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Delta Air Lines Offers Apology to Black Woman Doctor Called "Sweetie" by Flight Attendant

"Inclusion training," but no other specific action, to be given to astoundingly white male leadership team.

Dr. Tamika Cross

Delta Air Lines has issued a formal apology to Tamika Cross, a physician who offered to assist another passenger during an in-flight emergency but was denied by flight attendants. The airline also announced training and policy changes.


"When situations like the one described by Dr. Cross arise, we have a responsibility to our employees and our customers to review the circumstances and our policies for opportunities to listen, learn and improve," Allison Ausband, senior vice president, In-Flight Service, said in a statement released on Monday.

Cross, along with her mentor, Dr. Wayne J. Riley, met with Ausband at Delta offices. She also spoke with Delta's CEO Ed Bastian following her visit.

In October, the resident OBGYN physician shared a post on Facebook expressing concerns of discrimination during a flight from Detroit to Minneapolis on her way home from attending a wedding. The post went viral.

Cross said that when a man fell ill on the flight "she jumped into doctor mode" and raised her hand to get the attention of a Delta flight attendant in order to assist. She said the attendant responded, "Oh no sweetie put your hand down, we are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don't have time to talk to you."

Cross also wrote, "Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it's not right."

Black female doctors who have had similar experiences stood in solidarity with Cross. They began posting pictures of themselves on social media using the hashtag #WhatADoctorLooksLike.

Inclusion Training

Currently, Delta's leadership team is astoundingly not inclusive, executives pictured on their "leadership committee" page are 89 percent white and 89 percent male. The one (white) woman pictured on the leadership committee was not the one put up to speak with Dr. Cross. There are no Black or Latinos pictured. Delta has never participated in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition, which is free and independent of business conducted with DiversityInc.

Delta said it has launched inclusion training for Delta leaders, and flight attendants will receive the training next year:

"As part of Delta's ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, the airline launched inclusion training three months ago for Delta leaders. Next year Delta will roll the training out broadly to leaders and will begin rolling it out to frontline employees, with some of the flight attendant groups being the first to participate."

Medical Credential Verification No Longer Required

As of December 1, Delta flight attendants are no longer required to verify medical credentials. Delta said it found that there is no legal or regulatory requirement upon the airline to view medical professional credentials.

The company said Cross' feedback "influenced the outcome of a review Delta's In-Flight Service training team was already conducting of its medical documentation policy, streamlining the process for both flight attendants and customers."

"And, as it becomes more and more common for medical licenses to be verified online, physicians and nurses often do not carry a license with them and some states no longer issue wallet versions," Delta stated.

Dr. Wayne J. Riley

In a Facebook post on Monday, which included a link to Delta's statement, Cross said Riley, her mentor, is "well-versed in 'in-flight emergencies."

Riley is immediate past president of the American College of Physicians, and a former president of Meharry Medical College, where Cross earned her medical degree. Meharry is one of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

According to The Washington Post, he told Ausband and other Delta executives that over the years, when assisting during in-flight medical emergencies as a Delta passenger, he has never been asked to prove he was a physician.

Cross also said in the post that she is pleased with Delta's policy changes:

"Glad that this unfortunate situation has brought about change in a major corporation like Delta Airlines. I am pleased with how the executives at Delta Airlines have responded to this important issue.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this issue by raising awareness, keeping the conversation going, and understanding the prevalence."

Related Story: Black Doctor Asks to Help Delta Passenger, Denied by Flight Attendant

In her October Facebook post, Cross said when she offered her medical assistance a second time to help the ill passenger, who fortunately survived, Delta staff then asked to see her credentials and bombarded her with question such as, "What type of doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?" — all while the man was still in need of help.

"I respond, ob-gyn, work in Houston, in Detroit for a wedding, but believe it or not, they DO HAVE doctors in Detroit. Now excuse me so I can help the man in need," she wrote in the post.

According to Cross, when a "'seasoned' white male approached the row and said he is a physician" the flight attendant told her "thanks for your help, but he can help us, and he has his credentials." Cross asserts she didn't see the man, who "fit the 'description of a doctor,'" present any form of credentials. Delta flight staff said that he did so.

Cross said that about 10 minutes later, when the ill passenger's health began to improve, a flight attendant actually asked her advice about what to do next. Cross complied with the request and said vitals were needed and a glucometer to test blood sugar levels. The flight attendant eventually apologized several times to her, even offering her SkyMiles.

"Our flight attendants were following standard procedure during this incident and the feedback Dr. Cross provided gave us a chance to make flying better," said Ausband. "We remain grateful to the medical professionals who are willing to assist us in an emergency at 30,000 feet."

