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AT&T's $1M Competition at Tribeca Launches Careers of Diverse Filmmakers

DiversityInc Chief Operating Officer Carolynn Johnson talked with AT&T Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter about the competition and career advice for filmmakers.

Video filmed and produced by Alana Winns and Christian Carew

An inclusive film program launched in 2017 by AT&T (No. 3 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) in collaboration with the Tribeca Film Festival, along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), continues to provide underrepresented filmmakers the opportunity to tell important stories.


Sasie Sealy and Angela Cheng are the second winners of "AT&T Presents: Untold Stories," earning $1 million to create their film. Sealy and Cheng impressed the Untold Stories Greenlight Committee, made up of industry leaders and film experts, with their vision for their project "Lucky Grandma" during a live pitch event in New York City on Wednesday.

The committee heard pitches for five films, deliberated and chose "Lucky Grandma" as the winner, which was announced at a luncheon celebrating inclusivity in storytelling.

AT&T Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter, a member of the Greenlight Committee, spoke with DiversityInc Chief Operating Officer Carolynn Johnson about how the program impacts diversity and inclusion in the film industry.

"The Untold Stories program is not just another check to support a filmmaker on their journey through a long development process of making a movie," Carter said. "This is about complete financing, distribution, mentorship and support, and a deadline of a Tribeca film premiere."

Johnson asked Carter what career advice she could offer to underrepresented filmmakers in order to advance their careers.

"I would advise filmmakers to feel confident in telling the authentic story that you live everyday," she said. "Many of us don't have the benefit of living those lives and we want to see that authenticity on screen."

Carter added, "Society in general wants to see entertainment reflect the world they live in."

Actress and partner at Color Farm Media Erika Alexander with DiversityInc COO Carolynn Johnson at "AT&T Presents: Untold Stories" awards luncheon.

UCLA's 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report suggests that the film industry at large should invest in hiring that is reflective of the U.S. population, which is almost 40 percent minority and at least 50 percent female. According to the report, in 2016, films with casts made up of 21 to 30 percent minority actors had the highest median global box office ticket sales and the highest median return on investment.

Sealy and Cheng are taking Carter's advice and moving forward with telling their authentic story.

Left to right: Krista Parris, Sasie Sealy, Angela Cheng, Cara MarcousAT&T

In addition to the $1 million top prize, AT&T and Tribeca will help with awards submissions, qualifying screenings, advertisements and promotion of their film set to premiere at Tribeca in 2019. It will run across AT&T's video platform. In addition, AT&T will also provide a $10,000 grant to the other four participating filmmakers to help achieve their film goals.

Winner of the 2017 Untold Stories competition, Faraday Okoro, will premiere his film "Nigerian Prince" on April 24 during Tribeca, which runs April 18-29.

AbbVie: Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Community Health Center at a Time

From ensuring backup energy sources to introducing a telemedicine program, Direct Relief anchors Puerto Rico's resurgence in good health.

Originally Published by AbbVie.

For a Local Doctor, Home is Where The Heart Is

It was summer 2017, and Dr. Yania López Álvarez had just returned to Puerto Rico. A new doctor eager to bring her knowledge back to the island, the 35-year-old radiologist turned down more lucrative job offers on the mainland for the chance to practice at home close to her family.

But a few months later, Hurricane Irma slammed into Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria came just weeks after, pummeling the island, destroying homes and causing widespread power outages that lasted for months. The official death toll stands at 2,975 people.

A lack of electricity, running water and jobs prompted many to leave the island. An estimated 135,000 people left Puerto Rico in the six months following Maria, according to a report by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

Dr. López chose to stay.

"My heart is just here," said Dr. López, director of the Imaging Center of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan.

She represents a small but growing group – skilled Puerto Ricans in the health care field drawn to lead recovery efforts and overcome a shortage of workers post-hurricanes.

This fall, Dr. López will help open Puerto Rico's first breast imaging center and train Puerto Rican residents at the University. She'll be able to bring a specialty that the island's only teaching hospital hasn't seen for 45 years, the last time limited breast imaging was included in residents' training.

