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'Illegal Immigrant Barbie' is as Bad as it Sounds

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 12:41
'Illegal Immigrant Barbie' is as Bad as it Sounds

Points In Case, an online humor site aimed at college students and recent grads, has published a post featuring images of six imaginary Barbie dolls: Rehab Barbie, Facebook Barbie, Xbox Barbie, Hotflash Barbie, Lesbian Barbie and "Illegal Immigrant" Barbie. Janet Eve Josselyn, who wrote the post, offers Mattel "contemporary alternatives to existing Barbie dolls," and provides deriding captions for each doll.

For immigrant Barbie, Josselyn writes:

Illegal immigrant Barbie is tethered to a bunch of children and comes with a compass and a coyote. Her hair is unkempt and her cheeks lack the rosy glow of the 20th century Barbies. She is armed with wire cutters and sandwiches wrapped in tin foil. She clutches Ken's phone number in the event that she is detained by the Border Patrol.

The doll, which is pregnant with a black eye, is seen pushing a grocery cart full of children and beer cases--and carries a bag of cigarettes, hard liquor and a mac and cheese box.

This imaginary Barbie is thankfully not for sale.

(H/T Latino Rebels)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Arizona School Chief's Takes Parting Shot at Tucson's 'Culturally Relevant' Classes

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 09:02
Arizona School Chief's Takes Parting Shot at Tucson's 'Culturally Relevant' Classes

In a final parting shot before leaving office, former Arizona state superintendent and longtime foe of Tucson's ethnic studies curriculum John Huppenthal filed a memo last week declaring Tucson's current "culturally relevant" courses in violation of the state law. 

The courses, which are required under a decades-old federal desegregation order, replaced Tucson's ethnic studies curriculum, which was outlawed when the Arizona state legislature passed HB 2281 in 2010, which was adopted as Arizona Revised Statutes 15-112. With its current "culturally relevant courses," Tucson Unified School District "has failed to meet several provisions of the 2012 Settlement Agreement settlement and is once again in clear violation of A.R.S. 15-112," Huppenthal wrote, Tucson's KVOA reported. "Furthermore, I am deeply concerned by the fact that the noncompliance appears to extend beyond classes taught from the Mexican American perspective and now also includes classes taught from the African American perspective."

Tucson's public schools reminded Huppenthal that the courses are actually court-mandated--the result of a 1974 federal desegregation order. "That order ... requires us to develop and implement culturally relevant courses taught from both the Mexican American and African American perspectives," the district responded, KVOA reported.

The final word in this, just the latest phase of the yearslong struggle in Arizona over how and whether to teach classes which recognize the heritage and histories of Arizona's students and the state itself, will actually be left to Arizona's brand new schools superintendent, Diane Douglas.

If Douglas sides with Huppenthal's findings, Tucson faces a 10 percent cut in state funding, which would mean a loss of $14 million per year, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Phylicia Rashad Defends Bill Cosby: 'Forget These Women'

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 08:58
 'Forget These Women'

After decades of rape allegations against Bill Cosby picked up steam in the past several months, his longtime co-star on "The Cosby Show," Phylicia Rashad, has come to his defense. The 66-year-old Tony Award-winning actress told Showbiz 411 that she didn't "want to become part of the public debate," but then went on to talk about what she believes is a vast conspiracy targeted at his legacy.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"Forget these women," Rashad said of the many women who have made claims in the media. "What you're seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it's orchestrated. I don't know why or who's doing it, but it's the legacy. And it's a legacy that is so important to the culture."

..."Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV," Rashad continued, referring to people other than the accusers. "And it's worked. All his contracts have been canceled." She lamented that the legacy of the Cosby Show, a family-friendly comedy once beloved by millions of viewers, is now "being destroyed."

When asked why Cosby has chosen to largely remain silent in light of the claims, relying instead on his legal team to deny them, his longtime TV wife said: "If he spoke now, what do you think the media would do with it?"

To date, more than two dozen women have accussed Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the course of several decades. Here's a timeline of the abuse allegations from Vulture. Cosby has declined to comment on the record.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Bombings in Paris, Sanaa and Colorado Springs, December Job Growth, Phylicia Rashad Defends Bill Cosby

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 07:10
Bombings in Paris, Sanaa and Colorado Springs, December Job Growth, Phylicia Rashad Defends Bill Cosby

Some of the stories I'm reading up on this morning: 

  • Intel says it's investing $300 million "to achieve full representation of women and under-represented minorities" in the next five years. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Colorlines' Greatest Hits of 2014

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 12:44
Colorlines' Greatest Hits of 2014

The new year is a perfect time to consider where we've been, what we did and what we made. So in the run-up to 2015, some of our writers and editors reflected on our favorite Colorlines stories to write and read in 2014. 

