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raceAhead: Pinterest Breaks The Color Barrier

A woman's hand holds an iPhone with the Pinterest app open.A woman's hand holds an iPhone with the Pinterest app open.
Pinterest has been leading on inclusion in staffing; a new set of inclusive search tools helps make the business case for diversity.Tarik Kizilkaya—Getty Images

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.

 

1.

Will you gladly pay

me Tuesday for a border

wall today?” Still nyet.

 

2.

“Imma dedicate

this rout to a sweet gal I

like to call ‘Nancy’

 

3.

At Lincoln’s door they

cried foul, drowning out those

who cry for refuge

 

4.

The FBI has

arrested Roger Stone, a

job they did for free.

 

5.

Amazing Grace! T’was

Grace that brought truth and light in

numbers, now, to home.

 

It is with very mixed feelings that we say goodbye to Fortune’s Grace Donnelly, a stellar data scientist, reporter, beloved raceAhead editor, and dear friend. She always gets the big picture. Now, she’s leaving to launch some excellent adventures yet to be announced. Follow her here. Good luck and thank you, Grace!

 

Have a happy and grace-filled weekend.

On Point

Pinterest announces new, more inclusive beauty searchesPinterest was one of the first tech companies to share their demographic numbers; they followed that bold move with transparent hiring goals. (They hit two of three goals in 2018; the company is now 47% women and 14% underrepresented, ethnic minorities.) Clearly, a more diverse team leads to a more diverse product—the company announced that more inclusive beauty searches for skin tones and hair types will be launching more broadly on the platform, including mobile. This improvement, among others, comes in part, from Pinterest’s head of diversity and inclusion Candice Morgan. Technical specs below, more on Morgan and Pinterest’s diversity work here.Pinterest blog

The diversity group that implements the NFL’s Rooney Rule recommends some changes for 2019
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, the non-profit dedicated to advancing diversity in the NFL, is recommending changes to the Rooney Rule in 2019. The changes include expanding opportunities within two existing fellowships, that would place candidates from underrepresented demographics in key training opportunities for coaching and scouting. Among these recommendations include the creation of two entry-level positions for minorities on both offensive and defensive coaching staffs. “If you want to build the programs that keep making the league better, have better coaches, have better scouts as it relates to minorities, you’ve gotta put them in [all] the situations,” FPA chair John Wooten told ESPN.
ESPN

Los Angeles police officers stop black motorists more than five times their share of the city’s population
This analysis from The Los Angeles Times follows the expansion of the city’s elite Metropolitan Division, which doubled in size in 2015 to help combat the rise of violent crime. It’s hard to assess the effectiveness of the program, which increased the number of unmarked vehicles pulling over and searching cars, most of them in predominantly black areas. And the data doesn’t show reasons for stopping or the outcomes of the searches. But the focus on African Americans is a concern to civil rights watchers. “This is stop-and-frisk in a car,” says Connie Rice, a civil rights attorney who works with the LAPD. The racial breakdown of the stops are “really off the chain,” she says.
Los Angeles Times

Kalief Browder’s estate gets a $3.3 million settlement from New York City
Browder was just sixteen when he was picked up for allegedly stealing a backpack. He spent three years at Rikers Island, two of them in solitary confinement. His case never went to trial. Though his case was dropped and he was released, he was unable to recover from his horrific experiences while incarcerated and died by suicide in 2015. His heartbreaking case galvanized renewed interest in criminal justice reform. Jay-Z co-produced a documentary about Browder’s life, released in 2017.
NBC News

 

The Woke Leader

How BlackGirlMagic may be changing venture capital
Jessica Guynn, one of the most dedicated reporters covering diversity in tech these days, has put her whole heart into this one, a reported piece profiling the black and brown women who were overlooked by the white male investment system, and who are now supporting entrepreneurs like themselves through investment, deft networking, and intentional sisterhood. “[B]lack women are fighting that pattern matching with a whole new pattern: Good ol’ boys network, meet black girl magic,” she writes. This story reads like a future “Who’s Who” of business success; at the very least use it to beef up your potential speaker lists. Guynn documents the inability of these entrepreneurs to get traditional venture capital—many are now prepared to fight the powers that be. “[H]ow do those of us who care create new, inclusive models which are designed specifically for founders whose businesses have historically been undercapitalized,” says Jewel Burks, an entrepreneur turned adviser.
USA Today

How do you build a more diverse board?
New research from Heidrick & Struggles joins a growing body of work that confirms that more diverse boards produce better bottom lines. This particular research focuses on gender diversity and shows that top-performing boards have more female directors than their bottom-quartile counterparts. They also highlight positive momentum in Europe, prompted by recent regulatory requirements. The U.S. Fortune cohort, however, is the laggard on all fronts; in 2017, just 23.7% of all Fortune 500 new board appointments went to African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans combined, they note. What to do? Their five-point plan is straightforward, but I flag number three: Look beyond the traditional talent pool. Former CEOs need not always apply—think younger entrepreneurs, former military, even public servants who ran big departments. They note: 36% of new board appointees in 2017 in the US had no previous board experience; and almost three-quarters of new directors had international experience.
World Economic Forum

The Ghetto Tarot
This extraordinary art project is a collaboration between a group of Haitian artists called Atis Rezistans and documentary photographer Alice Smeets. This particular series of photos recreate the traditional Rider Tarot deck with photos of scenes staged with the artists, complete with found object assemblages within a backdrop of scenes of Haitian life. If you have time, do click through to the Atis Rezistans website, to learn their philosophy and how they are building a body of work that explores Haitian and African culture, while embracing the complexity of life in Port Au Prince. “All the artists grew up in this atmosphere of junkyard make-do, survivalist recycling and artistic endeavour,” they say. Here is a short, fascinating video with the project participants, who talked about what the project meant to them, but also about their lives. “Ghetto is sharing, to live as a family, we share what we have,” says one. “Even if it’s difficult, we still manage to share and stay family.” You can find the related book at retailers and the deck here; the artists negotiated 20% of the profit from sales.
Dangerous Minds

Quote

Bay kou bliye, pote mak sonje. The giver of the blow forgets, the bearer of the scar remembers.
Haitian proverb