Diversity Headlines

LA’s Korean “Well-Dying” Program Counters End-of-Life Planning Taboo

New America Media - 7 hours 32 min ago
  LOS ANGELES--Last June, terminal brain- cancer patient Brittany Maynard, age 29, ended her life after moving from California to Portland, Ore., to take advantage of that state’s “death with dignity” law allowing for physician-assisted suicide in restricted cases. Given... Nicole Chang http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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DHS Funding Feud Ends: How It Hurt GOP’s Image with Latinos

New America Media - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:17
Republicans in Congress dodged a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday when they passed a clean funding bill, and now some say this feud over funding hurt the GOP’s image with Latinos.The Republican-controlled House approved a... VOXXI http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Documentary Puts Smog on Front Pages of Chinese Newspapers

New America Media - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 17:22
A shocking documentary about China’s air pollution has gotten 150 million views in three days, and sparked conversations on the front pages of Chinese media outlets. The self-funded documentary about smog in China was produced by Chai Jing, a former... China Daily http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

[Video] What 'Ferguson' Means for Black Men, Ages 5 to 50

Colorlines - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 14:19

In time for the DOJ's release today of its investigation of the Ferguson police department: watch 50 black men, ages 5-50, explain what "Ferguson" means in the 4-minute video above. What's fascinating about Cut's experiment is the ages at which 'Ferguson'--and in a separate video, 'police'--start to take on meaning. 

(h/t Cut.com)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Eric Holder Blasts Ferguson's 'Disturbing' Pattern of Racial Bias

Colorlines - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 13:08
Eric Holder Blasts Ferguson's 'Disturbing' Pattern of Racial Bias

The Department of Justice has declined to charge former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, but that doesn't mean outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder is backing off the city. In a speech today, Holder blasted Ferguson for its "routine" constitutional violations and "disturbing" pattern of racial bias against black residents, The Guardian reports.

Holder's remarks came on the heels of the release of a Justice Department investigation into the practices and policies of Ferguson's police department and court system. "It is time for Ferguson's leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action," Holder said

The Department of Justice also announced this morning that it would not charge Wilson, and there's little surprise here. The announcement came seven months after Ferguson police officer killed Michael Brown, and three months after a St. Louis grand jury declined to indict Wilson. "There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson's stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety," the DOJ's criminal report read, ABC reported.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Man Charged in Beating Death of Islan Nettles in New York City

Colorlines - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:56
Man Charged in Beating Death of Islan Nettles in New York City

It's been more than a year since Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old fashion designer and transwoman of color was brutally beaten to death in Harlem. This week New York City police officers announced that James Dixon, 24, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.

The arrest caps a year and a half of often frustrating back-and-forth. Initially, another man was charged with the crime, but those charges were later dropped.

Nettles' death sparked an outcry against violence targeting transgender women of color. From the New York Times:

Ms. Nettles's killing incensed the transgender community in New York and prompted vigils, protests and the formation of an advocacy group, the Trans Women of Color Collective. For many, Ms. Nettles's death became emblematic of violence against transgender people, who are often the targets of beatings, and what many of them see as the indifference the authorities show across the country to the killings of men transitioning to women.

Lourdes Hunter, the director of the Trans Women of Color Collective, said the long delay in bringing charges against Mr. Dixon reflected the low priority such cases have among the police and prosecutors. Ms. Hunter also questioned why the attack was not treated as a hate crime, because no motive other than Ms. Nettles's sexual orientation had been suggested. She also wondered why Mr. Dixon was not charged with murder.

Read more

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[Video] Debunking the Myth That Black Men Are Immune to Harm

Colorlines - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:02

It was difficult last November to ignore the language that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson used to describe Michael Brown. "The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon," he told a St. Louis grand jury in testimony released last November. Wilson also claimed that he felt "like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan," and that, even after having been shot already, "[Brown] was almost bulking up to run through shots."

The grand jury never really questions Wilson's dehumanizing descriptions of Brown, an unarmed teen of similar height and size. As a result, there's little indication that the grand jury even considered that Brown felt fear and pain during his escalating confrontation with Wilson, that his feelings mattered or, more to the point, that he may have been the victim. They are not alone.

"The narrative that young men of color's pain is insignificant--both that it's somehow smaller than the pain that other people experience and that it's somehow less important--is as old as our country," Vera Institute of Justice researcher Danielle Sered told an overflow crowd last week at the Ford Foundation in New York City. The implication and meaning of that narrative was the subject of an extraordinary talk, "Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm." (Watch video above).

Panelists included (l to r): Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY); forensic psychiatrist Dr. Richard Dudley who specializes in treating black male victims; Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson; Howard University theologian and director of Healing Communities prison ministry, Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear; and Danielle Sered, director of Common Justice, a restorative justice program that provides victim services to young black men.

Below, slightly edited highlights from the hour-long panel, which convener Sered hopes will launch a new national conversation that centers the effects of harm and trauma in the lives of young black men.

Common Justice's Danielle Sered, on how treatment and care for victims is racialized...