"As doctors, as members of this community, we need to build our training programs, and we need to encourage strong foundations for doctors to serve in both times of need and of prosperity," said Dr. López.

Focusing on the Uninsured and Underserved

Dr. López's story highlights the ongoing work in Puerto Rico of Direct Relief, a health-oriented humanitarian aid organization focused on improving the lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.

After receiving an infusion of $50 million from AbbVie six months ago, leaders at Direct Relief focused on executing the first stage of a three-year partnership to rebuild and strengthen primary care on the island. Direct Relief is the largest source of nongovernmental support for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the United States.

"We wanted to be part of the process to reconstruct and rebuild the town. There are still a lot of beautiful places in Puerto Rico, and not just negative news. There is good."

Yesenia Ortiz, Arroyo resident and health records clerk, Centro de Salud Familiar Clinic

In Puerto Rico, Direct Relief's work focuses on 68 community health centers that serve mostly medically uninsured patients in underserved areas. Close to 90 percent of their collective patients live below the poverty line. Additionally, Direct Relief supports hospitals and health facilities run by the government.

Direct Relief is a longtime, trusted partner of AbbVie, with the two working together since 2014 on joint humanitarian initiatives that center primarily on disaster relief and emergency work around the globe.

"Direct Relief's work is not about restoring the island's primary health care system to the way it was before Maria struck," says Melissa Walsh, vice president, AbbVie Foundation. "It's about building a stronger, more resilient health care system that can hold up against future disasters, so that the people of Puerto Rico can count on reliable, accessible care when they need it the most."

Learn more: How AbbVie's long-term efforts to move Puerto Rico from recovery to resilience.

Taking a Customized Approach for Each Health Center

Direct Relief tailors its support based on the unique needs of each health center and the people they serve. For one clinic, this means a new mobile medical unit with four-wheel drive that can travel across roads in disrepair, often in hard to reach places. For another, it means the right resources to treat chronic conditions common on the island like hypertension and diabetes. Each center is receiving a stockpile of medications and emergency medicine to equip first responders.

Improvements at every clinic contribute to the big picture – ensuring health providers on the island won't have to close their doors or not have life-saving medication available for patients when they need it most.

"At the end of three years, every health center we're supporting will have solar and battery backup so they'll never lose critical infrastructure again," said Andrew MacCalla, director, international programs & emergency response, Direct Relief. "We've never been in a position in our 70-year history to think about these possibilities before receiving AbbVie's support."

Key to the Direct Relief and AbbVie plan is rehabbing public health facilities and services so they can serve as models for other islands in the Caribbean and beyond. A critical component is Direct Relief's strategy to introduce the island's first-ever island-wide telemedicine program.

Introducing Telemedicine to Increase Health Care Access

Hurricane Maria washed out many roads and bridges and left rural communities in isolation. Telemedicine will drastically improve access to health care, especially in these areas, said Ivonne Rodriguez-Wiewall, Senior Advisor for Puerto Rico, Direct Relief.

The organization is partnering with the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the University of Puerto Rico and Ponce Medical School to launch the program. Specialists like Dr. López can consult with patients and their providers directly and help assess how to manage their condition and whether they need to visit a health care facility.

And by equipping more facilities with specialized medical equipment, the vision is that more physicians will be drawn back to lead health centers that serve as the bedrock of communities across the island.

Emphasizing the "Community" in Community Health Clinic

One such clinic is Centro de Salud Familiar, situated on the southern coast of the island where Maria first made landfall with its strongest winds of 155 miles per hour. There, in Arroyo, this center has remained one constant in the lives of residents.

The emergency room of the Centro de Salud Familiar clinic in Arroyo, Puerto Rico, sustained water and wind damage during Hurricane Maria.

Centro de Salud Familiar clinic serves about 13,000 people annually. It is the only provider of primary and preventive health service for Arroyo, Guayama and the surrounding rural areas.

