Monday, October 31, 2016

Minority Enrollment Shrinking As Vote To Ban Affirmative Action Turns Ten

We’re approaching the ten-year anniversary of Michigan’s vote to ban affirmative action within publicly funded institutions.

Proposal 2 — called the “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” — was passed with 58 percent of the vote in 2006. It was challenged in federal court, but was ultimately upheld and deemed constitutional. In 2008 all of Michigan’s public colleges and universities were required to stop considering race as a factor in their admissions processes.

Read the rest of the article here.

News & Notes: Anti-affirmative action group files lawsuit request related to U. investigation

Students for Fair Admissions filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Education on Thursday related to the Department of Education’s investigation into the University’s admission practices concerning Asian-Americans.
The complaint, filed in the federal district court in the District of Columbia, alleges that the Department of Education has failed, contrary to its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, to produce documents related to the Department’s investigation into the University.
Read more from The Daily Princeton here.

University of Texas Student Bake Sale Protests Affirmative Action

The 2016 election season has been wild—more Jerry Springer, less CSPAN. It’s hardly surprising, then, that student activists would launch their own outside-the-box political stunts.

At the University of Texas at Austin, a group called The Young Conservatives of Texashosted a bake sale in which they priced goods based on affirmative action. That means they charged according to what they see as preferential treatment based on race at the college: Asians pay more (therefore receive less preferential treatment during the admissions process), while Native Americans pay nothing (meaning they get into college for free.)

Read the Rest of the article here.

‘Not Your Language’: How a Classroom Interaction Led a Student to Speak Out on Microaggressions

After Tiffany C. Martínez, a sociology major at Suffolk University in Boston, was called out in front of her senior seminar and accused of copying parts of an assigned literature review, she voiced her frustration in a blog post titled, "Academia, Love Me Back."

For Ms. Martínez the phrase uttered by her professor, "This is not your language," wasn’t just a comment about potential plagiarism, it was a microaggression — a comment about her identity as a Latina.

"As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence," Ms. Martínez wrote in the post, "I could just imagine [the professor] reading my paper in their home thinking, Could someone like her write something like this?"

Read more from The Chronicle from Higher Education here.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Petition Launched to Include Justice Thomas into African American Museum After Exclusion

A petition has been started on for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who they believed was snubbed by the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture.

There is no mention of Thomas at the museum (except for footage of Anita Hill testifying against him at his confirmation hearings). Some are running to his defense, but the museum is standing their ground, justifying his exclusion.

Read more from the Atlantic Black Star here.

Title IX Officers Pay a Price for Navigating a Volatile Issue

On the second day of class this year, the University of Florida fired its deputy Title IX coordinator amid complaints that he had too much power over resolving sex-assault cases.

Then, this month, Baylor University’s Title IX coordinator resigned, charging the institution with refusing to give her enough authority.

The claims — that one Title IX officer had too much power, while another didn’t have what she needed — highlight the pitfalls and pressures for those in a high-profile job at the center of one of higher-education’s most vexing issues: campus sexual assault.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Employment law in South Africa: a unique landscape

The labour environment in South Africa is sometimes perceived as being fairly highly regulated and investors in South Africa need to have an understanding of the regulatory framework governing employment in South Africa and the obligations resulting from that, if they wish to employ South African workers.
Employee risk in South Africa covers a familiar spectrum ranging from white-collar crime to industrial action (the possible exposure to which depends largely on the particular industry in question). It is worth noting that South African law does not permit dismissal at will and to pass judicial scrutiny, a dismissal must be both substantively and procedurally fair. As a determination is made by applying principles of equity, the outcome of dismissal litigation can at times be difficult to predict.
To read more click here.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor says she thought about hitting Antonin Scalia with baseball bat

Sonia Sotomayor said her fellow Supreme Court justice's comments sometimes left her wanting to dispense rough justice with sporting equipment.
“There are things he’s said on the bench where if I had a baseball bat, I might have used it,” the Bronx-born judge said of her late colleague Antonin Scalia on Monday.
To read more from Daily News click here.

Harvard applicants' information will be released to court in affirmative action case

Harvard is releasing years of applicants’ private information to federal court for an affirmative action lawsuit.
Harvard sent out an email to all individuals who applied between the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2015, informing them that their application information may be used in a lawsuit that the university is currently facing.
Harvard is being sued in federal court for its undergraduate admissions practices inStudents for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard Corporation). Students for Fair Admissions, described by The Harvard Crimson as an “anti-affirmative action group,” is suing the university for allegedly discriminating against Asian American applicants.
To read more from the The Daily Pennsylvanian click here.

Affirmative action meets the era of pluralism

With the ethical appeal to create an equal and just world and a more cohesive society, affirmative action has been going on for many years around the world. Such measures go by various names depending on the context and perceived acceptability. In China, the term preferential policy is more popular. For years, affirmative action has attained its goals to varying degrees in different countries even though debates around such policies are never silenced. Nowadays this practice is experiencing ever-increasing opposition everywhere. The reaction to the cut of college admission quotas to national key universities in Jiangsu and Hubei Provinces several months ago is a recent example. With the rise of social assertiveness in China, it could be expected that affirmative action will surely encounter increasing challenges in the future. 

