Diversity Headlines

Female Ravens Fans React to Ray Rice Video and the NFL

Colorlines - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 08:26

Last night was Baltimore's first football game since TMZ released the domestic violence video of Ravens player Ray Rice. One WaPo videographer talked to a handful of women, all longtime Ravens fans, about Rice and the ensuing controversy that could cost the job of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and is forcing greater scrutiny of the NFL. Check out the mix of opinions in "The ladies of Ravens Nation," including those where the love of football takes over all executive brain function. Then be sure to check out our gender columnist Miriam Zoila Pérez's latest. She talks to longtime activists about the complicated relationship that women of color have with the now 20-year-old Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

(h/t Washington Post)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch: Thundercat's New Video for 'Tron Song'

Colorlines - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:16

Stephen Bruner, the musician better known as Thundercat, is back with a new video for the track "Tron Song." The experimental bassist's clip is super weird. But it's Friday, so why not?

(h/t Potholes in the Blog)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Yahoo! Says Gov Threatened Fines for User Data, Che Joins SNL, Meditation for Migraines

Colorlines - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 06:58
Yahoo! Says Gov Threatened Fines for User Data, Che Joins SNL, Meditation for Migraines

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

  • Oscar Pistorius is found guilty of negligent killing and could serve up to 15 years in jail. 
  • Authorities in Pakistan arrest 10 people believed to have carried out the shooting attack against Malala Yousafzai in 2012.
  • Documents say that the Bush Administration threatened Yahoo! with a $250,000-per-day fine if it didn't hand over user data. That's a nearly $2 million every week!
  • A teen serving life for killing three Ohio schoolmates is captured after a failed prison escape. 
  • Facebook wants your feedback about why you don't like those ads on your feed. Probably to give you more ads. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Seven Important Facts About the Violence Against Women Act at 20

Colorlines - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 06:06
Seven Important Facts About the Violence Against Women Act at 20

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) celebrates its 20th anniversary tomorrow, Saturday 13. In honor of that milestone, I talked with two women of color activists who've worked with VAWA--one primarily in the two decades leading up to its 1994 passage, and the other in the 20 years since. Loretta Ross, former director of the Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, was heavily involved in the early push for legislation in the 1970s. Tonya Lovelace, director of the Women of Color Network, joined the anti-violence against women movement in 1995. Here are seven vital facts to consider as VAWA enters its third decade.

1. Women of color advocated for VAWA long before it passed.

Vice President Joseph Biden gets most of the credit for pushing VAWA to passage in 1994, when he was a senator. But Ross says women of color began fighting for a law decades before. About their motivations, she says: "I was part of teams of women who started in the 1970s because we thought that more resources needed to be brought to our rape crisis centers," she says. Ross was involved in this early advocacy when she worked with the Washington D.C. Rape Crisis Center, the only site at the time run by African-American women. This rape crisis center received limited funding from the D.C. City Council and private foundations.

2. Many critique VAWA for increasing the criminalization of communities of color.

Many in the gender-based violence movement are ambivalent about VAWA. Critiques abound, but a major one centers on how VAWA may be contributing to the increased policing and incarceration of men of color. Both of the activists I interviewed talked about their mixed feelings about the law because of this aspect. VAWA did indeed open the door for increased involvement by law enforcement in domestic violence cases, allowing them to arrest presumed perpetrators of violence based on probable cause. Lovelace's first job in the field was VAWA-funded under "grants to encourage arrest." She says she wasn't literally encouraging arrest, but she was working primarily with police, prosecutors and judges."I think that, like anybody else, we wanted to ensure women's safety, [even] if that meant removing him from the home and putting him in jail to get her safe," says Lovelace. 

3. Women of color working to pass VAWA predicted an increase in the policing of people of color, but they fought for it anyway.

The critique that VAWA leads to the increased criminalization of people of color did not come only in hindsight. "We knew [VAWA] was not without its problems with increased state engagement," says Ross. "We knew that it would have backlash for communities of color." Lovelace agrees: "I think women of color have always stood in that place with mixed feelings and emotions around the work around that. It's not like we didn't know these systems were problematic." But, as often happens with policy change, VAWA consisted of many compromises made in the hope of legitimizing violence against women as a serious and illegal act and bringing in a new, major funding source for anti-violence efforts.

4. Increased policing has led to women survivors being arrested as well.

Another unintended consequence of the law that both Ross and Lovelace mentioned is victims of violence--particularly women of color--being arrested when police can't determine the aggressor in an incident.

