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Updated: 2 days 19 hours ago

Tituss Burgess of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" Calls Racism Accusations Outrageous

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 09:06

Tituss Burgess, of Tina Fey's Netflix series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," took to HuffPost Live Thursday to voice his disagreement with anyone who finds the show's depictions of certain ethinicities disrespectful

I just think that is so completely unbelievably ridiculous, and I think people are watching it and pulling it apart for all the wrong reasons. All of these storylines come back around and make a delicious point. I just find it hilarious that people are trying to arrest us for doing the opposite of what everyone thinks we're doing.

Watch the full interview above.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Google Backs Opps for Latino and Black Entrepreneurs in 3 Cities

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 08:17

Latino and black entrepreneurs in Chicago, Austin and Durham are getting an assist from Google. Through Code2040, which helps to diversify the tech pipeline, Google will provide a one-year stipend and free office space for start-ups. Entrepreneurs are also expected to "build bridges to technology for minorities in those communities," USA Today reports. The new program sends an important message: you don't have to be in Silicon Valley to do tech.

The SXSW announcement by Code2040's co-founder Laura Weidman Powers comes about a year after Google began releasing employment diversity data to the public. Silicon Valley had long had a reputation for employing low numbers of Latinos and African-Americans as tech workers (at Google, 2 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent African-American). And while Asian-Americans are well-represented, they appear to hit a ceiling when it comes to executive-level leadership.

Code2040 received $775,000 from Google this February, USA Today reports, to bring more Latinos and African-Americans into the sector.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Solar Eclipse, Amazon Drones, 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Crank Call to C-SPAN

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:24
Solar Eclipse, Amazon Drones, 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Crank Call to C-SPAN

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

  • The police commander that ran Chicago's Homan Square resigns
  • A C-SPAN caller recites the lyrics to the opening song of the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:"
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Kendrick's Only Competition is Himself

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 14:52
Kendrick's Only Competition is Himself

Dropping his second studio album a week early has proven to be a brilliant move for Kendrick Lamar.

Today Billboard announced that "To Pimp a Butterfly" is set to become No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week. "Industry sources are forecasting the set to move over 325,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 22," the publication reports. 

"To Pimp a Butterfly" broke the Spotify record for the album most streamed on on Monday, the day of its release. The spot was previously held by Drake's equally surprising premiere of "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" with 6.8 million streams. Lamar's album far surpassed the precedent collecting 9.6 million streams in its first 24 hours, according to the company's statement.

According to a tweet from TDE President Punch, the album racked up an additional, record breaking 9.8 million streams on Tuesday. 


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Report: Growing Workforce of People of Color Shoulders Growing Inequity

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 14:44
 Growing Workforce of People of Color Shoulders Growing Inequity

The burdens of the working poor are increasingly borne by a growing class of people of color. That's the latest finding from a new report (PDF) from the Working Poor Families Project. 

This is the way it shakes out: in 2013, people of color made up 58 percent of the 10 million low-income working families in the U.S., even though people of color are just 40 percent of all working families across the country. The dynamic has only worsened since the start of the recession in 2007 and during a time when the nation's workforce has become more racially diverse. 

People of color are well on their way to constituting the majority of people in the U.S. As such, their share of the U.S. workforce is growing, even as white people's growth in the U.S. has stagnated. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of people of color in the U.S. workforce is expected to grow by 21 percent while the number of white people working in that same period is set to decline by 2 percent. The dropoff is due largely to white people's stagnating growth in the U.S. The year 2013 marked the first that white deaths in the country outnumbered white births, according to the Washington Post.

Given that people of color are the nation's fastest-growing groups, their economic well-being is of pressing concern to the nation's, the report argues. But while the country is celebrating signs of economic revival, low-income workers and people of color are being left behind. Between 2009 and 2013, the numbers of low-income families grew from 10.1 million to 10.6 million, with people of color making up a disproportionate amount of that growth. Today, the racial wealth gap between whites and blacks is at its highest level since 1989, and white households have a median net worth that's 13 times that of black families' net worth, and 10 times that of Latinos'. 

