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raceAhead: Facebook’s Latest Diversity Report

July 13, 2018, 5:31 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.



Swimming while, mowing

lawns while, walking while black

(or Puerto Rican.)



The wee sub came too

late. “We still need you,” said Flint.

“I’m there,” said Elon



Strzok through the heart; but

we’re all to blame; though you gave

Congress a bad name



NATO on the rocks,

an angry baby took flight:

when Queens met the Queen



One thousand, sixty

eight days since Sandra Bland died.

But who is counting?


Programming note: I’m heading out Aspen, Colo. way for Brainstorm Tech, from July 16-18. Diversity remains top of mind, so stay tuned for some great reporting. Check out our YouTube channel for more, including highlights from last year.

And have a rockin’ weekend.

On Point

Facebook latest diversity report There’s some minor progress to be acknowledged, no doubt, unless you happen to be a black or Hispanic woman. It’s a blind spot that is increasingly obvious in tech, a cluster of companies that has tended to focus on gender or race but not the intersection of both. USA Today’s Jessica Guynn has the essential explainer on the report and the issues it reveals. “The sharpest deficits in Silicon Valley are African-American and Hispanic women, who make up 1 percent or fewer of workers, while across other industries they are represented at much higher rates consistent with their proportion of the overall U.S. population,” she says.USA Today

Oh, yeah! Diversity is the big winner in this year’s Emmy nominations
The 2018 Emmy noms have clearly won the Most Improved Award when it comes to diversity. While some fan faves like One Day At a Time were ignored, the nominations include a diverse array of talent and themes. Donald Glover’s Atlanta led the way, but the big news is the first-ever nod to a woman of Asian descent as a lead female actor in a drama series to Sandra Oh for her work in Killing Eve. Click through for the rest of the very good news. Friendly reminder: Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez persuaded the CW to reallocate her Emmy promotion budget to pay an undocumented student's college tuition. She was not nominated.

Shonda Rhimes is worth every penny
When Rhimes, the creative force behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and others, inked a $100 million, four-year deal with Netflix last year, she immediately raised the profile of the streaming network. But it also cemented her status as a powerhouse hit-maker and made her the wealthiest woman in the showrunning game. This piece walks through her revenue stream, handy for anyone building a TV programming portfolio, but it’s really a breakdown of how hard she’s worked, how talented she is and how fearless she seems to be. “What Shonda Rhimes possesses is this extraordinary instinct and compass for what our audience needs,” Paul Lee, the then-president of ABC Entertainment Group, told Forbes.

Telemundo actors are now covered by SAG-AFTRA for the first time
It’s the first-ever agreement between the famous actors union and Telemundo performers; though reported to be “still tentative,” it seems like a great start. The move stems from a 2017 vote by Telemundo performers to unionize. The current contract terms include contributions to and participation in the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan and SAG-Producers Pension Plan, residuals for both foreign and domestic streaming platforms, and coverage for key categories including actors, singers, dancers, and stunt performers.

The Woke Leader

Nielsen Report: 75 million black and Hispanic consumers tune into radio each week
Attention all attention seekers: If you want to reach consumers of color in the U.S, then get on the airwaves. Nearly one-third of all radio listeners are black and Hispanic, who also tend to be early adopters of streaming services and smart speakers. By the first quarter of 2018, 92% of black consumers each week and 96% of Hispanic consumers had listened to radio or audio content for news, entertainment or podcasts, outpacing television or smartphone. Good evening Señor and Señora America, and all the ships at sea.

Additional reporting about the boys trapped in the cave
The New York Times is following up on some of the early reporting on the lives of the boys who survived their ordeal in the cave in Thailand, including Adul Sam-on, 14, who had become the team’s interpreter when rescuers arrived. He’d escaped peril in his native Myanmar, and was slipped across the border into Thailand at age six, hoping to find the education that his family could not provide. Rich details follow about Mae Sai, where the team plays soccer, which is part of an area with a complicated relationship with borders, militias and the concept of the nation-state. And yet Sam-on has thrived. He lives in a local church and is such an exemplary student-athlete, that he’s earned free tuition and daily mid-day meal.
New York Times

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Black Lives Matter movement
If you’ve got the time, check out this extraordinary podcast hosted by the New York Public Library with BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors who discusses her life, the movement and her recent book written with her co-author asha bandele. The Los Angeles-area native has been an activist and organizer for years. At the 14-minute mark, she digs deep into her roots in the work, a complex intersection of family, poverty, and a corrupt sheriff's department, which led her to establish Dignity and Power Now in 2012, an organization designed to address the needs of incarcerated people and their loved ones. “It’s dedicated to my family and what we witnessed and faced at the hands of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department,” she says. She built on all that work for BLM. "Black Lives Matter is an experiment, an experiment on Black people governing, an experiment on trying to really talk about anti-Black racism as a global phenomenon."
New York Public Library blog


Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it. Just stand there trembling, not moving. Assuming the worst that can happen. Or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant.
Sandra Oh