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Public Affairs

Deborah Vagins On Voting Rights, Justin Elliott On Red Cross

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Tues. 03/17 8:30a: USA Today had one headline, "50 Years Later, Selma Still Inspires," paired with another reading: "Why Ferguson Reports Changed No One's Mind." Somewhere in there is a way for the media to talk about the fight over voting rights and black people's access to basics of democracy as an ongoing story, not just a historical one. We'll talk about voting rights--then and now--with Deborah Vagins, senior legislative counsel at the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.

Also on the show: You may think of the American Red Cross as the venerated deliverer of humanitarian services. Red Cross CEO and former marketing professor Gail McGovern calls it "a brand to die for." (She really said that.) Might the conflict between those visions account for some of the problems the organization had in the wake of Superstorm Sandy? A new investigation by ProPublica and NPR sheds light on that. We'll hear from its co-author, ProPublica's Justin Elliott.

Related Content
  • Changes to voting laws have been gaining steam ever since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Allison Riggs, attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice about what the current fight looks like.
  • Civil rights leaders meeting in Atlanta say states, including Texas and North Carolina, are deliberately trying to make it more difficult for voters. They're calling for a national campaign to strengthen voting rights, increase voter participation and eliminate long lines at the polls.
  • For years, the American Red Cross has said that 91 percent of donations go to help victims of disasters. The only problem? It's not true. This story originally aired Dec. 4 on All Things Considered.