Are Orchestras Better With A Man In Charge?

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Louise Jury, Chief Arts Correspondent for the London Evening Standard,  points to a genuine issue of sexism in classical music where the dearth of women on the podium is a subject of fierce discussion. To read more, click here.

 

 

 

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Anti-Semitism Still A Reality

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According to a report by the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), anti-Semitism remains a reality for many Jews in Europe. To read more, click here.

Sexism And Consumerism: A Warning To Parents

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Laura Finley, Ph.D., writing online in The Gilmore Mirror, warns parents of the sexism and negative stereotyping that infects the marketing items such as t-shirts and board games for children. Finley points out that this irresponsible corporate activity should be brought to the attention of stores carrying the  items. Children should also be made aware of the offensive content, which will give them teachable moments that might resonate for a lifetime. To read more, click here.

Poverty-Busters: Native American Success

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Christina Rose, reporting in Indian Country Today Media Network, says that, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, South Dakota is home to some of the harshest poverty-stricken areas in Indian country. While the sluggish economy throughout the United States has been part of the problem, Indian organizations and individuals are working to change the status quo.  To read more, click here.

Anti-Homophobia Policies In Schools Reduce Alcohol Abuse

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imageThe results of a study at the University of British Columbia published recently in the Journal of Preventative Medicine showed students at schools with anti-homophobia policies and gay-straight alliances tended to abuse alcohol less, regardless of sexual orientation. To read more, click here.

 

How We Teach Our Kids That Women Are Liars

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Soraya Chemaly, in her blog, “Role Reboot,” tells how the message that women are untrustworthy liars is everywhere in our culture—from TV and music, to politics and religion. So how exactly are we teaching children that women lie and can’t be trusted to be as competent or truthful as men?  First, lessons about women’s untrustworthiness are in our words, pictures, art, and memory. To read more, click here.

 

Stand-Up Comedy And Mental Illness

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David Haglund, a senior editor at Slate who runs Brow BeatSlate‘s culture blog, interviewed Maria Bamford and spoke about her ability as a stand-up comedienne to “engage with questions of mental health in a way that’s serious and thoughtful as well as really funny.” To read more, click here.

Flextime For Men, Inflexible Time For Women

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Social Issues, bosses favor men over women when employees request flextime. Child care and family care by women are seen by managers as eroding quality work. Biased decisions, lack of trust, and a pile of refused requests for flex time serve to create a workplace where employee motivation, commitment, and loyalty sour. To read more, click here.

Everybody Is Not Equal, And We’re Not All The Same Underneath Our Skin

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Jennifer Harvey in The Huffington Post tells parents of white children that statements to their children like “Everybody is equal,” and “We’re all the same underneath our skin,” have little or nothing to do with actual conversations about race, racial difference, and racism. It’s sugar, she says, when our kids need protein. To read more, click here.

Disability And Inspiration Porn

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In the Australian ABC News site, The Drum, Sheila Young talks about disability being viewed as what she calls, “inspiration porn.”  She points out that inspiration porn is an image of a person with a disability, often a child, doing something completely ordinary, such as playing, or talking, or running, or drawing a picture, or hitting a tennis ball. The image will contain a caption like, “Your excuse is invalid,” or “Before you quit, try.” The underlying message is that if people with a disabilities fail to be happy, to smile, or to live lives that makes those around them feel good, it’s because they are not trying hard enough or their attitude is not positive enough. To read more, click here.

Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave

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Leslie Morgan Steiner, a social worker and guest on TedTalks was in “crazy love,” that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, corrects misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explains how we can all help break the silence. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.) 

“Geography Of Hate” Maps Racist and Homophobic Tweets

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ht_hate_homophobia_tweet_map_tk_130514_wg-1As reported by ABC News, a new Twitter study by assistant professor Monica Stephens and Humboldt State University measured racist and homophobic tweets in the United States. The result is the “Geography of Hate” shown above. To read more, click here.