Why are the previously acclaimed affirmative policies becoming less desirable or even dubious now? The greatly changed context for policy development and implementation in light of governance is revealing. The current context is that a pluralistic society is already present and neoliberalism has been in fashion. As a result, multi-stakeholder involvement in both the development and the implementation of public policy has increasingly become a common scenario and more diversified interests have been brought into policy processes. Besides, because group preference inherent in affirmative action most probably contradicts individual preference intrinsic to neoliberalism in many ways, the conflicts between group-based preference and individual-based preference will bring new challenges in diversity governance. Such is the case around the world. 

Read more from the Global Times here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How The Browning Of America Is Upending Both Political Parties

As part of an election-year project called A Nation Engaged, NPR has been asking people this presidential election year what it means to be an American.
The country is changing — it's getting browner, as population growth slows among whites. Non-whites now make up a majority of kindergartners; by the next presidential election, the Census Bureau predicts they will be a majority of all children; and by 2044, no one racial group will be a majority of the country.

Read more here.

University Of Maryland Passes Title IX Costs On To Students

Students at the University of Maryland are facing an additional fee after the Title IX director complained that the school was failing to adequately fund services to combat sexual assault as mandated by the Obama administration.

Read more here.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Actions to Address Religious Discrimination

In July, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced several actions intended to address religious discrimination and promote inclusive school environments. Announcing the new steps, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Llhamon said, "Students of all religions should feel safe, welcome and valued in our nation's schools. We will continue to work with schools and communities to stop discrimination and harassment so that all students have an equal opportunity to participate in school no matter who they are, where they come from or which faith, if any, they subscribe to."

Read more here.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs will host a discussion on Wednesday, October 19, from noon to 1 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Penn Bookstore. This event, in celebration of  National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is free and open to the public, but registration is recommended:

Read more here.

Affirmative action: More to it than race

During the second Princeton Preview for the Class of 2020, the debate team argued whether affirmative action should be based on race or socioeconomic class.  The answer is more nuanced than any one-sided view. The best way to structure affirmative action in college admissions is to consider two things in tandem: ZIP code and race.

Read more here.

Tech companies like TaskRabbit are engaged in affirmative action, and that’s ok

Aiming to increase diversity and foster inclusion in the tech industry is not the same as affirmative action, TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot said on stage today at the Internet Association’s Virtuous Circle conference.
“I wouldn’t say it’s affirmative action but it’s a recognition,” Brown-Philpot said. “Our company should represent the population and we know we have to over-index in certain ways to get there. It’s a belief around being intentional, measuring and holding yourself accountable to real and specific results, and holding yourself accountable in a relatively short timeframe.”
Read more here.

National Jack Greenberg, civil rights lawyer who helped argue Brown v. Board, dies at 91

Many white people fought alongside African Americans in the civil rights movement. But few made as vital and enduring an impact as Jack Greenberg, a protege of and successor to Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Read more from the Washington Post here.

Print This Report: Minority Students Overrepresented in Less Selective Colleges

new analysis from the Center for American Progress shows black and Latino students are underrepresented in the country's most selective public research universities. As many as 193,000 black and Latino students would have enrolled in these selective colleges in 2014 if student representation was proportional, according to the report.

Read more here.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tyson Foods to pay $1.6M to settle charges of systemic hiring discrimination with US Department of Labor.

To read more from the United States Department of Labor click here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

University Of Denver Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Pay Discrimination

University Paid Female Full Law Professors Significantly Less Than Male Counterparts, Federal Agency Charges

DENVER, Colo. - The University of Denver violated federal law by paying female employees lower wages than men, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit today.

EEOC says the private research university in Denver, which is made up of 13 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges, paid a class of female full law professors at the Sturm College of Law lower salaries than it paid to their male counterparts who were doing substantially equal work under similar working conditions.

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, both of which prohibit discrimination in compensation on the basis of sex. EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Colorado Seminary d/b/a University of Denver, Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-02471-WYD, in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, after first attempting to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay damages for lost wages, liquidated damages and punitive damages, as well as prospective salary increases to ensure the alleged victims are paid equally going forward. EEOC also seeks appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.

Enforcement of equal pay laws and targeting compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

"Enforcing the Equal Pay Act and closing the pay gap are priorities for EEOC," said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill. "By enforcing the EPA and Title VII's prohibition on compensation discrimination based on sex, EEOC ensures that women will be equally and fairly paid for the same work. The guarantee of equal pay for equal work applies to the professional academic setting of a university just the same as any other workplace."