Different racial groups are also more likely to work in different kinds of low-wage jobs, report authors point out. Asians in the bottom rungs of the income scale are more likely to work in salons, or as retail workers. African-Americans are most likely to be concentrated among the ranks of health aides, cashiers, and as caregivers. Latinos, meanwhile, are more likely to work in cleaning and in restaurants.

"Racial/ethnic minorities are not disproportionately low-income because of a lack of work effort," according to the report, "but because they are more likely to be working in low-paying jobs." 

(h/t Los Angeles Times)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

T.I. is the Gaye Family's Next Target in 'Blurred Lines' Case

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 13:13
T.I. is the Gaye Family's Next Target in 'Blurred Lines' Case

Following their $7.4m legal win on March 10th against Pharrell and Robin Thicke for copyright damages and profits in relation to the 2013 hit "Blurred Lines," Marvin Gaye's family is now out for rapper T.I.

The family has filed an injunction to list T.I., as well as three record labels, as responsible parties, holding them accountable for the ruled copyright infringement. A jury exonerated T.I. in the original trial and Gaye's family is looking to change the verdict. Read more here

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Can Doctors Put a Dent in Gun Violence?

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 10:31
Can Doctors Put a Dent in Gun Violence?

There are nearly as many guns as there are people in the United States--up to 310 million held by private citizens alone. Even without the Second Amendment, guns aren't going away. So is it possible, in a country with just as many guns as people, to decrease this kind of violence? 

Without much fanfare outside of the medical field, seven national groups representing physicians and other health professionals have recently come together and issued a statement to say, 'Yes, less gun violence is possible.'

They've also agreed on specific policies to get the nation to this new normal. Calling guns "a public health problem," they cite not just recent mass shootings, but the sobering fact that there are 88 gun-related deaths per day in this country. They point out that guns are the second leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 25. This says nothing of injuries, which are more than double the number of deaths. And gun violence doesn't just reach its physical victims. More than one in five U.S. teenagers ages 14 to 17, according to a 2009 Department of Justice study, report having witnessed a shooting.

"This is a very public statement from the public health community that one, we're paying attention to this issue, [and two] we don't think this is something that has to continue to plague our community," says Shannon Frattaroli, professor and an associate director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. "When you go for your annual check-up or go into the emergency room for a broken leg, perhaps your doctor doesn't just care about your leg. She cares about what's happening in your community and the role guns play in your life, too."

So, can doctors influence the public debate to rein in gun violence, just as they did with cigarette-smoking, using a seatbelt or eating right to fight heart disease? Colorlines talked to doctors and other public health experts, all of whom are deeply involved in gun-violence prevention, to find out.

Doctors see what the rest of us don't; it leaves an impact.

Most gunshot victims survive their wounds. What's largely unseen is that not many live well, after. "This goes further than the emergency room," says Sarah Kimball, M.D., an internist who works out of a Boston University-affiliated "safety net" clinic that serves Medicaid recipients. Among her patients, she says, are too many 18- to 35-year-olds who otherwise should be healthy but are suffering lifelong challenges as a result of being shot.

"I see young people with chronic bladder problems, chronic pain, or severe vascular damage*, which means they end up in the emergency room quite frequently," Kimball says. "These are chronic issues that change and destroy someone's life--and keep them looped into the medical system."

Because of her young patients, Kimball got involved in a gun violence task force through the National Physicians Alliance. She recognizes that, "it's easy for doctors to be complacent about larger political and national issues as most of our advocacies happen one-on-one," in private, in the doctor's office. But what concerns her, she says, is the politicization of a public health epidemic. For example, a federal court last year upheld Florida's 3-year-old law banning healthcare providers from talking to patients about their guns.

A new generation of African-American doctors know gun violence, intimately.

Loren Robinson, M.D., knows well the impact of gun violence, and not because her pediatric practice where she sees patients up to age 22, is located in West Philadelphia. A younger cousin died a few years ago after police shot him while responding to a home invasion at his house. It was a case of mistaken identity.

"People assume we've been in these Ivory Towers and haven't had other experiences, but there're a lot of younger physicians with direct life experience with gun violence and it colors how we see the issue," says Robinson who's also involved in #WhiteCoats4Black Lives. The med-student led campaign initiated an 80-college die-in last December. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, participants established themselves as a national student organization.