Democracy in Color's Steve Phillips Shares His Perspective on Midterm Elections

There was an extraordinary turnout of people rallying for "the defender of white supremacy in the White House," said Phillips.

Author Steve Phillips speaking at a 2016 DiversityInc event.

By Keka Araujo and Sheryl Estrada

There's a multicultural progressive New American Majority that made its voice heard in Tuesday's midterm elections, according to Steve Phillips, a national political leader and civil rights lawyer.

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MeToo: Google Employees Walked Out By the Thousands

Outrage over Andy Rubin's $90 million payout questioned company core values and diversity.

TWITTER

A recent New York Times report that said Google gave millions of dollars to some executives, like Andy Rubin ($90 million) in secret exit packages after they were accused of sexual misconduct.

The report sparked outrage among employees who organized via social media and yesterday walked out of offices around the world by the thousands.

Zurich, Dublin, Singapore, London and Hyderabad, India, and multiple U.S offices participated in the Google Walkout For Real Change.

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#MAGABomber is the Sole Follower of Two Right-Wing Facebook Pages ​

Once again, Facebook facilitates right-wing mayhem. The domestic terrorist followed "Killall Socialist" and "Killgeorge Soros."

Cesar Sayoc / FACEBOOK

Following Cesar Sayoc's arrest for sending more than a dozen parcel bombs to critics of President Donald Trump, Facebook removed his multiple accounts. Sayoc used the social media site to denigrate prominent Democrats like former President Obama and promoted conspiracy theories about billionaire political donor George Soros, the first to receive a package bomb this week.

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Black Man Suffering from Mental Health Illness Dies After Police Use Taser and Tackle Him in the Street

His sister, who said she left the U.S. to protect her Black son, never thought her brother would be the victim.

TWITTER/ @opalayo

Chinedu Valentine Okobi, 36, a Black man, father, Morehouse College graduate, uncle and brother died of cardiac arrest after San Mateo County police tackled and repeatedly used a Taser on him in Millibrae, south of San Francisco, Calif.

Okobi was struggling with mental illness and had been weaving in and out of traffic downtown on the busy street, El Camino Real.

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Screenshot via Facebook

UPDATE 10/12/2018: In proper Twitter fashion, amateur sleuths came out of the woodwork to ensure that the world would know the real person behind this atrocious act. Meet Teresa Sue Klein aka #CornerstoreCaroline. And apparently Teresa does have ties to the police. However, she was on the wrong end of the law and not an actual police officer. The gluteal-challenged woman has a criminal record and may even be a sex offender. Shame on her.

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Voter Registration Deadline for 15 States Today

"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warns activist Shaun King.

REUTERS

"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warned Shaun King repeatedly. His wife went to vote with her registration card in her hand, and they said she couldn't vote. King said some of the reasons that people are being turned away are nefarious.

Fifteen states close registration today, including Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. States that do not have online registration: Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas.

A list of every state's deadline and links to each state's voting requirements was published by the New York Times.

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Video: 'Be American,' Says a Racist to Women Speaking Spanish

An ally defends the women and calls the police. This time, the racist goes to jail.

FACEBOOK

Two women casually conversing in a supermarket in Rifle, Colo., get rudely interrupted by a woman growing increasingly irate and aggressive. Their offense: Living while Latina and speaking in Spanish in front of a white woman.

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UPDATE: A Father Posts Photo of His Little Girl Dressed Up as Serena Williams for 'Superhero Day' and Gets a Message from the Tennis Superstar

Chris Wright told DiversityInc that Williams "shows young Black women it's okay to be strong and have voice."

TWITTER

UPDATE: Sept. 30, 2018 at 8:40 a.m. ET

Chris Wright, who shared the photo on Twitter, told DiversityInc that the little girl is his 9-year-old daughter, Ameya.

Wright told DiversityInc on Sunday that Ameya dressed as Serena Williams during homecoming week at her elementary school in Cairo, Ga.

He said she is slowly starting to get into tennis.

"Her grandfather loves it," Wright said. "[They] made a deal a while back that she was going to try and make the varsity tennis team as a freshman. Right now, she is just having fun learning the game."

Wright, who coaches girls' basketball at Chattahoochee County Middle High School, said Williams "shows young Black women it's okay to be strong and have voice."

He added, "Our young Black girls need to see women in those positions. It lets them know they can do anything they put their minds to."

Wright said that when his mother picked up Ameya from school on Friday, she told her the news that Williams had sent her a message on Twitter.

"Ameya screamed multiple times," Wright said.

ORIGINAL STORY

Serena Williams, one of the world's greatest athletes, is not only a role model for her one-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, but for other little girls who look up to her.

Twitter user Chris Wright shared a photo on Friday of an adorable Black girl dressed in a tutu, holding a tennis racket and striking a powerful pose.

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