"Police, in their attempt to be evenhanded and gender neutral, were arresting the women in equal numbers as the men," says Ross.

"[Women of color are] not being perceived as victims," Lovelace adds. "They are perceived as violent or as the primary aggressor in a situation." Lovelace describes needing to think creatively about who counted as survivor because of this phenomenon: "I used to run a support group for African-American survivors where I was able to have women who'd been arrested [when] it was clear that she'd experienced violence."

5. Protections for women of color, immigrants and LGBT people have increased since the 1994 passage of VAWA.

A number of provisions have been added to VAWA that address the specific needs of women of color, immigrants and LGBT people. This includes a 2013 provision giving Tribal Nations the right to prosecute non-Tribal members who commit acts of violence on Tribal land. This provision, along with the increase of protections for immigrants and LGBT people, caused an incredible stand-off in Congress. Republicans allowed the Act to lapse in 2011, creating a year- and-a-half gap before the bill was finally reauthorized. After two years, Republicans gave in to pressure and allowed it to pass. Women of color in the anti-violence movement pushed these amendments strongly, says Lovelace, and these changes represent incremental steps to improving the law.

6. Despite a disproportionate amount of violence in communities of color, the women's anti-violence movement is predominantly white-led.

While women of color are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence, people in the movement working to address this problem don't look like them. "We continue to have a movement where the majority of the leadership is white," says Lovelace. "And you still have largely white staffs serving largely communities of color."

Race disparities are not unique to the anti-violence movement butLovelace says they can hinder service provision to survivors of color. "It's truly problematic because issues of culture, [and missing] expertise, [mean] many of the cultural challenges that are related to the violence are not being recognized or understood," she says.

A 2011 survey conducted by the Women of Color Network called "Women of Color Leadership: A Look at the Experiences of Women of Color Executives in the Anti-Violence Against Women's Movement" found that the vast majority of women of color reported racially motivated stereotyping in the workplace. Even 81 percent of white respondents reported witnessing situations where bias against women of color was at play in their organizations. Seventy percent of those surveyed also said that the leadership of their organizations (including the boards of directors) were primarily white.

7. VAWA's success depends on who you ask.

Whether or not we can consider VAWA a success depends entirely on our perceptions and definition of it. For example, it's unclear whether VAWA has actually decreased violence. The White House released a report in honor of the 20th anniversary that correlates VAWA with reduced rates of intimate partner violence. In a section titled "20 Years of Progress," the report makes the case for success: "Yearly domestic violence rates dropped dramatically by 64 [percent] from 1993 to 2010. Between 1993 and 2012, the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner declined 26 [percent] for women and 48 [percent] for men."

Some question the role of VAWA in these decreases because they mirror a similar trend in national crime statistics overall. And Ross is skeptical of the idea that we can claim a reduction in intimate partner violence at all, pointing out that these statistics are based on voluntary reporting by police precincts. "All we know is there is a decrease in the voluntary reporting of those departments," says Ross. "That's the best you can say about those statistics."

But based on the original goals laid out by Ross--bringing new funding to anti-rape and -violence organizations and shifting perceptions of violence against women--we could say yes, VAWA has been successful. Hundreds of millions of dollars in new subsidies have gone to violence prevention projects around the country. And  in these past two decades,domestic violence against women is widely seen as unacceptable. "We've made more women know that they don't have to take it," says Ross. "They don't have to be victimized."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Six Reasons Why Hmong Americans Should Vote This Year

New America Media - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:40
 Historically, the Hmong community has had one of the lowest voter turnouts, but with outreach campaigns there have been considerable advances made in increasing a Hmong voting bloc in Minnesota.While Hmong Americans have faced cultural perceptions that voting makes no... Tiffany Vang http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Low-Income Calif. Care Program Faces Language, Cultural Barriers

New America Media - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:25
ALHAMBRA, Calif. – California has begun launching a three-year pilot program aimed at improving health care options to residents in Los Angeles and other counties, who qualify for both state and federally subsidized health care. But potential applicants to Cal... Kyle Garcia http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

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New America Media - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 16:49
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Categories: Diversity Headlines

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New America Media - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 14:35
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Report: South Asian Americans Still Under Attack 13 Years After 9/11

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 13:50
 South Asian Americans Still Under Attack 13 Years After 9/11

It's been 13 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but South Asian-Americans are still under suspicion and under attack, according to a report released this week by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).