Whether it's coming from police or the street, Robinson is concerned with how all gun violence fractures communities of color. (Nationally, people of color comprise about 13 percent of doctors. African-Americans, 4 percent.) "Some people say we're trying to take away all gun ownership, but I don't even think that's something that's feasible. We won't see a day when personal gun ownership is disallowed." Robinson says. "But I think we can be smarter about it. Gun violence is out of control."

Doctors have a unique voice and role to play in decreasing gun violence.

Doctors deal daily with the consequences of gun violence and they're positioned on the front lines of prevention, too, Frattaroli says. But more than that, Robinson says, doctors still maintain a position of authority and trust in American society.

"I think there's an understanding that we're people who're committed to truth and the facts," Robinson says. "Also, as healers weighing in on this issue, [doctors' voices] carry a particular weight that not other fields or professions can have. There has been a lot of distrust in government, police and even in the church or clergy. And I think medicine is one of the last fields that hasn't been disassembled by mistrust."

* Post updated to replace "clotting disorders" in order to be more medically accurate

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Can Re-Designing Parks Help Desegregate Philadelphia?

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:33
Can Re-Designing Parks Help Desegregate Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia metro area ranks among the most economically segregated in the country. Compared to less populous areas like, say, Orlando, Portland or San Jose, according to a new report, "Segregated City," the rich and poor in and surrounding the City of Brotherly Love hardly mix. That's saying a lot considering the trend over the past few decades, even after the Civil Rights Movement, has been to increasingly sort ourselves by income, education and job. Now, a new $11 million project is testing whether the re-design of five Philadelphia public parks and libraries can help beat back segregation and help rich and poor (and racially diverse*) residents connect with each other. The five parks targeted for re-design, along with their new purpose, according to CityLab:

So, Philadelphia metro residents familiar with these park spaces and surrounding neighborhoods: can this project work? During the 20th century, residential segregation was aided and hardened by the placement of our highways and other roadwork. In the 21st century, can craftily re-designed public spaces in any city help slow the country's trend towards more not less segregation? 

[*Note: Racial segregation tracks with economic segregation of course but, how, differs by group and their share of population in a metro. In general, and compared to other races, low, middle and upper-income whites tend to interact with each other more, regardless of wealth. See the February report for more.]

(h/t CityLab)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Some Jay Smooth Wisdom on the Starbucks Controversy

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:23

Jay Smooth had plenty to say about Starbucks' new talk-to-your-barista-about-racism campaign on "All In With Chris Hayes" last night.* A sample of what the vlogger, hip-hop DJ and a video producer for Colorlines' publisher, Race Forward, said: 

The intentions seem noble and I want to keep an open mind, but I think there's already this strange fixation on 'conversation' when it comes to race that you don't see with other issues we want to take seriously. ...  If you look at the DOJ report on Ferguson it does not describe issues that can be addressed by increasing the number of chats in coffee shops. We're talking about institutional, systemic issues.

Check out the full interview above, and click this link for an open letter to Starbucks and USA Today by Rinku Sen, executive director of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines.  


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Mesa Gunman, Black UVA Student Beaten Bloody, Fed to Increase Interest Rates

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:18
Mesa Gunman, Black UVA Student Beaten Bloody, Fed to Increase Interest Rates

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

  • A white man with Hitler-referencing tattoos on his face shoots six people in four different locations, killing one, in Mesa, Az., where authorities apprehend him unharmed
Categories: Diversity Headlines

#TBT: 'Granny Midwives' of the South

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:17
#TBT: 'Granny Midwives' of the South

In honor of Women's History Month, I'd like to explore a little-discussed but crucial league of black healthcare providers known as "granny midwives."

Up until the mid-20th century, when obstetricians and hospitals became the primary location for delivery, these midwives provided most of the care for poor and rural pregnant women--black and white--throughout the South. Granny midwives were healers trained in their communities, a legacy of slavery but also central to health care during segregation. 

One of these healers was an Albany, Ga., woman named Mary Coley. Affectionately known as "Miss Mary," Coley delivered more than 3,000 babies during her 30-year career. In the 1952 documentary "All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story," we see her providing this essential service to two women at their homes at a time before hospital-based obstetric care became widespread and accessible to low-income and black women.

