Poet Amanda Gorman knows how to negotiate

Amanda Gorman’s poetic justice, blessed are the Black and brown check-writers for they will level the playing field, and you already know how climate change will impact people of color, right? Also, what you need to know about the history of the fight for abortion access. 

But first, here’s your time-to-rest-from-your-labors week in review in Haiku.

Take some time to look
out of the window at the
world. What do you see?

Take some time to look
out of the window and ask:
Where do I belong?

Take some time to look.
Are you the person you thought
you would be by now? 

Take some time. Now, who 
believed in you before you
believed in yourself?

Take some time to look
out of the window at the
world. What’s next for you?

Wishing you a restful and reflective holiday weekend. Take some time if you can. We are always rooting for you.

Ellen McGirt

On Point

Amanda Gorman has inked a big deal on her own terms. While the poet became a household name after she read her piece, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, she waved off some $17 million in endorsement deals until Estée Lauder came knocking. What follows is the story of the “one of the most multidimensional representation agreements in beauty history,” as Gorman becomes the first Estée Lauder “Global Changemaker.” Changes include grants worth $3 million to promote literacy among girls and women through an equitable lens.
New York Times

Keep an eye on these Black and Latinx check-writers Cheryl Campos, an investor and head of venture at Republic, has done the world a service with this lengthy post identifying 14 emerging fund managers to watch. It’s a follow-up from an earlier post (with Lightspeed scout Chase Emanuel) that does double duty as a benchmarking document. “We’ve seen firsthand the challenges many Black & Latinx emerging managers have faced raising capital, even those with top quartile portfolio performance,” Campos begins, giving us a venture fundraising update for 2020, and asking important questions about corporate support for fund managers of color. While there are some standouts, “time will tell whether these efforts prove to be short-term PR ploys or long-term committed strategies to generate alpha in a highly inefficient market.” That said, if these 14 individuals don’t show up on your conference panelist shortlists, well I just don’t know.
Cheryl Campos on Medium

Climate change is prepared to reveal the racism in modern life People of color are set to be disproportionately impacted by the effects of a warming planet says this new report from the Environmental Protection Agency—to the surprise of none of you. The impacts include death from extreme heat, negative health effects from environmental damage, and property loss. The impacts assume a global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius. (We’re over halfway there now.) In this scenario, the study found that Indigenous populations including Alaska Natives are 48% more likely than other groups to live in areas that will be inundated by flooding, Latinx are 43% more likely to live in communities that will lose work hours due to intense heat, and Black people will suffer significantly higher mortality rates. Maybe the health outcomes are from the air we breathe? The EPA issued a report in 2018 affirming that people of color and those living in poverty are much more likely to live near air polluters than others: “Results at national, state, and county scales all indicate that non-Whites tend to be burdened disproportionately to Whites.”
Washington Post

Also, Health and Human Services has just established the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity “The Office’s mission is to protect vulnerable communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, such as drought and wildfires, at the expense of public health.” 

On background

Thanks to Texas Senate Bill 8, the fight over access to reproductive care and abortion has taken center stage in the U.S. once again, so let's dig in. As you may expect, race is a vital lens through which to view the issue. While abortion bans imperil all doctors and health care providers; Black ones are even more at risk. And wealthy white women with means and connections will always find a way around an abortion ban. “We all know about the back alleys, the basements. People will try going online now. That’s going to be very popular now: how can you mix a concoction to have an abortion? People are going to have abortions. The problem is, it’s going to always be unsafe, inaccessible for those people who have lesser means,” said Alabama state senator Linda Coleman-Madison, one of four Black lawmakers who fought against a similar ban in her state in 2019. The bill passed and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. Some more food for thought below:

What’s different this time? While the new Texas abortion ban law has now-familiar restrictions ­— banning abortion after about six weeks — there is a particularly cruel innovation, notes Claire Lampen. “S.B. 8 takes the unprecedented step of empowering private citizens to police their neighbors, placing at least a $10,000 “bounty on people who provide or aid abortions, inviting random strangers to sue them,” according to a federal lawsuit challenging the policy.” If you’re imagining a state full of vigilantes attempting citizen’s arrests, you’re not alone. “In April, 370 Texas lawyers argued in an open letter that S.B. 8 represents an ‘unprecedented abuse of civil litigation,’ and would “have a destabilizing impact on the state’s legal infrastructure” if it became law.” It will also disproportionately imperil the people who are already unable to survive the legal and criminal justice system. 
The Cut

Where is the open letter from CEOs on the Texas abortion ban? While there has been some corporate activism against similar restrictions in the past, for the most part, CEOs have been slow to engage on the issue. But my colleague Emma Hinchliffe notes that it seems particularly surprising that Texas’s Senate Bill 8 has been met with mostly silence from companies with a presence in Texas, a pro-business state that has seen an influx of new corporate headquarters in recent years. One tactic to spur action may be to link reproductive rights to the overall fight for gender equity issues. Shelley Alpern, director of shareholder advocacy for Rhia Ventures, runs a program asking companies to go public with their support and do things like close loopholes in benefits that could prevent employees from accessing reproductive care. Employees are also turning up the heat. “Companies are responsive to pressure,” says Alpern. “It’s really that simple.”

When did Republicans become anti-choice? Way back in the Jim Crow day, abortion care and midwifery was a field dominated by Black and Indigenous women. When white male gynecologists wanted to enter the child-delivery business, community providers were banned. But the ugly politicization is more recent. As the Netflix documentary Reversing Roe makes clear, abortion was a Republican stronghold issue, with Vietnam-era Republican governors like Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller clearing the way for safe abortion services in their states. In 1967, a group of Protestant leaders formed The Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (CCSA), which counseled women and connected them with abortion providers. And in 1972, one poll showed most Republicans believed the issue was between a woman and her doctor, not the government. What happened? It was a political long game designed to weaponize women’s bodies in a bid to siphon off Democratic voters. And everyone got on board. “Gerald Ford and his advisers furthered that strategy, cynically adding pro-life language to the 1976 Republican platform, assuming that it would be a temporary maneuver. Instead, it turned out to be the opening that enabled religious anti-choice advocates to begin to remake the party,” writes Sue Halpern in this review. (Spoiler, it was also an explicitly racist strategy, too.)
New York Review of Books

Mood board

From the 1970s to now, the fight continues.
Bettmann/Getty Images

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