In the wake of the sequencing of the human genome in the early 2000s, genome pioneers and social scientists alike called for an end to the use of race as a variable in genetic research. Unfortunately, by some measures, the use of race as a biological category has increased in the postgenomic age. Although inconsistent definition and use has been a chief problem with the race concept, it has historically been used as a taxonomic categorization based on common hereditary traits (such as skin color) to elucidate the relationship between our ancestry and our genes. We believe the use of biological concepts of race in human genetic research—so disputed and so mired in confusion—is problematic at best and harmful at worst. It is time for biologists to find a better way. - An editorial in Science exploring the conundrum facing genomic researchers where race is both fundamentally flawed as a scientific model and violently dangerous but still the only consistent lens through which study participants understand the information they have about their own connection to human diversity [more inside]
When Jenny and Jenna, two Black singers regularly posting Kpop covers on YouTube, found that they were often confused for each other, they decided to band together and form CoCo Avenue, currently the world's first all-Black Kpop group. Other Black Kpop performers include RaNia's Alex, Insooni, Lee Michelle, and Tasha a.k.a. Yoon Mi Rae.
In The American Prospect, Sociologist Richard Alba discusses two reasons why the Census-projected relative demographic decline of White Americans may prove illusory.
“Black Folk Don’t...” is an open conversation that invites everyone to take a second look at the grey areas between us all, no matter the race, and most importantly to do it with a sense of humor. This documentary web series is a special presentation of BlackPublicMedia.org, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Did you know that black folk don't… [more inside]
José L. Duarte is one author of an upcoming paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, "Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science." The authors review how academic psychology has lost its former political diversity, and explore the negative consequences of this on the field's search for true and valid results. Duarte has blogged about his own experience of bias when he was denied admission to a Ph.D program, possibly for for his perceived political views in another blog post. [more inside]
In the wake of the recent casting controversies over Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop and Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India, there have been a number of online commenters who have cited Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton as a justification for their position in the debate. What’s intriguing is that Hamilton has been offered up both as evidence of why actors of color must have the opportunity to play both characters or color and characters not necessarily written as characters of color – but it has also been used to say that anything goes, and white actors should be able to play characters of color as well. What does Lin-Manuel Miranda have to say? After all, it's not like he hasn't been been very deliberate about his casting.
Steven Universe (Previously) is an animated series created by Rebecca Sugar which airs on Cartoon Network. It is known for excellent world building, progressive sensibilities, a heartwarming, genuine sense of humor, and a cast of characters which is deep, complex and diverse. It has received significant critical acclaim and has cultivated a large and diverse collection of fans. The show's fandom has recently experienced controversy when some individuals engaged in a campaign of harassment and bullying that drove a young Steven Universe fan artist named Paige Paz (aka Zamii070) to attempt suicide. [more inside]
Marlon James, winner of this year’s Man Booker prize, believes that writers of color are “pandering to the white woman.” [The Guardian]
The 2015 Man Booker prize winner Marlon James has slammed the publishing world, saying authors of colour too often “pander to white women” to sell books, and that he could have been published more often if he had written “middle-style prose and private ennui”.[more inside]
Amanat's editing résumé includes some of Marvel's most instrumental and inventive titles: Hawkeye (writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja) presented a witty and crucial resurgence for the character; Ms. Marvel (Wilson and Alphona) is the crown jewel of Amanat's career and Marvel's wondrous hit; and Captain Marvel (DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy) became the pioneer of what's become a golden age for the woman superhero.
Equity in Publishing: What Should Editors Be Doing? "My job as an editor is to publish the best writing—wait for it—by a variety of writers. With regards to Best American Poetry, we're correct to call out the clear conflation of "best" and "white"—too often "We just published the best writing we could find" is a terrifying excuse for not publishing diversely. And this diversity—no, this equity, because I don't just acquire a writer of color and call it a day, returning to white business as usual—does require work." [more inside]
"We all know tech is excluding most people from participating. But one group is actually over represented. And we’ve been conspicuously silent." Metafilter's own Anil Dash asserts that "Asian American men who work in tech are benefitting from tech’s systematic exclusion of women and non-Asian minorities" and gives some recommendations about what they should do about it.
