North Dakota tribes win a landmark voter law settlement

February 14, 2020, 7:05 PM UTC

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It’s Valentine’s Day! North Dakota tribes win a voting rights victory, California childcare workers would love a union, and a whole new human has been discovered.

But first, your week in review in Haiku.

If you loved me, you
wouldn’t tweet so much, maybe
even speak at all

But spend? Go ahead!
It’s a trend: Big Chocolate
gonna rake it in

this year, thirty-two
percent more Valentine love.
Anything for a

friend! Especially
when it feels as if the world
will surely end. But

love is love, time is
dear. A thought for those not here:
in the name of love.

We are grateful for you! Hope you feel the love this weekend. RaceAhead is off on President’s Day and will return Tuesday, February 18.

Ellen McGirt

On Point

A voting rights win for North Dakota tribes It’s a significant victory for North Dakota's tribal citizens, who have been fighting state officials over a restrictive law that requires voters to provide identification that shows a residential address. Many Native American reservations do not use traditional addresses, and the law would not recognize an ID with a post office box. The settlement includes a legally binding consent decree.
New York Times

California childcare workers are preparing to unionize Some 40,000 childcare workers have been organizing after Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Goleta) made it possible for them to collectively bargain with the state last year through Assembly Bill 378. This week, a group of the workers delivered 10,000 union cards to the state Public Employment Relations Board to begin the process. Family childcare provider Rasiene Reece was on hand to organize and celebrate. “I know that we’re going to get this through this time,” she said. “We’ve been in this fight for 16 years.
Sacramento Bee

Human DNA: It’s complicated A new study of the genomes of West Africans has detected signs that an extinct human species interbred with homo sapiens some 43,000 years ago. Researchers are calling the mysterious humans a “ghost population,” and have found that West Africans can trace anywhere from 2% to 19% of their genetic ancestry to this species. It’s big news in the evolution business. “We don’t know where this population might have lived, whether it corresponds to known fossils, and what its ultimate fate was,” UCLA professor Sriram Sankararaman, who led the study, tells Reuters.

On Background

The current hottest dance craze was created by a 14-year-old Atlanta girl All hats off to Taylor Lorenz who tracks down the uncredited creator of the biggest hit dance currently online: the Renegade. Jalaiah Harmon is 14 years old, busy with school, her many dance classes, and a growing career online. She’s a master in the making. All the cool kids, including some really cool ones—Lizzo, Kourtney Kardashian, an influential TikTok’er name Charli D’Amelio—have filmed themselves doing the dance, a very specific sequence of moves. But Harmon has been left behind. “I was happy when I saw my dance all over,” she told Lorenz. “But I wanted credit for it.”
New York Times

Teachers: Knock it off with the mock slave auctions They’re surprisingly common in education; this entreaty from Dani Bostick, a high school Latin teacher, wonders why the Junior Classical League, an academic club with 50,000 members, routinely uses them for fundraisers. “Ideally, the notion of mock slave auctions in an organization sponsored by the American Classical League should prompt outrage, activism, and sustained action,” she writes.“Too often, though, this kind of racism is tolerated and normalized by those both inside and outside of secondary classics.” They’re humiliating and hurtful. Please stop. Educator Rann Miller breaks it down below with specific tips for white educators.

Intimate partner violence is a workplace issue It’s always the right time to talk about intimate partner violence, one of the greatest predictors of other violence to come. But most employers have yet to consider how they would handle the issue if it should arise within their ranks. (It will.) The total costs to the US economy associated with intimate partner violence – including medical care, mental health services, and time away from work — exceed $8 billion a year. And some 65% of employers don’t have a policy in place. Click through for some good resources and a run-down of the practical and emotional needs that victims often have.

Tamara El-Waylly produces raceAhead and manages the op-ed program.


“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like ‘struggle.’ To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

Fred Rogers

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