The report argues that xenophobic political rhetoric and hate violence against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern and Arab communities has continued since the harrowing days following the attacks. Researchers collecting almost 160 examples and pointed to previous data that showed:

  • More than 80 percent of the instances of hate violence researchers uncovered were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. 
  • In 2012, half of Americans reported discomfort with women in burqas, mosques in their neighborhoods, or Muslims praying in airports.
  • More than 90 percent of xenophobic political comments were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment.

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But there's hope. The report juxtaposes these facts with the reality that populations of people of color generally, and South Asian-Americans specifically, are growing. That's become a crucial component in building an infrastructure to help deal with critical moments like the Oak Creek tragedy and the Boston Marathon bombing. "There are also numerous examples of "better practices" from government and community leaders, organizations, and media who played an essential role to shift the narrative in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing to allow for an effective investigation and reduce backlash," researchers wrote.

Read the full report here

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Napolitano y líderes de colegios comunitarios discuten formas de alzar las transferencias

New America Media - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 13:29
EnglishLa presidenta de la Universidad de California Janet Napolitano se reunió en Merced el 4 de septiembre con líderes de colegios comunitarios del área del valle central para discutir maneras de animar a más de sus estudiantes a transferirse a... Nicole Freeling http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Report: South Asian Americans Still Under Attack 13 Years After 9/11

New America Media - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 13:02
 It’s been 13 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but South Asian-Americans are still under suspicion and under attack, according to a report released this week by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).The report argues that xenophobic... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Comcast Executive VP Touts Broadband Program for Low-Income Families

New America Media - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:56
Pictured above: Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen (left), Silicon Valley Education Foundation President and CEO Muhammed Chaudhry, and Libier Gonzalez, associate director with Parent Institute for Quality Education.SAN JOSE, Calif. – When Libier Gonzalez first arrived to the United States from... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Obama Turned Away from Three Elite Golf Clubs

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:54

Following fundraisers in New York and Rhode Island the Friday before Labor Day, President Obama had planned an overnight stay in Westchester County, New York, to attend a wedding Saturday. With a little free time on his hands, the president hoped to swing by a local golf club on Saturday morning, but he was turned down by three of them. 

Trump National, Willow Ridge and Winged Foot—all in New York—turned the president away. Sources tell WNBC that club managers didn’t want to inconvenience their members, who pay more than $100,000 to join some of the clubs.

Trump National is owned by Donald Trump, who poked fun about rejecting Obama on Wednesday on Twitter: 

If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country—I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2014

Over Labor Day weekend, Obama returned to Washington on Friday evening and then headed all the way back to Westchester on Saturday. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Puerto Rican Artist Ricardo Mulero Leads 9/11 Memorial Exhibit Team

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:46
Puerto Rican Artist Ricardo Mulero Leads 9/11 Memorial Exhibit Team

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum has become one of New York City's most sought-after tourist spots since it opened last May. At the center of it is an exhibit that was spearheaded by Puerto Rican artist and New Yorker Ricardo Mulero, who led a team of artists, architects and engineers in arranging the artifacts of that fateful day in history.

Mulero previously worked at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and at Freedom Park in Pretoria, South Africa, but this project was unique. "Unlike any other history project that I have worked on, it was something that I had been part of," Mulero told NBC News. "That became kind of interesting."

You can see images of the exhibit over at NBC News

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch Janelle Monáe Perform 'The Power of Yet' on Sesame Street [VIDEO]

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:55

Janelle Monáe paid a visit to Sesame Street this week and performed "The Power of Yet." It's all about the power of perserverance. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Actor Terry Crews Speaks Out About Ray Rice, Domestic Violence

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:52
Actor Terry Crews Speaks Out About Ray Rice, Domestic Violence

There have been plenty of celebrities who've said cringeworthy things about domestic violence in light of the Ray Rice video that surfaced this week, but actor Terry Crews isn't one of them. The start of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" opened up to "Entertainment Tonight" about growing up in a household where his father regularly beat his mother:

When I saw the video, I was immediately taken back to my childhood," he said. "This is the way I grew up. I used to watch this happen over and over again. It was a post-traumatic-stress experience for me. I used to watch my father hit my mother in the face and watch her go down and there was some things that just affected me more than I don't think anyone could realize.

Crews also called out the NFL's culture of violence.