Librarian Edith Edi Campbell posted to her Facebook page about “Large Fears,” a Kickstarter-funded children’s book for queer black boys, “I would say there are so few books for queer black boys, but there are too few books for all our marginalized young people.” Children’s writer Meg Rosoff responded: “There are not too few books for marginalised young people. There are hundreds of them, thousands of them. You don’t have to read about a queer black boy to read a book about a marginalised child. The children’s book world is getting far too literal about what ‘needs’ to be represented. You don’t read Crime and Punishment to find out about Russian criminals. Or Alice and Wonderland to know about rabbits. Good literature expands your mind. It doesn’t have the ‘job’ of being a mirror.” [more inside]
Three of the four largest global accountancy firms in the U.K. have announced changes to their hiring processes. In particular, Deloitte announced that it will "begin using a school-blind hiring process to help address unconscious bias." Interviewers will no longer have access to details of an applicant's school or university until an offer has been made. The announcement marks the start of Deloitte’s inaugural Social Mobility Week. [more inside]
Bros Funding Bros: What's Wrong with Venture Capital. "What really matters is that we are in the midst of a technological renaissance that will be much farther reaching than any of us can predict if we invest correctly. Our generation has an opportunity, in our lifetime, to put a massive dent in human suffering and make trillions of dollars in return. ... We need a wake up call on Sand Hill Road. We need to recapture our potential and open the doors." [more inside]
Sofia Samatar's "Skin Feeling" evokes "What it is to be encountered as a surface, to be constantly exposed as something you are not." Samatar is an English professor, an SFF writer, and a person of color engaged in diversity work on her campus, and among other things, her essay reflects on multiple incidents of indecent exposure, Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and the university housed in what was once the largest mental hospital in the world, the book On Being Included, and being made a symbol of diversity (a topic that fellow SFF writer Kate Elliott recently addressed as well). [Samatar link via Savage Minds and Elliott link via N. K. Jemisin.]
In a universe at a slightly different frequency than ours there was an alternate Hugo Ballot. Below the fold are links to the authors and works: [more inside]
Dr. Prescod-Weinstein talks about her inspiration, teaching herself what she needed to know, how she keeps balance in her life, and being one of 89 black women with a physics Ph.D., and the only theoretical physicist. [more inside]
Why Poor Places Are More Diverse : a lesson from ecosystem ecology.
The Hugo Award process has always been hackable, There was just never anyone narcissistic enough to hack it. [more inside]
The State of Comic Book Retail - David Harper's latest comics industry survey shows bricks and mortar comic stores to be in a surprising period of opportunity and change. But are there now too many comics?
Sir Tim Hunt FRS, who received the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001 for "discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle" has resigned from his positions as Honorary Professor at University College London and member of the Royal Society's Biological Sciences Awards Committee after making controversial comments at the 2015 World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul. He said: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls ... three things happen when they are in the lab ... You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry." [more inside]
If a book like Beloved by Toni Morrison is challenged because it is “sexually explicit” and has a “religious viewpoint” and contains “violence” (these are the stated reasons for its challenges in 2012), is it simply accidental that Beloved is also a novel about an African American woman, written by an African American woman?"I wondered if there was a correlation between books with diverse content — that is, books by and about people of color, LGBT people, and/or disabled people — and book challenges".
In the video, Michelle Rodriguez offers a few choice words on diversity in casting: “Stop stealing white superheroes.” It caused a bit of an uproar in some circles, and Michelle made a video clarifying her statements. But first, let’s address the premise itself. Are all of these superheroes, “originally” white, whose races are being changed, being stolen?