"As a white woman I know the profound impact it can have on a person for a society to take her pain seriously. When I survived sexual assault in my late teens there were many, many programs available to support me. I didn't actually go to any of those programs. And at the same time their very existence affected me profoundly. They communicated something. They told me that I matter, that what happened to me was wrong, that I was deserving of care, that what happened to me ran contrary to the values of my society in a way that was so important, that society would invest resources in making sure that I came through it OK. And that message from our society, especially when it is reinforced in countless ways by our media and our social institutions, offers a profound and essential support to healing. ... But as a nation, we have failed to make a comparable effort to provide young men of color who survive violence with the services and supports that they need and deserve--even though those young men are among the people most likely to survive harm in our country."

Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear on challenging "thug" imagery and language...

"One of the reasons young black men don't get the attention white women get as victims is that they're not part of the human narrative. We don't see them as human beings. We see them as criminals. We see them as thugs. We see them as animals. We have all kinds of names that we call them rather than recognize their humanity. That contributes to black-on-black violence because if the narrative is that young black men aren't human, young black men internalize that and devalue each other's lives. We need a real fresh way of thinking about humanity of all people involved in the penal system whether they're victims or perpetrators. And we start with language. We're not about fixing people coming home from prison; we're about changing the narrative around the whole community. So, for example, we don't use the term "ex-offender." We use the term "returning citizen." It's not perfect. But if you continue to define someone by their past then you're not giving them a chance for their future. Language is really important."

Dr. Richard Dudley on the myth of black male immunity to pain...

"There's an underlying narrative that young men of color are somehow immune to violence. There's a notion that violence doesn't affect them in any particular sort of way, hence there's no need for a program or any sort of intervention. I'm reminded of testifying in court a couple of decades ago, about a young man who had been assaulted. During the course of this assault, [another young man, his friend] was killed. He developed really bad PTSD and so his parents brought him to see me. Every time the incident came up he would disassociate, he would relive it, he would run screaming out of the house thinking it was all happening again. So I'm testifying about this in court and in the middle of it, the judge actually stopped me and said, 'Dr. Dudley, are you trying to tell me that a kid from Bedford-Stuyvesant can be traumatized?' [Audience audibly shuffles.] Fast forward decades now, and whether I'm consulting with police or visiting mental health programs in prison, that same notion--that these young men are somehow immune to violence--interferes with even beginning the exploration process of what to do."

D.A. Kenneth Thompson on reforms to the criminal justice system...

"When I ran [for office] I said I would deal with the marijuana arrests and wrongful convictions and we have started to do that. Twelve exonerations in a little over a year, 100 murder cases left to look at--which is extraordinary. And our decision to go beyond murder cases to look at non-homicide cases is important. ... The criminal justice system is not infallible. There have been a few of these men who've died before we can get them out.

There was one young boy named Willie Stuckey. He was only 16-years-old when he confessed [to murder]. We looked at that case and concluded that his video-taped confession was false. So I moved quickly to correct that but Willie Stuckey had already died. He died at the age of 31 of a massive heart attack while maintaining his innocence in prison. But that didn't stop me from moving to vacate his conviction. And so we tracked down his mother who had moved away.

I called and introduced myself to her and told her that we were going to have this court appearance because Willie should've never gone to prison in the first place. And all you could hear is her crying on the other end of the phone, uncontrollably. So I asked her if she would come to court and stand in Willie's place. Because although we couldn't save his life we could at least give him back his good name. And she came to court and stood there on behalf of her son.

Now, that won't bring him back. But maybe that'll help her with the healing process and show folks how we're taking a different approach in Brooklyn, treating people who're wrongfully convicted, whether living or dead, with the dignity they deserve."

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on actually seeing black men as victims of violent crime...

"Even at a time where you have the police-community relationship at the forefront and a [bipartisan] political opportunity to deal with mass incarceration and the failed War on Drugs, this victimization issue has still largely escaped notice. It's been largely ignored. And given that Congress has an opportunity now to make progress on fixing the broken criminal justice system, there's a real moment to inject the victimization of young men of color into [that conversation]."

I'm continuing to report on victimization and trauma in low-income communities for Colorlines in partnership with The Investigative Fund and I'd like to hear your stories. Please email cmurphy(at)raceforward(dot)org.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Taraji P. Henson's Big Year Just Keeps Getting Better

Colorlines - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:00
Taraji P. Henson's Big Year Just Keeps Getting Better

Not only is she the star of this season's smash FOX hit "Empire," now Taraji P. Henson has been named the 2015 American Black Film Festival Celebrity Ambassador. Here's more from Shadow and Act:

The Oscar-nominated actress will wear a different hat later this year, as the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced today that Ms. Henson will be the 2015 celebrity ambassador, for what will be its 19th edition, set for June 11-14, 2015, in New York City at the New York Hilton, AMC Empire 25 and the historic Ziegfeld Theater. 

"I want to thank Jeff Friday and everyone at ABFF for the honor of serving as your 2015 Ambassador. It is a privilege to join my fellow filmmakers to celebrate and support Black artists and the artistry that resides in all of us," Henson told the media.

