WASHINGTON - A half-century after the Supreme Court outlawed segregated schools, sharply divided justices clamped new limits Thursday on local school efforts to make sure children of different races share classrooms. The court voted 5-4 to strike down school integration plans in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle, a decision that imperiled similar plans that hundreds of cities and counties use voluntarily to integrate their schools. The ruling does not affect several hundred other public school districts that remain under federal court order to desegregate. Justices disagreed bluntly with each other in 169 pages of written opinions on whether the decision supports or betrays the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling that led to the end of state-sponsored school segregation in the United States. The 5-4 decision, the 24th such split this term, displayed the new dominance of the court's aggressive conservative majority. The four liberal justices dissented. Chief Justice John … [Read more...] about Supreme Court limits school diversity efforts
SAN FRANCISCO — In a heated moment during last week's hearings on Russian social media ads, Rep. Terri Sewell questioned whether the dearth of African Americans in Facebook's workforce contributed to the company's failure to catch Russian operatives using fake accounts to stoke racial tensions ahead of last year's presidential election.Displayed behind Sewell, a Democrat from Alabama, was one of the Russian-backed ads sharing a famous black-and-white photograph of the Black Panthers from 1968. The message: “Black Panthers were dismantled by U.S. government because they were black men and women standing up for justice and equality." The Facebook ad, which also pointed out that the Ku Klux Klan was not disbanded, was intended to exploit racial divisions and get African-American users to follow a fake Russian account called Blacktivist. It was shared on Facebook at least 29,000 times."Who are your vetters and are they a diverse group of … [Read more...] about Russia exploited race divisions on Facebook. More black staffers, diversity could have have helped.
The fifth in a series of multimedia projects that examine causes for recidivism in the American justice system.OKLAHOMA CITY — Nekia Brown says she wants nothing more than to get her son back. She sits in the basement of a small brick building in downtown Oklahoma City, surrounded by other women for end-of-day checkout. It's not mandatory to speak, but many of the mothers in ReMerge — an alternative to incarceration that allows would-be inmates to stay in their communities — want to unburden themselves. RE-ENTRY: Is America failing its prisoners? They pass a microphone around a make-shift conference table and talk about the day's accomplishments and failures. Some women cry as they recall how long they've been sober. Others recap their life stories, often involving introductions to selling drugs, theft and addiction. They are grateful for the chance to begin anew.In each … [Read more...] about Prison diversion was supposed to save her. Instead, she fell back to the life she knew.
MENLO PARK, Calif. — Maxine Williams is very visible on the Facebook campus. And not just because she's one of the few black people working here.With its ambitions encircling the globe, diversity has become a top priority at the giant social network. As global head of diversity, Williams is the one charged with making Facebook's workforce better reflect the demographics of its users.Like most major high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, the giant social network is mostly staffed by white and Asian men. Yet Facebook users are predominantly women and span every race and ethnicity. Most of the more than 1.3 billion users are not even in North America.That means Facebook must tap a variety of perspectives, experiences and backgrounds, Williams said in an interview."For Facebook, diversity is imperative to our future growth," she said. "If we don't get it right, we risk losing relevance in an incredibly diverse world."Facebook began owning up to its diversity problem last year.In … [Read more...] about Maxine Williams: The face of Facebook on diversity
SAN FRANCISCO — For decades the venture capital industry — made up almost entirely of white men — has had the distinction of being the most exclusive club in Silicon Valley.Now the financiers who have funded some of the world's most powerful companies and minted hundreds of billionaires are trying to face up to their diversity problem.The trade group for the venture capital industry said Monday it is forming a task force to brainstorm ways to bring aboard more women and minorities.It's pledging to hold a series of public events in 2015 to solicit ideas on how to increase diversity in venture capital.Kate Mitchell of Scale Venture Partners, who is serving as co-chair of the task force, said in an interview that the National Venture Capital Association is committed to "moving the needle on this.""Silicon Valley is about solving hard problems, and this is a hard problem," she said. "We have to acknowledge that this is only a first step. We have to make a long-term … [Read more...] about Venture capital is facing up to its diversity problem
