President Joe Biden delivers a speech on voting rights at the National Constitution Center, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden declared preserving voting rights an urgent national “test of our time” on Tuesday but offered few concrete proposals to meet it. Texas Democrats took their own dramatic action to stymie Republican efforts to tighten ballot restrictions in their state.

Marc Morial, center, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League, talks with reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 8, 2021, following a meeting with President Joe Biden and leadership of top civil rights organizations. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden met with civil rights leaders Thursday in the West Wing, while Vice President Kamala Harris announced $25 million in new spending by the Democratic National Committee on actions to protect voting access ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

An aerial shot of the newly constructed Southside Recycling, 11600 S. Burley Ave. (Courtesy of Reserve Management Group)

The city is conducting additional environmental studies after the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said the proposal raises “significant civil rights concerns.”

In this Dec. 7, 2019 photo provided by Brad Hamilton, Jessica Stern, head of Outright International, speaks during the OutSummit in New York. (Brad Hamilton / OutRight Action International via AP)

Jessica Stern, soon to become the State Department’s special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, sees a mix of promising news and worrisome developments almost everywhere she looks, both at home and abroad.

An aerial shot of the newly constructed Southside Recycling, 11600 S. Burley Ave. (Courtesy of Reserve Management Group)

A federal judge will not force the city to permit Reserve Management Group, the parent company of General Iron, to operate a metal shredding and recycling operation on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

In this Sunday, June 11, 2017 file photo, Equality March for Unity and Pride participants march past the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

The federal government will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care, the Biden administration declared Monday, reversing a Trump-era policy that narrowed rights at the intersection of changing social mores and sensitive medical decisions. 

FILE - In this April 26, 2021, file photo Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington. (Mandel Ngan / Pool via AP)

The Justice Department is sending a strong message about its priorities these days. In just over the past two weeks, it has opened investigations of police in Louisville, Kentucky and Minneapolis.

General Iron’s metal-shredding operation in Lincoln Park. (WTTW News)

City officials agreed Friday to conduct an environmental justice assessment of the proposed shredding operation before issuing the final permit the facility needs to start operating. 

“It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior.”

This month’s Black Voices Book Club selection traces the civil rights trail blazed by Dr. C.T. Vivian. We discuss Vivian’s legacy with Steve Fiffer, the co-author of “It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior.”

Martin Luther King Jr. photograph by Bernard Kleina. (Courtesy of the Elmhurst Art Museum)

A new exhibit at the Elmhurst Art Museum is using photography to explore Chicago’s fair housing history and features rare color photos of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Chicago Freedom Movement.

In this March 7, 1965, file photo, a state trooper swings a billy club at John Lewis, right foreground, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala. (AP Photo / File)

A new executive order from President Joe Biden directs federal agencies to take a series of steps to promote voting access, a move that comes as congressional Democrats press for a sweeping voting and elections bill to counter efforts to restrict voting access.

(MotionStudios / Pixabay)

This week illustrated how far the U.S. has come in the battle for transgender rights and representation — and how far the country still has to go. 

Princeton University professor Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. talks about his hopes for the nation — and those of writer James Baldwin — in this week’s Black Voices Book Club selection.

Author and journalist Deborah Douglas said that traveling the civil rights trail is an emotional experience, but one that is worth having in person. “I gained a greater appreciation for the African American experience and what my elders were able to accomplish,” she said.

President Joe Biden talks about the rise white supremacy in his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

The Biden administration has released its racial equity agenda. We talk with the leaders of the National Urban League and its Chicago affiliate about their hopes for the next four years.

The former home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Commission on Landmarks unanimously approved preliminary landmark status for Emmett Till’s former home, calling the red brick two-flat a “modest home that is monumentally important.”