Elizabeth Cadle, acting district director of EEOC's Phoenix District Office, added, "It's not only unfair when women are paid less than men when they perform substantially equal work under similar working conditions - it's against the law. EEOC is committed to ensuring that women in all workplaces receive equal pay to which they are entitled."

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its web site at

Employer Wins Dreadlocks Deadlock

Three Things To Know About Latest Court Decision

A federal appeals court recently ruled that a woman rejected from a job because she refused to cut her dreadlocks could not proceed with a race discrimination claim against the employer. The decision highlights the distinction between individual expression and inherently racial characteristics in the context of race discrimination claims under Title VII.

Read the three things you need to know about the September 15, 2016 decision in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Students call for action over race climate on campus

Shrouded in the hazy shades of winter, DePaul was only a few weeks into the 2006 school year  when administrators were faced with a racial conundrum. Students were returning to their studies and settling in for the winter quarter in January, and, to bring attention to the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA), a new club at the time, members held an affirmative action bake sale in the Student Center.

The bake sale was designed as a metaphor for the perceived unfairness of affirmative action. White and Asian males, who were deemed the top of the racial hierarchy, were required to pay $1 for goods. The price for White and Asian females, the second highest group, was 75 cents. For those at the bottom of the list — which included African American, Hispanics and Native American females — 25 cents was the suggested price, which were marketed at a lower rate to “address affirmative action.”

Read more from The DePaulia.

White House wants to add new racial category for Middle Eastern people

The White House is putting forward a proposal to add a new racial category for people from the Middle East and North Africa under what would be the biggest realignment of federal racial definitions in decades.

If approved, the new designation could appear on census forms in 2020 and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research.

Under current law, people from the Middle East are considered white, the legacy of century-old court rulings in which Syrian Americans argued that they should not be considered Asian — because that designation would deny them citizenship under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. But scholars and community leaders say more and more people with their roots in the Middle East find themselves caught between white, black and Asian classifications that don't fully reflect their identities.

Read more from USA Today here.

Drama as senators debate gender equality bill

Members of the Senate on Thursday debated the recommendations of the new version of a gender equality bill presented by the member representing Ekiti-South Senatorial District, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, where female senators urged their male counterparts to support the bill this time.

Olujimi, who led the debate on the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, which passed the second reading on Thursday, said the bill sought to give effect to the provisions of Chapters Two and Four of the Constitution, dealing with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Human Rights.

Read more here!

Agencies Required to Report on Disabled Veterans Program Compliance

OPM has told agencies to report on their compliance with the Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program requirements in fiscal 2016 and to certify that a compliance plan is in place for fiscal 2017.

The DVAAP requires nearly all agencies to have affirmative action programs for the recruitment, employment, and advancement of disabled veterans.

Read more from FedWeek here.

For Affirmative Action, Brazil Sets Up Controversial Boards To Determine Race

When the test scores came out, Lucas Siqueira, 27, was really excited. His high mark on the Foreign Service exam earned him a coveted position at Brazil's highly competitive Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"They hire 30 diplomats a year and thousands of people sign up," he says in fluent English from his home in the capital Brasilia.

It was, he says, a great day.

Siqueira considers himself to be mixed race, known in Brazil as pardo, or brown.

"I consider myself to be a very typical Brazilian and I've always been very proud of it. In my dad's family, my grandfather is black, my grandmother has Indian and white roots. And on my mother's side they are mostly white, mostly Portuguese," he said.

Read more about affirmative action in Brazil from KPBS.

A new school year. A new fight against affirmative action. This time at Harvard.

A two-year-old lawsuit accusing Harvard University of maintaining racial quotas against Asian-American students is moving forward to wage the latest battle against affirmative action.

In 2014, Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit organization behind the Fisher v. University of Texas case led by conservative political strategist Ed Blum, who is white, filed a lawsuit against Harvard on behalf of an anonymous Asian student who was rejected by the university, allegedly despite perfect test scores and graduating at the top of their class.

Read the rest pf the article from Vox here.

Settlement reached in KPD discrimination suit

UNION COUNTY, NJ — A discrimination lawsuit filed by a former police officer against the Kean University Police Department has finally been settled after years of delay.

Randy Diakunczak, a former officer with the Kean PD, agreed to a $30,000 settlement with Kean University last week in Superior Court in Elizabeth on the second day of a trial that was projected to last about two weeks.

Diakunczak, who is Jewish, had alleged that several officers at the department had taken part in a campaign of torment that involved racial slurs and defacing his personal property during the course of several years.

Read the article from Union News Daily here!

Liberia: Women Caucus Engages Media On Affirmative Action Bill

The Women Legislative Caucus Monday called on the Liberian media to raise awareness on the Affirmative Action Bill of 2016.

The bill seeks to create 21 additional constituencies in the House of Representatives.
It has already been passed by the Liberian Senate but the House of Representatives is yet to concur with the Senate on its passage.

The day-long consultative media engagement was held at the offices of the UN Women in Central Monrovia.

Read more about Affirmative Action in Liberia here!