Coley is the central character and narrator of the documentary produced for the Georgia Department of Health by filmmaker George C. Stoney. "All My Babies," which was used to train midwives in Georgia and other parts of the American South, follows Coley into the homes of two women under her care. One is affluent with two healthy children, electricity and other amenities in her home. The other is clearly much poorer, and she lacks basic necessities such as food and electricity. We also see the actual birth of one of the women in Coley's care--a beautiful and intimate scene.

A main emphasis of the film is cleanliness and hygiene practices for the midwives, including sterilizing cloths, rags and equipment by boiling it on the stove and handwashing.

But this emphasis also foreshadows the eventual decline of the granny midwives and the messaging used to discredit them.

By the 1970s, births in hospitals attended by doctors and nurses (and later, nurse midwives) became the norm and these community midwives were phased out. This was done both by passing new laws and policies regulating the practice of medicine and who could provide services like attending childbirth, and through messaging campaigns that implied midwives were uneducated, dirty or even practicing witchcraft. By 1975, only 0.3 percent of all births were attended by a midwife outside a hospital.

In Alicia Bonaparte's dissertation, "The Persecution and Prosecution of Granny Midwives in South Carolina, 1900-1940" she describes how these campaigns also used sexist and racist undertones to discredit the practicing midwives. "Some physicians even labeled grannies as 'a cross between a superstitious hag and a meddlesome old biddy,'" she writes. "[This] evaluation served as an attack against the very bodies and ages of black women who were well respected in their communities."

"All My Babies" is a respectful approach to Coley's work as a midwife, and she's portrayed as an accomplished woman in her community. But it also reveals her deference to the white doctor and nurse at the county clinic, and it even shows her questioning her own hygiene practices after a lecture by the doctor.

Home-birth midwifery has seen a resurgence in the last few decades, as midwifery community gets organized and finds legal pathways toward practice through policy change. While the rate of out-of-hospital birth has increased significantly in the last 50 years, from 0.3 percent in 1975 to a little less than 2 percent of all births, black women are still primarily delivering in hospitals. Only 0.49 percent of black mothers chose to birth at home between 1990 and 2012. While home birth used to be the only option for low-income women, it's now primarily for those who can afford to pay for the midwife's services out of pocket since many insurance plans don't cover non-nurse midwives or home birth. It's ironic and a bit sad that the tables have turned so dramatically, and a legacy of healers has been restored only to the most affluent, and mostly white community that now seeks it out. There is a growing movement of midwives of color who seek to bring these traditions back to their communities, but growth is limited by these financial challenges.

Although it is often scripted--it was intended to be used as a PSA, after all--"All My Babies" is an important depiction of the black women who brought generations of babies into the world. Their traditions now only live on in the margins. You can watch the full film for free online through Snag Films.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

She Fights Child Sex Trafficking With Film

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:38

According to, 80 percent of reported human trafficking cases in California occurred in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. Rebecca Dharmapalan, now a 19-year-old UC Berkeley student, has been doing something about this since high school.

At Oakland School of Arts she created and produced "International Boulevard," a short documentary about child-sex trafficking in Oakland. "I decided to use art as a means of exploring activism," she recently told Mashable. "I didn't realize there were so many people in Oakland using art as a way of expressing their changemaking, so I figured I'd try it out."

"International Boulevardwent on to win several festival awards and now Dharmapalan is working on a feature-length sequel. She recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the project. 

Her sustained attention to the issue is warranted. The Department of Justice reports that 300,000 U.S. children are at risk of being prostituted, and the age for entry into this sex work is 13 or 14. Further, in a recent report from the Office of Victims of Crime,  40.4 percent of confirmed sex trafficking victims are black. Even more shocking, FBI reports show that when it comes to arrests of teens under the age of 18, black children make up 55 percent of all prostitution-related arrests in the U.S. 

 Read more on Dharmapalan's story on Mashable


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Azealia Banks' Pride and Prejudice

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:03
Azealia Banks' Pride and Prejudice

Azealia Banks' controversial April Playboy cover story hit the Internet, and one particular excerpt has been making e-waves: 

"I hate everything about this country. Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma--that's really America."

However, the extroverted Harlem rapper-singer whose social media wars and gay slurs have overshadowed her music, gave Playboy a much bigger mouthful.  