Key Dates In Civil Rights Movement

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As reported in Reuters, August 28, 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The address was a key event in the struggle of African Americans for racial equality.  Major dates in the modern U.S. civil rights movement range from 1948 to 2013. To see the timeline published by Yahoo! News, click here.

Welcome To The Age Of Denial

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The Truth Can Be Seen

The Truth Can Be Seen

In the “Opinion Pages” of The New York Times, Adam Frank, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, points out that today it is politically effective, and socially acceptable, to deny scientific fact.

Frank states that though transparently unscientific, denying evolution has become a litmus test for some conservative politicians, even at the highest levels. He explains that Americans always expected their children to face a brighter economic future, and scientists expected their students to inherit a world where science was embraced by an ever-larger fraction of the population. To read more, click here.

Slave Descendants Seek Equal Rights From Cherokee Nation

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A new lawsuit challenges the exclusion of African-descended Cherokees from tribal benefits

A new lawsuit challenges the exclusion of African-descended Cherokees from tribal benefits

As reported in Salon, a media news blog,  David Cornsilk is Cherokee, a self-taught civil rights advocate, and genealogist. He traces his slave-owning ancestors back to their aboriginal lands in Georgia and Tennessee. Cornsilk is not a Cherokee Freedmen descendant, a black who descended from slaves once owned by Cherokee and other tribes. Yet, for nearly two decades, Cornsilk fought for the rights of Freedmen descendants to have tribal benefits. To read more, click here.

Author Cautions Against Equating Physical Disability With Low IQ

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Anne McDonald, guest columnist for seattlepi, an internet news site, has had severe physical disabilities since birth.  At the age of 19, she attended school for the first time, and eventually graduated from a university with majors in science and fine arts. Annie’s Coming Out, a book about her experiences written with her teacher, was made into a movie (Best Film, Australian Film Institute Awards, 1984). McDonald offers cautions about the use of assessments of IQ that rely on speech and motor skills. To read more, click here.

Racism and the Myth of a “Victim Mentality”

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In a post to the Red Room blogTim Wise debunks the claim that discussing racism and discrimination creates passive victims out of people of color. He shows how the claim flies in the face of every bit of empirical evidence on the subject: knowing the truth about racism inspires perseverance and passionate resistance to victimization, not resignation to one’s status as a target. Research makes clear that racism is a problem, and there is no responsible path forward but to discuss it, to call it out, and to address it directly. To read more, click here.

Is “Jew In A Box” Exhibit Fostering Understanding Or Anti-Semitism?

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The Jewish Museum in Berlin is stirring up controversy with an exhibit called “The Whole Truth: Everything You Wanted to Know About Jews.” The element of the show getting the most attention is a cast of Jewish men and women who take turns sitting in a Plexiglas box, and answering visitors’ questions about Jewish life and culture. To read more, click here.

Beyond Diversity Resource Center Responds to President’s Call for National Conversations on Race

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The Beyond Diversity Resource Center announced the publication of a supplement to its book on racial dialogue in America, The Anti-Racist Cookbook (ISBN: 978-0971901766). The introduction to the supplement states:

Today, people of color have less to fear from the overt actions of a Ku-Klux-Klan lynch mob than from the implicit bias of a gun-carrying member of a neighborhood watch. Yet, the result may be the same.

According to Robin Parker, the Center’s executive director, the supplement was inspired by President Obama’s call for national conversations on race following the verdict in the case of George Zimmerman (the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin.)

The 2013 Supplement asks questions about current racial issues that include: (1) how people can address their own racial biases, (2) what organizations can do to combat implicit bias, (3) whether people feel safe in light of recent racial incidents, and (4) how we should craft solutions for racial healing. The supplement is now available to people who order The Anti-Racist Cookbook from the publisher, Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books. To read more, click here.

LeVar Burton Explains His Ritual To Prevent Police Mistreatment

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LeVar-Burton-screenshot-1He’s not exactly known for bad behavior, but even the former host of the children’s show Reading Rainbow fears he will be mistreated by police because of his skin color. Actor and director LeVar Burton explained on CNN that he follows a particular procedure every time he is stopped by police to avoid a potentially deadly confrontation.  To read more, click here.

