Diversity Headlines

Head of the Oscars Doesn't Think It Has a Problem With Diversity

Colorlines - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 10:42
Head of the Oscars Doesn't Think It Has a Problem With Diversity

So far, the story of the Oscars season is about the overwhelming whiteness of the nominees. But one day after the nominations were announced, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy's first African-American female leader, went on record to say that she doesn't think Hollywood's most celebrated award has a diversity problem. 

"Not at all. Not at all," Isaacs told Vulture when asked if she thinks diversity is an issue. "The good news is that the wealth of talent is there, and it's being discussed, and it's helpful so much for talent -- whether in front of the camera or behind the camera -- to have this recognition, to have this period of time where there is a lot of publicity, a lot of chitter-chatter."

When asked about "Selma," which was nominated for best picture, but snubbed in the best actor and director categories, Isaacs said the following:  "Well, it's a terrific motion picture, and that we can never and should not take away from it, the fact that it is a terrific motion picture," she said. "There are a lot of terrific motion pictures, it's a very competitive time, and there's a lot of great work that has been done. I am very happy that Selma is included in our eight terrific motion-picture [nominations]."

(h/t Vulture)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

How Hardcore Helps Me Cope With Depression

New America Media - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 10:23
Ed Note: Robert Cervantez, 19, has struggled with feelings of depression since middle school. After Robert began resorting to self-harm as a coping mechanism, his family tried conventional therapy but it didn’t help. Ultimately, it was a particular brand... Alyssa Castro http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Racial Mismatch: Will White Seniors Support Today's Youth of Color?

Colorlines - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 08:50
 Will White Seniors Support Today's Youth of Color?

A new article by Stateline's Teresa Wiltz begins with a provocative wealth and political disparity: "Nearly 80 percent of seniors in the U.S. are white--while nearly half of people younger than 18 are black, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern or multiracial." Older and younger citizens obviously have different political interests--one prefers jobs training, the other, better roads. But add a racial mismatch and those generational differences widen, with critical implications for present state spending and the nation's future. Take school funding, a priority for youth of color (and their parents). Wiltz writes:

"Since the late 1990s, researchers have found that when faced with a young population that looks markedly different from their own, Americans are more likely to vote "no" on local tax referendums to finance public school education and are more likely to support spending cuts. This is particularly true when the older population is predominantly white and the school-age population is not, according to a 2012 working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research

And according to sociology professor Manuel Pastor "states with the largest gaps also spend less on mass transit and are more likely to pass restrictive immigration laws." (The racial generation gap is widest in the Sunbelt states: Arizona, New Mexico, California and Nevada.)

If relatively wealthier white generations fail to prepare and invest in today's growing proportion of youth of color, experts predict devastating longterm consequences for the nation. Read more in Stateline.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Livestream: Protestors Hang Huge 'Black Power Matters' Banner in Oakland

Colorlines - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 08:32
 Protestors Hang Huge 'Black Power Matters' Banner in Oakland

Bay Area protestors have hung a giant banner with the words "Black Power Matters" on the Oakland federal building this morning. The action is part of a weekend of protests scheduled throughout the Bay Area this holiday weekend that aim "Reclaim King's Legacy." Protestors have also stopped some BART service in downtown San Francisco as part of the actions. This weekend's events culminate in a Jobs and Economy March for the People on Monday, Jan. 19, beginning at 11 a.m. PST at Oscar Grant Plaza (Fruitvale BART), according to a press release. Here's the scene from The Town:

Helium rigged banner at #3rdWorld4BlackPower Oakland federal building protest #ReclaimMLK #BARTFriday pic.twitter.com/QqRIa4lWSq

— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) January 16, 2015 Here's a livestream of the events in downtown Oakland this morning:
Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Oklahoma Executes Warner, Target Leaving Canada, Astronauts Head to Space for a Year

Colorlines - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 07:04
Oklahoma Executes Warner, Target Leaving Canada, Astronauts Head to Space for a Year

Here are some of the stories I'm reading up on this morning: 

  • Authorities in Belgium foil a plot to kill cops en masse. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Children of the Drought

New America Media - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 03:05
Ed. Note: Last summer we sent young reporters from New America Media’s youth-led community projects out on assignment to capture, in photographs, how the drought has affected their Central Valley communities. The photos they sent back were striking in a... Reyna Olaguez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Disappearance of 43 Mexican Students Reverberates in Long Beach

New America Media - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 00:10
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- When news broke of the 43 missing students in Ayotzinapa, Long Beach resident Miguel Morales decided to go to Mexico to join the protests. But after promoting a rally in Los Angeles on Facebook last week,... Michael Lozano http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch Live: Isabel Wilkerson, Patricia Williams Talk Race in America

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:28
 Isabel Wilkerson, Patricia Williams Talk Race in America

To celebrate The Nation's 150th anniversary, the liberal publication is bringing together a bunch of brilliant minds to talk about race in America at the Schomberg Center for Black Culture in New York City. The center's director Khalil Muhammad will moderate a discussion featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson, "Nation" columnist and Columbia law professor Patricia J. Williams, "Nation" editorial board member and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University Eric Foner, "Nation" contributing writer and blogger Mychal Denzel Smith and award-winning author and essayist Darryl Pinckney.