The clinic received an emergency grant from Direct Relief to help bring it back to full strength after Maria caused wind and water damage. The clinic is also a recipient of the AbbVie donation, which funded a custom-built mobile medical unit to reach community members in rural, mountainous areas.

Yesenia Ortiz, 27, works at the clinic as a health records clerk. Her family home in Arroyo was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished and rebuilt, a slow process that is not quite complete over a year later.

Direct Relief followed Yesenia Ortiz and her family after their home in Arroyo was badly damaged when Hurricane Maria swept through the mountainous community. See how they were impacted and why Yesenia's job at a local health clinic is critical to the family and her community.

Drawing Strength to Create a New Path Forward

When Ortiz and her family – including her father, mother and sister – bounced from one relative's home to another during reconstruction, she found solace in her job.

She returned to work five days after Maria, supporting patient intake. Ortiz describes these early days as chaotic, with many patients dealing with both serious physical injuries as well as the aftermath of losing their homes.

Ortiz focused on one goal during these challenging shifts: Make sure everyone got the best service possible. She funneled strength from friends and neighbors who showed resilience, including a nurse at the clinic with two young children whose home was destroyed but was creating a new path forward.

Did the Ortiz family ever consider leaving Puerto Rico? No. They've lived in Arroyo for generations, and likened the thought of leaving to letting people down in the town that means so much to them.

"We wanted to be part of the process to reconstruct and rebuild the town," Ortiz said. "There are still a lot of beautiful places in Puerto Rico, and not just negative news. There is good."

Marriott International Expands "Culture Day" Program Worldwide In 2018

Immersive trainings offer hotel staff and corporate customers deep dives into 13 cultures, underscoring company's aim to welcome all, elevate customer satisfaction and drive business; the newest culture days: Native American and LGBTQ.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Marriott International.

Marriott International announced the expansion of its groundbreaking Culture Day program aimed at fostering multicultural understanding to ensure welcoming environments at its hotels and increase guest satisfaction. Since Marriott founded the program in 2014, the company has hosted more than 50 Culture Day trainings in over 30 cities and eight countries. During 2018, demand for the program doubled as more hotels as well as corporate customers requested this training.

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Novartis: Artificial Intelligence Decodes Cancer Pathology Images

Novartis researchers are collaborating with tech startup PathAI to search for hidden information in pathology slides.

Originally Published by Novartis.

For 150 years, pathologists have been looking through microscopes at tissue samples mounted on slides to diagnose cancer. Each assessment is weighty: Does this patient have cancer or not?

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Originally Published by Hilton.

This month marks National Veteran and Military Families Month, including Veteran's Day in the U.S. and Armistice Day in many countries around the world. Supporting military veterans and their families has been an important part of Hilton's history since Conrad Hilton, a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War I, started the company nearly a century ago. We're proud to continue this support through our Operation: Opportunity commitment to hire 20,000 additional veterans, spouses and caregivers by 2020. This month, we'll feature some of Hilton's military spouses.

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Abbott: Top Internship for Healthcare and Tech

Interns have spoken: Abbott is the top college internship program for healthcare and tech & engineering.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott recognizes the need to develop its future leaders early, and has been named the top healthcare and tech & engineering internship program by Vault.

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Price Match Patty: White Woman Tells Latinx Women They're on Welfare

The Children's Place may not be so welcoming if you're Black or Brown.

FACEBOOK

Miriam and Carlita Alejandro, Latinx sisters, shopping at The Children's Place in Camp Hill, Pa., got harassed by a nosey store clerk when they ask to price match clothes. A sales associate said the women were angry because they're on welfare.

Miriam said she was there to help a family who had lost everything in a fire by purchasing clothes for a child. Ms. Rhonda, the store clerk who was helping the ladies, said they may have to wait for the price check because the store was busy.

Miriam wrote on her Facebook page that she responded to Ms. Rhonda: "'Lancaster never gives us any issues or said such a thing, but okay.' Then Price Match Patty aka Genie who was never in our conversation started getting smart saying that we (my sister & I) 'were mad because we were on welfare.'"

