Archive for February, 2013

Cancer deaths fall for black men

Friday, February 8th, 2013

(CNN) —The latest report on cancer among African-Americans shows a good-news, bad-news scenario. While racial gaps are closing for some types of cancers, including fewer cancer deaths among African-American men, disparities are increasing for some cancers that can be found through routine screenings.

 

The report

Every year, the American Cancer Society reports on the latest data, based on reports from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. The newest information includes data for the year 2009. This year's report is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

The results

The latest data show that the cancer death rate declined faster for African-American men than among white men during the latest time period. African-American men experienced a drop of 2.4 percent annually, compared with 1.7 percent among white men. That means the prevention of nearly 200,000 cancer deaths among African-Americans since the 1990s, according to the report.

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Google’s Online Ad Results Guilty Of Racial Profiling, According To New Study

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

 

(Huffington Post) Every job candidate lives in fear that a Google search could reveal incriminating indiscretions from a distant past. But a new study examining racial bias in the wording of online ads suggests that Google's advertising algorithms may be unfairly associating some individuals with wrongdoing they didn’t commit.

After learning that a Google search for her own name surfaced an ad for a background check service hinting that she’d been arrested, Harvard University professor Latanya Sweeney set out to investigate whether race shaped online ad results. She searched over 2,000 “racially associated names” to determine if names "previously identified by others as being assigned at birth to more black or white babies" turned up ad results that indicated a criminal record. Specifically, she focused on ads purchased by companies that provide background checks used by employers.

Sweeney concluded that so-called black-identifying names were significantly more likely to be accompanied by text suggesting that person had an arrest record, regardless of whether a criminal record existed or not.

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20 Notable Black Innovators in Tech

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

 

(Mashable) Recent studies show that only approximately 1% of tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are black. Many people blame the U.S. education system and its inadequate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula. Others find fault with a deficiency of basic information to help students enter these fields.

The 1% figure, however, doesn't mean there aren't black entrepreneurs and pioneers who have made noteworthy breakthroughs in the tech world.

SEE ALSO: Startup Accelerator Supports Minorities and Women in Tech

Below, we've listed 20 notable black leaders and innovators in STEM fields. Some are well-known, some should be better known, and others might still be considered up-and-coming in their industries. Nevertheless, they have all contributed to the STEM fields in novel ways.

This certainly isn't an exhaustive list by any means — there are many other notable (and often unsung) black innovators in tech. After reading, feel free to add to the list in the comments.

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Activist Lilly Ledbetter On The Wage Gap: ‘It’s Even Worse Today’

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

 

(Huffington Post) According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, women are making 77 cents for every dollar that men make with the gap even larger for African American and Latino women. Equal pay activist Lilly Ledbetter joins Huffpost Live host Alicia Menendez to discuss this.

The plaintiff in the 2007 Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. employment discrimination case, and the inspiration for the subsequent Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Lilly cannot believe the issue of the women's wage gap hasn't yet been resolved.

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Minority Students Have More Stable Grades Despite Working Longer Hours

Monday, February 4th, 2013

 

(Huffington Post) African American and Hispanic students are more likely to work longer hours when holding a job while attending school, compared to non-Hispanic white students with a job.

According to research from Jerald Bachman, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, however, minority students have more stable grades compared to non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans working the same hours.

“We know from previous research that for most students, working more than 15 hours a week is associated with various problems, including lower grades andsubstance use,” Bachman said to Psych Central. “However, what we’re finding withthis new research is that this pattern does not seem to appear among some minority students, particularly those who come from a less advantaged background.” The study observed more than 600,000 students from public and private schools across the country, between the years 1991 and 2010.

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Speculation on Soledad O’Brien’s Fate

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

(The Root) "The announcement that CNN is totally revamping its morning show and scrapping Soledad O'Brien's 'Starting Point' has sent shivers through her staff," Betsy Rothstein wrote Wednesday for FishbowlDC.

"Insiders tell us Executive VP Ken Jautz and VP Bart Feder addressed the staff after the show went off the air today. Suffice it to say, the era of Jeff Zucker is under way.

"In a nutshell, the execs said they have no answers for the staff and were unable to address most of their questions. Members of the staff were assured their jobs were safe, but one veteran of the changing show carousel at CNN says they would be naive to believe that.

" 'Every single one of these people should be preparing their resumes and trying to get out of that building as fast as possible,' a network insider told FishbowlDC, explaining that staffers are worried for their jobs. The prevailing feeling is that O'Brien, who previously worked with Zucker at NBC, will end up in another role.

"For the month of January, 'Starting Point' drew an average of 264,000 viewers. MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' drew 468,000 and FNC's 'Fox & Friends' drew 1.07 million. 'Morning Express' on HLN drew 218,000. The broadcast shows (CBS, ABC, NBC) drew millions more than any of the aforementioned programs. In other words, 'Starting Point' is behind everyone except its sister network HLN, and HLN is getting close.

". . . Many staffers were stunned when Feder constantly complained that the viewership of 'Early Start' and 'Starting Point' was 'too ethnic,' based on the high concentration of minority viewers. This common complaint worked itself up through the company, to CNN's Diversity Committee, and to other staffers, who were mortified that a CNN executive was squabbling over attracting minority viewers.

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Roger Goodell: Minority hiring rate ‘not acceptable’

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

 

(NFL.com) The Rooney Rule has been a hot topic of conversation after a hiring cycle that included no minority hires among the 15 new head coaches and general managers this offseason.

At his state of the league news conference Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that the results were "not acceptable."

"The Rooney Rule has been very effective," Goodell said. "We have to look to see what the next generation is. We have to take it to another level."

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Is Volkswagen’s Super Bowl ad racist?

Friday, February 1st, 2013

 

(MSN) This year's Super Bowl has revealed its first advertising controversy: a commercial from Volkswagen (VLKAY) that's coming under fire as racist.

The commercial features a white Minnesotan who suddenly starts speaking in a Jamaican accent, urging his dour co-workers to "Turn the frown the other way around." (To see the ad, click here.) The punch line? His happiness stems from his ride: a VW Beetle.

Some are finding the ad offensive, with New York Times columnist Charles Blow telling CNN, "It's like blackface with voices." Another CNN commentator said the spot reminded him of Jar Jar Binks, the maligned "Star Wars" character who was criticized as reflecting some racial stereotypes. 

Full story…

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