Frontline workers honored with their own Mattel doll collection

This is the web version of raceAhead, Fortune’s daily newsletter on race, culture, and inclusive leadership. To get it delivered daily to your inbox, sign up here.

Today in raceAhead: Mattel recognizes everyday heroes, the Florida voting rights case is on and open to the public, and Kamala Harris call for a government panel to collect data on coronavirus infections and outcomes based on race.

But first, here’s your quarantine week in review, in Haiku.

“I love you, you’re a
hero!” I tossed a Kind bar
unsteadily at

the head of the man
who visits on Trashday, the
only day whose name

I know. “Thanks for your
service,” I whispered to the
exhaust of his truck.

“What time is it?” I
asked the cashier’s plexi-fence.
“It’s non-linear

now!” she smiled. “Ow,” I 
said, not ducking the Kind bar
she tossed at my head.

Kindly have a sweet and non-linear weekend.

Ellen McGirt

On point

Mattel honors frontline workers with a multi-racial and gender series of toys The #ThankYouHeroes collection features 16 action figures that include doctors, nurses, EMTs, and delivery people. The figures are $20, of which $15 will be donated to a fund to benefit health care workers and their families. "#ThankYouHeroes is designed to immortalize and honor health care and every day heroes, and to drive additional donations to support first responders," said the company in an online statement.

Sen. Kamala Harris wants the receipts Harris will be introducing the COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force Act on Monday, legislation which would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a panel to provide expert recommendations to address the disparate impact of coronavirus in communities of color. “The disproportionate impact is no doubt a reflection of persistent income disparities, lower access to health care, and generations of environmental injustice that make communities of color more vulnerable to the virus,” she told BuzzFeed News.
Buzzfeed News

The Florida voting rights case is happening now, and you can listen in The Jones v. DeSantis trial continues in Florida today, which addresses the new and now legally enshrined hurdles preventing formerly incarcerated people from exercising the voting rights restored in 2018. It is expected to continue at least through today. More about the case below. The proceedings are virtual but public; the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is live-tweeting it here. Legal eagles and allies can listen in by phone on muted lines: Call-in number: 571-353-2300 and access code: 034872985.
Courthouse News

Recording Academy names its first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer The Recording Academy is taking its own advice with this move—installing a new CDIO was among the recommendations provided by its own task force dedicated to improving diversity at the institution. Enter Valeisha Butterfield Jones, who most recently served as global head of inclusion for Google. “Creating this executive-level position was a principal recommendation of our Task Force because it is one significant way the Academy can demonstrate that issues of diversity are mission-critical and will be prioritized in the future,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up, and chair of the task force.

Tunisia recognizes same-sex marriage, or maybe not? Reports are mixed, but if true, Tunisia would be the first majority-Muslim country to do so. While homosexuality remains illegal in the country—and punishable by prison time—news reports suggest that for the first time the legal status of a Tunisian citizen who had been married elsewhere has been acknowledged. According to Association Shams, a Tunisian-based LGBTQ rights organization, a Tunisian man who married a French man in France, had the marriage legally recorded on his identity documents. But after Shams publicly announced the breakthrough on Facebook, the Tunisian government was quick to point out that same-sex marriage remained against the law. More background on Shams and the work they’re doing to combat violence and judicial harassment in Tunisia here.
LGBTQ Nation

Coronavirus in the community

On background

Move fast, save people Groups of volunteers, many unemployed, are using their time and tech skills to create “mutual aid groups” of people who band together to assess vulnerabilities, pool resources, and deliver aid to others in need. “Virtually all the tech platforms we use on a daily basis were designed with profit-seeking business in mind, and more often than not, their usage reflects those intentions,” notes Janus Rose in Vice. “But in response to COVID-19, mutual aid groups have begun using those platforms as a springboard for more robust systems designed entirely around helping and connecting people throughout the crisis.” The revolution will be leaderless and compassionate.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter over a tasty Chinese Chicken Salad, then maybe read this first Writer Bonnie Tsui has a funny way of making you feel both a little hungry and a little queasy. In this opinion piece, she explores the persistent, low-rent racism of the “Asian” salad, which are found on menus alongside other standard fare as Greek or Caesar, and had become revenue-generating staples in both fast food and upscale cooking. Culinary inclusion, right? Not really. “[T]he Asian salad is often the one that comes with a winky, jokey name: Oriental Chop Chop. Mr. Mao’s. Secret Asian Man. Asian EmperorChina Island. Chicken Asian Chop Chop. Chinese-y Chicken,” she writes. The vaguely Asian ingredients with strange references to faraway emperors are more about how non-Asians are just making up a version of Asianness in service of stereotypes and bland palates. “When you fail to see countries and cultures as discrete entities, what kind of consideration could you be expected to give to individual people?”
New York Times

Learn more about the intellectual white supremacy movement Consider checking out the American Renaissance website, the home of one of the more serious “white-centric” organizations. Jared Taylor, the ever-present host, is a grandfatherly Yale graduate who shares calmly articulated views and wholeheartedly believes in the revolutionary nature of their quest. “[O]ur movement tends to be male-oriented, but every dissident or revolutionary movement tends to be for that matter,” he says, citing Martin Luther and Lenin. “It’s only later that the people who want to change society are joined by women." If you’re not “gay, liberal, a bougie-bored housewife, spinster, a minority, or ugly,” you may enjoy this female recruitment video. Click through to lament how “Chicago, or ‘Chi-raq,’ is a byword for black crime." And, if you don’t believe that structural racism is responsible for the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on Black populations, this video is for you. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll be persuaded by these arguments, it’s worth understanding how seriously they’re taking them—and how closely they track with “traditional” American values.
American Renaissance

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

The big number


In Georgia, 83% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 during March were Black, according to a CDC report. Black people are 32% of the state's population.

Today's mood board

Michigan rally for ra
Demonstrators take part in an "American Patriot Rally" on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on April 30, 2020.
JEFF KOWALSKY—AFP via Getty Images

The family business

Updates from members of the raceAhead community.

  • Are you a Black founder of tech start-up? Are you hiring? Our dear sister Sherrell Dorsey, founder of The Plug, wants to map and feature this information. More here and here.
  • Jeff Yang writer, author, opinion-maker, and raceAhead treasure, is working on a fascinating personality assessment that aims to understand the roots of inclusive behaviors and attitudes. Fill out this short survey, and it will generate a profile of your “pluralist persona.” You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine…
  • Our queen, Emmy award-winning writer, director, and producer Ava DuVernay convened more than 50 directors on Twitter yesterday for her 4th annual #ArrayNow filmmaker tweet-a-thon. It was a thunderous display of talent, all of whom generously shared stories and answered questions from artists and film lovers. Some big names led the way: Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), Robert Townsend (The Five Heartbeats), Victoria Mahoney (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Nia DaCosta (Candyman), and Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians). Click through to enjoy the love and genius.
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