Diversity Headlines

Aniya Parker and an Epidemic of Violence Against Transgender Women of Color

Colorlines - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 11:19
Aniya Parker and an Epidemic of Violence Against Transgender Women of Color

Mourners in and around Los Angeles are remembering Aniya Parker, a 47-year-old transgender woman who was violently killed in East Hollywood last week.

Parker was fatally shot at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday during what police have reported as a robbery. Surveillance footage of Parker's death has circulated widely across the Internet, showing two to four suspects surrounding her before one punches her and then shoots her in the head as she tries to flee.

Many observers aren't buying the police's assertion that Parker's killing was the result of a robbery gone wrong. "This was not a robbery, in fact, they left the purse behind," Mary Zeiser of Hollywood told ABC7 news. "This is a cold-blooded hate crime and this type of violence needs to end."

Less than 48 hours after her death, Parker's supporters held a memorial in her honor. Her friends and family are now trying to raise $15,000 for funeral expenses, which include transporting her body back to her home state of Arkansas. 

Parker's death is another example of what seems like nothing short of an epidemic of violence targeting transgender women of color. She's is the eighth transgender woman of color to be killed since the begining of June, according to the Anti-Violence Project. She's also the second to be killed in Los Angeles in recent months; 28-year-old Zoraida Reyes's body was found in a parking lot behind an Orange County Dairy Queen on June 12th. Transgender women of color face disproportionately higher rates of hate violence than other members of the LGBT community, according to researchers. In fact, a 2013 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that LGBT people of color were nearly twice as likely to experience physical violence than their white counterparts. Transgender women made up 67 percent of anti-LGBT homicides in 2013, according to the Anti-Violence Project.

aniyaparker_100614.jpg

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Kim Jong-Un's 27-Year-Old Sister in Charge of North Korea

New America Media - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 10:25
 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Kim Yo-jong is reportedly in control of the hermit country in place of her brother whose illness has prevented him from making public appearances for almost a month, according to North Korea Intellectuals... Koream Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Umbrellas Up: U. Washington Students Support Hong Kong Protests

New America Media - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 10:15
 Seattle’s skies were clear on Wednesday night, but the University of Washington’s Red Square was a sea of umbrellas.On the same day that Hong Kong’s history-making protests reached their highest numbers yet, over 250 students and community members gathered at... International Examiner http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Childish Gambino Sends Fans on Scavenger Hunt to Uncover Secret Track

Colorlines - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 08:22
Childish Gambino Sends Fans on Scavenger Hunt to Uncover Secret Track

Childish Gambino is known for using the Internet in unconventional ways. He rose form being an actor and comedian to a well-known rapper largely thanks to a few well-recieved mixtapes, but from there it gets pretty experimental. Last year he dropped a film that played in a continuous loop on Ustream months before releasing his second studio album, "Because the Internet." In an interview, he said that motivation for the album came from the fact that "now that we have the internet it's easier to [communicate] than ever before, but it's also leaving us really lost and afraid." 

So last Friday, when Gambino released a new project called "STN MTN/Kauai" without any real warning, fans were thrilled.

The first half of the project is a free mixtape named after his hometown in Georgia. The second part is available on iTunes. But he also left it up to fans to find a secret track, a remix of his song "3005."

kauai is out on itunes and spotify and it leaked and yeah. the 3005 remix should help with the secret track

-- childish gambino (@donaldglover) October 4, 2014

The version of the song on "STN MTN/Kauai" was largely instrumental, but fans later learned that the vocals were hidden in Gambino's becausetheinter.net original screenplay, buried within the coding on the page. Long story short, one Reddit user did the work of untangling the mystery. Here's the finished product: 

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Raven-Symoné: 'I'm an American, I'm not an African-American'

Colorlines - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 08:05

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "Where Are They Now?" Raven-Symoné made clear that she doesn't "want to be labeled as gay," but rather as a "human who loves humans." Raven-Symoné, the star perhaps best known for her role on "The Cosby Show," who appeared to quietly come out last August, says she's tired of labels, adding, "I'm an American, I'm not an African-American," pointing out that an "American is a colorless person." 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Another Ebola Patient Arrives in U.S., Nobel Prize in Medicine, B.B. King Cancels Tour

Colorlines - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 07:12
Another Ebola Patient Arrives in U.S., Nobel Prize in Medicine, B.B. King Cancels Tour

Here's what I'm reading up on today: 

  • The Nobel prizes in science kick off this week; the prize in medicine goes to three who located the brain's internal GPS. The prize in physics will be announced Tuesday and the prize in chemistry on Wednesday. 
  • 89-year-old B.B. King cancels his tour after being diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch: Flash Mob Demands Justice for Mike Brown During St. Louis Symphony

Colorlines - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 07:11
 Flash Mob Demands Justice for Mike Brown During St. Louis Symphony

Fans of the St. Louis Symphony got quite a surprise over the weekend when a flash mob interrupted a performance on Saturday to demand justice for Mike Brown, the 18-year-old black man who was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in nearby Ferguson on August 9.