Carla Murphy, Reporter/Blogger

Favorite to write: "Criminals, Victims and the Black Men Left Behind." I was out in the field talking to folks in their communities. Also, the piece breaks new ground by reporting on black men who are victims of violent crime, which is rarely covered in media.

Favorites to read: "The Problem with Time Magazine's New Take on Asian-Americans in Tech." Julianne Hing's original perspective challenges the model minority frame. Her kicker says it all: "In the end, [Jack] Linshi's article reads more like an extended whine for Asian-Americans who've bought into model minority-buttressed myths of white supremacy but wake up from entitled slumber surprised to find themselves stifled by it."

"The Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art," by Jamilah King because it captured so well the dissonance of experience in that exhibit and also the larger implications of what it means for a largely white audience to consume "black art."

Julianne Hing, Reporter/Blogger

Favorite to write: "Dispatch from Murrieta, Calif.: Protesting Migrant Children." I headed to Murrieta expecting to find an all-white crowd of tea partiers protesting with teeth bared, facing off against a uniformly Latino immigrant community. In the end I found racial dynamics that were much more complex. 

Favorites to read: Carla Murphy reported the hell out of "Criminals, Victims and the Black Men Left Behind." She explored the themes that defined the year in race: how the law denies black people their humanity.

Aura Bogado's "Inside the Immigration 'Icebox' interview with Mayeli Hernandez put an actual human face--a child's face--to a refugee crisis being discussed in broad strokes and with heavy fear-mongering.

Jamilah King's "Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art" did more than simply make provocative points by pointing fingers. She raised thoughtful questions, contextualized with history, and explored the role her own identity played in her experience of the show.

Stacia Brown's "Untold Story of Black Fatherhood" was a nuanced essay that was just plain lovely to read.

Aura Bogado, News Editor

Favorite to write: "How the U.S. Deported One of Its Own Citizens." For this story, I was able to spend time with Blanca Maria Alfaro and her family, as well as pore over nearly two decades worth of documents that illustrate how the United States profiled and deported one of its own citizens.

Favorite to read: "Race, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline." Julianne Hing gave me a clear picture of the way that institutions work in unison to fail black children--all but insuring they will wind up in prison. 

Jamilah King, Senior Editor 

Favorite to write: "The Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art."I really enjoyed the feedback I got on this piece. A lot of it touched on bigger-picture questions that I'm interested in, namely: "Who's making art? And for whom?"

Favorites to read: I've grappled with the issues Carla Murphy examines in "Criminals, Victims and the Black Men Left Behind" in my own life. I hadn't really thought about the larger context for it, but thanks to Carla's great reporting, I learned a lot.

Aura Bogado's "Inside the Immigration 'Icebox" was the first on the icebox that I'd read. Aura did a great job reporting it and making it happen, just on the cusp of national coverage of it.

Julianne Hing's "Race, Disability and the School to Prison Pipeline" was a great piece to kick off the Life Cycles of Inequity project. It took me inside the classrooms with these kids and touched on a sorely needed discussion about disability and schooling.

Miriam Zoila Pérez, Gender Columnist

Favorite to write: "Fat Activists Take Body Acceptance to the Beach." It was refreshing to get to talk to folks who are loving and embracing themselves in spite of societal norms. And it was amazing to see all the media pick-up after it was published, particularly given that no one, not even mainstream news, brought in fat-shaming or alarmism about obesity rates. I love bringing attention to people making positive waves amidst a lot of struggle.

Favorite to read: "The Ugly Idea That Killed Eric Garner," by Kai Wright distilled the many injustices of our current moment, tracing them back to one of the most important roots of our current policing system. He offered keen analysis that is hard to find in such emotional and fraught times.

Akiba Solomon, Editorial Director 

Favorite to write: "Get on the Bus: Inside the Black Life Matters 'Freedom Ride' to Ferguson." The 21-hour bus ride from New York City to Ferguson gave me unique insight into a growing contemporary movement. And the people of Ferguson and St. Louis are no joke. 

