Archive for October, 2007

Meet Jindal, first South Asian American governor (CNN-IBN)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Republican Bobby Jindal made history today by becoming the first South Asian American governor of a US state, winning the Louisiana election. So who exactly is Bobby Jindal?

Piyush Darbash ‘Bobby’ Jindal was born on June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Indian immigrants.

His parents Amar and Raj Jindal had immigrated to Baton Rouge almost 40 years ago.

They were attending graduate school at that time of his birth. Bobby was a Hindu but converted to Catholicism as a teenager. He adopted his name Bobby after watching the Brady Bunch television program.

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Exhibiting class in touchy minority hiring issue (Baltimore Sun)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

The hiring practices in college football got yet another lousy grade from the Black Coaches and Administrators (formerly known as the Black Coaches Association) in the group’s latest report card, released this month. The bad marks on the fourth annual report were accompanied by the strongest implication yet, from executive director Floyd Keith, that the only way to resolve this sorry situation is in court.

Yet last week at ESPN Zone at the Inner Harbor, there was evidence that fairness in hiring might be achieved without lawsuits. It came from Army athletic director and BCA member Kevin Anderson, who said the small but growing number of people of color in college athletic administrative positions is nudging the sport in the right direction.

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Are minorities left out of the loop on environment? (Deseret Morning News)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

The environmental movement has been slow to build a coalition “that looks like America,” says Jerome Ringo, who served as the first black chairman of the National Wildlife Federation.Ringo said minorities, who are disproportionately poor, are often left out when it comes to efforts to protect the environment.

“Poor folks can’t afford to drive a Prius,” he said. “If you give a poor person money for one of those twisty light bulbs that save energy, he will take the money and buy eight regular light bulbs.”

And he says Congress hasn’t discussed ways to include minority interests when “carving up the pie” of a proposed carbon tax that could generate $80 billion to $120 billion for the development of alternative energy.

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Credit panic will hurt minorities: Countrywide CEO (Reuters)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Gaps in home ownership rates between minorities and whites will increase because of a change in the U.S. mortgage industry, caused by a credit panic, the chief executive of Countrywide Financial Corp (CFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Thursday.

“The structure of the business is permanently changed … The industry will never be the same,” said Angelo Mozilo, speaking at a real estate conference in downtown Los Angeles.

He said the credit crisis inspired fear among lenders, who are increasingly less likely to lend to risky borrowers.

“As a result, I believe that five years from now, or sooner, there will be substantial disparities between home ownership between whites and minorities,” said Mozilo, whose company is the largest U.S. lender to African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians.

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FCC: Offer New Options to Minorities (AP)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s chief telecommunications regulator wants to take advantage of the television industry’s transition to digital broadcasting to make channels available to small businesses that may be owned by minority programmers.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin promoted his long-dormant concept Friday in the face of heavy criticism of his agency’s record on promoting minority ownership of media. The chairman spoke at a media and telecommunications symposium hosted by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and its founder, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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Many Metro blacks feel isolated in suburbs (Detroit News)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Dr. Joseph Verdun never wanted to leave his mansion in the Boston-Edison section of Detroit, a short drive away from his closest friends and nestled in a city offering diverse cultural fare.

But his wife, child psychiatrist Harriette Green, worried about the safety of their four children. After they tallied their expenses — the tuition they spent for private schools, auto insurance, city and property taxes — he realized they’d get more for their money in the suburbs. He gave in.

“It’s a sacrifice you make for your kids, so you have peace of mind and they can go to better schools,” Verdun said. “But they don’t have a lot of friends where we live, and that’s a problem.”

In Bloomfield Hills, the couple found serenity, safety and first-rate city services — a world less stressful than the one they knew in Detroit. But life in this predominantly white suburb has been hard on them in other ways: They feel isolated (there is one other black family in their neighborhood), their children were ostracized in middle school, and making connections with other African-Americans means trekking to Detroit on the weekends.

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Report: African-American Market Untapped By Most Providers (Media Post)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

SOME EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE PROGRAMS could be credit card companies partnering with life insurance companies. Increases in life insurance coverage could be offered as part of a credit card reward program, he suggests. The African-American market–projected to wield a buying power of $981 billion by 2010–has not been cultivated by most financial service providers, according to a new report.

The group not only holds fewer credit cards than any other major racial or ethnic group, but it also uses them far less often–leaving significant room for growth, according to “African American Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Users: Undervalued and Overlooked,” a new report from Packaged Facts.

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Elusive diversity (Baltimore Sun)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

If you have trouble picturing the American melting pot, look no farther than the food court of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union. Watching University of Maryland students of every color flock to the noisy cafeteria, observers can almost see the undergraduate statistics in their heads: one-third minority, ranked 16th in the country for diversity by The Princeton Review.

But looking down from an upstairs balcony, the crowd is more a patchwork quilt of ethnic cliques than a jumbled stew of diversity. White, black, Latino and Asian-American groups sit isolated from each other at small tables. The pattern is virtually unbroken.

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Why Diabetes Is Worse for Minorities (WebMD)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Why is diabetes worse for African-Americans and Latinos than it is for white Americans? A new study offers answers — but raises more questions.University of Michigan researcher Michele Heisler, MD, MPA, and colleagues sent detailed questionnaires — and home blood-sugar-control test kits — to 1,901 African-American, Latino, and white diabetes patients aged 55 or older.

The blood tests confirmed what previous studies have shown: average hemoglobin A1c values (a measure of blood sugar control in diabetes) are much higher for African-American and Latino patients than for white patients. This disparity holds up even when researchers compare people with the same incomes and with the same access to health care.

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Congressional Leaders Call for Minority Media Ownership Task Force (Common Dreams)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Three leading members of Congress endorsed FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein’s call for an independent, nonpartisan task force to address the disgracefully low levels of media ownership by people of color.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA.) endorsed the creation of a task force in public statements and letters sent late last week to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. The national, nonpartisan media reform group Free Press is urging the public to contact the FCC in support of the new task force.

At the FCC hearing in Chicago on Sept. 20, Adelstein called for a bipartisan, independent panel to review more than 40 policy recommendations proposed by the FCC’s Diversity Committee and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. “Dozens of diversity enhancement recommendations have been collecting dust at the FCC since as far back as 1992,” Adelstein said. “I believe 15 years is long enough — justice deferred is justice denied.”

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