Browsing Tag

diversity

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Texas A&M reaffirms support of diversity program accused of anti-Asian, anti-white discrimination in class-action suit

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
  • Texas A&M University (TAMU) passed a resolution on Monday endorsing its Accountability, Climate, Equity and Scholarship Faculty Fellows Program Plus (ACES Plus), which is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit alleging anti-Asian and anti-white discrimination.
  • The resolution was passed 54-12 by the university’s Faculty Senate, which conceived it last month in the wake of the suit to “reaffirm” their “commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
  • ACES Plus seeks to hire faculty from “underrepresented minority groups,” which a memo defined as “African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians.”
  • The program is set to be implemented across the TAMU System, which includes TAMU and 10 other state-run universities.
  • University of Texas at Austin finance professor Richard Lowery, who filed the suit, said the program violates Title VI and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibit sex and racial discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding.
  • Faculty senators who opposed the resolution believe the program may actually be illegal, with one questioning the logic of even debating such a resolution amid the program’s legal woes.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) has passed a resolution endorsing its pro-diversity programs, including one accused of anti-Asian and anti-white discrimination in an ongoing class-action lawsuit.

The resolution, which was passed by the Faculty Senate, was conceived last month in the wake of the suit filed by Richard Lowery, a finance professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Several members reportedly asked the body to “reaffirm its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Lawsuit accusing New York City officials of discriminating against Asian American students thrown out by judge

  • Southern District of New York Judge Edgardo Ramos has junked a lawsuit that aimed to stop a 2018 diversity initiative that the plaintiffs say discriminated against Asian American students.
  • The lawsuit, filed by civil rights organizations and Asian American parents of public school students, claimed that the admissions changes made by former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former City Education Chancellor Richard A. Carranza violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • The diversity initiative changed the admissions processes of eight prestigious high schools in a bid to increase the number of low-income students in the most selective high schools in New York.
  • By altering the eligibility criteria to target admissions from lower-income schools, more slots were made available at such schools, resulting in a 5-20 percent increase in each school's incoming class.
  • Several Asian American civic and parent groups argued that the initiative violated the Equal Protection Clause since most of the low-income students who qualify for it are Black or Hispanic.
  • In his ruling, Ramos made note of 2019 and 2020 data that showed the number of Asian American students at selective high schools still rose even after the changes were imposed.

A New York court has junked a lawsuit accusing city officials of discriminating against Asian American students during the 2018 selective high school admissions process in the city. 

According to the lawsuit filed by civil rights organizations and parents of public school students, the admissions changes made by former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former city education chancellor Richard A. Carranza violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

California films that want tax credit must meet new diversity requirement

  • California lawmakers approved an amendment to SB 485 on Wednesday to include a diversity requirement to the state’s $330 million tax incentive for film and TV production. 
  • The updated provision, currently awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, requires tax credit beneficiaries to set hiring goals that are “broadly reflective of California’s population, in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender.”
  • While California’s population is 40% Latino, 35% white, 16% Asian American and 6.5% Black, the state’s film and TV workforce from projects that received a tax credit from 2015 to 2020 were 70% white, 17% Latino, 7% Black and 4% Asian American.
  • The updated bill, which is set to take effect on July 1, 2023, now prescribes that productions availing the state’s film tax credit are required to submit a diversity work plan and a final diversity report that shows whether the hiring goals were met.
  • Productions that are able to meet their goals or show a “good faith effort” will be eligible for an additional 4% tax credit on top of the 20% or 25% credit that the current law prescribes.

An amendment to include a diversity requirement to California’s $330 million tax incentive for film and TV production is now awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature. 

SB 485, which will extend the tax credit through 2030, was amended on Wednesday for tax credit beneficiaries to set hiring goals that are “broadly reflective of California’s population, in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender.”

‘I’m embarrassed’: ‘Friends’ co-creator apologizes for show’s lack of diversity with $4 million pledge

  • “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman has apologized for the hit sitcom’s lack of diversity in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times.
  • Kauffman said she came to terms with her internalization of systemic racism following the death of George Floyd.
  • “Friends,” which aired for 10 seasons on NBC, starred six white actors for the entirety of its run.
  • Kauffman said she is “embarrassed” that she did not know better 25 years ago and that she is determined to “course-correct.”
  • In an effort to make amends, the showrunner pledged $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University, for the creation of an endowed professorship in its African American studies department.

“Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman has apologized for the hit sitcom’s lack of diversity in a new interview and is working towards making amends with a $4 million donation to her alma mater’s African American studies department.

Kauffman, who co-created the show with David Crane, opened up about coming to terms with her internalization of systemic racism in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. She said she began to evaluate her actions after the death of George Floyd, noting that “admitting and accepting guilt is not easy.”

University of Virginia students propose $3M budget for Asian resource center

University of Virginia Asian Student Union

Four University of Virginia (UVA) students wrote a letter to the university outlining their  concerns about the lack of Asian community resources and representation across administrative leadership at the school.

Students take a stand: The letter was authored by UVA junior Sanjeev Kumar, UVA senior Katie Zhang, UVA senior Lauren Xue and UVA senior Serena Wood at the beginning of September.

University of Maryland draws controversy for separating Asian students from ‘students of color’

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland drew backlash over its enrollment and admissions graphic that separated Asian students from “Students of Color” and put them in the same section as white students.

What happened: The graphic was shown during a presentation by Daryll Pines, the university’s president, for the university senate “State of the Campus” report on Nov. 10, according to Fox News.

Leading global investment company requires bosses to seek permission when hiring white men

state street

Boston-based State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), one of the world’s largest investment firms, is reportedly requiring executives to seek permission to hire white men.

Driving the news: The policy helps fulfill the company’s diversity goals, which include a 10-point action plan to address racism and inequality. By 2023, the firm aims to triple its Black and Latinx leadership (U.S. only; Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic worldwide) and double its Black and Latinx employees at all levels (U.S. only; Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic worldwide).

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star Michelle Yeoh Says the Oscars Shouldn’t Nominate Based on ‘Diversity’

Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, most recently of “Crazy Rich Asians” fame, said in an interview Sunday that she doesn’t think Oscar nominations should be doled out solely for the sake of diversity.

Speaking to E!’s Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet of the 91st Academy Awards, the 56-year-old BAFTA nominee revealed that although she was disappointed by the lack of nominations for female directors this year, she also wouldn’t approve of the idea of nominating people based on gender alone, rather than merit.

Asian and Black Ballerinas Can Now Buy Shoes to Match Their Skin Tone

ballerina

Ballerina shoes have traditionally been more of a pink or cream color, but a collaboration in the UK has developed shoes for non-white ballet dancers. 

A dance company for Ethnic Minorities called Ballet Black and well-known manufacturer of dance shoes Freed of London have worked together to create shoes with colors that include “Ballet Bronze” and “Ballet Brown.”

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ To Receive Breakout Ensemble Award at the Hollywood Film Awards

Crazy Rich Asians

Warner Bros.’ history-making film “Crazy Rich Asians,” directed by Jon M. Chu, will add another achievement to its growing list as the film is set to receive a Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award.

“Crazy Rich Asians,” which is a film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same title, features a big-name all-Asian cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remi Hii, Nico Santos, and Michelle Yeoh.