Her response to people asking why she makes everything about race: 

Y'all motherfuckers still owe me reparations! [Laughs.] That's why it's still about race. Really, the generational effects of Jim Crow and poverty linger on... My little white fans will be like, "Why do you want reparations for work you didn't do?" Well, you got handed down your grandfather's estate and you got to keep your grandmother's diamonds and pearls and shit.

Her thoughts on societal labels:

There's misogyny, and then there's something called misogynoir [a term coined by writer Moya Bailey to describe "the unique ways in which black women are pathologized in popular culture"]. We have all these stereotypes in society: The gay man is a faggot and he's over-the-top, or you're an untrustworthy cracker, or you're a loud black bitch. All these things exist for a reason, you know what I'm saying? Yeah, I am loud and boisterous... And I am black, and I am a pain in your ass. But I'm not really talking to you, and that's what makes those people mad. You're not invited to this conversation. This is not about you.

Her take on using "proper English":

When you rip a people from their land, from their customs, from their culture--there's still a piece of me that knows I'm not supposed to be speaking English, I'm not supposed to be worshipping Jesus Christ. All this shit is unnatural to me. People will be like, "Oh, you're ignorant because you don't speak proper English." No. This is not mine. I don't even want this shit, so I'm going to do whatever the fuck I want with this language.

And then added:

I'm going to call you a fag or a cracker or a bitch.

Well, the more things change...

Read the full interview here

Categories: Diversity Headlines

ICYMI: Common (Non)sense

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:01

The Daily Show
Daily Show Full Episodes,  More Daily Show Videos,  Comedy Central Full Episodes

Common might have to come down from his Oscar-win high. At least based on footage of the rapper-turned-actor's appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" that started circulating yesterday. He was on the show to promote his new movie, "Run All Night," but ended up sharing his views on race.

So you get some context, Stewart opens the door by bringing up white rage:

"[T]here is a movement now to take [the] injuries and the bitterness of racism and return them to...uh...white people, the dominant culture, the majority culture. And there's a real anger, a real vein of anger, like, "Hey man, I didn't have slaves!" And you're, "No, no, no...they're not talking about that. They're talking about a power structure."

Common replies:

Well my thing is like, now it's like, "Hey, we all know it's been some bad history in our country. We know that racism exists." [But] I'm like saying, "Hey y'all, I'm extending a hand."... I think a lot of generations and different cultures are saying, "Hey, we want to get past this. We been bullied, we've been beat down but we don't want it anymore." And we not extending a fist and saying "You did us wrong." It's more like, "Hey, I'm extending my hand in love. Let's forget about the past as much as we can and let's move from where we are now. How can we help each other?"  

Folks on Twitter held no barrs in their reactions to his proposition:



See the full interview above. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

K-Dot Moves Space and Time to Talk to 2Pac

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:30
K-Dot Moves Space and Time to Talk to 2Pac

As the music fades out on "Mortal Man," the last track on Kendrick Lamar's brilliant new album, "To Pimp a Butterfly," K-Dot stops rhyming and starts talking--to 2Pac. The conversation is based on a series of interviews from 1994 featuring the slain legend that Miss Info posted.

Maybe it's the West Coast in me, or maybe it's the fact 2Pac's words resonate so true and hard, but the conversation made me shed a tear or two when I first heard it Monday. It still gives me the feels listening to it today. Here's a short clip:


In this country, a black man only have like five years we can exhibit maximum strength. And that's right now while you a teenager, while you still strong, while you still wanna lift weights, while you still wanna shoot back. Cause once you turn 30 it's like they take the heart and soul out of a man, out of a black man in this country. And you don't wanna fight no more. And if you don't believe me you can look around. You don't see no loud-mouth 30-year old motherfuckers.


That's crazy, because me being one of your [offspring], of the legacy you left behind, I can truly tell you that there's nothing but turmoil going on. So, I wanted to ask you what you think is the future for me and my generation today?

You'll have to listen to the track to hear how 2Pac answers:

On "Mortal Man," Lamar is letting us know he's not just here for today and he's not just here for the future--he's here for the past, to honor and be in conversation with those whose legacy he's carrying on. He's also telling us that death doesn't always have to mean an end.

