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On Point

Georgetown formally apologizes for its role in slaveryIn an unusually emotional ceremony, the Jesuit order that founded Georgetown University formally apologized to the descendants of 272 enslaved persons sold in 1838 to benefit the university. More than 100 descendants were in attendance. Rev. Tim Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. delivered a sincere and well-crafted apology. “Today the Society of Jesus, who helped to establish Georgetown University and whose leaders enslaved and mercilessly sold your ancestors, stands before you to say that we have greatly sinned, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done, and what we have failed to do,” he said. “Two hundred years later, we know that we cannot heal from this tragic history alone.”USA Today

Gender diversity in Big Law hasn’t changed in five years
Bottom line: Women account for about 30% of lawyers in the top 200 firms, a new survey shows, a figure which hasn’t changed in five years. They’re coming in the door, however. Some 45% of incoming associates are women, yet women make up only 17% of equity partners. The findings are part of an ALM Legal Intelligence study, “Where Do We Go From Here? Big Law’s Struggle with Recruiting and Retaining Female Talent.” The report also offers a checklist of best practices that include hiring, training, firm practice, family matters, and metrics. (Free download.)
ALM

Hang in there pale, male, straight, socially advantaged leaders. You got this
Dan Brooke, the chief marketing and communications officer for Channel 4 in the U.K. has published a rallying cry designed to highlight the value of diversity, while acknowledging how messy it can be. But his message is aimed in large part at the corporate suits upon whose narrow shoulders inclusion firmly lies. “Senior management is often like me – pale, male, straight, socially advantaged and non-‘superhuman’,” he writes. “As well as encouraging diverse hiring, our special job is to manage the messiness. That’s hard and sometimes it feels like diversity of thought is not leading you to the promised land.” Milk and honey dead ahead, he says. Well, eventually.
Campaign Live UK

A girl scout troop for homeless girls blossoms in Queens
Troop 600 was born of sadness and strife, a beacon of structure and leadership in the lives of girls, interrupted. The troop, the only one in New York City designated for girls without a permanent address, was created in February in a hotel that was temporarily housing homeless families. Some 40% of the 60,000 people in New York’s shelter system are kids, the new troop is part of a patchwork of services designed to keep them afloat. “It’s just about the most right thing I’ve ever been a part of,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the area of Queens where the troop was formed. But the girls are scouts through and through, collecting pins and enjoying meetings and outings. And they have all sorts of ambitions. “I’m going to help the homeless,” said Silkia, 9, a third-grader. “I’m going to get mad money, and I’m going to ask them if they want a shelter.”
New York Times

A protest encourages Fox News to permanently extend Bill O’Reilly’s vacation
UltraViolet, an online community dedicated to fighting sexism in the workplace, held a real world protest outside of Fox News headquarters yesterday. Protestors held signs that said “Tell Bill ‘You’re Fired'” and “Danger: Sexual Predator Works Here.” The organization, which also advocates for the National Organization for Women, has launched a petition for his removal that has 140,000 signatures. “I’m here today because I don’t believe that sexual predators have a place in the American work place,” Joanna Oltman Smith, 47, from Brooklyn, N.Y., told Fortune. “I am tired of men’s behavior toward women being excused and normalized as just business as usual— it has a detrimental effect on women’s lives, ability to earn a living, and self esteem.” UPDATE: Looks like they’re getting their wish.
Fortune

Miami state senator curses at his colleagues; throws the word ‘nigga’ around like he invented it
Here’s an ugly story, instructive in large part for the sheer number of offensive terms the Miami Herald had to use to tell it properly. In a late-night drinks meeting with African American colleagues, Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles cursed at them, called them some version of the n-word, but also a “fucking asshole”, “bitch” and “a girl.” He then said worse things about others not in the room, including his belief that a rival had risen to power because “six niggers” in the Republican caucus had supported him. To compound the problem, he later claimed that he actually called the conspiring Republicans “niggas,” which is not a slur, but a slang term popular with people who are not Frank Artiles. The Black Caucus has scheduled an emergency meeting today.
Miami Herald

The Woke Leader

What if creative people literally see the world differently?
That’s the premise of this fascinating research around “openness to experience,” one of the personality traits often associated with curiosity and creativity. Citing early research from the University of Melbourne in Australia, there’s reason to believe that people who exhibit a greater degree of openness also have better visual awareness. They literally “see” more possibilities. “They seem to have a more flexible gate for the visual information that breaks through into their consciousness,” says experimental psychologist Anna Antinori. “When they come up with all these crazy new uses for bricks, it might be because they really perceive the world differently,” she says. They’re also more prone to paranoia and conspiracy, so that’s nice. (Apologies to the many open, curious and creative blind people in this world.)
New Scientist

The unbelievable blackness of Rachel Dolezal
In a confessional preamble to an interview with Rachel Dolezal, writer Ijeoma Oluo shared her deep ambivalence about the assignment on Twitter. “So… Some of you will be hella pissed that I did this – and I get that. But I tried to do right by you – by us,” she said. There are few stories that have jarred black women than this odd tale of a white woman who passed herself off as black for a decade, who “identifies” as black, has published a book about her journey, and yet, has barely a passing grasp of the profound privilege that allows her to fluidly claim a race without the legacy. Oluo, a keen writer with a deep understanding of race and theory did not disappoint. “There was a moment before meeting Dolezal and reading her book that I thought that she genuinely loves black people but took it a little too far,” she writes. “But now I can see this is not the case.”
The Stranger

Understanding the hidden legacy of lynching
CityLab has an ongoing “open secrets” series, stories which highlight the things that hide in plain sight. In this installment, British photographer Oliver Clasper brings an outsider eye to photos of former lynching sites throughout the American South, today mostly unmarked and mundane, and in many cases, eerily serene.  In a new project called The Spaces We Inherit, he is documenting the places where black people were terrorized and murdered and exploring how people living there – some are descendants of victims or perpetrators – are affected by the past. “It seems that many Americans, especially white Americans, either don’t know much about lynchings or are reticent to discuss it,” he told CityLab. He’s identified 10 of some 4,000 potential sites; click through to meet the current owner of the Mississippi barn where Emmett Till was lynched.
CityLab

Quote

I will do my best to be: honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do; And to: respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
—Girl Scout Pledge