Women often have decreased access to professional networks and mentors for a variety of reasons--men are more likely to mentor and sponsor other men, informal social networking often centers around gendered activity, women may simply not have the time to do after-work socializing. This is unfortunate, since networks and mentoring are incredibly valuable for female professionals and entrepreneurs. The obvious solution has been to encourage early-career women to network more and "better" and highly-placed women to mentor and support younger women, but this has had mixed results. It turns out that highly-ranking women do disproportionately mentor and support lower-ranking women--but only if they aren't "tokens" at their level of their own workplace but instead part of multiple women at that level. [more inside]
By now, we’ve all heard about the low numbers of American women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). My own new research, co-authored with Kathrine W. Phillips and Erika V. Hall, indicates that bias, not pipeline issues or personal choices, pushes women out of science – and that bias plays out differently depending on a woman’s race or ethnicity.
Elsinore is an adventure game set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet - which places it, historically, in 16th century Denmark. Since we began work on the project a year or so ago, I've shown the playtest build to family, friends, and strangers alike. After they're done playing, intermingled with their feedback on gameplay, they often point to Ophelia and ask: Why is she black?For Gamasutra, Katie Chironis, team lead and writer of Elsinore talks about why they made the protagonist black, the possibilities of black people living in Denmark in the 16th century and why history and "history" in games is so often whitewashed.
"In short, it seems that when a white male thinks about the meaning of things, any things, it is philosophy..." (SLTheGuardian)
“You Are Welcome Here”: Small Stickers Make a Big Difference for LGBTQ Scientists
Upon entering, I immediately noticed tiny stickers dotting the halls: the iconic WHOI ship, sailing in front of a rainbow sky over the words, “You are welcome here.” I can’t describe how powerful it was to see those welcome messages on the office doors of scientists’ whose work had inspired me to pursue biological oceanography – in a building commemorating an oceanographer, Alfred C. Redfield, who discovered a conserved atomic ratio between carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus that I think about in my research every day. The ship stickers are small, maybe even easy to miss if you’re not attuned, but they packed a punch strong enough to rid me of my worries. I left the Redfield Building with renewed vigor, confident about what I was pursuing, only worried about feet that were literally wet, but not figuratively.
Fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John, a sure indicator that the glass ceiling remains firmly in place in corporate America. Among chief executives of S&P 1500 firms, for each woman, there are four men named John, Robert, William or James. We’re calling this ratio the Glass Ceiling Index. (SLNYT, inspired by a 2-page PDF report from Ernst & Young which computed analogous numbers for board directors.) [more inside]
"We don't want them to see diversity as a burden or a moral obligation. We want them to see it as a business imperative."UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies has released its 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping The Script [PDF]. The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive story (with lots of sidebars.)
I wanted to do the same for people of colour. I feel as if my decision brought home just how white my reading world was. For whatever the reason and context, it took me until I was 30 years old to learn that Octavia E. Butler existed – how embarrassing! I’m not blaming anyone or anything for this travesty, and we all know late is better than never … but I think we can do better. I shouldn’t have needed to undertake a 12-month project to discover world class authors.In 2014 Sunili Govinnage set herself the challenge to read only authors of colour for a year.
Welcome to my database of science fiction and fantasy books that demonstrate diversity in sexuality/gender, race, disability, and other aspects. My hope is that this will both promote existing but less well-known books, and inspire authors to write more and publishers to make them available.All Our Worlds is a "Database of Diverse Fantastic Fiction" which can be searched by tag, or you can check notable releases.
In 2001, Josh Kaplowitz was a recent Yale graduate and Teach for America worker in a Washington D.C. public school. After pushing 7 year old Raynard Ware--something still he still disputes--Kaplowitz was arrested and then the subject of a $20M lawsuit. Eleven years later, Kaplowitz, by this point a lawyer, received a friend request on facebook from Ware: the Washington Post Magazine has the story of their reconnection. [more inside]
It’s primarily about joining the conversations that are happening in this comics community of ours, helping to support and amplify those messages, and encouraging others to join. I love this industry. I’ve been working in it, when I’ve had the good fortune to have the opportunities, since I was like 17 years old. To see the way the industry has evolved in even the last few years is amazing–we’re seeing things (slowly!) become more representative. We’re ahead of the curve in many ways in comics and we’re also behind the curve in many ways. - Boom Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon talks to Comics Alliance about Push Comics Forward, "a movement to actively shape what the comics industry SHOULD look like in 10 years."