Favorites to read: "What's a Union For?"because she examined how unions are evolving. The key question: How are labor unions using their power to work beyond labor issues?

"Killed by the Cops [INFOGRAPHIC]" by Jamilah King and Erin Zipper because it was a visually beautiful way to add to the horrific story of police brutality in the United States. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Essence Magazine Devotes Entire Issue to 'Black Lives Matter'

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 12:42
Essence Magazine Devotes Entire Issue to 'Black Lives Matter'

Essence, one of the nation's leading black women's magazines, has just unveiled an entire issue dedicated to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The issue focuses heavily on black women of the movement with pieces by Angela Davis, Susan L. Taylor, Melissa Harris-Perry, Isabel* Wilkerson, Michelle Alexander, Chirlane McCray and more. 

It's an especially important move by the magazine given that the #blacklivesmatter hashtag and movement was founded by three black women: organizers Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. 

ESSENCE historic issue features thought leaders focusing on social unrest & where we go next

-- Essence Magazine (@essencemag) January 6, 2015

Vanessa K. De Luca, the magazine's editor-in-chief, wrote that the issue marks the first time in the magazine's 45-year history that it hasn't featured a cover image. 

Pictures are powerful, but so are words. That's why we've invited some of our greatest thought leaders--you included--to help us answer the question on our minds at the moment: Where do we go from here? Beginning this month, inspired by you, we are launching Civil Rights Watch, a new series across our platforms in which we will be chronicling--and calling out--significant gains, losses and solutions in this evolving movement as we all try to find a constructive path forward.

The protests, ?die-ins, marches and social media campaigns that have been born out of our collective grief have given you an opportunity to express your outrage, show your support for the victims and their families whose lives have been forever changed, and forge alliances with like-minded individuals who also believe that it is time for a change. It gives me hope that so many young people are leading the way, people like Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza, the brave and beautiful women behind the BlackLivesMatter movement. When we asked Patrisse for their permission to use their poignant battle cry as the centerpiece for our story, she graciously agreed.

-- Essence Magazine (@essencemag) January 6, 2015

Read more here and check out the issue, which is on newsstands now. 

* Post has been updated since publication to correct, Isabelle.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Colorlines Needs You!

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 12:38
Colorlines Needs You!

There's no doubt that 2014 was an intense year. 

We've been tested (#HandsUp, #ICan'tBreathe, Palestine, lawyer-less child migrants).

We've been powerful (#BlackLivesMatter, civilian oversight of L.A. sheriffs, Moral Mondays, the fast food strikes).

And we've celebrated (Freedom Rides, WOCs who rock, Facing Race.)

As we approach the new year, we'd like to thank you for reading, tweeting, commenting and generally engaging with Colorlines this year. With your help, our tiny staff has provided context for breaking news, continued our coverage of ongoing stories, and kept you up on culture. We've also brought you Life Cycles of Inequity, a special multimedia series that explores how systemic racism impacts black men's lives, from birth to death. 

You know you won't find coverage like this--by and of people of color--anywhere else. And your readership means the world.

Now we're going to ask you to keep us going by donating today!

The fact is good writing and real reporting costs money. With your donations, we can continue to bring you this daily news site where race matters. (I know everyone says this, but we truly do welcome one-time and monthly gifts of any size!)

To quote the late, great poet Gwendolyn Brooks, "We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond." Around here we take those words seriously.

Peace, power and time,

Akiba Solomon, Editorial Director

PS: You may notice that we've been publishing fewer pieces. That's because we're taking some time off. But no worries. We'll be back at full speed in January 2015.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

NYPD Again Turn Backs on Mayor At Officer's Funeral

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 09:54
NYPD Again Turn Backs on Mayor At Officer's Funeral

New York City police officers again turned their backs on mayor Bill De Blasio this Sunday at the funeral for Officer Wenjian Liu, 32. The action disregards a memo issued by the police commissioner asking officers not to repeat the silent protest shown during the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos, 40. Both Ramos and Liu were killed in a surprise attack by lone gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley this December. Its aftermath has revealed extraordinary tension between the nation's largest municipal police union, department leadership, City Hall and residents just as civilian protesters were escalating calls for police reform. 

