Good morning and happy re-entry:
Just a quick post today, as I’m on my way out west to talk about diversity, culture and so much more at the Fortune‘s 2016 Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, which is being held on November 29 and 30th, in Laguna Niguel.
I’m looking forward to being in the room with all the up-and-coming women leaders who are charting the path ahead for business, but also philanthropy, culture, government and so much more.
Among the attendees are Apple’s head of Global Consumer Marketing Bozoma Saint John, Making a Murderer filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi, and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon. There will be a Kardashian, as well.
My first panel, Your Talent Rx, is tomorrow at 2pm Pacific time. On stage will be four extraordinary women - Natasha Granholm, Partner, PwC; Keli Lee, Managing Director of International Content, Platforms and Talent, ABC Studios International; Rachel Roy, Founder, Rachel Roy; and Adrienne Trimble, General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America.
We’re going to spend some time digging into how they see the world changing, and specifically, and how their best practices around diversity and inclusion make their businesses stronger and the world around them better.
As always, I’ve got you top of mind, so please, send along any burning questions if you’ve got them. You can watch the livestream here; follow along on Twitter at #FortuneMPW.
Letters threatening genocide sent to multiple California mosques
It was a single handwritten letter, photocopied and sent to mosques in Long Beach, Claremont, and San Jose. It was addressed to “the children of Satan” and said that there was a new sheriff in town - “President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for more police protection at all local mosques.
Richard Spencer, a white supremacist leader, has been getting a makeover in the press
Among his many core beliefs are an “ethno-state” for white people, and “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” His ascendancy as a public voice in the Trump era has alarmed many historians and experts, and new profiles in the media – often portraying him as dapper and intellectual – have been criticized. But, argues author Kelly J. Baker, “efforts to dress up white supremacy in ideas and middle-class respectability have been around since the first organized movements emerged in the late 19th century.” Don’t fall for it.
Disney’s Moana is a big step forward for culturally literate entertainment
And it almost bested Frozen in box office sales. Disney’s latest animated feature Moana ended up its five-day holiday run with $81.1 million in ticket sales. The story delighted both fans and critics, citing an empowering storyline that pays authentic tribute to its South Pacific origins and delivering familiar Disney flourishes mostly free from racial and gender stereotypes.
How much are black ideas worth in the digital age?
Writer Stephanie Phillips asks the question: With so much black talent visible on social media, why are so few black professionals holding prominent media and creative jobs? People of color are doing more than posting entertaining memes, they’re providing insightful social commentary and necessary context for current events. Yet, the work is more likely to be appropriated than embraced. “Social media has created a theatre and stage for our best and brightest and then locked us in to fend for ourselves,” she writes.
Canada’s deep divide in feminism
This extraordinary long read takes us deep into the intertwined men’s rights and anti-feminist movements in Canada, a country which, contrary to popular lore, has much more in common with its neighbor to the south than most people understand. (Plenty of Trump fans, for example.) The characters you’ll meet may feel familiar - one foul-mouthed homemaker runs a provocative blog called Judgy Bitch - and most feel certain that rape culture is nonsense and that feminism oppresses men and makes women perpetual victims. Oh, and it’s racist, too.
Van Jones on the backlash to “whitelash”
Commentator and activist Van Jones became the breakout voice of the 2016 presidential election, with his straight but respectful commentary, even after being ambushed on the street by Trump supporters bearing video equipment. But his CNN remarks after Trump’s victory, “This was a white-lash. This was a white-lash against a changing country,” have made him a conservative target.
A conversation about Standing Rock
The always amazing Another Round podcast posted a long interview with professor Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), to learn more about what was happening on the ground in North Dakota as the water protectors are preparing for winter and more police violence. She also offers detailed background on how the dispute came about. It’s some of the best reporting I’ve found on the subject; Dr. Keene’s blog and tweetstream are essential bookmarks.
The Woke Leader
Research professor Richard Florida: Two great social disruptions that explain everything
Florida managed to pack a lot of information in a tweet storm over the weekend, trying to explain why so many people, particularly in white, rural and working class neighborhoods, correctly feel they’ve been left behind. The first is the shift from physical to knowledge labor, the second is the consolidation of talent and resources in cities. The right “prey[s] upon national, racial, ethnic, gender divisions ... exactly as would be expected.” And the left’s inability to create an inclusive future, “is the great failure of our time.”
A homeless man’s compound, and a fight under the freeway
He lives under Los Angeles' 110 freeway in a compound that he built himself among a strip of tents he calls “Paradise Lane." A video of his living room, complete with sofa, loveseat and paper orchids, has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times on Facebook. Ceola Waddell Jr, has even rented out a little room to another homeless man. He’s now locked in a stand-off of sorts. Every time city sanitation workers haul away his stuff, he rebuilds. The pictures are amazing.
Fidel Castro once hit up FDR for some walking around money
Much has been written about the life of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died Friday at age 90. But historian Michael Beschloss one-upped everyone by tweeting a picture of a hand-written note 12-year-old Fidel sent to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. In careful cursive, Fidelito explains that he had heard on the radio that Roosevelt was going to be President again, and was very happy. Then, after apologizing for his poor English, he asks Roosevelt to send him a ten dollar bill. “I have not seen a ten dollars bill green American and I would like to have one of them.” He included a return address.
Let's make no mistake about this: The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. And to do that, we must understand that the quality of life is more important than the standard of living. To sit on the front steps--whether it's a veranda in a small town or a concrete stoop in a big city--and to talk to our neighborhoods is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living-room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color.