If I can fit it into my schedule, I like to take a long walk or hike in the late afternoon. My day starts at dawn, so it gives my hands and eyes a rest and helps clear my mind for the next day’s reporting. I also use the time to listen to podcasts, some of which are useful enough to pass along to you.
With the race and inclusion beat being what it is, the material can be challenging. More often than not, I’d find myself stomping up a beautiful woodsy ridge like this one, sucking on my Camelbak and seething about Jim Crow or the criminal justice system.
In order to stop the seething and start the soothing — and to remedy my utter inability to understand the concept of “self-care” — I started rotating some gentler fare into my listening routine. It really helped, so I’d like to share some of them with you.
Here are five very different podcasts or episodes that helped me take the edge off my quest for wokeness. Enjoy. What are you listening to? Let me know. Either way, I’ll meet you at the mountaintop.
|The military will continue to allow transgender people to serve for now|
|The announcement came in the form of a letter from Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the military service chiefs. In the letter, Dunford made it clear that nothing will change until the White House sends the Defense Department a rules change and the secretary of defense issues new guidelines. “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” he said. “As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”|
|New York Times|
|Justice Department says people are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation under civil rights law|
|The brief, filed in a case being considered by a New York appeals court, was an unusual move, particularly because it came the same day as a series of tweets from President Trump purporting to ban transgender people from serving in the military. The case in question is a dispute between a worker and his employer; in the suit, the employee maintains that his employer violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in the workplace based on “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” The department’s brief says that sexual orientation discrimination is not covered under the Title VII.|
|New York Times|
|A new partnership between Airbnb and the NAACP hopes to integrate the platform|
|The partnership is an effort to increase the number of hosts of color on the platform, and encourage economic activity in the communities in which they live. “For too long, black people and other communities of color have faced barriers to access new technology and innovations,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP, in a press release. Local NAACP chapters will conduct campaigns to educate African Americans on the nuts and bolts of Airbnb hosting; for every new host that comes through the program, Airbnb will share 20 percent of the revenue derived from their activity with the civil rights organization. CityLab’s Brentin Mock does an excellent job breaking down the pros and cons of the new deal. Critics are concerned that the push to enter black neighborhoods will decrease the affordable housing supply or accelerate gentrification. Johnson disagrees. “This gives an opportunity for African Americans and also other communities of color to save their houses,” he says.|
|Black executives are disappearing from big banks|
|According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the percentage of senior black executives at three major financial institutions has fallen over the past five years, and is now lower than corporate America as a whole. Black executives at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., make up no more than 2.6 % of top positions, bucking a positive trend in other sectors. While there is no single explanation, says Bloomberg, “[c]urrent and former black bankers and academics who study them point to Wall Street’s unwillingness or inability to make changes. They don’t see enough consistency or creativity about hiring new people and helping them thrive in an industry where few black bankers have made it to the top.”|
The Woke Leader
|Lupita Nyong’o let her inner Power Ranger out to play and nobody knew|
|Imagine you’re really famous. So famous that you can’t go out in public without being mobbed and adored. As fun as that sounds, it can also be stifling, right? Imagine you’ve found the perfect opportunity to go undercover for a while to twirl through the world with anonymous joy. Now, watch a totally unrecognizable Lupita Nyong’o set herself free at Comic Con. Enjoy.|
|About that Bozoma Saint John profile…|
|Alison Griswold points out a series of missed opportunities in the recent New York Times profile of new Uber brand boss, Bozoma Saint John. There were plenty of juicy details about her life as a single mom (her husband died in 2013), her mastery of Instagram, her life as a cool person among influencers. But, Griswold says, we don’t learn anything about what she’s actually done in the past, or what she is now planning to do at Uber. The company is at the center of a firestorm and unprecedented conversation about misogyny and discrimination in tech and beyond. “Would the Times have profiled Uber’s first-ever chief brand officer in the Styles section, with an emphasis on that person’s Instagram, if a man held the position?”|
|And now a note to transgender allies|
|Angela Dumlao is asking people who are angry about Trump’s tweeted ban of transgender people in the military to think about other ways they may or may not be falling short in their attempts to help the cause. Don’t frame your support as “protect,” they say. It infantilizes trans people. “Stand with trans people. Support trans people who have been fighting for their rights. See the difference?” Dumlao ticks through a list that’s worth considering. Are you amplifying stories about violence against trans women? Do you support art made by trans people? Do you correct people when they misgender someone? Everyone was work to do. “I am not above self-reflection and bettering myself when it comes to dismantling the transphobia and transantagonism I was taught growing up,” they say. “I have work to do, too. Will you join me?”|