I also couldn't help but notice that the way the music fades away is reminiscent of "Sing of Me, I'm Dying of Thirst," the "Good Kid, M.a.a.d City" track that has a sex worker critiquing K-Dot's best intentions on his previous album, "Section 80." In that fade-out his voice slowly disappears after she insists, "I'll never fade away, I'll never fade away, I know my fate...." I'm uncertain if Kendrick Lamar meant to point to this track, but either way, he's legendary enough by now to reference himself. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

New PBS Doc Looks at "School Choice" in Rural South Carolina

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:51

Eleven-year-old Rashon Johnson and his single-parent family stars tonight in the PBS premiere of a new documentary, "180 Days: Hartsville," which asks whether the national preoccupation with "school choice" works in the rural and poor South. The town of Hartsville, where most students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, stands out. It boasts a 92-percent graduation rate; the state average for on-time graduation is about 80 percent. So what's Hartsville getting right? Watch tonight to find out. (Check local listings for premiere times in your area.)

South Carolina ranks 45th in the nation for overall child well being and 43rd in education, according to KidsCount. And more than half of states with the highest concentration of low-income students are in the South, which is also seeing rapidly increasing Latino enrollment in its K-12 public schools. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

White Conservative Ben Ferguson: Rappers Profit Off of the N-Word

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:38
 Rappers Profit Off of the N-Word

Following fallout from last week's video of University of Oklahoma members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon chanting anti-black slurs, our favorite black anchor Don Lemon hosted an already-discussed-this-a-million-times panel called "The N-Word in America. Who Can Say It? Who Decides?"

Guests included black rapper Trinidad James, black CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill and white conservative talk radio host Ben Ferguson, who claimed that rappers profit off of the n-word. During the program, the radio host and the "All Gold Everything" rapper squared off:

Ferguson: "I'll be honest with you, I think you know that we should probably get rid of the n-word, but in reality, I think many rappers are afraid they will lose out on money and sales and street cred if they stop using the word."

James: "I'm making money off of doing music and being creative, sir. I'm not making money just because I use the n-word. Nobody goes to buy an album because it's full of the n-word."

Ferguson: "Trinidad, you wouldn't be on this show tonight if it wasn't for using the n-word in your rap music. Let's be honest."

Read and watch more.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Shonda Rhimes Says Writing Saved Her Life

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:38
Shonda Rhimes Says Writing Saved Her Life Shonda Rhimes was honored with the Ally for Equality Award this past weekend in Los Angeles by the giant Human Rights Campaign. Below, highlights from her powerful speech.

On starting at 11: 

"You see, Shondaland, the imaginary land of Shonda, has existed since I was 11 years old. I built it in my mind as a place to hold my stories. A safe place. A space for my characters to exist, a space for me to exist. Until I could get the hell out of being a teenager and could run out into the world and be myself. Less isolated, less marginalized, less invisible in the eyes of my peers. Until I could find my people in the real world."

On how writing saved her life:

"There were times in my youth when writing those stories in Shondaland quite literally saved my life," Rhimes said. "And now I get kids telling me it quite literally saves theirs. That is beyond humbling. And every single time it comes down to one thing. You are not alone. Nobody should be alone. So. I write."

On diversity on TV:

"I'm normalizing TV. I am making TV look like the world looks," she said. "Women, people of color, LGBTQ people equal way more than 50 percent of the population. Which means it ain't out of the ordinary."

Read more.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

[Video] More Parents Share Their 'Talk' With Their Black Sons

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:35

"Race talk" is having a mainstream moment. First Starbucks wants customers to talk race over morning coffee. Now, The New York Times is launching a new video series "about the state of race relations in America." 

First up: a five-minute video on 'The Conversation,' or, the talk that parents have with their black sons about what their race and gender mean for them in America. "The Talk" first went mainstream during the protests that followed George Zimmerman's 2012 slaying of Trayvon Martin. This NYT version centers on encounters with police.


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Likud Wins, Steel Shards in Kraft Mac & Cheese, K-Dot Sets Spotify Record

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:16
Likud Wins, Steel Shards in Kraft Mac & Cheese, K-Dot Sets Spotify Record

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

Categories: Diversity Headlines