As with Ramos, hundreds of officers turned their backs just as the mayor began Liu's eulogy. According to the Washington Post, even out-of-town officers joined in. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke tells the Post, "We might be reaching a tipping point with the mind-set of officers, who are beginning to wonder if the risks they take to keep communities safe are even worth it anymore. In New York and other places, we're seeing a natural recoil from law enforcement officers who don't feel like certain people who need to have their backs have their backs."

There appears to be disagreement within the rank-and-file however. "It's two different police departments inside those walls," one retired officer tells the Post. "There are officers who really feel that the mayor has turned his back on the police department and that they are in increased danger. And then there are the officers who go home and tell their sons the same things that the mayor said he told his -- if you're black, be careful around police."

This Sunday's funeral marks the third time in less than a month that officers have publicly turned their backs on the mayor. The first incident occurred in the hallways of the Brooklyn hospital where officers Ramos and Liu died. 

Expect this story to develop. Later this month a new judge will hear arguments asking for a full release of transcripts of the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Ava DuVernay on 'Selma' Criticism: 'I Wasn't Interested in Making a White Savior Movie'

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:48
 'I Wasn't Interested in Making a White Savior Movie'

Ava DuVernay's latest film "Selma" has earned plenty of praise for its portrayal of a seminal moment in the Civil Rights Movement, but it's also earned its share of criticism. That criticism has mostly centered on the film's depiction of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who former cabinet member Joseph A. Califano, Jr. wrote in the Washington Post was falsely protrayed in the film "as being at odds with Martin Luther King Jr. and even using the FBI to discredit him, as only reluctantly behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and as opposed to the Selma march itself."

In fact, Selma was LBJ's idea," Califano, Jr. continued. "He considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, [and] he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted.

DuVernay responded to the criticism this week in an interview with Rolling Stone:

Every filmmaker imbues a movie with their own point of view. The script was the LBJ/King thing, but originally, it was much more slanted to Johnson. I wasn't interested in making a white-savior movie; I was interested in making a movie centered on the people of Selma. You have to bring in some context for what it was like to live in the racial terrorism that was going on in the deep south at that time. The four little girls have to be there, and then you have to bring in the women. So I started adding women.

This is a dramatization of the events. But what's important for me as a student of this time in history is to not deify what the president did. Johnson has been hailed as a hero of that time, and he was, but we're talking about a reluctant hero. He was cajoled and pushed, he was protective of a legacy -- he was not doing things out of the goodness of his heart. Does it make it any worse or any better? I don't think so. History is history and he did do it eventually. But there was some process to it that was important to show.

Read more at Rolling Stone. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Another NYPD Shooting, Same-Sex Marriage in Florida

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 07:26
Another NYPD Shooting, Same-Sex Marriage in Florida

Some of the morning's headlines:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Laverne Cox to Return as Co-Host of ABC's 'The View'

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 07:20
Laverne Cox to Return as Co-Host of ABC's 'The View'

Laverne Cox is starting off the New Year with plenty of momentum. The actress will return as a guest co-host of ABC's "The View" this Thursday after a successful first appearance last November. She made the announcement this morning on Instagram:

I am returning to co-host @abctheview on Thursday. It's going to be #Amazing. You have to tune in.

A photo posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on Jan 1, 2015 at 6:47am PST

Categories: Diversity Headlines

The Queer Women of Color Video Streaming Service That's Cheaper Than Netflix

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 09:11
The Queer Women of Color Video Streaming Service That's Cheaper Than Netflix

Tired of searching and searching for more queer women of color representation on Neflix? Well, stop looking there. There's a new indie effort called Sistah Sinema underway that will offer a wide selection of films by and about queer women of color.

From Elixher:

Sistah Sinema decided to team up with IndieFlix after exploring other platforms. IndieFlix - like Sistah Sinema - focused on indie filmmakers and creating a conversation about cinema. According to Scilla Andreen - IndieFlix's CEO and one of the few women CEOs in tech - niche marketing and community-brand marketing is key to IndieFlix's future growth. Partnering with Sistah Sinema is part of a larger effort to showcase cinema that highlights global diversity.

The films include selections like Cheryl Dunye's important 1997 film "The Watermelon Woman" and Kourtney Ryan Ziegler's look at black transmen, "Still Black." Take a look at the films and learn more here. Memberships are only $5 a month.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Spike Lee Testifies About D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 08:53
Spike Lee Testifies About D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

As part of the Afropunk-led rollout of D'Angelo's surprise album "Black Messiah,"* folks are testifying on Instagram about what the project means to them. Using the hashtag #BLACKMESSIAH, notables like longtime D'Angelo collaborator Questlove and writer Michaela Angela Davis have added their voices to the chorus praising the album's execution and message.

