On This National Coming Out Day: raceAhead

October 11, 2019, 7:15 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.

You don’t have to say
anything on National
Coming Out Day; if

you’re not ready, take
your time. Maybe you’re 
busy fleeing from

fires or blackouts,
or Turkish forces hell-bent
on your destruction;

Swallowing hard on
political word salad,
side of impeachment.

Time to be thankful
to live this day, knowing who
you are is enough.

Have a gratifying and expressive weekend. 


On Point

The presidential town hall on LGBTQ issues was the town hall we needed It was a night of firsts, including the first openly gay presidential candidate speaking from a deep wellspring of experience. Pete Buttigieg spoke poignantly of his decision to stay closeted until well into adulthood, and the candidates also fielded the first-ever question about de-criminalizing sex work. Elizabeth Warren is earning high marks for showing how she shuts down same-sex marriage bigotry, but praises are all the way up for Blossom C. Brown, a black trans woman who grabbed the microphone to protest the fact that not a single black trans audience member had been included in the town hall. "That’s what anti-blackness looks like," she said. "The erasure of black trans people."

President Trump singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar and Somali refugees in a Minnesota rally He began by calling the first-time Congressmember an "America-hating socialist" and a "disgrace." He then turned to the Somali immigrant community, of which she is a part. "As you know, for many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers," he said. He then promised to "give local communities a greater say in refugee policy and put in place enhanced vetting and responsible immigration controls."
Washington Post

Stormzy is determined to highlight Black excellence "There’s been this historical thing of letting one Black person in at a time,” the British rapper tells Time. And that’s why Stormzy, real name Michael Omari, is determined to give other Black artists more opportunities—whether it be by naming other musicians onstage, or offering a platform through his publishing venture, Merky Books. Also in this profile, he discusses highlighting the "black British side of British culture," headlining Glastonbury, and how the U.K. media has repeatedly highlighted his high exam marks as if they’re "always a bit shocked that there’s academic brilliance in a young black South London brother with a street background." In 2018, the artist announced he’d be funding scholarships for Black students at the University of Cambridge. The move created what the Guardian calls the “Stormzy effect,” and has helped increase attention, support, and ultimately admissions for Black students.

New York City’s Comptroller wants more diversity at the top Scott Stringer, the city’s Comptroller, has sent a letter to 56 companies requesting they implement policies that require consideration of women and people of color for all board, CEO, and other high-level positions. It builds off an NFL policy—known as the Rooney Rule —that specifies teams looking for head coaches interview one person of color, at minimum. Stringer, who is in charge of the city’s $200 billion public pension fund, also called out companies for "management teams that look like they’re out of the 1950s." "It’s time for the business world to embrace these reforms that will lead to decades of progress," he said in a statement. Everything you need to know about business and the Rooney Rule here.
Washington Post

On Background

He’s bringing civics back, so all the citizens will know how to act Educator Eric Lieu says that Americans are illiterate in power—what it is, how it works, and why some people have it and others don’t. His idea? Make civics "sexy," meaning compelling as a personal concept, like it was during the Civil Rights Movement. This TED talk was filmed in the aftermath of Occupy Wall Street (but before the Movement for Black Lives), and hits all the right notes for what can happen when we use fresh thinking to inspire all people to participate in shaping society.

How racist can a juror be and get away with it? The Marshall Project has this brief and handy quiz that asks you to read some incredibly racist statements and then guess whether or not the juror who said them was allowed to continue to serve on their jury. It only takes a few minutes! Then you can spend the rest of your day curled up in a ball under your desk.
The Marshall Project

Here’s what teams need to succeed Spoiler alert: You’re probably not going to like it. A recently released six-year study has found that one skill, "the ability to manage conflicting tensions," is the best predictor of top team performance. It gets worse. Top teams also believe that conflict isn’t just unavoidable, it’s necessary. They embrace diversity and healthy debate, believing that "conflict requires conviction, and that conviction must be grounded in something worth at least listening to."


Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.

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“Everywhere we learn that love is important, and yet we are bombarded by its failure. In the realm of the political, among the religious, in our families, and in our romantic lives, we see little indication that love informs decisions, strengthens our understanding of community, or keeps us together. This bleak picture in no way alters the nature of our longing. We still hope that love will prevail. We still believe in love’s promise.”

—bell hooks in All About Love

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