Archive for the ‘Affirmative action’ Category

Fire Dept. Begins Physical Tests After Settling Suit By Black Applicants

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

(CBS Chicago) They’ve been waiting for a long, long time, but on Tuesday, the first of hundreds of African American applicants finally got a fair shot at Chicago firefighters’ jobs.

They’ve been waiting 16 years since filing a lawsuit accusing the fire department of discrimination in its testing for the Fire Department.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on their stories about “the lost years.”

The firefighter candidates might have lost some strength and agility since they took the written test in 1995 and maybe gained some weight, but what many haven’t lost is their childhood dream.

“I just thought this was something that touched me deeply going back into my childhood; watching all these beautiful greystones in the city die and watching them die at the hands of fires. So I always wanted to be a firefighter,” said Michael Taqee, who took the city’s firefighter test in 1995.

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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.

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Why ‘Diversity’ Boosts Inequality When Opportunity Falters

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

(Huffington Post) The recent death of New York University law professor Derrick Bell, a tenacious black champion of "critical race theory," and a recent report that the Supreme Court may take up a new challenge to affirmative action on campus both mark the decline of racial "identity politics" and "diversity" strategies that preoccupied America before 9/11 and the current economic and political crisis.

Not even racism's raw eruptions against the first black President or its grinding ubiquity in the lives of countless non-whites (especially young black men) caused the crisis that's gripping this country. And not even the staunchest anti-racist activism, necessary though it surely is, will get us out of it.

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Judge: New FDNY Hiring Practices Don’t Go Far Enough

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

(NY1) The New York City Fire Department is once again feeling the heat from a federal judge over its hiring practices.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis says despite progress on diversity in recent recruiting, the department hasn't done enough to reverse discrimination against black and Hispanic candidates.

He's expected to spell out a solution in a separate ruling.

The written entrance exam is being redesigned after the judge ruled it favored white applicants back in 2007.

But the judge now says the process that follows the test also favors white candidates.

Since they make up most of the department, the judge says they have a better chance of having potential background problems overlooked.

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UC Berkeley student senators respond to bake sale

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

(SFGate) UC Berkeley student senators voted Sunday to condemn discriminatory behavior on campus – even if done in satire – in response to a Republican student group's plans for an "Increase Diversity Bake Sale," with pastries labeled according to race and gender.

The 19-0 vote, with one absence, came during a special meeting of the Associated Students of the University of California, as the debate over affirmative action reignited in Berkeley.

"Sure, it came off as discrimination," said Francisco Loayza IV, the treasurer of the Republican group, at Sunday's meeting. "People are being judged by their skin color (in affirmative action policies). I don't want to be judged because I'm brown. Look past the prices, and see what we're trying to do."

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Racially Charged Bake Sale Sparks Student Outrage

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

(Newser) "White/Caucasian" pastries: $2. "Black/African American" pastries: 75 cents. "Native American" pastries: only a quarter. Such is the pricing scheme for a sarcastic "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" posted on Facebook by a Republican group at UC Berkeley, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Planned for Tuesday, the sale has sparked anger on campus for its snarky opposition to a bill that would let California universities consider ethnicity in student admissions. "If you don't come, you're a racist," the post says.

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FDNY Fires Up New Recruitment Campaign

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

(NY1) The New York City Fire Department today unveiled a new print and radio ad campaign as it prepares to take on a new class of firefighters for the first time in years.

The department is looking to get a lot of people interested in taking the firefighter entrance exam, tentatively scheduled for January.

More than $1 million will be spent on advertising the test.

Speaking at Engine 37/Ladder 40 in Harlem, Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano said being a firefighter is the greatest job in the world.

"In the first year an FDNY firefighter will earn about $40,000. That's just the start. And that salary can increase to up to $100,00 in five year. Let me repeat that, up to $100,000 in five years. You get excellent health benefits and medical benefits for you and your family, and you enjoy those medical benefits for the rest of your life," Cassano said.

The FDNY has been unable to hire any firefighters since 2007 because a federal judge ruled the last three exams discriminated against blacks and Hispanics.

A new test is being worked on.

Of the more than 10,000 current firefighters only nine percent are black or Hispanic; one percent are Asian.

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Dismantling the Myth of Diversity

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

(Justia) Last week, in Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of University of Michigan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down an amendment to the Michigan constitution that prohibited the state’s public colleges and universities from granting “preferential treatment [to] any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.” The amendment was the result of a successful voter initiative, known as Proposal 2. In striking down the amendment, the appeals court held that  “Proposal 2 unconstitutionally alters Michigan’s political structure by impermissibly burdening racial minorities.”

Background

Proposal 2, also misleadingly known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, was passed by 58 percent of Michigan voters in November 2006 and became law in December of that year. Among its notable supporters were Jennifer Gratz, plaintiff in the 2003 case Gratz v. Bollinger (where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students could not be given “extra points” in admissions decisions on the basis of race); Barbara Grutter, plaintiff in the Grutter v. Bollinger case of the same year (where the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of race as a “factor” in the University of Michigan Law School’s admissions decisions); and Ward Connerly, a former Regent of the University of California who was instrumental in the passage of Proposition 209, California’s own successful anti-affirmative action initiative of 1996.

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How do journalism schools encourage diversity?

Monday, July 4th, 2011

(World Editors Forum) Good journalism needs diversity. It adds perspective and enriches publications, bringing different narratives and reflecting today's multicultural societies. The root of this issue lies in journalism schools. How are schools today working to enrich their student and faculty population?

In France, journalism schools have launched initiatives to recruit students from diverse backgrounds. According to Le Monde, the schools are often accused of only accepting "Sciences Po types", an elite university that forms French politicians. 
 
However, for the past two years, French journalism schools have been making strides to improve access. Unlike in the U.S., where students are selected based on their resumé, the selection process in France is heavily dependent on entry tests. In 2009, The Bondy Blog, a website that focuses on reporting the stories of working class neighbourhoods, partnered with a journalism school based in Lille to offer a free preparatory course for students on scholarships. Of the 20 students admitted, 13 did well enough on the entry tests to be accepted to one of France's recognized journalism schools.
 
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Report says too many whites, men leading military

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

(AP) The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday.

Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.

One barrier that keeps women from the highest ranks is their inability to serve in combat units. Promotion and job opportunities have favored those with battlefield leadership credentials.

The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.

Efforts over the years to develop a more equal opportunity military have increased the number of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the ranks of leadership. But, the report said, “despite undeniable successes … the armed forces have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve.”

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