The discussion begins at 6pm eastern, and you can tune in below. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Despite Using MLK for Advertisement, Apple Doesn't Observe MLK Day

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:14
Despite Using MLK for Advertisement, Apple Doesn't Observe MLK Day

Google does it. So does Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. 

But Apple refuses to observe Martin Luther King Day. That means corporate employees for the company that uses MLK in its own advertising, and whose CEO, Tim Cook, touts his commitment to diversity and has a photo of MLK in his office, have to work on the holiday that celebrates him. Writing for ValleyWag (which, as part of Gawker doesn't observe MLK Day, either--but also doesn't run ads with MLK in them), Dan Lyons wonders why:

I believe Tim Cook is sincerely committed to diversity. Apple's top management team isn't exactly the most diverse group of people you've ever seen, but it is better now, under Cook, than it was under Steve Jobs.

In the Jobs era, the Apple management team had zero people of color. Now there are two. That is Cook's doing.

So why not observe MLK Day? After all the news that came out last year about the dismal diversity statistics in the Valley, not observing the holiday looks pretty tone-deaf. And it is not often that Apple is accused of being tone deaf. If there is one thing Apple has always been good at, it's marketing and PR and image management.

To be fair: Apple also does not give employees paid holidays on Presidents' Day or Columbus Day [...]

Cook did give corporate workers extra days off around Thanksgiving in 2014, though. These holidays apply to corporate employees--not Apple Store employees. 

Apple's not alone. Only 37 percent of employers will give their workers a paid day off this coming Monday, which became a federal holiday 15 years after a bill to do so was first introduced in 1968. South Carolina didn't recognize the holiday until 2000. Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, meanwhile, observe the day but also celebrate Confederate General and slaveowner Robert E. Lee's birthday. 

Oh, and for full disclosure: Colorlines is published by Race Forward--which most certainly observes and gives employees the day off on Martin Luther King Day.  

Categories: Diversity Headlines

12k Sign Petition to Stop Hollywood's Whitewashing

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 13:35
12k Sign Petition to Stop Hollywood's Whitewashing

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition protesting Scarlett Johanssen's new role in the American adaptation of the 1995 Japanese sci-fi film "Ghost in the Shell." The petition's signees are demanding that DreamWorks, the studio that's producing the film, recast the role and stop whitewashing Asian characters. 

"What concerns me is the fact that minority actors are so rarely given opportunities in big-budget leading roles," says Care2 petition author Julie Rodriguez. "It's a self-defeating cycle: Hollywood insists viewers won't be drawn unknown minority actors, but they're never given the chance to break out of a narrow set of background roles to prove themselves. Ghost in the Shell could have been a perfect opportunity to buck this trend, but instead promising actresses are being passed over."

Recently, more than 25,000 people signed a petition targeted at director Ridley Scott, who decided to cast several white actors to play Biblical Egyptian characters in the recently released film "Exodus: Gods and Kings."

Read the latest petition here. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

In Oakland, School Program Focuses on Black Boys' Success

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 13:02
In Oakland, School Program Focuses on Black Boys' Success

In 17 Oakland public schools, a district-run program dedicated solely to the nurturing and development of black boys is seeing results four years into its operation. It's called the Manhood Development Program, and black boys enrolled in its classes and mentoring initiatives have improved their grades and reading capacity, according to a new report (PDF) released today by the district's Office of African American Male Achievement.

But that's not all. The program, which was conceived as an initiative to decrease school suspensions and increase graduation rates for black boys in 2010, is dedicated to identity development and emotional nurturing of youth.

Half the students enrolled in the MDP report that by the ninth grade, they've seen someone get shot, according to the report, called "The Black Sonrise." Meanwhile, only 28 percent of California's black boys scored "proficient" or higher on a state English exam. While black boys are just 17 percent of Oakland's public school enrollment, they're 75 percent of students who get arrested while at school. The dynamics are not unrelated, the district determined.

In order to address what the Office of African American Male Achievement calls the "epidemic failure" of black boys, the MDP put together classes which are currently offered in 17 district schools to 450 students. The classes, which are held every five days a week during the school day, bring together a mix of "high-achieving," "average," and "under-achieving" students for a program "predicated on evidence-based community-defined best practices and insights." The classes allow black boys learn from their peers and black men to support each other in an academic environment that's all too often hostile to them and offer curriculum by and about other African-Americans.