Intel Wants Diversity in the Workplace, Puts $300 Million Where Their Mouth Is - Also they have a cool stabby spider dress.
A playable blog post about triangles, squares, bias, and society from Vi Hart and Nicky Case.
Business Insider: Best Tech Employers For Women [Ranked] by Julie Bort [more inside]
Thanks To That Shirt, We May Get a Shirt Celebrating Women In Science by Mika McKinnon for io9:
"Along with [the newly-designed shirt] provoking quite a few giggles, Elly Zupko, the woman behind the design has been talked into trying to make the shirt for real with the intention of donating proceeds to science diversity programs. She's soliciting names and images of women in science who should be featured on the fabric. Zupko has a lot of logistics to figure out, but she's enthusiastic and buoyed by the support of others eager to celebrate the wide diversity of women in science who have contributed so much over the years. If all goes well, the take-away of this mess will be the Project Scientist for the another incredible space mission wearing another shirt covered in ladies, but this time celebrating them instead of objectifying them.[more inside]
Here I’ll try to highlight how it has affected me, as I grew from a young black lady to a black woman in the predominantly white male tech industry.
2015: The Year of Emoji Diversity - The Unicode Consortium has released a technical report detailing a new method for handling the representation of multi-ethnic groups in emoji that may work its way into Unicode 8.0 [more inside]
The most recent episode of the Ruby Rogues podcast — #179 Accountability and Diversity with Meagan Waller — is a treasure trove of insights and info about unconscious biases, diversity, employment, culture, tech, and more. The podcast page features a timestamped topic outline of the discussion, as well as many links to the Ruby community websites, projects, studies, conferences, and controversies they discuss… [more inside]
SLIMED! Author Mathew Klickstein not a fan of Nickelodeon's approach to diversity. I think it’s worse when they shove it in there. Sanjay and Craig is a really good example, which funnily enough is written in part by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi from Pete & Pete. That show is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian — except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity. Which is fine — do what you’re gotta do, and Dora [the Explorer] was certainly something of a success, but there’s no reason for [Sanjay] to be Indian at all. No one working on that show is Indian. They’re all white. It’s all the white people from Bob’s Burgers and Will and Chris. [more inside]
This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women. [more inside]
Writing with Color, a blog dedicated to writing and resources centered on cultural and ethnic diversity. The FAQ.
It's astonishing how many of the people conducting interviews and passing judgement on the careers of candidates have had no training at all on how to do it well. Aside from their own interviews, they may not have ever seen one. I'm all for learning on your own but at least when you write a program wrong it breaks. Without a natural feedback loop, interviewing mostly runs on myth and survivor bias. "Empirically", people who wear suits don't do well; therefore anyone in a suit is judged before they open their mouths. On my interview I remember we did thus & so, therefore I will always do thus & so. I'm awesome and I know X; therefore anyone who doesn't know X is an idiot. Exceptions, also known as opportunities for learning, are not allowed to occur. This completes the circle.According to Carlos Bueno, Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy, it's a mirrortocracy where startups hire the people that resemble them the most. [more inside]
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for changing the admissions criteria of NYC's elite high schools, arguing that relying solely on a single exam (the SHSAT) "creates a “rich-get-richer” dynamic that benefits the wealthy, who can afford expensive test prep. However, the reality is just the opposite. It’s not affluent whites, but rather the city’s burgeoning population of Asian-American immigrants — a group that, despite its successes, remains disproportionately poor and working-class — whose children have aced the exam in overwhelming numbers." [more inside]