Here's Spike Lee, who said the 14 year wait was well-worth it for fans:

TESTIFY! @sheltonjlee Film your own and upload with hashtag #BLACKMESSIAH

A video posted by AFROPUNK (@afropunk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 3:15pm PST

Music critic Nelson George, who did a live onstage interview with the singer earlier this year in Brooklyn, said:

TESTIFY! @315nelsongeorge Film your own and upload with hashtag #BLACKMESSIAH

A video posted by AFROPUNK (@afropunk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 2:10pm PST

And Questlove, who worked with the singer through some of his toughest private moments and produced parts of the new album:

TESTIFY! @questlove Film your own and upload with hashtag #BLACKMESSIAH

A video posted by AFROPUNK (@afropunk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 2:01pm PST

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Study: Black LGBT People More Likely to Live in States Without Anti-Discrimination Job Protection

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 08:51
 Black LGBT People More Likely to Live in States Without Anti-Discrimination Job Protection

Black LGBT people in the U.S. are more likely to live in states that don't prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, according to a new report (PDF) from the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA School of Law. That difference puts some 890,000 black LGBT people at risk of being discriminated against with no legal protection, researchers found.

Those findings come from a new report that examines the disparities in life experiences for LGBT people who live in states that don't prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. The Williams Institute compared Washington, D.C, and the 21 states that have laws on their books prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation with the 29 states--primarily Midwestern, Southern, and Mountain States--that don't. They found that states that offer employment protections are more likely to have an LGBT-friendly social climate than states that don't. That line translates to differences in income, health outcomes and access, and food insecurity. 

Unsurprisingly, LGBT people in the U.S. have widely different experiences depending on their race and geographic location. By one estimate, more than one in six LGBT people who live in those 29 states without state anti-discrimination laws is black, even though black people are estimated to be roughly 15 percent of the LGBT population in the U.S. 

Check out the rest of the report at the Williams Institute.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

14 Women of Color Who Rocked 2014

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 08:47
14 Women of Color Who Rocked 2014

As 2014 comes to an end, I wanted to look back at the accomplishments of women of color who've been doing amazing work in the face of this really challenging and turbulent year. There would be no way to create a truly exhaustive list, so apologies in advance for all of the folks not included below. If you're interested in perusing a much longer list, a post looking for suggestions on my Facebook page generated more than 50 possible women to recognize. Without further ado, 14 women of color who rocked 2014, in no particular order:

Vanita Gupta-large.jpgVanita Gupta (Photo courtesy of the ACLU)

1Civil rights attorney Vanita Gupta is having a big year. As deputy political director with the ACLU, she spearheaded the group's efforts in Ferguson. In October, she was selected to join the Obama administration as the acting assistant attorney general of the new Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. (She'll face congressional approval before she can take the position on permanently.) Both roles are just the most recent steps in a career dedicated to eliminating excessive use of force by police departments, as well as prejudicial policing in communities of color.

janet-mock-tredwell-photo1.jpgJanet Mock (Photo by Aaron Tredwell)

2. You're probably not surprised to see Janet Mock on a list like this--she is one of the most high-profile black trans women the U.S. This year started with the publication of her New York Times bestselling book, "Redefining Realness." She's continued her work in journalism as a contributing editor for Marie Clare, and she'll start hosting her own weekly pop culture television show on MSNBC's Shift network. Mock continues to elevate the issues facing the trans community with her hashtag #girlslikeus, and is bringing these issues to wider audiences all the time.

garza_100914.jpgAlicia Garza addresses tech workers in San Francisco. (Brian Ward/San Francisco Chronicle)

3, 4 & 5: Even if you don't recognize the names of Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, you've no doubt experienced the hashtag-turned-movement these three women* created: #BlackLivesMatter. While they came up with the hashtag in response to George Zimmerman's acquittal, it gained worldwide momentum this year after the police killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. Thousands have used #BlackLivesMatter on- and off-line, the result of Garza's, Cullors' and Tometi's organizing. (Garza lays out the origins of the movement over at Feminist Wire.) Outside of #BlackLivesMatter work, Garza is special projects director for National Domestic Workers Alliance; Tometi is the executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration; and Cullors is an artist, organizer and the founder of Dignity and Power Now, a group "dedicated to protecting incarcerated people and their families" in Los Angeles. 

