Diversity Headlines

Winter Storm Facts Could Save Motorists

New America Media - 4 hours 45 min ago
 Heavy snowstorms, dangerous ice and some altogether rough driving conditions are a part of the norm, particularly of late in the Washington, D.C., area.And, for the unfortunate motorist, it could also mean unforeseen time stuck inside an automobile.“Nearly two-thirds of... Washington Informer http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Black Cubans: Restoring US Ties Is Cool, but America, Keep Your Hang-Ups About Race at Bay

New America Media - 5 hours 2 min ago
 It doesn’t matter how much Cuba’s culture changes now that the U.S. has restored diplomatic relations; if you’re waiting for black Cubans to set off some sort of racial revolution, don’t hold your breath.That’s according to some black Cubans who... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Chloe Kim Becomes the Youngest Winter X Games Gold Medalist

New America Media - 5 hours 26 min ago
 Chloe Kim, 14, became the youngest gold medalist in Winter X Games history, edging seven-time X Games gold medalist Kelly Clark to silver in the women’s snowboard superpipe on Saturday night.Kim, who was too young to compete in the Sochi... Koream Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Forced Disappearances are Humanitarian Crisis in Mexico

New America Media - 6 hours 2 min ago
One of the numerous mass protests in Mexico demanding the reappearance of 23 students who went missing in Iguala. In the photo, young people demonstrate on Nov. 6 in front of the attorney general's office on the Paseo de la... Emilio Godoy http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch Kenan Thompson in Hilarious Spoof of 'Deflategate' on SNL

Colorlines - 10 hours 8 min ago
Watch Kenan Thompson in Hilarious Spoof of 'Deflategate' on SNL

It's Super Bowl week in Arizona, but the biggest sports story heading into the big game has been the "Deflategate" controversy surrounding the New England Patriots. "Saturday Night Live" took aim at Patriots coach Bill Belicheck and quarterback Tom Brady in a hilarious skit last weekend. Take a look. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Why It's Important for White Audiences to See Black Films

Colorlines - 10 hours 27 min ago
Stanley Nelson with former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver.

BuzzFeed reporter Kelley L. Carter is reporting from Sundance and made an important observation: "This year's lineup offers a series of films that capture landmark black experiences and is serving them to a predominantly white audience."

This year's crop of Sundance Films include many notable selections that focus on the experiences of black folks. Those include Stanley Nelson's new documentary "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolutionand a new documentary on Nina Simone called "What Happened, Miss Simone?There's also the film "3 ½ Minutes," which looks at Jordan Davis' murder in Florida. Carter writes that it's important for predominately white audiences to see these stories:

I have no illusion that the Sundance Film Festival will become a beacon of blackness overnight. That's simply not the intention of this mainstream festival -- what it does best is highlight emerging filmmakers, some of whom have the potential to tell stories that spark sweeping social change. It's a place that celebrates an art form with the ability to capture the totality of human experience and puts it before an audience that may very well never encounter strife of any sort.

So why not bring black stories to a white audience? 

Read more at BuzzFeed.

 

 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Winter Storm Juno, Syriza Takes Greece, SAG Awards

Colorlines - 10 hours 40 min ago
Winter Storm Juno, Syriza Takes Greece, SAG Awards

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

  • The SAG Awards illustrate the need for racial diversity in Hollywood. 

*Post has been updated to reflect that Winter Storm Juno may be the most severe snow storm in New York City history, not in East Coast history. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Melissa Harris-Perry: "Be Very Afraid" of Race Case Before Supreme Court

Colorlines - 12 hours 1 min ago

"Housing discrimination" doesn't make for sexy headlines. It's a mouthful. But where groups of people live and why (or, why not) is ground zero in everyday battles for better schools and community health, easier transportation to jobs, fair lending, safety from violence--basically everything. As a result the housing discrimination case now before the Supreme Court led off this weekend's "Melissa Harris-Perry Show." She and her guests break down the stakes, the debate, how the Fair Housing Act is supposed to work and the implications if Roberts' SCOTUS dismantles one of President Johnson's key civil rights laws. "Be very afraid," MSNBC host Harris-Perry says.

Watch the intro video above as well as extra segments on the current fair housing debate and implications of a SCOTUS decision. But the best way to understand how yesterday's baked-in residential segregation affects the lives and outcomes of everyone, today? Listen to sports commentator Bomani Jones, at the height of the Donald Sterling scandal, explain the "real racism" of the longtime NBA owner who was also a much sued landlord (4:32-8:58).