Diversity Programs May Give Illusion Of Corporate Fairness

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Corporate cultural diversity programs may lead people to believe that work environments are fair even when there is evidence of hiring, promotion or salary inequities, according to findings by psychologists at the University of Washington. To read more, click here.

Colorblind Racism, The Walking Dead, And White Privilege

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In the blog, We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega points out that both colorblind racism, as well as overt racism, see people of color as somehow defective because they are not white. Racism-denying exists, even in conversations about the horror genre and a TV series, like The Walking Dead, whose narrative is focused on zombies. It is as if the reasonable concerns of people of color or others about white racism really don’t matter very much, that racism only matters and occurs according to the standards of Whiteness, and that those who talk about racism are the real racists. To read more, click here.

How To Suppress Discussions Of Racism

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In the blog “dreamwidth,” a contributor named Mely shows you, with tongue-in-cheek, a few simple techniques you can use to suppress the discussion of racism and to make sure racism is perpetuated. He says to keep in mind that your goal is not to learn or to educate, to listen or be listened to, to increase your understanding of difficult issues, or to exchange opinions and communicate with other people. Your goal is to make discussions of race so difficult and unrewarding that not only your opponent but any witnesses to your argument will never want to discuss race in public again. To read more, click here.

Ask a Woman Who Uses a Wheelchair

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Ask A Woman Who Uses A Wheelchair

Ableism is prejudice against people with disabilities, and like every other -ism, can take on many gnarly forms. Whether it’s negative societal attitudes, the dearth of accessible housing, job discrimination, or targeting an individual for a crime, in her post on The Harirpin blog Caitlin Wood speaks frankly about aspects of ableism. To read more, click here.

Black/White Wealth Inequality Has Exploded Since ’80s

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The racial wealth gap between blacks and whites has increased by $152,000 in the past 25 years, according to a new study from Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy. The median wealth of white families has shot up precipitously since 1984, while the median wealth of black families has barely moved. To read more, click here.

New SRCD Report Examines Effect of Poverty On Children

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The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) reports that poverty is a major risk factor for children’s development and is linked to many problems that persist into adulthood.  Poverty also contributes to a growing health and academic achievement gap, declining college attendance and graduation rates, and an increasing workforce skills gap. To read more, click here.

We Don’t See Racism?

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Seeing Racism and Teaching Tolerance with Huck Finn

An article in Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, reporting on high school student awareness of racism, points out that we have a responsibility to our students to have honest dialogue about race, privilege and institutional racism so that they can articulately speak out against it. We can no longer afford to create citizens who don’t see racism. Huck Finn can be a powerful tool for prompting discussion about racism in the United States, past and present. To read more, click here.

Giving to Other People Is Giving To Yourself.

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At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed, buy happiness — when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and other people. To view the video at the TED website, click here.

Black Adversity/White Privilege

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The Blaque Ink blog lists some of the everyday difficulties black people face because of racism as they move through their daily lives. These “adversities” are the opposite of “white privilege.” Below is a partial list of the sixty-five adversities recounted:

  • Alone, I appear threatening. If I’m in a group of others who look like me, that is a cause for some kind of suspicion or even panic.
  • In order to not cause suspicion, I must be in the company of (mostly) whites.
  • In order for whites to listen to me, I must agree with what they think about me and my people.
  • I can be sure that whites will not listen to me when it comes to race and racism, and anytime I bring up the subject, it will likely meet with denial or opposition.

To read more, click here.

Forced Sterilization Still Happens to People With Disabilities

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From the This Ain’t Livin Livin’ blog:

Forced sterilisation of people with disabilities is rarely covered in the mainstream or progressive media because it’s not considered a topic of much interest. This is largely because many people accept the idea that it is something that should happen; even if they may feel slightly uncomfortable about it, they still support the idea overall because they think it is ‘for the person’s own good’ or makes life easier for caregivers. Or, though few will admit this, they believe forced sterilisation of people with disabilities benefits society as a whole.

To read more, click here.

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