raceAhead: The Fortune 500 Breaks Another Glass Ceiling

July 27, 2018, 7:06 PM UTC

Your week in review, in haiku.



Betsy DeVos and

her yacht, set adrift. So sad.

Wait! She has nine more.



Earth burns, Facebook turns,

complex legal terms we learn.

The way we live now.



Baby powder scent,

sippy cups and gunpowder:

Lock-n-load daycare.



Oh, Sacha Baron:

Making Cohens Great Again!

(Jury’s out on Mike)



How much better life

would be if Jeff Goldblum was

the voice in your head.


Narrate your weekend like a dapper movie star! RaceAhead is off for a couple of days and will return on August 2.

On Point

The Fortune 500 breaks another glass ceilingBeth Ford is the new CEO of agribusiness company Land O’Lakes, making her the 25th female CEO on the big list. She will also be the third openly gay CEO in the cohort, and the first woman. While her first job will be wrangling the retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. dairy goods, she admits that her appointment means something. She tells my colleague Beth Kowitt that being a role model as one of the few openly gay Fortune 500 CEOs was not her goal, but does say, "if it gives someone encouragement and belief that they can be their authentic self and live their life...[then] that's a terrific moment.”Fortune

Newly released emails suggest Republican gerrymandering in various Michigan districts
The emails are part of a federal lawsuit claiming Republican gerrymandered districts in 2011 to maintain an advantage in the state. “[I]t’s giving the finger to (Democratic U.S. Rep.) sandy levin. I love it,” said one email about the shape of one district. Another email from a GOP staffer crowed, “[i]n a glorious way that makes it easier to cram ALL of the Dem garbage in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb counties into only four districts.” The Bridge, linked below, has the real inside baseball talk about the claims and the districts. Electablog, a progressive blog following Michigan politics, has some interesting graphics that show how crazy the districts look on a map.
The Bridge

The Chinese surveillance state takes on Africa
The Chinese have set a goal to become a world leader in artificial intelligence and to build a $150 billion industry by 2030. To dominate globally, China plans to use developing countries to help improve their own facial recognition efforts - and that means scanning millions of African faces. It’s an interesting development. CloudWalk Technology, a Guangzhou-based start-up, has signed a deal with Zimbabwe to provide mass facial recognition services. On one hand, it may embolden a government with a “bleak” record on civil rights to do further harm. On the other, it will help CloudWalk create a big enough database to begin to mitigate racial bias in their software, giving them a significant global edge. Discuss.
Foreign Policy

The new “New South”
This list of folks who are working to improve life for people in the region cuts a wide swath, from Bryan Stevenson on race and justice, to evangelist Beth Moore on stopping abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention, to Danica Roehm, the first openly transgender person to serve in a state legislature – who is working on traffic congestion on Virginia’s Route 28. For the 31 people on the list, it’s about progress, growth and truth. “We decided a bitter Southerner is somebody who loves this region but also is willing to acknowledge and not gloss over the many difficult pieces of its history,” says Clark Reece, the editor in chief of one of my favorite blogs, The Bitter Southerner. “Everybody alive wants to feel proud of where they’re from,” but, “it’s just harder down here.”

The Woke Leader

Australia: A project that maps massacre sites of indigenous people
In Australia, the old days are called “frontier times.” A groundbreaking new project is now highlighting the extent of the violence that came with ambitious colonial expansion. Historian Lyndall Ryan has been working to document sites of mass murder of indigenous people and has now identified some 250 sites across almost every state and territory. The massacre map project, the first of its kind, was launched a year ago by the University of Newcastle. The massacres occurred well into the twentieth century, and researchers have been collecting oral histories. "We also find that in the 20th century, more people seem to be killed in one operation, that's because the weaponry is more sophisticated, the perpetrators know Aboriginal people and they can plan for the attack," says Ryan.
ABC Australia

Have you heard of Balbir Singh?
To many, she’s the Julia Child of Indian cooking. Born in Punjab in 1912, she learned to cook at her mother’s side, though she didn’t fulfill her lifelong dream to write a definitive Indian cuisine cookbook until she was 50. But Mrs. Balbir Singh’s Indian Cookery is considered the definitive guide to North Indian food, with its rich curries and savory kebabs, not to mention a Navrattan pullao, a multicolored rice dish cooked that Singh herself describes as “a pullao amongst pullaos and a jewel amongst jewels.” Yum. “I believe in each cuisine, there is always to be found a hero,” says Food Network judge Simon Majumdar. “And I think Mrs. Balbir Singh has a good claim to that title for Indian cuisine as anyone.”
Taste Cooking

You can learn to be resilient
Resilience is a funny thing. You only know you have it if your life is difficult. So, absent hardship, how to train for it? How to strengthen it? One researcher found that children who thrived despite trauma tended to “meet the world on their own terms,” and were open, curious, and independent. Other research confirmed that even terribly traumatized children could become more resilient later in life. One key: the ability to reframe events not as threatening, but as linked to meaning and awareness. A hopeful and inspiring read for leaders who want to foster resilience in themselves and others.
New Yorker


You can't change the world / But you can change the facts /And when you change the facts / You change points of view / If you change points of view / You may change a vote / And when you change a vote / You may change the world
Depeche Mode

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