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Illinois Governor Performs Foolish Chocolate Milk Stunt to Champion Diversity

"It's really, really good. Diversity!" Rauner said to the audience in an insulting demonstration during a Black History Month event.

Making a glass of chocolate milk is more than just a snack, but an important lesson for Fortune 500 companies, according to diversity and inclusion executive Tyronne Stoudemire for Hyatt Hotels (not one of DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity.)


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) joined Stoudemire at the Thompson Center in Chicago on Wednesday to discuss workplace diversity during a Black History Month event. Stoudemire, who is Black, decided to use chocolate syrup as a metaphor for underrepresented people, and milk, white men.

"If you look at every corporate website and you look at its leadership team," Stoudemire began the clueless presentation while pouring milk into a glass held by Rauner, "you'll see all white men, a few white women and just maybe an Asian in technology."

Stoudemire continued, "The chocolate syrup represents diversity — women, people of color, people with disabilities. It's the aging population [and] Generation X, Y and Z."

He then poured some of the liquid into the glass.

"It's not that organizations are not diverse," Stoudemire said.

He then asked the audience: "When you look at most organizations, diversity sits [at] what?"

"The bottom of the organization," he answered.

"You don't get inclusion until you actually stir it up," he said, then told Rauner to stir the syrup into the milk.

"Diversity is the mix, and inclusion is making the mix work," Stoudemire said. "And, it actually tastes pretty good. I'm not going to ask the governor to drink it."

"I'll be proud to," Rauner said, and then took a gulp.

"It's really, really good. Diversity!" Rauner proclaimed to the crowd.

Stoudemire has been using the chocolate milk routine for 16 years, according to The Chicago Tribune, "as a simple way to illustrate the lack of diversity at the top of Fortune 500 companies."

Rauner wasn't aware he would participate in Stoudemire's routine.

"He usually picks on the most powerful person in the room to be his assistant, he said, adding that Rauner 'didn't know what he was getting into,'" the Tribune reports.

Watch CBS Chicago's video clip:

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Texas County Swears In Record Number of Black Women Judges

17 new Black female judges were sworn in and they're planning to change the system that has disproportionately criminalized people of color.

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Black women made history in Harris County, Texas as they were elected as judges with aspirations to change the face (and reach) of justice.

"The people said it was time for a change," said Germaine Tanner, one of the women elected.

"We can lead here in Harris County. We can lead in the state of Texas," LaShawn Williams said.

"For black women particularly, we take a seat at the table and things change. For us in this situation it will change in terms of criminal justice reform, health care, these are the kinds of cases that will come before us and really impact our community."

Harris County now has a total of 19 Black women serving as judges — 17 are first timers and two ran for re-election.

On Jan. 1, Black Girl Magic happened and they were sworn in:

Who the judges are: Sandra Peake, Judge Ramona Franklin, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Hollerman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn A. Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda M. Dunson, Toria J. Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia G. Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin and Lori Chambers Gray.

Harris County, Houston's home and the largest county in Texas, which has a 63 percent Black and Latino population, had the largest turn-out at the polls for midterms in the county's history.

There were some voting issues, as also recorded in states like Georgia and Florida, where technology issues resulted in a suit by Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas Organizing Project to keep polls open later, avoiding disenfranchisement.

Additionally, there were outright attempts to suppress the Black vote, including a Harris County poll worker who told a Black voter, "Maybe if I'd worn my blackface makeup today you could comprehend what I'm saying to you."

When the voter said she was going to call the police, the poll worker responded: "If you call the police, they're going to take you to jail and do something to you, because I'm white."

She was subsequently fired, and voters made their voices heard in an election that featured more Black women on Harris County's ballot than any other.

The newly elected judges will make decisions in the county, where 80 percent of the inmates are people of color.

Although judges are not the only ones at fault for racial disparities in sentencing, they can change the status quo. They set the tone in the courtroom and can make sure everyone gets a fair hearing.

"We talked about coming in and being more compassionate," Ms. Latosha Lewis Payne said of her newly elected colleagues.

"Being more understanding of the poor and disadvantaged that come into the judicial system."She added, "I hope that our election will usher in courts that ensure an equal opportunity for justice for all."

Reader Question: What issues do you think these women can tackle as a collective?


