Google’s Chief Diversity Officer is Out Amid Controversies

April 12, 2019, 6:23 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.



Aunt Becky thought the

D.A. only had one pair

and not a Full House.



Find someone who looks

at you like Katie Bouman

looks at a black hole



She points to the sky,

a spider falls from power.

Change comes to Sudan.



Bearded, bedraggled

Julian leaves behind big

questions and a cat.



Angel of Crenshaw

sells out the Staples Center.

Nipsey goin’ home


Have a peaceful and stellar weekend.


On Point

Every headline describing the departure of Google’s chief diversity officer has the word “controversy” in itThey’re not wrong; Danielle Brown is departing after a very busy couple of years for Google, including an employee walkout to protest the company’s lack of attention to sexual misconduct allegations. Brown is set to be replaced by Melonie Parker, the company’s global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the last 9 months. But Brown’s two-year tenure has been tough. Just a few months into the job, Google engineer James Damore published a memo critiquing the company and saying women were inferior to men. Brown was inundated with sexist harassment online. All good luck to Melonie Parker and the new diversity team.Business Insider

Georgetown students test the case for reparations
By an almost 2-to-1 margin, Georgetown students voted to assess a $27.20 fee applied twice yearly to tuition, to benefit the descendants of the 272 enslaved people sold by the University some 200 years ago. The poetry of the decision aside, the new fee broadens the conversation about reparations that has been slowly gaining steam. The town hall meetings leading up to the vote have been stirring. "The Jesuits sold my family and 40 other families so you could be here," said sophomore Melisande Short-Colomb, one of four Georgetown students who has been admitted under the University’s “legacy” policy.
ABC News

Lebron’s education “experiment” appears to be working
Erica L. Green takes a deep dive into life at the LeBron James’s I Promise School, in Akron, Ohio, a public school which has taken in the most underserved and underperforming elementary level students in the district. In the first set of district assessments, 90 percent of students met or exceeded individual growth goals in reading and math. While their still not at grade level, they’re now outpacing other kids in other schools in terms of progress. “For the average student,” says a local expert, “your percentile doesn’t move that much unless something extraordinary is happening.” And something extraordinary is. Click through for more.
New York Times

Grosse Pointe, Michigan district face school closings rather than bring kids from alternate schools
The affluent Detroit-metro area district is facing years of declining enrollment and are looking at ways to reconfigure the district to save $1 million a year and get schools to 80% capacity. Lawmakers and taxpayers have been grappling with ideas ahead of a June 30 deadline, but what is not on the table is accepting students who have been transferred to Schools of Choice. As a reminder, “schools of choice” are alternative schools that districts use for kids who have broken rules, but as Propublica reports, have been under fire for arbitrarily transferring students, often of color, for even minor offenses.
Detroit News

On Background

Choosing to be sober
Sobriety is not just for the 12-step community any more. A growing group of people are joining informal gatherings of “sober, sober-sometimes, or sober-curious people,” many of whom drink moderately but were worried about their health or the outsized role alcohol plays in their lives. A lot of the community, like the @betterwithoutbooze Instagram feed, exists online. Hello Sunday Morning, which calls itself the world’s “largest online movement for alcohol behavior change,” now boasts 110,000 members. Being concerned about your drinking doesn’t necessarily mean you have a problem, though. “It can rarely hurt to take a break from anything you do habitually, just to see,” says Lisa DuBreuil, a social worker with a focus on addiction and eating disorders.

On being black and a lawyer in Jim Crow’s America
Vernon Jordan begins this this essay, an adaptation from his remarks after winning an award from the Harvard Law Center, with a poignant memory of being a young boy living in the projects in 1940s Georgia. He was listening to the radio report on an upcoming gubernatorial election. “Governor Talmadge coming on WSB radio, describing the two planks of his platform, which, as I recall them, were ‘niggers’ and ‘roads.’ As I recall, he was against the first and for the second.” What follows is an extraordinary history of and tribute to the many African American lawyers who used legal means to right terrible wrongs. “The laws that defined and circumscribed life in the Jim Crow South were warped, but it was also the law—farsighted, fair-minded jurisprudence—that gave us the tools to dismantle segregation, piece by rotten piece,” he writes. Click through for an amazing photo of a young Thurgood Marshall. It will make your day.
New Yorker

Resources for educators, librarians and education program investors on comic books
Yes, they are art forms. Yes, they are inclusive. And yes, plenty of myths abound that keep education gatekeepers from embracing them as part of their collections or curriculum. But with their groundbreaking storylines and inclusive characters, they can be essential tools for reaching kids who are not served by more “traditional” fare.  Luckily, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is here to help with free webinars, (and later available in archive form) that will help you make your case. “We strive to create inclusive library collections that reflect a diverse global community. But what happens when members of the school community challenge or attempt to ban such inclusive materials?”



We need to stop playing Privilege or Oppression Olympics because we’ll never get anywhere until we find more effective ways of talking through difference. We should be able to say, 'This is my truth,' and have that truth stand without a hundred clamoring voices shouting, giving the impression that multiple truths cannot coexist.
—Roxane Gay

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