Categories: Diversity Headlines

SAG Awards: Viola Davis, 'Orange is the New Black' Show Racial Diversity Matters

Colorlines - 12 hours 5 min ago
 Viola Davis, 'Orange is the New Black' Show Racial Diversity Matters

Racial diversity may be missing from this year's Oscars, but it was on full display during the television portion of the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Viola Davis won the award for outstanding female actor in a drama for her lead role in "How to Get Away With Murder." In her acceptance speech, Davis called out Hollywood's lack of diversity:

"When I tell my daughter stories at night, inevitably, a few things happen," Davis said while accepting the award. "Number one, I use my imagination. I always start with life, and then I build from there. And then the other thing that happens is she always says, 'Mommy, can you put me in the story?' And you know, it starts from the top up."

"Thank you Shonda Rhimes, [producer] Betsy Beers and [creator] Peter Nowalk for thinking of a leading lady who looks like my 'classic beauty,'" she said, referring to Stanley's assertion that Davis was "less classically beautiful" than Halle Berry or Kerry Washington. "I'm so proud to be an actor and so happy to do what I do. And I'm so happy that people have accepted me in this role at this stage in my career."

Watch her full speech here:

Backstage, Davis expounded on her point about racial diversity: "We want to see ourselves. We want to be inspired by that. I sometimes want the fantasy, but more often than not, I want reality. I want to feel less alone when I look at TV."

But the big surprise of the night was Uzo Aduba's win for outstanding female actor in a comedy in her role as Crazy Eyes in Netflix's "Orange is the New Black." The show also won the award for best comedy ensemble, ending a long streak of wins in that category by "Modern Family."

In her speech, Aduba thanked Jengi Kohan "for writing a show like this and putting something like this on television. Not just for myself, but for our incredible team of actors to be seen in such a beautiful way." She also revealed that the days he got the "Orange is the New Black" job was the day she had stopped acting. Watch the full speech below:

(Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images)

That "incredible team of actors" includes Laverne Cox, who pretty much won the unofficial award for best on-stage entrance when she went up to present the award to Viola Davis with co-star Matt McGorry and did this:

lavernecox_012615.jpgOther big awards of then night went to "Birdman," which won the award for outstanding cast in a motion picture and "Still Alice's" Julianne Moore, who won the award for best actress in a movie.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Ava DuVernay's Passion Project

Colorlines - 15 hours 19 min ago
Ava DuVernay's Passion Project

More than most other black filmmakers in Hollywood today, Ava DuVernay elicits a certain giddiness in black moviegoers. Her path to stardom as the director of the Oscar-nominated Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma" is certainly a draw. Before stepping behind the camera, DuVernay spent 12 years as a publicist who specialized in building audiences of color for Hollywood films. As she once recounted to the Boston Globe, she used to "plan junkets and actually be on my hands and knees rolling the red carpet." She's a consummate underdog--a black woman in a male-dominated and stubbornly white industry who's worked her way into the foreground by unapologetically telling nuanced black stories. But an equally indelible part of her story is the film distribution network she founded in 2011 to help connect black audiences with black films. The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) is, she told the New York Times that year, more of a "call to action" than a business. The plan is to put films by black directors and majority black casts into commercial theaters by first drumming up support for them on the festival circuit.

Those festivals include New York City's Urbanworld Film Festival, the ReelBlack Film Series in Philadelphia, Los Angeles' Pan African Film Festival and the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta. AFFRM has released nine films in total, including two of DuVernay's own ("I Will Follow" and "Middle of Nowhere"). Other films include "25 to Life," a documentary about an HIV-positive black man who decides after 25 years to reveal his status to his family, and "Vanishing Pearls," which looks at the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill along the Gulf Coast. DuVernay knows the industry well enough to know that these films, which touch on the very essence of racial inequality in the United States, won't attract huge audiences. Nonetheless, they're important stories that need to be told.

"I don't think AFFRM's had any impact on the industry," DuVernay told Colorlines in December. "Big Hollywood doesn't even care about Sundance. They care about big audiences and they care about big money, and AFFRM is not about money, it's about the preservation, protection and projection of the black cinematic image."

Co-creators call her vision uncommon. Cinematographer Bradford Young, who worked with DuVernay on "My Mic Sounds Nice," "Middle of Nowhere" and "Selma," says he was initially taken in by her independent spirit. "It's rare to come across filmmakers period who are about creating their own institutions," Young told Colorlines. "On top of it, it's even more rare to find filmmakers of color who are committed to telling black stories. She has the ability to take radical, independent, fiercely black examples [and] use them to energize herself as an artist. But also it's a way to shore herself as she operates, shore herself from difficult surroundings in Hollywood."