Just as the conductor took the stage after intermission, a middle-aged black man sang, "What side are you on, friend; what side are you on?"

The St. Louis American, the city's African-American newspaper, captured the scene on video: 

Acts of civil disobedience have continued in the St. Louis area, with local and national organizers planning several weeks of resistance through a project called Ferguson October

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Q&A: A Year In, Napolitano Uncovering Treasures of UC

New America Media - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 05:30
Ed. Note: One year since becoming head of the University of California, Janet Napolitano says she's taken an archaeologist's approach to uncovering the many layers of California's priemiere public research university. Having spearheaded a number of key initiatives -- from... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Q&A: A Year In, Napolitano Uncovering Treasures of UC

New America Media - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 05:30
Ed. Note: One year since becoming head of the University of California, Janet Napolitano says she's taken an "archaeologist's approach" to uncovering the many layers of California's priemiere public research university. Having spearheaded a number of key initiatives -- from... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
Categories: Diversity Headlines

A New Labor Issue: Control Over Time

Colorlines - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 05:11
 Control Over Time

In a new book, "Unequal Time," sociologists Naomi Gerstel and Dan Clawson argue that workers' control over their time is a crucial labor issue that deserves more attention. "Most the conversation about inequality is about wages--and that's a really important discussion," says Gerstel. "But time is a key way to talk about inequality."

For "Unequal Time," Gerstel and Clawson studied four professions within what they call the medical-health sector: doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Their research emphasizes how class and gender impact who has the most control over their regular work schedules and time off.

Doctors had the most amount of control, and were the wealthiest and most male profession in the group. They had the most control over what schedules they worked regularly, and when they took time off for illness, vacation or caregiving. The CNAs, on the other hand, the lowest-paid employees and mostly female profession in the study, had very little control over any of these questions. They worked schedules determined by their employers, with little flexibility for time off.

Race is often considered in the text, but in their study, the authors didn't look at race as a factor independent from class. Part of this was caused by the study design--they set out to look at how gender and class specifically impacted these workers differently. But the demographics of the so-called medical health professions they included also made it difficult to draw conclusions that were about race separate from class. The doctors, EMTs and nurses were all less than 13 percent non-white while the CNAs were 58 percent non-white. Because there were so few doctors, nurses and EMTs of color in those professions, the authors cite fear of violating their confidentiality if they discussed the racialized experiences of those individuals.

The one place where they were able to extrapolate more about race was within the group of nursing assistants. They studied two different nursing homes in the same region of the country; one had a predominantly black staff and the other a predominantly white one. "The black women faced much more rigid regulations and were distrusted by management," says Gerstel. "The white women at the [predominantly white] nursing home were not [treated in the same way]." But the authors say that the differences between the two nursing homes also made it difficult to definitively say what conditions were about race and which were caused by institutional differences. Ultimately, Gerstel and Clawson argue that class is the common denominator between the conditions they witnessed, while acknowledging that class is also racialized. "White working-class women, black working-class women and Latina working-class women faced many of the same deficits of time and unpredictability, an inability to control their time," says Gerstel. 

"Unequal Time" also addresses the ways family structures create pressures on women of color at work and at home."So you're a single mother, with two kids at home, one of whom has asthma, and you're in a job where you're unexpectedly offered an extra shift [that] you need to take because you need the money. You're facing unpredictability in two arenas," says Gerstel. "Your life is chaotic."

As if to prove her point, news of the untimely death of Maria Fernandes, a 32-year-old mother and employee at three different Dunkin' Donuts locations, was reported by the New York Times on the morning I interviewed Gertsel. Fernandes' presumed accidental death from gasoline fumes and carbon monoxide occurred as she napped in her car between jobs with the motor running. In that instance, it was likely a combination of low wages and scheduling--of needing to juggle shifts at three different locations to make ends meet while not being able to schedule in sleep between shifts.

Economic factors such as increased unemployment post-recession have exacerbated the situation for the low-wage workers. "The CNAs more than any other group have relatively high rates of unemployment. We know the rates of unemployment among people of color are much higher than among whites,"says Gerstel "If the unemployment rate is higher, what happens is that employers can staff lean--hire you for 24 to 32 hours [per week]. Then on any given day they can say 'I've got an extra shift. Can you take it?'," says Gerstel. "They're not mandating overtime. They're offering overtime that you can't refuse because of the conditions of employment that they've provided. It's that kind of lean staffing and unpredictability that we think is the new normal."

