Archive for October, 2011

Why diversity efforts fail and how to make them succeed

Monday, October 31st, 2011

(Washington Post)The big idea: How can companies stop spinning their wheels and make real progress toward diversity and inclusion?

The scenario: Stakeholders throughout J.P. Morgan Chase were asking a simple question: How do we get managers to really recruit the best talent from the largest talent pool — not just the kind of people they were used to getting? Women and people of color inside and outside the firm, becoming frustrated by their experiences on Wall Street, wanted to know the answer. So did the executive team, known as the Operating Committee. It was fully aware that the talent war required that the firm get this right. And the charge was being led by chief executive Jamie Dimon himself.

Full story…

‘Puss In Boots’ And Hollywood Stereotypes

Monday, October 31st, 2011

(Huffington Post) Slowly, the entertainment industry is taking notice that Latinos are a demographic force to be taken seriously.

In baby steps, tiny foot-dragging steps, Hollywood seems to be moving away from the days when the principal roles available to Latinos were either those of the sultry femme fatale or the dark-haired, language-mangling villain.

For Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas, their star power has delivered them to the point where their heavily-accented voices alone are being relied on to carry a film.

Case in point: "Puss in Boots," the sixth collaboration by the Mexican and Spanish heartthrobs, premiers in the United States Friday. It is their first animated film together.

Full story…

GOP Hispanic leaders hit the wrong notes

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

(Scripps News) Republicans created the Hispanic Leadership Network last year in an attempt to re-capture the Latino vote they lost in the 2008 presidential election. George Bush claimed an impressive 44 percent of that support in his 2004 presidential run. It shriveled to 31 percent when John McCain ran against Barack Obama in 2008.

So how can the GOP's new "Network", co-chaired by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and ex-U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, an appointee of Jeb's brother George, get back on the good side of this major voting bloc in 2012 after years of Republican assaults on the Latino community?

The second Hispanic Leadership Network conference was held late last month in Albuquerque. Neither Bush nor Gutierrez attended, but sent video welcome messages. As its keynote speaker, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez suggested having real "conversations" with the community: "They think the same as you do — they have the same values — but you have to bother to have a conversation with them about those values. If you don't, all they hear is the rhetoric."

Full story…

Minority Schoolkids Aware of Racial Stigmas

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

(The Root) A recent study out of UCLA says that minority students as young as second grade are aware of stigmas against their ethnic groups and have increased academic anxiety as a result. But in a compelling twist, researchers also found that minority kids are more motivated about school than their white classmates.

Cari Gillen-O'Neel, a UCLA graduate student and one of the study's authors, said that the higher motivation levels among minority students is an encouraging "ray of hope."

"That really does suggest the idea of a kind of resilience in the face of adversity," she said. "Despite the fact that minority students might be aware that their group might not be as respected, they like school; they felt more interested in school."

Researchers conducted three 40-minute interviews with 451 second- and fourth-graders from New York City schools. The students were African American, Chinese, Dominican or Russian and ranged from 7 to 11 years old. European-American students were also interviewed but weren't counted as ethnic minorities. A female researcher from each child's ethnic group asked questions to determine their stigma awareness, academic anxiety, intrinsic motivation, sense of school belonging and ethnic identity.

Full story…

War of words breaks out over Silicon Valley diversity debate

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

(CNN) Weeks ahead of the premiere of a CNN documentary focusing on diversity in the tech industry, the charged issue is already generating sparks. A heated debate broke out on Twitter Wednesday night after a preview screening of Black in America 4.

Blogger-turned-investor Michael Arrington ignited a controversy with his comments about the visibility of minority-led companies. In the documentary, which airs November 13, Arrington talked about his difficulties finding African-American entrepreneurs to launch their ventures at his TechCrunch Disrupt conference — and suggested he would accept almost any black entrepreneur, regardless of merit.

"There's a guy, actually, his last company just launched at our event, and he's African-American. When he asked to launch — actually, I think it was the other way around. I think I begged him," Arrington told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

"His startup's really cool. But he could've launched a clown show on stage, and I would've put him up there, absolutely," Arrington said. "I think it's the first time we've had an African-American [be] the sole founder."

