As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.
1. Republican Senator Blocks Bill To Protect Interstate Travel for Abortion Seekers
GOP Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) blocked a request from Democratic senators to pass a bill seeking to protect interstate travel for those needing abortion care on Thursday.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and other Democratic senators wanted to pass a bill that would prevent states from punishing people who travel to other states where it is legal to get abortions. The bill would have also protected healthcare providers who provide abortions to patients from out of state.
“With full-scale legislation to codify Roe v. Wade lacking the votes to pass the upper chamber, Democrats have looked for other legislative responses after the Supreme Court struck down the nearly 50-year decision that established a constitutional right to abortion,” The Hill reported.
In reaction to the decision, Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado said healthcare providers and those seeking abortion care need to be protected and are “safe from prosecution.”
“I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation on the floor of the United States Senate,” he added. “I can’t believe it. But that’s the America we live in now because of this Supreme Court.”
2. What Companies are Doing to Ensure Reproductive Rights
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, some companies have come out publicly to say how they will ensure reproductive care for their employees.
Nadia Khamis, Director of Corporate Engagement at Planned Parenthood, said she has seen companies like Google, Patagonia and Duolingo that are more progressive have aligned with issues that intersect with reproductive rights, from LGBTQ+ rights to gender equality and race equity are “starting to realize the importance of being more externally facing about why this issue matters to them and how it impacts their business, consumers and communities.”
Some companies have also come out in support of ensuring reproductive health benefits for full-time employees, hourly workers and others across their supply chains.
“They started establishing community health funds and thinking about emergency relief funds and other ways that they could provide financial grants outright in complement to their healthcare services,” she said.
3. Jill Biden Apologizes After Comparing the Latino Community to Breakfast Tacos
After facing backlash for saying Latinos are as “unique” as San Antonio breakfast tacos during a speech to the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., First Lady Jill Biden has apologized for her remarks.
Jill Biden’s spokesperson, Michael LaRosa, tweeted that “the first lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community.”
She addressed the advocacy group, UnidosUS, during its annual conference in San Antonio on Monday. She attempted to compliment the Latino community, but her comments fell short when she said Latino diversity was “as distinct as the bodegas of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio.”
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists took to Twitter to cite their issue with her statement, saying, “We are not tacos.”
“Using breakfast tacos to try to demonstrate the uniqueness of Latinos in San Antonio demonstrates a lack of cultural knowledge and sensitivity to the diversity of Latinos in the region,” NAHJ said.
NAHJ added that Jill Biden and her speechwriters should “take the time in the future to better understand the complexities of our people and communities.”
4. How To Get the Most Out of Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs, have been around since the Civil Rights era. And while many companies have formed ERGs, they might not be doing all that they can to use them to support employees and company initiatives.
For example, ERGs are a great way to use employee knowledge to hire and retain diverse talent, create culturally sensitive product development and supplier diversity and build an inclusive and engaged workforce.
To get the most out of ERGs, company executives need to get on board and show their support. In a LinkedIn post, Nereida (Neddy) Perez, Human Resources & Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion COE at McCormick & Company, shared how ERG executive sponsors can help realize the potential benefits of ERGs to the business.
This can be done by sharing the top five priorities in business and company strategy with leaders of ERGs, coaching ERGs on goal setting, metrics and scorecards and by developing ideas for leveraging specific ERGs to focus on solving an organizational issue.
5. Career Advice from DiversityInc Best Practices
In the latest installment of our ongoing Career Advice video series, DiversityInc Senior Business Writer Linda Bell sat down with Dr. Rachel Arnett, Assistant Professor of Management at The Wharton School of Business, to discuss working in academia vs. the private sector, exploring identity as a source of connection and inclusion and more.
Subscribe to DiversityInc Best Practices to watch the full video and visit our Career Advice section to watch video interviews with other DEI professionals.