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An Activist Investor Takes On the Wage Gap

February 15, 2019, 7:13 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.



Breaking news: It’s a

national emergency,

all day, ev’ry day.



21 Savage

been through some things; now he is

stuck at the border.



Amid danger and

wage gaps, Brie Larson is the

hero we deserve



I did not know who

Ryan Adams was but now

he is dead to me



I do remember

that I cried the day that I

heard Oppy died. (Sigh.)


Take some time to enjoy the night sky over the long weekend. RaceAhead returns Wednesday, February 20

On Point

You should go to Fortune’s Brainstorm HealthNot just because some of the luminaries in health care will be speaking – Kaiser Permanente’s Bernard Tyson, Geisinger’s Dr. Jaewon Ryu, Merck’s Dr. Julie Gerberding, among them. But also because it aims to tackle some of the pressing issues facing human bodies today, from personal wellness and the scourge of stress to the role technology can and should play in addressing global health, disease, and the disparity in outcomes. Plus it’s in San Diego. There are still spots open, click below to register and check out the agenda.Fortune

An activist investor takes on the wage gap
Activist investor group Arjuna Capital announced this week that it will be targeting 11 financial and tech firms, including Facebook, Alphabet and Bank of America, pressing them in forthcoming shareholder proposals to reveal the extent of their gender pay gaps. They have a track record of success. After one such proposal, Citigroup published their own pay gap figures- unadjusted global median pay for women is 29 percent less than it is for men. Britain now requires that companies with more than 250 British workers publish their pay gap figures in the country. To build on that mandate, Arjuna is also asking Adobe, Amazon, Intel, Wells Fargo, MasterCard, and American Express to make their wage gap data public. Arjuna’s Managing Partner Natasha Lamb makes the case here.
Washington Post

L.A. County is poised to replace Men’s Central Jail with mental health facilities
It’s groundbreaking news and a testament to the hard work of prison reformers in the state. In a narrow vote, the “dungeon-like” Men’s Central Jail will be torn down and replaced with at least one mental health facility. The $2.2 billion facility will be called the  Mental Health Treatment Center and supervised by the Department of Health Services. It’s a real response to a serious problem: The Los Angeles Times reports that 70% of current inmates held in county jail are medically or mentally ill.
Los Angeles Times

Senator Kamala Harris knows rap history, it's fine
Here’s the good news. It's now okay for political candidates to say that they inhaled pot smoke during their well-adjusted youths. Here’s the weird twist. You just can’t lie about which rap song you were listening to at the time. In a firestorm that dissipated quickly, conservatives on Twitter and television accused Harris of lying about listening to Snoop Dogg and Tupac while she was smoking the marijuana in college because they didn’t start producing albums until after she’d graduated. The interview in question occurred on “The Breakfast Club” with hosts Charlamagne the God and D.J. Envy; an in-depth investigation of the video of the exchange shows cross-talk with the two interviewers made Harris appear to be answering a question about what she was listening to while she was smoking weed in college when in fact she wasn’t and oh my god.
New York Time


On Background

Student journalists report on the impact of gun violence in the year since the Stoneman Douglas shooting
This extraordinary project was co-created with The TraceMiami Herald, and McClatchy. More than 200 teen reporters were recruited to document the lives of kids, from birth to eighteen years old, who died by gun violence in the year since the Parkland, Fla. school shooting. The reporting focuses on deaths related to school shootings, domestic violence, unintentional discharges, and stray bullets - and each individual story reflects the complexity of guns, violence, and in many cases, poverty. (They do not document deaths by suicide or police-involved shootings.) The public is invited to share photos, memories, or in cases of unsolved murders, other information about any of the 1,200 children who were killed by guns in the last 365 days.
Since Parkland

Turns out some foods have gender associations
Meat is manly, yogurt is girly. Those are the findings from researchers out of Northwestern, which shows that certain foods are imbued with powerful gender norms. So powerful, in fact, that it can force insecure men to pass up the opportunity to eat delicious quiche to “conform to a masculine gender identity.” The study asked men and women to choose foods with gendered terms – think “heavy gravy” versus “white wine sauce,” or “hearty” versus “luscious.” Turns out, the more time they had to decide - and let social pressure sink in - the more likely the men chose the bro food. If they were forced to make a snap decision, men were more likely to order something else. Women, on the other hand, are less concerned with making “gender-congruent” choices. Paywall, sorry.
Sage Journals

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking the stars
Stargazers and dreamers were bereft at the loss of the Opportunity Rover this week, an intrepid robot explorer who earned legions of fans as it beamed back photos from Mars. Oppy went dark last year, and it took until this week for NASA to call it: The rover had died. Its final message back to their friends on earth: “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.” If you're grieving, Twitter’s favorite cosmologist, Katie Mack, has published a gorgeous video essay that may help put the universe into context, a mash-up of dark matter science and philosophical grace. “I want to make you wonder what is out there; what dreams may come in waves of radiation across the breadth of an endless expanse; what we may know given time…I want to make it mean something to you that you are in the cosmos, you are of the cosmos….and that you are a way for the universe to be in awe of itself.”


I’ll find you in the morning sun / And when the night is new / I’ll be looking at the moon / But I’ll be seeing you.
—Lyrics from the Billie Holiday song, I’ll Be Seeing You, played by NASA scientists to the Opportunity Rover as it powered down for the last time