Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a political correspondent for NPR covering race, justice and politics. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and also previously covered Congress for NPR.

She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss national politics. In 2016, Summers was a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service.

She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Kansas City, Mo.

Updated September 22, 2021 at 5:55 PM ET

Months of bipartisan negotiations over policing reform legislation have ended with no agreement, according to the lawmakers who led the process.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat, told reporters that he had a conversation on Wednesday with Republican negotiator Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, indicating that the talks were over.

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More than 50 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and reminded America of the "fierce urgency of now," activists are hoping to re-create the power of that day.

Thousands of activists are expected to converge Saturday in Washington and other cities across the country on the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington as part of the national fight over access to the ballot box.

House lawmakers approved new legislation aimed at protecting the right to vote on Tuesday, amid a wave of restrictive new elections laws from Republican-controlled state legislatures.

The bill is named for the Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who died last year.

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Today President Biden delivered his most forceful rebuke of the wave of voting restriction proposed by Republicans across the country, arguing that those efforts are the biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.

Updated June 8, 2021 at 2:47 PM ET

Sen. Joe Manchin praised a Tuesday morning meeting with civil rights leaders, calling it "constructive" and "informative," but maintained his opposition to a sweeping set of election overhaul measures known as the For the People Act.

Vice President Harris on Wednesday urged Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to turn their pain, after a year marked by a surge of racially motivated attacks, into power.

She also praised the passage of legislation to address the increase in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

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After a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts yesterday, President Biden called George Floyd's family, and then the family shared some video of that call.

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President Biden marked the important moment for the country speaking from the White House.

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Updated April 20, 2021 at 2:24 PM ET

When Joe Biden offered his condolences to the loved ones of George Floyd in a video address that played at Floyd's funeral service last year, he posed a question.

"Why, in this nation, do too many Black Americans wake up knowing they could lose their life in the course of living their life?" Biden asked.

Biden, then his party's presumptive presidential nominee, urged the country in that speech to use Floyd's death as a call for action to address systemic racism.

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President Biden has pledged to help end the epidemic of Black men being killed by police. But he's also presented himself as an ally of the law enforcement community. NPR's Juana Summers takes a look at the line the president is walking.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 1:43 AM ET

A House committee has voted to move forward with a bill that would establish a commission to develop proposals to help repair the lasting effects of slavery. The vote came nearly three decades after the bill was was first introduced.

Fresh debate over the issue of reparations for the descendants of enslaved people comes amid a national reckoning over race and justice.

President Biden's sweeping $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan also aims to deploy more than $5 billion to support community-based violence prevention programs.

As President Biden called on senators to quickly pass legislation to tighten the nation's background checks system, he said that he did not need to "wait another minute" to address the epidemic of gun violence.

Even before the deadly shootings at spas in the Atlanta area killed six women of Asian descent, President Biden had taken steps to address the recent surge of violence against Asians and Asian Americans by making forceful statements against hate and harassment, banning the federal government from employing the sort of "inflammatory and xenophobic" language used by his predecessor and tasking senior administration leaders to hold "listening sessions" with community leaders and advocates.

There is little difference in reluctance to take the coronavirus vaccine among Black and white people in the U.S., according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

House lawmakers have passed two bills aimed at strengthening the nation's gun laws, including a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales and transfers.

The top Senate Democrat vowed to bring up legislation expanding background checks up for a vote, but it does not have the 60 votes needed in the chamber to advance.

Congressional lawmakers are launching a fresh push for significant gun control legislation, introducing two bills aimed at sweeping overhauls of the nation's gun laws.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by California Rep. Mike Thompson, who leads the congressional task force on gun violence prevention, reintroduced legislation Tuesday to require background checks for all gun purchasers.

The day before President Biden's allies on Capitol Hill were set to roll out his sweeping immigration overhaul, a group of activists rallied outside of the headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, projecting a message onto the building's façade.

"ICE is deporting and torturing people," the all-caps message read. "Abolish ICE and CBP," a reference to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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A Latino advocacy group wants more lawmakers to learn to speak Spanish, not just to pull out a few awkward words when they run for office. NPR's Juana Summers reports.

The voting advocacy organization Voto Latino is calling on elected lawmakers to make a year-round effort to engage with Latino constituents. They're also calling out those who make feeble attempts to speak to voters in Spanish.

"We want elected leaders to continue communicating with our community in the language that they speak and understand, but also with real frequency," said Danny Friedman, the managing director of Voto Latino. "Our community is not simply a group to check off the list at campaign time."

During his first full week in office, President Biden made clear that addressing inequity would be not only a fixture of his presidency, but also the responsibility of the entire federal government.

As he signed a series of executive actions, he declared that "advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our government."

On the day that California Gov. Gavin Newsom named Kamala Harris' replacement in the U.S. Senate, Molly Watson jumped on a call with other organizers and the two Black women in Congress whom they had urged Newsom to appoint to the seat instead.

It was an emotional conversation, in which Watson said she struggled to hold back tears.

The vast majority of mayors in American cities do not support sweeping changes to the funding of their police departments, and most say last year's racial justice protests were a force for good in their cities, according to a new survey of more than 100 mayors from across the U.S.

Before they gather virtually to watch the inauguration, students at YELLS, a nonprofit youth empowerment program in Marietta, Ga., will receive some special packages.

Each student will get a delivery that includes an American flag, a copy of the oath of office and a special set of pearls in honor of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. YELLS staffers are encouraging their students to dress up to watch the ceremony, to make a ruckus with provided noisemakers. And after the ceremony, staff will guide them in writing letters to the new president and vice president.

A coalition of progressive groups say they are organizing a sweeping network to mobilize around climate change, racial and environmental justice, making a new unified push as President-elect Joe Biden is days away from taking office with Democrats set to control both the House and the Senate.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., are unveiling legislation that would seek to end federal capital punishment, putting a focus on the issue as their party prepares to take over complete control of Congress, along with the White House.

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