The conditions described in the book, particularly for the CNAs, create a precarious situation where workers struggle to make ends meet but also face punitive policies that restrict how often they can miss work for things like illness or caregiving. In the other professions studied, particularly the doctors and nurses, there was much more flexibility and control in the hands of the employees to help them manage these responsibilities, not to mention financial means to pay for childcare or have a stay-at-home spouse.

Recently there has been a policy push to address employer scheduling practices. In July, Senate Democrats introduces the Schedules that Work Act. "By creating a right for all employees to make scheduling requests, and protecting employees who make requests from retaliation, the Schedules That Work Act would give employees a say in their work schedules. Employers would be required to consider scheduling requests from all employees and provide a response," reads a fact sheet from National Women's Law Center about the law. Unless there is a bona fide business issue, employers would be required to grant requested schedule changes for things like caregiving, pursuing education and workforce training, or for the employee's own serious health condition.

Gerstel expressed mixed feelings about the potential legislation: "It is important and could, if passed, deal with some of the worst issues raised in "Unequal Time" and some important aspects of the unpredictability that creates havoc in the lives of low-wage workers who are mostly women and often women of color," says Gerstel. "It is good, for example, that it not only includes pay for those who come to work but are sent home, but it also covers workers at establishments with 15 or fewer workers."

Among the bill's limits, Gerstel says it overlooks the service sector, that the definition of family may be too limited to encompass everyone and that it may give the employer too much leeway to deny requests for time off. And of course, enforcement of any legislation becomes a major issue once it's been passed. Gerstel and Lawson point out in the book that it is the women of color in the nursing assistant roles who were least likely to take advantage of the benefits of the Family Medical Leave Act, a major policy meant to improve worker protections.

"One of the arguments we're making is that we're led to believe that the retail sector is the place where there are unpredictable schedules creating chaos. What you read about in the media is the unpredictability of the lives of young people in retail jobs--Starbucks or clothing stores or restaurants," says Gerstel. "But that really understates the pervasiveness and the new normal of unpredictability. In the health sector, in the service sector, across class there is a huge amount of unpredictability. And it's the CNAs, the women of color, who have the least amount of control over this unpredictability."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

What to Look For In Dueling Autopsies of Michael Brown

New America Media - Sun, 10/05/2014 - 16:17
 In the next few weeks, separate teams of doctors will issue autopsy reports about Michael Brown, the unarmed African American shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. If history is any guide, they will differ, perhaps significantly,... AC Thompson http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Many Insured Californians Unaware They Have Mental Health Coverage

New America Media - Sun, 10/05/2014 - 01:25
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans are generally required to provide mental health coverage – but almost half of Californians who have insurance say that a lack of coverage is the reason they haven’t gotten mental health treatment... http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

White Mother Sues Sperm Bank After Birth of Mixed-Race Daughter

New America Media - Sat, 10/04/2014 - 11:22
  Chicago-area sperm bank is being sued by an Ohio woman for mistakenly giving her vials from an African-American donor, reports the Chicago Tribune. Jennifer Cramblett, who is white, filed a lawsuit stating that Midwest Sperm Bank gave her the... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Griselda Blanco? It's Happening

Colorlines - Sat, 10/04/2014 - 09:21
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Griselda Blanco? It's Happening

Catherine Zeta-Jones has been cast as Griselda Blanco in "The Godmother," an upcoming biopic on the life and death of the Colombian*-born drug queen, according to Deadline. News of Jones' casting has kicked discussions about brownface into high gear, with many observers wondering aloud about why a Latina actress wasn't chosen for the role instead.

"I'm sorry but what part of this casting makes any kind of sense? Come on Hollywood. AreThere NO LATIN actresses???" actress Yolanda Ross tweeted in reaction to the news.

Soraya Nadia McDonald sifts through the controversy over at the Washington Post, writing:

Casting isn't just a problem with biopics. Plenty of people were angered when Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily in the new Warner Bros. "Peter Pan" remake -- more than 23,000 signed a petition telling studios to stop casting white actors in parts written for people of color. In 2013, Johnny Depp in redface as Tonto in "The Lone Ranger" elicited a similar reaction. And earlier this year, Comedy Girls Jenni Ruiza and Jesenia playfully asked "Saturday Night Live" showrunner Lorne Michaels to hire a Latina or two instead of subjecting viewers to castmembers in brownface.