Racists Beat Down Oregon Man, Police Are Not Investigating as Hate Crime

Meanwhile, Parsham Rabiee, a Lyft driver, now can't work to save the life he took years to build.

Parsham Rabiee was attacked by two white Lyft passengers outside of Portland, Ore., who verbally and physically assaulted him, including repeated use of racial slurs and making fun of his music. But the Gresham police are claiming it wasn't a racially-biased attack.

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Viral Video of 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Shows How White Women Can Be Allies for Women of Color​

Shonda Rhimes shared a video where Ellen Pompeo demands diversity during an interview.

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Shonda Rhimes, creator, head writer and executive producer of "Grey's Anatomy," shared a video of the star of her show, Ellen Pompeo, talking about how white people need to be advocates for diversity. It's gone viral with more than 2 million views.

"As Caucasian people, it's our job, it's our task, it's our responsibility to make sure we speak up in every single room we walk into. It's our job because we created the problem," Pompeo says in the video, during a photo shoot for Porter magazine.

Pompeo called out the lack of diversity in the magazine crew, and in Hollywood, without mincing words.

"This day has been incredible, and there's a ton of women in the room," she said. "But, I don't see enough color. And I didn't see enough color when I walked in the room today."

Actress Gabrielle Union is seen in the video giving a look of approval.

DiversityInc COO Carolynn Johnson said that both white women and women of color have a responsibility to each other to say there needs to be equality across the board.

"We need diversity of all walks represented," said Johnson, who in October launched DiversityInc's annual Women of Color and Their Allies event.

She said that people of color have a responsibility to talk about what's wrong and how it can be improved.

"We need to communicate," she said.

And for allies, "their responsibility is to recognize where there is no diversity and be bold enough to say something about it."

Johnson offered the example of Christopher J. Nassetta, CEO of Hilton (No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list). She said he was in one of his executive board meetings and looked around and said there wasn't enough women in this room.

So he did something about it.

"He was present enough in the moment to look around and see what was missing … not what he was comfortable with," Johnson said.

For white women who choose to be allies, "It's also your responsibility to know these stories and share them," she said.

Allies should also ask questions like: Why aren't there people of color on the set, as interviewers and production staff, scholarship recipients or in executive boardrooms?

Allies should hold decision makers accountable for age, class, ethnicity, ability, and gender diversity. And Johnson said, allies need to be helpful in the solution piece.

"We have countless examples of people who are doing this work … who are present in their everyday interactions," Johnson said.

She called attention to the fact that sometimes leaders don't hear what they need to from the vantage point of the people who need support, but from the vantage point of others in similar positions.

Reader Question: Do you think those who don't have Ellen Pompeo's position in Hollywood would speak up the way she did?

Dow Highlights "All IN" Movement with First Inclusion Report

The company's new inclusion strategy demonstrates commitment to making progress.

Originally Published by Dow.

Dow today released its first-ever annual Inclusion Report, titled SHINE, which puts a spotlight on the Company's global INclusion 2020 strategy and progress in 2017.

Dow accelerated actions, deepened its commitment to strengthening inclusion and diversity (I&D) across the organization and implemented a fully integrated and holistic strategy. This included institutionalizing a new I&D governance structure that shares ownership among Dow's leadership and drives accountability for creating a more inclusive work environment down and across the Company. Building an inclusive workplace for all will benefit employees, customers, suppliers, communities and the bottom line.

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The New Congress Must Change 'Appalling Lack of Diversity Among Top Staff'

"The American public was more likely to elect a person of color to the House than House members were to hire top staff of color," according to a Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies report.

As a result of Tuesday's midterm elections, Democrats have won a majority in the House of Representatives, and Republicans will remain in control of the Senate, but Congress, as a whole, needs to make diversity a priority when it comes to hiring top staff members.

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Report on Racism in Philly Suburb School District Causes White Officials to Get Defensive

Instead of hiring a diversity and inclusion specialist to address diversity issues, they chose to hire mental health professionals and white-led university consultants.

Screenshot from Haverford School Board Video

After a report was released detailing racist incidents in the Haverford, Pa., school district and town, leadership in one of the most affluent regions in the country, with a predominantly white population, decided that diversity is not a priority.

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