Read more

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Obamacare at the Supreme Court, Tsarnaev Trial, Zombie Outbreak Study

Colorlines - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:56
Obamacare at the Supreme Court, Tsarnaev Trial, Zombie Outbreak Study

Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Los profesionales del futuro: Una manera revolucionaria de educar

New America Media - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 01:20
In this segment, we hear from: Vira C. Lozano, a teacher at North Star Academy in Redwood City. Now in her second year, Lozano says professional development sessions have helped her develop a better understanding of the Common Core.... Celina Rodriguez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Saving California Parks - With New Ideas and Tech

New America Media - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 00:05
SAN FRANCISCO – Standing on the corner of Mission and 16th Street, a mixed neighborhood of yuppies and Latino working class, Carlos Lopez, 19, said he’s heard of Mount Tamalpais State Park. But he thinks it’s far away and isn’t... Andrew Lam http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=8
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For Teachers, Common Core Presents Many Questions, Tough Answers

New America Media - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 15:34
VietnameseSAN JOSE, Calif. – Beginning this month, students around California will begin taking the official version of the new Common Core assessment. The test will be the first gauge of how well schools are implementing the new and more rigorous... Giang Phan http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Pending Deportation of Korean American Adoptee Highlights Major Loophole in Immigration Law

New America Media - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 14:39
 By his own admission, Adam Thomas Crapser has had a difficult journey; but through it all, he has worked hard to create what he calls a “a semblance of a ‘normal’ life”.In 1979, Adam arrived in the United States with... Angry Asian Man http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Second Temple Attack in Washington Spreads Concern Among U.S. Hindus

New America Media - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 13:21
 New York — A Sanatan Dharma temple was vandalized in Washington state with windows broken and the word “fear” painted on it, less than a fortnight after another temple was attacked.Members of the Sanatan Dharma Temple in Kent, about 30... India West http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Janet Mock to Anna Holmes: 'I Am Completely In Tune With Myself'

Colorlines - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:43
 'I Am Completely In Tune With Myself'

In the second installment of Fusion's "Self Evidence" series, Anna Holmes talks with Janet Mock about the incredible journey she's had since coming out in "Marie Claire" back in 2011.

"So much of my journey, specifically growing up as this young trans girl, was about fighting other people's expectations of how they expected me to kind of be or to perform gender or to perform self," she tells Holmes. "I knew that that was the first step in being able to free myself from, I think, a self imposed silence that I put on. Once I stopped being silent I don't think it's a surprise that I was able to free myself, right? Be more authentic. And tap into, as Oprah would say, my inner greatness."

(h/t Fusion)

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Unrepentant Delhi Rapist's BBC Interview is Fodder for Easy Outrage

New America Media - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:03
 Sometimes the nation doth protest too much.The rape that shook the nation happened in December 2012. Two years have passed – plenty of time for Mukesh Singh to mull over what happened. But far from expressing any remorse at his... Sandip Roy http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=54
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Telemarketing Scam Team that Targeted Spanish Speakers Banned by FTC

New America Media - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:30
The defendants in a scheme that targeted Spanish-speaking consumers have been banned from telemarketing and selling weight-loss products under a new settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The settlement agreement, released March 2, comes on the heels of the... George White http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Hey Yun: Angry Whimsical Ambition

Hyphen Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:09

What do you do if you don't fit the role? Make your own.

read more

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New Nina Simone Film Will Be Available on Netflix This Summer

Colorlines - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 08:18
New Nina Simone Film Will Be Available on Netflix This Summer

Mark your calendars.

The highly anticipated new documentary on Nina Simone called “What Happened, Miss Simone” will be available on Netflix starting on June 26.

The film (which, no, is not the controversial one starring Zoe Saldana) made its debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Made by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus, it charts how deeply interwoven her politics were with her music. Here’s a look at the trailer:

(h/t Shadow and Act)

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Tamir Rice's Family Responds to Cleveland Court Filing

Colorlines - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 07:09
Tamir Rice's Family Responds to Cleveland Court Filing

Tamir Rice's family has responded to a Friday filing by the city of Cleveland that argued that the 12-year-old African-American boy was to blame for his own death at the hands of Cleveland police last November. "It's unbelievable," Walter Madison, an attorney for the Rice family, told the Washington Post.

In a 41-page document filed last week on behalf of Cleveland, the city argued that Rice's death was "directly and proximately caused" by his own actions. 

"There are a number of things that we in society don't allow 12-year-olds to do," Madison said. "We don't allow them to vote, we don't allow them to drink. In court we don't try them as adults. They don't have the capacity to undersatnd the consequences of their actions."

In a Monday press conference Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson apologized for the "insensitivity" embedded in what he said was standard legal language, CNN reported. The city would amend the document, Jackson said.

"What I care about right now is that the family of Tamir Rice and the people of the city of Cleveland understand and realize that we are sorry for what we have done and that we apologize to them," Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson told reporters today, CNN reported. 

Read the court filing at USA Today.

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