What's more, according to McDonald, is that there are plenty of Latina actresses in Hollywood who could have been better fits for the project:

Zeta-Jones is called upon to be Colombian when there are more visible Latina actresses working in Hollywood than ever -- thanks in no small part to executive producers such as Eva Longoria and Salma Hayek. Hayek was responsible for bringing "Ugly Betty," the show based on the Colombian telanovela "Yo soy Betty, la fea," to network television. And Longoria has really taken charge with her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

Read more at the Washington Post

 

*Post has been updated since publication to change the incorrect spelling, Columbian

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Q&A: Ebola and Africa’s Untold Stories

New America Media - Sat, 10/04/2014 - 06:05
 Ed. Note: As chair of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma directs the staff and the work of the African Union (AU), the alliance of nations on the continent. In that role, Dr. Zuma – a physician –... George White http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

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New America Media - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:51
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Categories: Diversity Headlines

Supreme Court Takes Up Muslim Woman's Challenge to Abercrombie and Fitch

Colorlines - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:30
Supreme Court Takes Up Muslim Woman's Challenge to Abercrombie and Fitch

Among the cases the Supreme Court will take up in its next term is Samantha Elauf's challenge to Abercrombie & Fitch's hiring practices. In 2008, Elauf, then 17 years old and applying for a job at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, Abercrombie & Fitch store, was told that the headscarf she wore wasn't in line with the company's "look policy." Elauf was turned down for the job. 

While the company policy actually contained exceptions for religious head coverings, the store manager didn't ask Elauf whether she wore her head scarf for religious reasons, and Elauf didn't explicitly ask for an exemption either. Whose responsibility was it to make sure that Elauf wasn't discriminated against based on her religion?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company and won a religious discrimination suit on Elauf's behalf, but last October, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's ruling.

Jessica Glenza at The Guardian explains the questions the Supreme Court will consider:

The case hinges on whether employees must explicitly inform prospective employers that they require a religious exemption, in this case for dress. Abercrombie argues that Elauf did not specifically request an exemption and thus one was not required, even though managers correctly assumed she wore the scarf for religious reasons.

"It is undisputed that Samantha Elauf did not inform Abercrombie that her religious beliefs required her to wear a headscarf when she was at work. It is axiomatic that an employer must have actual notice that an applicant's mandatory religious practices conflict with an employment requirement," attorneys for the company argued.

The EEOC argues that if "actual knowledge" of an employee's religious beliefs is required by employers, companies could discriminate against employees because of perceived religious practices, so long as they do not have explicit statements from an employee.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Estudiante de UC Berkeley aspira a ser la versión femenina, mexicana de Carl Sagan

New America Media - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:00
EnglishBerkeley, California - Cuando Ana Aceves tenía 12 años, estaba sentada en el porche de sus padres en la ciudad de Merced del Valle Central en California, levantó la vista hacia el cielo nocturno y tuvo un "viaje astral". Ella... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Bruce Lee Day Kicks Off Grand Opening Opening of Exhibit At the Wing

New America Media - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:50
 Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is declaring today Bruce Lee Day to commemorate the opening of a new three year exhibition on the life of the iconic martial arts star, reports the International Examiner.The tribute at the Wing Luke Museum Do... International Examiner http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

'We Are the South' Rises with LGBTQ Racial Justice Activists

Colorlines - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 11:31
'We Are the South' Rises with LGBTQ Racial Justice Activists

LGBTQ activists at the intersection of race, place, class, sexuality and so much more working toward racial justice in the South? No, you're not dreaming. This week, the Better Together Southern Leadership and Action Cohort, a network of eight organizations gathered by Colorlines' publisher Race Forward, launched We Are the South. It is a photo campaign highlighting the people at the center of this week's launch. On social media, #WeAretheSouth and #SomosElSur amplified those activists' experiences.

Here now, a roundup of some of the photos activists shared via wearethesouth.org.

RT @YouthBreakOUT: #WeAreTheSouth #SomosElSur pic.twitter.com/Id54InwtBO #FreedomSide

— Sasha Costanza-Chock (@schock) October 1, 2014

#WeAreTheSouth #SomosElSur pic.twitter.com/I7MIkde5Wt

— BreakOUT! (@YouthBreakOUT) October 1, 2014

Farmworker Immigrant Father. Raised by a Single Mother. Queer, Chicana in the Miss. Delta #WeAreTheSouth #SomosElSur pic.twitter.com/p3tuD0onCY

— Miss. Safe Schools (@MSSafeSchools) October 1, 2014 wearethesouth_tumblr_10314.jpg Image via wearethesouth.org from the Center for Artistic Revolution, a Little Rock, Arkansas, social justice organization.

I was so fortunate to be apart of this camp #QYLTS and to be apart of this campaign #WeAreTheSouth #SomosElSur pic.twitter.com/qlu17Uy0xi

— Natt O. (@_Nat_the_Cat_) October 1, 2014

This photo campaign is important bc We didn't stop work in the 1960s. We kept going! We keep going #WeAreTheSOuth pic.twitter.com/reCnuetvQY

— Paris Hatcher (@parishatcher) October 1, 2014

For more information and to submit your own photo, visit wearethesouth.org, and check out Better Together organizer Paris Hatcher's Storify of this week's Tweet chat. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines
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