Perhaps DuVernay's most important contribution is the community that she's built among likeminded black filmmakers. In 2013, the same year she signed onto do direct "Selma," AFFRM also launched a podcast called "The Call-In."In the first episode with Andrew Dosumnu, who directed the critically acclaimed film "Mother of George," she talks about the nuances of shooting "beautiful black skin." It's a subtle sort of observation but one that's uniquely important to black filmmakers and audiences. "It's blue-black, it's skin on skin, it's awesome," she says about the cinematography in Dosumnu's film.

Clearly DuVernay's passion isn't about profits. "At no point are we under any illusions that we're making a dent in anybody's pocket anywhere or making any kind of ripple effect in that Big Hollywood system," she says of AFFRM. "But what we do, I hope, is make a difference to the filmmakers who are trying to decide whether or not to make a film because they don't know if where it will land. Maybe AFFRM will give them that amplification that's eluded so many black filmmakers for so many decades."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Low-Income Korean’s Confused on New California Care Plan

New America Media - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 00:10
 SAN JOSE--Young Soon Kim, 75, of San Jose received a worrisome notice late last year informing her that she would be disenrolled from her current Medicare Part D prescription drug plan on Jan, 1. Confused, Kim contacted her insurance provider... Kwang Hee Lee http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

ICYMI: Watch Queer and Trans Activists of Color Shut Down San Francisco's Historic Castro

Colorlines - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 16:42
 Watch Queer and Trans Activists of Color Shut Down San Francisco's Historic Castro

San Francisco's Castro district is known as one of the historic centers of America's gay community. But for generations, it's remained fiercely white. This dynamic was a centerpiece of filmmaker Marlon Riggs's iconic 1989 documentary "Tongues Untied," which examined how black gay men related to one another. And it's still relevant today.

That past and present is the reason why the Castro became ground zero for queer and transgender activists who have been active in the Black Lives Matter movement. On January 17, the group marched through the heart of the Castro as part of 96 hours of actions taken to #ReclaimMLK last weekend. 

"As the Black Lives Matter movement gains strength nationwide, the larger LGBT community and our allies can no longer stand on the sidelines," the collective of activists wrote in a statement to Colorlines. "The assault on Black lives is an LGBT issue. The average life expectancy of a Black transgender woman is 35 years. In 2013, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs reported that 72 percent of hate crimes were against trans women, 89 percent of whom were transgender women of color."

Here's video from last weekend's action:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Doctor With Parkinson’s Fights Latino Culture’s Silence, Denial and Isolation

New America Media - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 00:05
 Photo: Epigmenio Quintanilla Jr., 81, above, was diagnosed with Parkinson's six years ago. Read more about him in Part 1 of this series. (Yolanda González Gómez/HuffPost Voces) Also, read the complete article in Spanish. Neurologist María de León, MD, is not... Yolanda González Gómez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Black Workers With Advanced Degrees, White Workers With B.A.'s Make Roughly the Same

Colorlines - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 14:23
Black Workers With Advanced Degrees, White Workers With B.A.'s Make Roughly the Same

You've heard of the racial wealth gap, the racial employment gap, and surely also about racial job callback disparities. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an updated look at another dynamic of our racialized economy: the racial income gap.

As in: In 2014, while white workers 25 years or older with at least an undergrad degree took home median earnings of $1,219 per week, similarly aged and educated Latino workers made $1,007, and Asian workers made $1,328 per week. Black workers with at least a college degree, meanwhile, posted median earnings of $970 per week.

The racial income gap is so pronounced that black workers with an advanced degree made $1,149--roughly the same as white workers who had only a bachelor's degree ($1,132).

For more on what this kind of economic inequality means for the country, read Kai Wright's in-depth look at young black men's struggle for employment. As Wright wrote last June, "This is an inequity that grows from tangled roots--historic labor market discrimination, ongoing residential segregation, stubborn racial biases among employers. But it's also one with consequences that stretch out beyond the men themselves, and that will linger long past today's troubled economy."