"They've seen victimization everywhere they look -- at the hands of police or sometimes at the hands of schools," Vajra Watson, director of research and policy for equity at UC Davis and author of the report, told the UC Davis News Service. "And [they've] changed that into empowerment to know where they come from, who they are and importantly where they're going."

Read the report in full (PDF).

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Junot Díaz Relives His 'Surreal' Immigration Experience to U.S.

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:55
Junot Díaz Relives His 'Surreal' Immigration Experience to U.S.

In a recent interview with literary publication Paradoxa , Junot Diaz talked about migrating to the United States as a kid and his experience of race while he's been here. Here are some highlights.

On immigration:

When as a young person you lose all your bearings, all your reference points, when the gap between where you were and where you are is as vast as the one that yawned between the DR and the US, you're going to struggle mightily to explain not only what happened but also to explain oneself. I came to the US at six and with a single flight I jumped literally from one world to another, from one Age to another.

And race:

Racism and race are still being viewed as our problem and not the problem of the white mainstream that so benefits from white supremacy's malign racial hierarchies. We live in a society where default whiteness goes unremarked--no one ever asks it for its passport--but God forbid a person of color should raise her voice against this smug occult system of oppression, points out whiteness, its operations and consequences--well, in two seconds flat that person is the one accused of being obsessed with race.

Unfortunetly, the publication isn't available online, but you can order the latest issue on the Paradoxa website.

(h/t Paradoxa via Gawker)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Oscars: Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo Snubbed

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:50
 Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo Snubbed

Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and they're more notable for what they didn't include than what they did. Ava DuVernay's "Selma" got the nod for "Best Picture," but was surprisingly shut out of the "Best Actor" and "Best Director" nominations. Common and John Legend's song for the film, "Glory," was also nominated for an Oscar after just having won a Golden Globe.

Other notable nomination: "Big Hero 6" and "The Take of Princess Kaguya" earned nominations for "Best Animated Feature."

But as Scott Mendleson notes at Time, neither DuVernay nor any actors of color were nominated for individual awards today. And that matters.

To the extent that one can be "angry" about a certain filmmaker not being nominated for a major award that honors the best in filmmaking, I am angry. I am angry both because she deserved a nomination. I am angry because if the legacy of DuVernay's Selma becomes shaped by its Oscar-season controversy, I fear that it will affect the artistic opportunities afforded to its African-American female director in a manner different than if Selma would have come under fire under the directorial lens of a white male filmmaker.

Read more.

Here's the full list of nominations:

Best Picture
The Imitation Game 
The Theory of Everything
The Grand Budapest Hotel
American Sniper

Best Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Best Actor
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Laura Dern, Wild

Best Director
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Best Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Original Screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher

Best Foreign Film
Wild Tales 

Best Documentary Feature
Last Days in Vietnam
Finding Vivian Maier
The Salt of the Earth

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Film Editing
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Best Song
Gregg Alexander, Danielle BriseboisNick Lashley, and Nick Southwood, "Lost Stars" (Begin Again)
John Legend and Common, "Glory" (Selma)
Shawn Patterson, Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Harriton, and The Lonely Island, "Everything Is Awesome" (The Lego Movie)
The-Dream, "Grateful" (Beyond the Lights)
Glen Campbell, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" (Glen Campbell ... I'll Be Me)

Best Original Score
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ryszard Lenczewski and ?ukasz ?al, Ida
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Costume Design
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard, Maleficent
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

Makeup and Hairstyling
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Production Design
Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Suzie Davies and Charlotte Watts, Mr. Turner
Dennis Gassner and Anna Pinnock, Into the Woods
Nathan Crowley, Garry Fettis, and Paul Healy, Interstellar
Maria Djurkovic, The Imitation Game

Sound Editing
American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Sound Mixing
American Sniper

Visual Effects
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X Men: Days of Future Past
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Short Film, Live Action
Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, Aya (Chasis Films)
Michael Lennox, director, and Ronan Blaney, Boogaloo and Graham (Out of Orbit)
Hu Wei and Julien Féret, Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) (AMA Productions)
Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger, Parvaneh (Zurich University of Arts)
Mat Kirkby, director and James Lucas, The Phone Call (RSA Films)

Short Film, Animated
Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees, The Bigger Picture (National Film and Television School)
Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper (Tonko House)
Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed, Feast (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Torill Kove, Me and My Moulton (Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada)
Joris Oprins, A Single Life (Job, Joris & Marieke)

Documentary Short Subject
Perry Films, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Wajda Studio, Joanna
Warsaw Film School, Our Curse
Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, The Reaper (La Parka)
Weary Traveler, White Earth

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Rikers Island To End Solitary Confinement of Older Teens

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:06
Rikers Island To End Solitary Confinement of Older Teens

Rikers Island jail will extend its recently announced ban on solitary confinement to older adolescents, aged 18-21. Only 16- and 17-year-olds had previously been covered under an earlier announcement and the extension is being hailed "an innovation." According to Christine Herrman, director of the Segregation Reduction Project at the Vera Institute, even the most innovative jails punish inmates over age 18 with solitary confinement. Of nearly 500 inmates, ages 19-21 in the facility, 103 are currently in solitary. Not everyone is pleased, however.