I mean it's weird because you think of how this cult pact works and there are always ways to get back in--especially in the NFL. I've seen major transgressions done and people still play. The NFL culture, the sports culture, has decided that they are more valuable than women.

He continued:

I've heard people laugh about keeping their pimp-hand strong and keeping her in control so that she knows her place. But think about how evil that is for one man to think that he's actually more valuable than a woman, because as a human being your worth is immeasurable.

Read more at The Root.

 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Stevie Wonder Blasts Ferguson's Mayor and Announces New Tour

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:47
Stevie Wonder Blasts Ferguson's Mayor and Announces New Tour

Stevie Wonder is angry, and he's taking his passion out on the road. The singer and songwriter announced a new fall North American tour that will highlight his Grammy-winning 1976 album "Songs in the Key of Life" and a new album, "Through the Eyes of Wonder." But during the announcement, he also blasted the political leadership in Ferguson, Missouri:

"I don't know if the mayor has blinders on," Wonder said in an interview Wednesday. "But to say that he didn't know that there was a racial or cultural problem in the city is unfortunate."

As Zo points out at Okayplayer, Wonder's words are significant given the five decades he's spent composing a soundtrack to life in black America. "Whether it be in Ferguson or [Vietnam], on police brutality or environmental crimes, Mr. Wonderlove has always managed to spread the implicit virtues of his name (wonder and love, of course) through his brilliant display of musicianship and a voice that should be cryogenically frozen so that future generations can bear witness to its clarity and tenderness."

The new tour is set to kick off November 6 in New York and continue in 10 more cities before ending in Oakland in December. 

(h/t Billboard)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Following Ferguson: Residents Head to State Capitol as Street Protests Continue

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:40

Ferguson residents continue to voice frustration on more than one front, and new video of Michael Brown's fatal shooting surfaces. While street protests continued with an attempt to block Interstate-70 during rush hour yesterday, another 60-plus residents traveled to the state capitol in Jefferson City to tell their stories to state lawmakers. They hope, according to local station KSDK, to get laws to change--although the report does not specify which laws. Pharmacy technician Kayla Reed never expected to become an activist explains why she got on the bus. "If they see us and they hear us, and I'm speaking eloquently to them, and I'm not in their face saying, 'Hands up, don't shoot,' if I'm not that because you couldn't come to me when I needed you, so I'll come to you," she tells KSDK.

Of the nearly 150 people attempting to block I-70 yesterday, the LA Times reports that police arrested at least 10. One organizer, Eric Vickers, according to the Post-Dispatch, did not rule out future acts of civil disobedience. Protesters are calling for Governor Jay Nixon to replace St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch with a special prosecutor. McCulloch's father, a police officer, was killed nearly 50 years ago by an African-American suspect. 

Meanwhile, video and new eyewitnesses corroborating previous testimony has surfaced. Two construction workers who asked to remain unidentified were on scene at the time of Wilson's fatal shooting of Brown. Read more on Fox 2 Now St. Louis and USA Today.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Viola Davis: 'After a While You Get Tired of Being the Third Girl From the Left'

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 08:02
 'After a While You Get Tired of Being the Third Girl From the Left'

Academy Award winner Viola Davis is preparing for the series premiere of her new ABC show "How to Get Away With Murder" and spoke to BuzzFeed about making the transition from film to television. In the new show by network darling Shonda Rimes, Davis stars as criminal law professor Annalise Keating, and it's exactly the type of role the actress was looking to play. "After a while you get tired of being the third girl from the left," she told BuzzFeed:

You feel like you want a role that's going to be worthy of your talent," she said. "And that's why, when [How to Get Away With Murder] came along, I'm like, 'OK, I want those types of roles. I want the flashy roles. I want to be No. 1 on the call sheet.' I feel that I've worked long enough and hard enough that I deserve that. Yes, in film, you do get a lot of supporting roles, as an actor of color. You do. And I feel like, now, I want the flash!"

The new show premieres on September 25th.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

New War in Iraq, Facebook Tests Momentary Posts, Ebola Death Toll Continues to Rise

Colorlines - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:06
New War in Iraq, Facebook Tests Momentary Posts, Ebola Death Toll Continues to Rise

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

  • The Syrian opposition is thrilled with Obama's plans. 
  • In a sign that Snapchat really is on to something, Facebook is testing momentary posts. 
  • Taraji P. Henson tells Ebony that she's treated like a D-list actor. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines
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