SONG leader 12-16-14.jpg

Paulina Helm-Hernandez (

 6. As co-director of Southerners On New Ground (SONG), an LGBT organization at the forefront of queer organizing in the South, Paulina Helm-Hernandez has led incredible work this year. The group has organized to stop deportations through the Not1More campaign, worked to hold police and government accountable for discriminatory profiling in small Southern cities, and continued their annual "Gaycation" event which attracts many folks from across the region looking to build community.

ai-jen_headshot_hires.jpgAi-jen Poo (Photo courtesy of NDWA)

7. Ai-jen Poo recieved lots of media attention this year because she received a so-called "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. But Poo also made incredible strides in her work as executive director of the National Domestic Worker's Alliance and co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign: Poo has been part of a successful push to get the Department of Labor to extend basic protections for home-care workers, including minimum wage and overtime pay. 

454681102.jpgMo'Ne Davis (Getty Images Sport/ Jeff Gross)

8. There's no question that 13-year-old Mo'Ne Davis has had a great year. She pitched the first shut-out by a female player at the Little League World Series this past summer, and she boasts a 70-mph fastball. She even landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Her memoir is set to be published by HarperCollins in March of 2015. You can also join the 34,000 people following her on Twitter.

167113394.jpgBamby Salcedo (Getty Images/ Jason Merritt)

9. Bamby Salcedo is the founder and president of the Los Angeles-based TransLatin@ Coalition. As the high murder rate of trans women of color receives more media attention, Salcedo has played an important role in organizing and advocating for the community. This year the trans Latina activist was also recognized in a new film, "TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo's Story." 

Cherisse_Headshot1.jpgCherisse A. Scott (Photo courtesy of Cherisse Scott)

10. Cherisse A. Scott has been part of the reproductive justice movement for more than a decade. As the founder and CEO of SisterReach, the only reproductive justice organization in Tennessee, Scott recieved national attention this year for her work to defeat Amendment 1, a statewide anti-choice measure. SisterReach conducted phone banking and canvassing on two Memphis zip codes with high rates of poverty, sexually transmitted infections, low birth weight and maternal mortality.  It also reached out to voters at historically black universities. The amendment passed, but Scott's continues to argue for a political strategy that engages black communities.

458017600.jpgLucy Flores (Getty Images/ Ethan Miller)

11. Lucy Flores: While Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis received much attention for telling her abortion story on the floor of the state legislature, she wasn't the only politician to do so this year. As a Nevada state assemblywoman, Lucy Flores took a risk by telling the public she'd had an abortion becuase she wasn't ready for a child. While she lost her bid for lieutenant governor of Nevada this fall, we'll being seeing more of Flores, who many think has a bright future in the Democratic Party.

1926244_10101239325424039_1199621635_o (1).jpgVeronica Arreola (Photo courtesy of Veronica Arreola)

12. Veronica Arreola: A long-time Latina feminist writer and activist, Arreola started a year-long feminist selfie project with one hashtag: #365feministselfie. What began as a Flickr group formed in response to a Jezebel article calling selfies a "call for help," the project has collected more than 1,700 photos and you can find the hashtag across social media. As the first year of radical self-love and representation comes to an end, the project is moving offline and organizing two feminist conferences next year.

_MG_7205.jpgGina Clayton (Photo courtesy of Gina Clayton)

13. An attorney, activist and advocate, Gina Clayton received three prestigious fellowships this year that have allowed her to start the Essie Justice Group, an organization centered on women with incarcerated loved ones. Essie brings these women together, providing them with healing, financial advice and advocacy. The first group is being piloted in the San Francisco Bay Area.

0012.jpgWagatwe Sara Wanjuki (Photo by Morea Steinhauer)

14. Wagatwe Sara Wanjuki became a prominent voice on campus sexual assault after starting the #survivorprivilege hashtag. A sexual assault survivor from Tufts University, Wanjuki created her hashtag in June in response to a Washington Post column that minimized campus rape. Since then, she has continued to speak out--in writing and during media appearances--on the national conversation about campus sexual assault. An example: her recent piece about the Rolling Stone/UVA controversy. 

*Article updated to reflect the fact that only two of the women (Garza and Cullors) identify as queer, not all three as originally stated.

Categories: Diversity Headlines