(h/t Catherine Rampell)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Former US Sailor Rocks Boat with Federal Lawsuit

New America Media - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 13:11
Being a US sailor allowed Jonathan Berts a chance to travel around the world and study Arabic and Islam, but he says his commitment to faith resulted in mistreatment and an unfair dismissal.The nine-year veteran filed a federal lawsuit last... Aatif Ali Bokhari http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Mal de Parkinson, hispanos lo ignoran o aplazan tratamiento

New America Media - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:45
 Foto: Félix Saldaña EnglishDALLAS, Texas.- Desde que emigró a Estados Unidos en 1975, el mundo de Félix Saldaña giró alrededor de subir y bajar altas tarimas, estructuras de madera y operar maquinaria, debido a su trabajo en el ramo de la... Yolanda González Gómez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

The Race Case Before the Roberts' Supreme Court

Colorlines - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 09:30
The Race Case Before the Roberts' Supreme Court

For the third time in less than four years the Supreme Court is reviewing one particular case, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. Experts say that's curious. "It is unusual for the Court to agree to hear a case when the law is clearly settled. It's even more unusual to agree to hear the issue three years in a row," U-C Berkeley law professor Ian Haney López tells ProPublica. What's being decided is the point at which the law can intervene in accusations of housing discrimination: when evidence proves intentional racism or when the evidence proves discriminatory outcome. The importance of this decision, now before a Roberts court with a history of hollowing out key civil rights gains and turning corporations into people, can't be overstated. It could potentially gut the 1968 Fair Housing Act--passed days after King's assassination--and has broad impact on everything from communities' ability to fight predatory lending to the continuation of segregated schooling.

The court's decision is expected before July 2015. Follow developments and read up on the background of this Texas case on SCOTUSblog

(h/t ProPublica)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Jay Z on NY Policing: 'Every Single Human Being Matters'

Colorlines - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 09:26
 'Every Single Human Being Matters'

In a rare public statement on a political issue, Jay Z came out in support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to improve relations between police and civilians in the Big Apple. Cuomo made his comments on Wednesday, and in support of them, Jay Z said:

"The criminal justice reform package proposed by Governor Cuomo today is a huge step forward in restoring fairness, protection, sensitivity and accountability for all under our justice system," Jay Z said in a statement, via Capitol Confidential.

"I commend Governor Cuomo for his bold leadership in taking this issue head on at this critical time. This package presents comprehensive steps to protect and improve relations amongst all citizens. We cannot be divided, as every single human being matters. Together, we can move forward as a community, with mutual respect for each other and continue to make this great state stronger than ever before."

Interestingly, the rapper's statement played off of the "black lives matter" refrain that's become a ralling cry for protestors in the wake of the police killings of Eric Garner on Staten Island and Mike Brown in Ferguson. The fact that Jay Z -- one of the most recognizable black cultural figures in the world whose discography is filled with tales of beating the law -- stopped short of centering black poeple in a conversation on policing is important, given the history of the phrase. Here's Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, on why it's important to put black folks at the forefront:

When we say Black Lives Matter, we are talking about the ways in which Black people are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. It is an acknowledgement Black poverty and genocide is state violence.  It is an acknowledgment that 1 million Black people are locked in cages in this country-one half of all people in prisons or jails-is an act of state violence.  It is an acknowledgment that Black women continue to bear the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families and that assault is an act of state violence... And the fact is that the lives of Black people--not ALL people--exist within these conditions is consequence of state violence.

Read more

As Rolling Stone points out, Jay Z, Russell Simmons and Common all met with Cuomo recently to ask him to reform the state's criminal justice system. Jay Z also distributed "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts in support of Garner's case to NBA players late last year. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Native Film Stars John Reddy and Jashaun St. John Named Breakout Sundance Stars

Colorlines - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 07:20
Native Film Stars John Reddy and Jashaun St. John Named Breakout Sundance Stars

The Sundance Film Festival is only in its second day, but already there's a lot of buzz about "Songs My Brothers Taught Me," a film directed by Chinese-American filmmaker Chloé Zhao about life between a brother and sister on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The two stars of the film, John Reddy and Jashaun St. John, were named among 10 breakout stars at this year's Sundance by The Wrap:

Reddy and St. John may be non-professional actors but Chloe Zhao's feature debut isn't a one-off for either of them. The duo play half-siblings who embark on separate paths when the unexpected death of his father complicates his plans to leave the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Like "Beasts of the Southern Wild," this drama could surprise audiences who go in with an open mind regarding a community rarely seen on the big screen.

The film's trailer hasn't been released, but you can keep up with it on Facebook

 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Saudi Arabia's Changes at the Throne, Rubio 2016, East Coast Prepares for Winter Storm

Colorlines - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 07:12
Saudi Arabia's Changes at the Throne, Rubio 2016, East Coast Prepares for Winter Storm

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

Categories: Diversity Headlines
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