5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 23

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. Women of Color and Their Allies Brings DEI Professionals to Louisville

DEI professionals attended DiversityInc’s 5th annual Women of Color and Their Allies event on Sept. 21, which was held in partnership with Humana this year in Louisville. In-person attendees gathered at the Muhammad Ali Center while virtual attendees watched and joined the conversation via livestream.

DiversityInc CEO Carolynn L. Johnson welcomed attendees by setting the stage for why they were there: to delve into the challenges and opportunities for women of color.

“As we take a deeper look at the issues and the opportunities that women of color face in the workplace, we do so at that at a time when women of all backgrounds face tremendous challenges in balancing work with their lives, in the home, and as the head of their families in many cases.”

She shared that women of color have had to leave the workforce in disturbing numbers. In January of 2022, the labor participation rate among women was at 57%, the lowest it’s been in 34 years, with women of color facing higher rates of unemployment than their white counterparts.

While women of color still face challenges, there are also opportunities that exist, Johnson said. Opportunities that allow women of color to network and learn and opportunities for companies to “understand how they can elevate women of color within their organizations,” she added.

In support of Women of Color and Their Allies, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer proclaimed Sept. 21, 2022, as Women of Color Day in the city. In the proclamation from the mayor’s office, Fischer acknowledged that “women of color have played an enormous role in shaping the city and the U.S., often without receiving acknowledgment.

“Our city joins DiversityInc Women of Color and Their Allies Conference, along with committed allies Humana, Inc., Brown-Forman, Louisville Tourism and the Muhammad Ali Center, in recognizing the achievements of women of color today and in our history, and in giving thanks for everything they’ve contributed,” the proclamation reads.

2. Kelley Robinson Named President of the Human Rights Campaign

Kelley Robinson, the former Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, will serve as the ninth president of the Human Rights Campaign, making Robinson the first Black queer woman to lead the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in the United States.

In a statement from HRC, Robinson said she is honored to lead the organization during “a pivotal moment in our movement for equality for LGBTQ+ people.”

“We, particularly our trans and BIPOC communities, are quite literally in the fight for our lives and facing unprecedented threats that seek to destroy us,” Robinson said. “The overturning of Roe v. Wade reminds us we are just one Supreme Court decision away from losing fundamental freedoms including the freedom to marry, voting rights, and privacy.”

3. Brands Distance Themselves from Brett Favre Amid Welfare Scandal

Following allegations of $5 million in misused welfare money being used to build a volleyball complex at a college where his daughter played and other instances of diverted funds, some companies are dropping Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre or declining to comment on their relationships with him.

Companies that have stayed silent include SiriusXM and NFL-focused website 33rd Team. Compression sleeve company Copper Fit did release a statement.

“Copper Fit has worked with Brett Favre for nearly nine years,” the company said. “He has always acted honorably, and we know him to be a very decent man. To our knowledge, he was cleared of any wrongdoing two years ago. We are confident that will be the case in the civil suit.”

Front Office Sports reported the statement “came out after the latest revelation in the welfare funds scandal that Mississippi Department of Human Services director John Davis agreed to cooperate with investigators as part of a plea agreement. The civil lawsuit — where many of the prior allegations of the scheme were detailed — was just one part of the scandal, and a source told FOS Favre remains on the radar of prosecutors.”

4. Court Cases That Have Taken Religious Freedoms Too Far

Under the protections of the First Amendment, anyone has the right to practice the religion of their choice and go to court when they feel their religious freedoms have been infringed upon, but sometimes, these cases are impinging on other people’s civil liberties.

The most recent example is the case of Braidwood Management v. Becerra where a Texas judge ruled that the Christian non-for-profit company did not have to cover the HIV prevention drug known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) under its health insurance because they believed the drug facilitated and encouraged “homosexual behavior and sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.”

If the decision stands, it could lead to health complications and even deaths that would have been preventable.

Read “3 Court Cases That Have Taken Religious Freedoms Too Far” for more examples.

5. US Air Force Academy Training Enforces Use of Inclusive Language

A new training tool used by the United States Air Force Academy titled “Diversity & Inclusion: What It Is, Why We Care, & What We Can Do,” teaches cadets the importance of using more inclusive language.

The presentation tells cadets to include all genders by using terms such as “y’all,” “team,” “squaddies,” “everyone” and “folks” vs. “you guys,” and when in doubt to ask the person their preferred pronouns.

The training also encourages the use of people-centered language such as “people with disabilities” vs. “disabled people” and “transgender people” vs. “transgenders.”

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