“You are more than basketball.”
This was the powerful message in a touching new ad released by Budweiser in honor of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s final season with the Miami Heat. If you don’t want to ugly cry at your desk, then save this one for later.
The ad features five people thanking Wade for the role he played in their lives, and sheds light on the causes he cares about: A woman whose brother died in the Parkland shooting; a woman who could only afford college because Wade paid her tuition; a man on the wrong track until Wade’s life story helped him to reach higher; and a Miami-area woman he took shopping after her family lost everything in a pre-Christmas house fire.
But it is Jolinda Wade, Dwayne’s mother, who offers the final and most meaningful tribute.
“You were the joy of my life, but I was dropping the ball.”
Jolinda’s story – from prison to neighborhood savior – is best told by this extraordinary profile by Eli Saslow for The Undefeated:
For decades, it had been Diann who worked to rescue younger sister Jolinda. They had grown up sharing a bedroom in a small rental house on the South Side of Chicago, two of nine children raised by their mother during the ravages of the drug war. All nine siblings eventually became addicts, but none fell quite as fast as Jolinda: from cheap wine, on to marijuana, on to cocaine, on to heroin. Meanwhile, the youngest of her four children, Dwyane, was born in 1982, around the time Jolinda began selling drugs herself. By the time he turned 8, Jolinda was failing to pay rent and trading the family’s monthly food stamp allotment to support her drug habit. She sent Dwyane to live with his father across town, then began disappearing herself.
Jolinda Wade is now Pastor Wade, thanks to a church her son bought for her and her own deep commitment to the healing power of love. But as she traveled a road she thought she’d never come back from, it was her baby Dwayne who first kept the faith, she says. “You kept showing up. And you’d come see about me.”
Wade’s good works have been quiet and deeply personal, driven what I imagine must be a profound sense of empathy and a strong belief in justice.I look forward to what’s next in Wade’s world. But for now, enjoy his sweet farewell.
|There’s more than mansplaining going on at Wikipedia|
|While the crowd-sourced knowledge site isn’t a social media platform per se, it does have some of the same ugly issues. Some editors behind the site, who pour hours of volunteer work debating the merits of facts and figures, are being targeted for hate speech or similar attacks from fellow Wikipedians. One trans male editor was subjected to personal anonymous attacks, including publicly posting their deadname used before their transition. Due to mounting complaints of harassment on the site, Wikipedia Foundation has rolled out new blocking tools. But the complaints will sound familiar. “If you out yourself as a feminist or L.G.B.T., you will tend to be more targeted,” said one Geneva-based editor who founded a project that aims to reduce the gender gap on the website.|
|New York Times|
|Does your human resources department use Equifax?|
|You may be interested in this interview with Equifax’s CEO, who was put through his paces by Your Money columnist Mark Lieber. “There was the dumpster fire of a P.R. response to the [consumer data] breach, tortuous customer service and persistently abysmal security practices,” he begins. He digs into the many ways Equifax has failed to represent the interest of consumers, including one offering that many may not know: In addition to collecting salary and title information provided by corporate HR, Equifax has a service that will let debt collectors know when someone is no longer employed. Some 75 percent ofFortune 500 companies use the Work Number service, data which is then shared with…who? The New York Times chose not to work with Equifax after they learned about the service. You can check for errors on your Work Number report for free on Equifax’s website.|
|New York Times|
|Utah Jazz player Kyle Korver asks white athletes to do better|
|In a stirring and personal piece for The Players Tribune, he begins with his teammate’s Thabo Sefolosha’s wrongful arrest and injury at the hands of the NYPD in 2015. He didn’t get it at first. Then a “racially insensitive” comment from a fan triggered an all-hands meeting where the black players shared their pain. The relentless exhaustion of these issues weighed heavily in the room. “It was about what it means just to exist right now — as a person of color in a mostly white space… about racism in America.” Korver does a beautiful job explaining persistent racism while leaving himself no out. As a white person who looks more like the NBA fans instead of the players, Korver can say all the right things and still have the privilege of “opting out” of the work. “The fact that inequality is built so deeply into so many of our most trusted institutions is wrong,” he writes. “And I believe it’s the responsibility of anyone on the privileged end of those inequalities to help make things right.”|
|The Players Tribune|
|If you want to restore civility and democracy, start with the library|
|Public libraries are being starved for resources just at the time that librarians and the communities they serve need them most. Librarians are now overwhelmed with patrons and in the process essential partners in community health and wellness. And yet, says sociologist Eric Klinenberg, their mission is in peril. “In part it’s because the founding principle of the public library — that all people deserve free, open access to our shared culture and heritage — is out of sync with the market logic that dominates our world,” he says. But it’s also because rich and influential people don’t understand what libraries mean to communities.|
|New York Times|
|A crime prediction tool for the 1%|
|The good people at The New Inquiry, an online cultural non-profit magazine, have done the world a service by flipping the tables on the world of predictive algorithms. Using industry standard predictive policing technologies typically used in communities of color, they’ve created an application that predicts and targets white collar crime of the high tone financial variety. Click through for their white paper on the project and their handy mapping tool, White Collar Risk Zones. I was shocked SHOCKED to discover that not a wingtip’s throw away from Fortune’s own HQ there is a high likelihood that executives are committing crimes like defamation, failure to supervise, breach of fiduciary duty, age discrimination, and various trading irregularities. Chilling.|
|The New Inquiry|
|A river runs through the lives of migrant farm workers|
|American Rivers, a conservation organization, created a short film series that celebrates the beauty and necessity of America’s waterways. But this installment, a thirteen-minute film called Leche y Miel (or Milk and Honey) abandons traditional river fare of cascading rapids and fly-fishing choreography. Instead, the focus is on the people in Yuma, Arizona who work the vegetable fields fed by the Lower Colorado River. The river takes a backseat to the stories of the mostly immigrants, quiet, serious and hard-working, who rarely get a chance to talk about their lives. “We are very happy,” says one tractor driver. “Let’s hope to God it stays the same.”|