raceAhead: Black Panther is Here But He Can’t Get a Mortgage

February 16, 2018, 5:49 PM UTC

Your week in review, in haiku.



Majorly bad news:

Pleas, pay-offs and affairs.

Glasnost? Glavnyy vrag.



Wakanda: A world

so rich in Vibranium

and box office gold



Seventeen souls lost.

Suspect known, feared. Arrested

without incident.



To feel the pain of

others; a gift of grace. Strength

now, to stand and fight.



A lunar new year,

a heartfelt wish: Make this one

a very good Dog.



Wishing you a super-heroic weekend. RaceAhead returns on Tuesday, February 20.

On Point

Fortune’s 100 Great Companies To Work For 2018Spend some time with this diverse list of companies, ranked on executive team effectiveness, innovation and employee trust. The perks are great, but meaning matters more. The list is generated by Great Place to Work U.S from a combination of anonymous employee responses that form the basis of a Trust Index Survey, and an in-depth evaluation of company practices via a culture audit assessment. Looking to upgrade your work life? The 2018 list includes 160,288 job openings across 100 companies. More on the methodology here. Tip of the hat to Salesforce for coming in at number one overall; check out the 15 companies where more than 50% of employees are minorities. (I see you Accenture.)Fortune

The Black Panther is here, but he can’t get a mortgage in the U.S.
The Fair Housing Act, now fifty years old, has not delivered on its promised reforms, the Associated Press reports. Modern-day redlining, or the failure to lend to credit-worthy African American and Latinx borrowers, persists in 61 metropolitan areas, according to a recent analysis of 31 million records by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. In 2016, black applicants were 2.5 times as likely to be denied a conventional home mortgage as white applicants in St. Louis, for example. Atlanta, Detroit, and Philadelphia are similarly problematic; black borrowers faced the most resistance in the South - Mobile, Alabama; Greenville, North Carolina; and Gainesville, Florida - and Latinx in Iowa City, Iowa. Click through for an interactive graphic that will let you understand more about your own zip code.
Associated Press

Well, at least I had Uhura
Grown-ish' star Yara Shahidi helps put the power of Marvel’s Black Panther into context for entertainment professionals who are watching a predominantly black cast -- and a profoundly black story -- achieve as much attention, distribution, press, and accolades as “traditional” Hollywood fare has enjoyed. “I'm so fortunate that my younger brothers and I are growing up in the era of Black Panther — an era in which our blackness is not only being normalized but honored,” she writes. ‘[I] feel like I have permission to celebrate our diverse culture, while demonstrating to corporations and studios alike that our art is important and profitable.” 
Hollywood Reporter

Get smart about telling stories with data
This link comes by way of Stacy Jones, emeritus raceAhead team member. The source is data expert Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, who runs an exceptional blog that helps inspire people to get better about using data to tell important stories. This particular exercise is to create a visual story about disparities in education, part of a bigger community challenge to #VisualizeDiversity for Black History Month. It is, without exaggeration, a master class in data, online teaching, and critique. And, without giving too much away, it’s one in perspective, as well. “The education gap between students looks really different depending on who creates the graphic,” says Jones. Indeed.
Storytelling With Data

The Woke Leader

An Ocean sings a River
Frank Ocean dropped a new single yesterday, and hopeful fans think this means that’s there is more to come from him. It’s a remake of “Moon River,” the Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini joint first sung by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. You don’t have to be familiar with the song or any of these people to enjoy it, so go enjoy it. You could use a break.

How Wakandans dress
TED Fellow Walé Oyéjidé is the founder of fashion label Ikiré Jones and responsible for some of the fashion you’ll enjoy in Black Panther. But the philosophy that underpins his design work is inclusion. The Nigerian American uses fashion as a way to tell stories about perseverance and the diaspora, helping people of color to reclaim their histories and dignity by infusing aesthetics from marginalized peoples into classic European ideas of art and beauty. In addition to being beautiful, he sees it as a way to “correct the historical record,” he says. “It turns out that fashion, a discipline many of us consider to be trivial, can actually be a powerful tool for dismantling bias and bolstering the self-images of underrepresented populations.” A truly inspiring short video.

How the Davos community is stepping up for LGBTQ issues
Corinna Lathan, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AnthroTronix (ATinc), shares how her personal journey with her now twelve-year-old transgender daughter was supported at this year’s Davos confab. For the first time, she attended forums on gender, identity, and inclusion; although not (yet) on the main stage, they represented a clear drum beat of support from corporate leaders. One example: After the LGBTQ advocacy organization shared a new report showing that LGBTQ acceptance is declining in the U.S., executives from Microsoft, EY, Omnicom, Dow Chemical and Paypal headlined a panel on solutions in a standing room only event. “It’s clear that the next generation of leaders will view gender and identity much differently than we do now,” she writes.
World Economic Forum


Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids — and some adults — take these ignorant comments seriously. Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids: This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred million dollars a year to bounce a ball. Oh, and LeBron and Kevin: You’re great players but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.
Laura Ingraham.

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