Like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, the tone of a recent city-hosted session on discrimination in Mesa swung back and forth, back and forth.One woman said residents of her low-income, ethnically diverse complex had no problem working together to improve the conditions of their neighborhood. But a lesbian couple said interaction with neighbors dropped off sharply after the pair corrected the assumption that they were sisters.A Black man with a White wife said he had never been hassled for his interracial relationship within city limits. But a woman with physical limitations said waiters repeatedly assumed that she couldn't order food or pay for herself.The mix of experiences closely mirrored the findings of the survey that spurred the city's three Community Conversations on Inclusion and Diversity.Conducted by Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, the survey of 600 residents found that while a majority of respondents felt comfortable living in Mesa, … [Read more...] about Mesa diversity efforts pick up steam; more work needed
NAMES LIKE LEE, RUIZ, Martinez and Ko were ushered in yesterday as the city's newest firefighters - one of the most diverse classes in the FDNY's 140-year history. "It's great that it's more diverse, but it doesn't really matter to me," said Darius Collins, 26, one of nine black firefighters to graduate yesterday. "As long as you have a good heart it doesn't matter the color of your skin." Continuing a five-year streak of higher minority graduation rates, 21% of yesterday's class of 183 probies identified themselves as black, Asian, Hispanic or Native American, an FDNY spokesman said. Flushing native Woody Kal, a Korean-American recruit, said the ceremony fulfilled a dream that began shortly after 9/11, when he was still a social worker. "I knew this is what I wanted and I just stuck with it," said Kal, 31, a Stuyvesant High School graduate who called the 13-week training "grueling." The graduating class, the second this year, also included 21 current and former soldiers, as … [Read more...] about FDNY’S CHANGING FACE. RECRUITS BRING A DASH OF DIVERSITY
GARDEN CITY will have a more diverse, less upper-crust population if the Long Island village embraces a housing proposal presented yesterday by Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. Standing in front of 11.8 acres of untouched county-owned land across from Roosevelt Field Mall, Suozzi announced a plan to build a "high-quality, mixed-income housing project" at the site. "This property happens to be in Garden City, historically viewed as a community that didn't want affordable housing in it," Suozzi said. The $10 million proposal would create 100 affordable housing units, priced at 2 1/2 a buyer's annual income, or at 30% of annual income for rentals. For a family of four living on a yearly income of $100,000, the unit could be sold for up to $250,000, Suozzi said. The initiative would target young workers, senior citizens and longtime residents, who struggle to keep up with Long Island's rising housing costs. Suozzi praised the plan as a "great compromise for what has historically … [Read more...] about GARDEN CITY PLAN AIMS FOR DIVERSITY
The World White Web is trying to change the plethora of white hands in Google searches. Graphic designer student Johanna Burai, from Stockholm, Sweden, launched World White Web as a project to bring attention to the norm of whiteness online. "This work started when I searched for 'hand' on Google and the search results showed only white hands," Burai wrote on her portfolio website. "Then I noticed that the themes of white hands were recurring every time I visited a portfolio or blog about graphic design." Burai's campaign aims to add more diverse images featuring people of color in searches like "hands," "legs" and other body parts. Currently, when a user searches for a hand they'll get hundreds of results of white hands. In order to get a different skin color users have to be more specific and include other keywords like, "African" or "Latin." Burai uploaded six different non-white hands to her online campaign site that can be shared on all social media platforms. Burai said the more … [Read more...] about Graphic designer launches World White Web to add diversity to Google searches
All they could do was pray — and search Facebook. As the death toll from the killer quake that wrecked their homeland climbed past 4,000, local Nepalese took comfort in time-tested expressions of faith while they used the web to locate lost loved ones. Bishaka Hirachan carried two roses to the makeshift memorial growing in Diversity Square in Jackson Heights, Queens after a weekend of frantic searching online. NEPAL EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY IS SLOW AS CHAOS REIGNS IN KATHMANDU AND DEATH TOLL PASSES 4,000 “We’ve been able to get in touch with almost everyone,” said Hirachan, 18, who moved to the U.S. a year ago from Nepal’s second city, Pokhara. “There's one person who went for vacation to Kathmandu (the Nepalese capitol) and we can't reach them," she added, shaking her head. "Excuse me." Her friend, Sugen Gurunz, 29, said he too has been using social media to track down his family Pokhara. “Most … [Read more...] about Nepalese New Yorkers gather at Diversity Square in Queens for support, use prayer and Facebook to help find loved ones