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]
Some Musings on Diversity in SF by Vandana Singh: "The best speculative fiction, like travel, does that to you – it takes you to strange places, from which vantage point you can no longer take your home for granted. It renders the familiar strange, and the strange becomes, for the duration of the story, the norm. The reversal of the gaze, the journey in the shoes of the Other, is one of the great promises of speculative fiction. " (Previously)
“Beyond Appearances – The diversity song” is a series of portraits of supposed outcasts, and aligns wrong first impressions – because you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Open your mind or… you can kiss my ass! (NSFW, SLYT] [more inside]
"The Harvey/Renee Index doesn’t distinguish between the different types of Renees. Any character who can be identified with one or more groups that are currently marginalized based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, or gender is a Renee. Anyone who is white, non-Hispanic, cisgender, straight, and male is a Harvey." -- Diversity in the Big Two's superhero comics being a perennial hot topic, Comics Alliance comes up with a novel way to quickly establish a diversity baseline: the Harvey/Renee index. (Named of course for Gotham's greatest cops Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya.)
For a while, the first African American graduate of the University of Vermont was George Washington Henderson, who would become the first black inductee to Phi Beta Kappa. Except he wasn't the first black graduate... [more inside]
"I can't choose whether someone is offended by my actions. I can choose whether to care.. . . While I cannot be responsible for what my ancestors did, I can take responsibility to play what small part I can in cleaning up their mess." By Martin Fowler, author of many books on foundational concepts of modern software engineering.
And who doesn't love a little luge? SLYT The Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Diversity has created a brief response to Russian homophobia.
Laura is super passionate about girls fighting evil, creating collages with short stories about various groups of girls fighting off demons - from radio DJs and the interns at Night Vale, to Dorothy Gale, travelers, and of course Beyonce. Sometimes the girls are helping the demons: evil counterparts to Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White, the underwater orchestra, even the underlord's admin assistant. Sometimes they fight each other; sometimes they fight themselves. Some of these fighters are real. Sometimes they'll let you borrow their style.
Model View Culture is a new online publication that concerns itself with technology, culture and diversity. [more inside]
Tired of being constantly asked "Where are you from?", Shing Yin Kor looks to the Yellow Ranger for advice.
Saturday Night Live, facing criticism for lacking diversity, has held 'secret' auditions for black female cast members. [more inside]
Welcome to Night Vale, the most popular podcast in the US, has an openly queer narrator (Cecil) with a (requited?) crush on a person of color (Carlos, a scientist). There's no physical description of Cecil, so fans have filled in the blanks. There is a lot of debate over whether he's white or should be portrayed as such. Fuck Yeah Brown Cecil explores various options; this blogger explains why a Native Cecil matters. Night Vale of Color celebrates the characters of color and this fan-made trailer envisions a diverse cast. But what is Welcome to Night Vale about? If you have a few minutes, the PBS Idea Channel will try to explain the unknown; if not, try this Buzzfeed primer. Or just listen to the podcast already! [more inside]
Last summer, researchers at Yale published a study proving that physicists, chemists and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications. Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts. A wonderful long article by Eileen Pollack where she talks to her former mentors, the study authors, and the other female science professors at her alma mater. NYTMagazine, worth reading especially for the absence of glib simple answers. (Previously, of course.)
Paris Fashion: Rick Owens’s Powerful Rejection of Conventional Beauty Big, athletic African-American dancers storm the runaway [more inside]
The LA Times Hero Complex looks at diversity in SF and Fantasy fiction.
A variety of Bay Area data sources are combined to highlight a problem common to many of the performing arts in the US. The good news? There is a healthy and vigorous discussion in the community around this issue.
Lack of resources, benign discouragement from well meaning adults, active exclusion by powerful gatekeepers: a classroom scientist discusses things that kill opportunity for inner city youth. [more inside]
Every few minutes of the day, all over the capital, people gather into small groups to share the same space and fleeting moment in time... simply to wait for something routine and forgettable as a London bus. In transient, with time to kill, and often among strangers, each collection of these individuals proves completely unique from the next. Each collection provides a little insight into London's incredible diversity, how they relate to their surroundings, and each other. The very deliberate intention with By the Bus Stop, was to capture those little moments which happen spontaneously, when the meeting of individuals is completely left to chance. [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Nature constantly engineers new and creative solutions to all sorts of problems—turning our stereotypes about sex upside-down along the way.
Molly Paxton, Carrie Figdor, and Valerie Tiberius have a new paper in Hypatia quantifying the gender gap in philosophy (pdf). [more inside]
"It’s Amazing the Things We Know, That Are Actually Wrong” by Kate Elliott [A Dribble of Ink] Fantasy write Kate Elliott on the subject of diversity.
"Here’s a paper we’re working on, which argues that we should (for some purposes at least), think of markets, hierarchy and democracy in terms of their capacity to solve complex collective problems [and] makes the case that democracy will on average do the job a lot better than the other two ways..." Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi on a cognitive approach to democracy (pdf). [via]
"I can tell you that the days of of white, wealthy, upper-class [Smith] students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry Amherst men are over. This is unfortunate because it is this demographic that puts their name on buildings, donates great art and subsidizes scholarships." Anne Spurzem, Smith College '84, reacts to news about the increase in diversity at her alma mater during President Carol Christ's tenure while Christ prepares to step down in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Spurzem's comments have caused an uproar among students and alumnae, leading to the creation of the Pearls and Cashmere Tumblr, which celebrates the diversity feared by Spurzem. Meanwhile, President Christ has responded to Spurzem's allegations in an open letter to to the Smith community.
The results of the Women Working in Comics survey are in. Meanwhile Comics Alliance has asked creators how comics can do better at female characters. (previously, previously)
"Ultimate Marvel is an imprint of comic books published by Marvel Comics, featuring reimagined and updated versions of the company's superhero characters" Today the imprint has introduced a new version of Spider-Man, Miles Morales, a half black-half latino male teenager. Fans are already talking about why this matters.
Today, the first Somali-American to hold public office in Minnesota, and likely the nation, will be sworn in. But he prefers to be known as African-American. [more inside]
Say you're a Chinese company wishing to appear more global and well-to-do without all the messy hubbub of hiring a foreigner. What do you do? Drop $44 and rent a white guy.
Attenborough's Pitcher, an "Udderly Weird Yam," a two-inch phallic mushroom already immortalized on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, and the "Bombardier Worm" ("Chaff worm" would seem a more accurate name) are just four of the newly described species making the International Institute for Species Exploration's totally arbitrary Top 10 New Species list. [more inside]
New York Magazine has crunched the numbers, Park Slope has taken the title of most livable neighborhood of New York. [more inside]
Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France, Switzerland, and Britain) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
Vogue Italia relaunched their website last week (in Italian and English / pictures on the site may be NSFW,) with three new subsites catering to specific fashion industry demographics: Vogue Curvy (focusing on plus-sized models, actresses and celebrities,) Vogue Black (men and women of color,) and Vogue Talents (veteran and up-and-coming designers. "Talents" also encourages hopeful designers to submit their work for review.) "Curvy" and "Black" in particular have received some positive and negative attention and some wonder whether separating those two fashion categories is truly inclusive. Vogue responds.
"Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find," is the headline of a February 6 ABA Journal article. The article refers to two studies reported in law reviews, linked here in pdf format, on the effect of gender and race on decisionmaking in harassment and discrimination cases.
Standing out in the crowd. Kirrily Robert's keynote from OSCON. She discusses diversity in opensource communities and projects. [more inside]
As Oregon struggles with diversity, one young man from Corvallis takes a cue from Improv Everywhere and invites you to meet a black guy. [via swpl]