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raceAhead: The Best Places for Diversity List, Bigoted Bakers Go To Court, Losing All The Einsteins

December 5, 2017, 6:58 PM UTC

Fortune’s third annual hundred Best Places for Diversity List went live this morning. I recommend you spend some quality time finding out what actual employees have to say about their employers — and which employers are having success with gender and racial inclusion. It’s an eye-opening read.

Coming in at number one is Comcast NBCUniversal, followed by Hyatt Hotels, Ultimate Software, Salesforce, and Wegmans Food Market at number five. Baptist Health South Florida rates highest for minority executives (38%), and Roth Staffing, Old Navy and Bright Horizons Family Solutions show outstanding numbers of women in executive ranks, with 71%, 68%, and 67% respectively.

To generate the list, Great Place to Work surveyed some 442,624 employees on more than 50 questions, which they used to anonymously rate their employers. (“Diverse” employees included anyone who identified as a racial/ethnic minority, female, LGBTQ, disabled, or who was born in 1964 or earlier. Click here for more on the methodology.)

Comparison shoppers can also filter by industry, headquarter location, and twenty-three possible states and one province, Ontario. It’s an interesting exercise: If I wanted to pivot out of journalism and stay close to my adopted home state of Missouri, then Build-A-Bear Workshop might be my best option. Bigger states, like New York and California still offer more choice for people who want diverse work environments.

Have fun.

On Point

The Supreme Court hears a dispute over a wedding cake today; Mike Farris is whyDominic Holden has the inside story on how Mike Farris, a constitutional lawyer and the CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, became one of the right’s most influential figures working to oppose same-sex marriage. Their biggest case? A dispute between a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple that heads to the Supreme Court today. The ADF has spent years filling the courts with religious freedom bills, focusing in particular on vendors who refused to serve gay couples. It’s worth more than a few minutes of your time to understand the man behind the movement. Farris, an evangelical anti-Trumper with 18 grandchildren, has an unwavering belief that homosexuality is a sin. “The history of this country reflects a deep conviction that sodomy is criminally punishable conduct and not a constitutionally protected activity,” he wrote in a brief to the Supreme Court in 2003.BuzzFeed

A new analysis shows where we lose innovators in the talent pipeline
Raj Chetty is a Stanford professor who helps lead the Equality of Opportunity Project, an ongoing research initiative that aims to improve economic opportunity for the poor. Their latest paper, released over the weekend, identified patent holders and used historical tax records and their elementary school test scores to figure out who had the greatest likelihood of becoming an inventor in the future. “The results are disturbing,” says columnist David Leonhardt. Kids who excelled at math were likely inventors, but only if they came from high-income families. In fact, low-income kids who excelled at math were less likely than middling students from rich families to succeed. And the gap between genders and for kids of color was equally stark. “They have left me stewing over how many breakthrough innovations we have missed because of extreme inequality,” he says. The research team called the marginalized group “lost Einsteins.”
The New York Times

A terrorism plot was thwarted but it didn’t make the national news for some reason
A 19-year-old man from Lansing, Mich. was arrested on November 30, in advance of a threat to Lansing Community College, which resulted in the evacuation of three LCC campuses. According to police, Damian Douglas Walker was arrested with an AR-15 rifle, 12 loaded magazines, another rifle and a large can full of loose ammunition, after one of Walker’s friends told the police that Walker had told him not to go to campus and “to watch the news at 3pm.” Walker may have also Snapchatted some video threats as well. In unrelated news, the LCC has been working hard on being an inclusive community. Last year, the school hosted Lansing’s mayor and community leaders to craft an opposition statement in response to the Trump administration’s travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries. “We are pushing back. We will resist. We are not turning our America over to you, Mr. President,” said the statement.


The Woke Leader

Why does southeastern Michigan have such a big Arab population?
It’s a tough question to answer, in part because official census efforts have undercounted Arab and Arab American populations for decades. But the largest cluster by far is in Michigan, most famously Dearborn, but there are diverse Arab and Muslim communities throughout the region. There was one documented wave who arrived in the late 19th century, mostly Lebanese and Syrian Christians who worked as grocers. But Henry Ford may be the reason. He preferred to hire Arabs immigrants rather than other immigrants or African Americans. There is also a legendary tale of a chance meeting between Ford and a Yemeni sailor who spread the word of good-paying industrial jobs throughout his travels. But wherever Ford opened up new factories in the area, Arab Americans followed.  
Michigan Public Radio

The legal wrangling over who gets to serve what to who is not new
While we watch Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission continue to unfold, Cristian Farias reminds us of the case of John W. Mungin, a black minister who was threatened with a gun and forced to leave a South Carolina barbecue restaurant in July 1964, because the owner thought that race-mixing was prohibited by God. Mungin vowed to fight back. A freshly minted law was on his side, specifically Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which legally entitled black folks to “full and equal enjoyment” to all establishments, including Maurice’s Piggie Park, in Columbia, S.C.. Maurice Bessinger lost his argument in both the lower and the Supreme Court. In a 2001 memoir, Bessinger shared his belief that the Civil Rights Act was evil.  “I have concluded that the civil rights movement is a Satanic attempt to make it easier for a global elite, a group of extremely wealthy men with no Constitutional or national or cultural loyalties, working at an international level to eventually seize power in this country.” Mungin, now 84, is retired and lives in Brooklyn.

A list of women of color who are badder than Taylor Swift
It started as a benign shout-out to the chart-topping megastar. About four weeks ago, a Swift fan known as @xnulz asked Twitter to “name a bitch badder” than Taylor Swift. Fast forward to today, and what has emerged is a Twitter stream that moved quickly away from snarky retorts (any cafeteria lunch lady, my mom, etc.) into an annotated list of some truly outstanding and largely overlooked women, including many women of color. Every one of them is a worthy biopic subject, comic book star or chart-topping song. They’re still coming in, folks. I hope someone makes it into a Bad-Bitch-A-Day calendar.
The Grapevine


I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South.  From there I got promoted to the washtub.  From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen.  And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations.  I have built my own factory on my own ground. I got my start by giving myself a start.
Madam CJ Walker