Corrections officers' union president Norm Seabrook vowed to sue for every guard assaulted under the new policy.

A federal investigation into Rikers found what it described as, "a deep-seated culture of violence." In 2014, according to data obtained by the Associated Press, guards set a record for use of force--many times against teens. 

Read more in The New York Times.



Categories: Diversity Headlines

Lupe Fiasco Leaves Twitter After Fans Object to 'F*ck Martin Luther King' Lyric

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 09:29
Lupe Fiasco Leaves Twitter After Fans Object to 'F*ck Martin Luther King' Lyric

Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco is fed up with the public. He's gearing up to release his new album, "Tetsuo & Youth", on January 20, but along the way he has gotten into several high profile beefs on Twitter with fellow rappers Kid Cudi and Azealia Banks. Now, after he decided to tweet the lyrics to an upcoming song with Big KRIT called "Lost Generation" with disparaging lyrics about Martin Luther King Jr., he's decided to leave the social media platform altogether.

From XXL Magazine:

While some fans tweeted the lyrics along with Lupe, many took offense to certain lines, specifically this line "fuck Martin Luther King, n*gga, fuck change."Lupe replied to many of his responses in an attempt to explain the meaning behind the song's lyrics and discussed society as a whole. After The Cool MC's explanations, he announced that he's quitting Twitter. Just last week (Jan. 9th), Lupe hinted at deleting his account on Jan. 19. Guess he wasn't joking.

Here's the lyric in context, from Rap Genius:

My nigga fuck this mic
We should be fucking with MIC
Military industrial complex
And we can get rich, nigga, fuck showing love
They ain't listening to us
They ain't playing this bitch in the club
So let's get paid, turn these motherfuckers into slaves
School is for lames, man, these niggas join gangs
Fuck Martin Luther King, nigga, fuck change
Fuck peace, I want chains
G's on the internet, bitch like bam
Fuck peace, I want a plane
Fill that bitch with cocaine
And make these bitches move their booties
And help these niggas make their movies
All these niggas into their graves
And talk these hoes out their coochies

Lupe explained his departure on, you guessed it, Twitter:


You can put it right in their face for MONTHS and they won't pay attention until you put it in a tweet with a hashtag.

-- Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 14, 2015

It makes you have to wonder how much stuff have you taken out of context yourself and jumped on the bandwagon of reaction...

-- Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 14, 2015

When you get the chance look at my timeline. It's like looking into Dante's Inferno. The raw pure hatred and negativity. I see it everyday.

-- Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 14, 2015

These are my last few days addressing the public directly. Im not tired. I could carry on for years. I just really want to do something else

-- Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 14, 2015
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Video: What It's Like to Get Kicked Out of Your Neighborhood

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 09:25
 What It's Like to Get Kicked Out of Your Neighborhood

You might remember Kai, the 20-year-old native of San Francisco's Mission District whose confrontation with white Dropbox employees on a neighborhood soccer field went viral last year. In this video with BuzzFeed, Kai takes us on a tour of the neighborhood and building that he and his family was kicked out of in one of America's most rapidly gentrifying cities.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Black Lives Matter Shuts Down I-93, Oscar Nominations, Jobless Claims Rise

Colorlines - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 07:03
Black Lives Matter Shuts Down I-93, Oscar Nominations, Jobless Claims Rise

Here are some of the stories I'm reading up on this morning: 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Farmworker Women Speaking Up on Domestic Violence

New America Media - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 06:05
Editor’s Note: This article was produced as part of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Names have been changed in this story for the protection of the victim.THERMAL, Calif. --... Brenda Rincon http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Irish Doctor’s Wisdom on the Art of Aging

New America Media - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 01:20
 Photo: In “Mr. Turner” actor Timothy Spall plays the aging British artist J.M.W. Turner, whose late style, while ridiculed by critics, would inspire Claude Monet. Turner left funds to to found a home for impoverished artists. (Sony Pictures Classics)WASHINGTON, D.C.--Late... Peter McDermott http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

House Votes to Defund DACA, But Community Should Not be Fearful

New America Media - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 14:18
On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has helped over half a million young undocumented people to work and live without fear in the U.S.... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines
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