5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 9

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. Jackson Mississippi Crisis Shows Fragility of Water Systems, Impact of Climate Change

 After mass rainfall flooded the Pearl River in Jackson, Mississippi, causing the water treatment plant to not keep up with the water levels and resulting in water pressure severely dropping, 150,000 people were left without safe drinking water. And while water pressure has been restored, there’s still a boil-water notice in effect.

This crisis that ensued because of historic proportions of flooding in the area shows the fragility of water systems in the United States. And as climate change continues, these water systems will be even more vulnerable.

Water systems across the country are already being stressed by flooding and record droughts. Experts warn that what happened in Jackson, Mississippi is just the beginning as “threats to infrastructure posed by climate change intensify,” NPR reports.

Mami Hara, the CEO of U.S. Water Alliance, told NPR that “climate change and systemic disinvestment in water infrastructure” across the U.S. are to blame for severe flooding and drought.

To combat the effects of climate change, cities would need to update their infrastructure in the face of extreme weather. This could mean getting drinking water from new sources, such as desalination through reverse osmosis.

2. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 every year and is a time to celebrate the culture of the diverse community of people whose ancestors come from Spanish-speaking countries.

In this month’s Meeting in a Box, which serves as a valuable tool for your company’s cultural competence education, we highlight the contributions of the Hispanic/Latinx community to the U.S. and the working world.

Subscribe to DiversityInc Best Practices to download the report and learn about the complexity of Afro-Latino identity in the U.S., the rise in entrepreneurship among Latinos/Latinas and more.

3. Black Female Entrepreneur Wins Award for Hospitality and Concierge Platform

Alexandra Schrecengost, CEO and Founder of Culture With Us, recently won first place in the Get Venture Ready pitch competition for the platform, which focuses on hosting events and sending gifts virtually in an increasingly work-from-home world.

Since women of color entrepreneurs often face financial obstacles when starting up a business, the competition was designed with that in mind and is for women of color with businesses in the technology or CPG industries.

Schrecengost created Culture With Us to showcase a Black-owned artisanal wine and spirits brand she works with in an industry that is predominately dominated by white people and men.

Subscribe to DiversityInc Best Practices to read more about women of color business owners and how they started their own businesses.

4. What Does Quiet Quitting Mean for Employers?

 The term “quiet quitting” has taken the internet by storm in recent months as employees and employers have discussed what it is, whether or not it is “bad” and what to do about it.

Quiet quitting is the act of employees setting boundaries at work to avoid their workflow spilling into their personal lives, which often causes employee burnout. While some employers may look at this as doing the bare minimum or never going the extra mile, it’s important to pay attention to this trend and do what you can to avoid employee burnout and retain your staff.

A good place to start is by looking at employee resource groups (ERGs). Do they provide what employees need to feel supported at work? If not, it might be time to rethink your company’s ERGs. If your workplace allows for a flexible work environment outside of the regular 9-5, embrace it if you can. Your employees will thank you.

5. Study Examines Election Priorities for Women, Women of Color

 The YWomenVote survey from the YWCA looks at concerns women and women of color have around economic and societal issues that will drive them to the polls this November.

Some of the top concerns for women surround access to abortion and reproductive rights, the need for better childcare, gun violence and economic security.

When asked about access to abortion and reproductive rights, 81% of Gen Z women of color said it is important for Congress to take action to protect access to abortion. Seventy-four percent of women overall said they support Congressional action to protect access to contraceptives.

In terms of economic concerns, and specifically paid family and medical leave, 53% of Black women, 54% of Hispanic women and Latinas, 58% of AAPI women and 34% of AI/AN women indicated they were very or somewhat concerned.

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