Ms. Rhonda didn't know what to do when the Alejandro sisters reported what the nosey store employee said, but she attempted to chastise her. Miriam started recording to document the experience they had.




Price Match Patty has been fired, according to a company statement provided on Monday. Carlita Alejandro posted on Facebook that the company called and offered gift cards and reward points to continue spending her money at the retailer.

Because that's the way to handle your company's screw up-- buy off the people your employees have offended?

Alejandro wrote, "I will NEVER feel safe nor welcomed shopping their stores again!!"

The Children's Place has a history of discrimination. In 2000, they lost a lawsuit concerning profiling customers and had to provide anti-discrimination training in all stores in Massachusetts and hire a consultant to look at their policies.

Unrelated to the incident, two executives left the company this week (Pamela Wallack and Anurup Pruthi), "to pursue other opportunities" — the only minority and the only female in the C-Suite (other than the female CEO). The Children's Place Inc. has never participated in DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity competition.

CEO and president Jane Elfers said, "As we approach the last phase of our major systems implementations, the opportunity exists for significant efficiencies across the organization, and today we are announcing a more streamlined senior leadership structure."

Price Match Patty has not been fully identified yet, but some commenters on social media say she's married to a Black man, like Key Fob Kelly in St. Louis. That wouldn't excuse her behavior anyway.

Others say they have been profiled at that same store by Price Match Patty and others before:

​Teachers Dress Up as Mexicans and Trump's Wall​, Face Backlash

School board says the teachers exercised poor judgement during a team building exercise; suspended them with pay.

YOUTUBE

For Halloween, several teachers at Middleton Elementary School in Canyon County, Idaho, wore red, white and blue, and stood behind a fake brick wall with "Make America Great Again" written on it. Meanwhile, another group wore sombreros, mustaches, and held maracas. Initially posted on the school's Facebook page, outrage among parents forced the post to be removed.

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Update: South Park Susan, Who Harassed Black Neighbors, Turns Herself In

Her racist comments cost Susan Westwood her job, her apartment, and gave her a criminal record.

Susan Westwood's racist rant landed her simple assault and criminal threats charges and a warrant after leaving the scene where she harassed the Garris sisters outside their Charlotte, N.C., apartment complex, threatening them with concealed weapons.

The fake 911 call she made saying that the sisters were trying to break in also earned her a misdemeanor warrant for misuse of the 911 system, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Westwood was booked by Sunset Beach Police on Saturday and transferred to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department. She was later released.

The Garris sisters' attorney, Michael Phillips, brought up the safety issue in terms of concealed weapons and threats to residents to the Camden Fairview Apartments attorneys, and they agreed to evict Westwood.

"When I spoke with them and their legal counsel they agreed that that behavior was not going to be tolerated at their apartment complex," Phillips said.

Westwood had threatened to take out her concealed weapons after telling the sisters that she was white and hot, and that they didn't belong there.

The 911 call Westwood made was released by police:

"There are folks that are trying to break in. They're trying to get in the apartments. They are actually people that I've never seen here before ― but they are African American."

When the dispatcher said that police were already responding to a broken down car in that area, Westwood replied: "If you want to know my personal opinion, there's no car broken down. There's somebody trying to cause problems. Nobody breaks their car down in the best part of society."

"They just don't belong here. … Get them out of here," Westwood demanded. "I'll tell you what, I'll pay $2,500 to get them out of here."

In a recording of a call made by Garris, she told another dispatcher that she was still waiting for police while Westwood was harassing her.

Westwood was heard screaming, "You're not going to sell drugs here."

Garris had to call 911 twice to get a response about Westwood, and when they showed up Westwood had already gone. She was MIA for four days, before turning herself in.

"We are so distraught and still very upset about what has taken place only because of the color of our skin. It was so upsetting to know that today we still have this overt racism that's going on in 2018," said one of the sisters.

Related Story: I'm White and I Might Bring Out My Guns: Racist Threatens Black Women in Video

South Park Susan Full Story