Full story…

Historic Black Newspapers Are Struggling as Readers Turn to the Web

Friday, October 28th, 2011

(BET) Another historic Black-owned newspaper has let some of its own go.

The executive editor, news editor and other staffers of the Chicago Defender were laid off this week as one of the nation’s oldest Black-owned newspaper tries to stay afloat.

The newspaper is months behind on its rent and, in response, was forced to lay off six of its staff. Of those given pink slips were the only two editors left of the diminished staff of 18 and an accounts receivables staffer. Additionally, the paper’s only photographer was moved from full- to part-time.

“We’re facing the same struggles as everyone else,” publisher and president Michael House told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The 106-year-old weekly isn’t the only African-American newspaper trying to stay afloat. The New York Amsterdam News  suffered a drop in circulation of 44 percent in just one year, from 2009 to 2010.

Full story…

GOP aims to become simpatico with 50 million Hispanics

Friday, October 28th, 2011

(USAToday) As vice president of the Pocono Republican Hispanic Association, Friedman says she constantly battles a stigma that Republicans dislike Hispanics, and tries to show them how the party's ideals of self-reliance, limited government and family values line up with their views.

That's why Friedman cringes when she tunes in to Republican presidential debates, where the only mention of Hispanics is through the candidates' harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration, making her job of recruiting Hispanics that much harder.

"People don't even have electric fences around their homes," said Friedman, referring to a comment by Republican presidential contender Herman Cain that he would electrify a U.S.-Mexico border fence — a comment he would later call a joke. "They're all making comments and suggestions from a point of view that's very different from the Hispanic community. That's precisely why they need Hispanics who can help them with that."

Full story…

Marco Rubio faces Hispanic critics

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

(Politico) In Miami’s Little Havana, the Cuban exile community has rallied to the defense of its favorite son, Sen. Marco Rubio, as he fights off allegations he embellished his family history to boost his meteoric political career.

But well beyond Calle Ocho, the freshman Florida Republican still faces a bigger challenge selling himself to the broader Hispanic electorate. Rubio is expected to encounter tough questions from voters and activists over his hard-line stance on immigration as he heads to Texas and possibly Arizona next week to court Hispanic voters and high-dollar donors. As his personal history morphs into a national political story, it’s clear Rubio still has plenty of skeptics in the Latino political community.

Full story…

Black people blatantly excluded from Alabama juries, lawsuit claims

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

(The Guardian) Black people are being systematically and intentionally excluded from jury service in parts of Alabama almost 140 years after the practice was outlawed in the US, a lawsuit lodged with the federal courts alleges.

The class action has been launched on behalf of thousands of black people in Alabama who were allegedly prevented from sitting as jurors in serious criminal cases, many of which carried the death penalty, in a blatant move by prosecutors to achieve all-white or largely white juries. The complaint claims that the practice has been going on for decades.

It relates specifically to the actions of one prosecutor, Douglas Valeska, who is district attorney in the Alabama counties of Houston and Henry. The lawsuit alleges that he, together with his unnamed associate prosecutors, effectively relegated black people in their areas to "second class citizenship".

Full story…

After Alabama law, Hispanic kids being bullied

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

(CBS News) It was just another schoolyard basketball game until a group of Hispanic seventh-graders defeated a group of boys from Alabama.

The reaction was immediate, according to the Mexican mother of one of the winners, and rooted in the state's new law on illegal immigration.

"They told them, `You shouldn't be winning. You should go back to Mexico,"' said the woman, who spoke through a translator last week and didn't want her name used. She and her son are in the country illegally.

Spanish-speaking parents say their children are facing more bullying and taunts at school since Alabama's tough crackdown on illegal immigration took effect last month. Many blame the name-calling on fallout from the law, which has been widely covered in the news, discussed in some classrooms and debated around dinner tables.

Full story…

Subscribe to RSS feed