefeated, is a marked change for the NBA legend.

Jordan has been famously apolitical during his career — first as a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and more recently as an owner of the Charlotte Hornets — avoiding public statements on politics and civil rights, when other athletes have spoken out.

Justin O' Brien

"Black Boy Jungle" is a performance piece that incorporates multiple styles of dance, including modern, ballet and break dancing, along with narration and live music. It's a high-energy, interactive work with twists and surprises. 

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

This hour, community leaders, activists, and law enforcement officers discuss the recent string of deadly shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and Dallas. We consider what's driving these horrific acts of violence. Is it racism? Our nation's gun culture? Something else entirely? And how do you talk to your kids about all of this?

Charlie Jane Anders / Flickr

Author Ben Winter's latest work of alternative History, Underground Airlines, has been getting lots of attention in the short time since its release. Taking on themes such as institutional racism, social responsibility and personal redemption, the novel's relevance to today's top issues can't be denied.

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

The former Yale University dining hall worker fired for smashing a stained-glass window depicting slaves is asking for his job back.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Erik (HASH) Hersman / Creative Commons

The Republican and Democratic National Conventions are just around the corner. The presumptive nominees? Two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent history: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. 

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Sam Hudzik / NEPR

Several hundred protesters gathered outside Springfield’s City Hall Monday, calling for fair treatment from police for blacks and Latinos.

There's a reason Jose Luis Vilson's students learn in groups: He wants them to feel comfortable working with anyone in the classroom, something he's realized in his 11 years of teaching doesn't always come naturally.

"I don't really give students a chance to self-select until later on, when I feel like they can pretty much group with anybody," he says.

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

Yale University officials have asked the state not to pursue criminal charges against a former worker who destroyed a stained glass window depicting slaves in a cotton field. 

On Tuesday, in Baton Rouge, La., 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot by police. The next day, in Falcon Heights, Minn., police shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile. Both were black men, and videos of their deaths have been watched by millions online.

These two videos aren't special. And that's what's so heartbreaking. What do you do with that information as a black person — knowing that the graphic violent death of these men is not a special circumstance.

Law enforcement officials are investigating identified suspect Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite, who was killed Friday morning by police after an hours-long standoff.

Five officers were killed and six others injured Thursday night in downtown Dallas after a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. A suspect was reported dead early this morning.

Warner Bros.

There's a new entry in the long, long canon of Tarzan stories and adaptations and shows and movies and musicals and Happy Meals toys or whatever. This time around, True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård stars as the bare-chested, animal-whispering titular character. The Nose went to see "The Legend of Tarzan," and we can't help but recognize its troubles of race and unending violence in this week's news.