UPDATE: Mozilla's New CEO Steps Down Over His Prop 8 Donations

Mozilla receives major backlash over its new anti-gay CEO, and his own employees ask him to step down. How are board members taking a stand?

Update 4/3/14 4:06pm: Mozilla has announced that Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO.


By Julissa Catalan

LGBT advocates in the tech industry and all over the world are in shock over Mozilla's decision to name co-founder Brendan Eich as the company's new CEO.

Per a Los Angeles Times report released in 2012, Eich made a $1,000 donation to Yes on 8, a campaign which supported California's ban on same-gender marriage, Proposition 8.

Eich released a statement via his personal blog to address the controversy:

"I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla," he said. "I can only ask for your support to have the time to 'show, not tell'; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain ... I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion."

A spokesperson for Mozilla—a nonprofit and creator of the Firefox web browser—also released a statement, saying the company was "deeply committed to honoring diversity in sexual orientation and beliefs within our staff and community. With thousands of people spanning many countries and cultures, diversity is core to who we are. We're united in our mission to keep the Web open and accessible for everyone."

In her own personal blog, Christie Koehler, who is Mozilla's Education Lead—and part of the LGBT community—supported Mozilla's decision, though she did express disappointment in Eich's donations to Prop 8.

"Certainly it would be problematic if Brendan's behavior within Mozilla was explicitly discriminatory ... I haven't personally seen this (although to be clear, I was not part of Brendan's reporting structure until today)," she wrote. "To the contrary, over the years I have watched Brendan be an ally in many areas and bring clarity and leadership when needed."

But not all of Mozilla's employees have been as understanding to Eich. Via a simultaneous tweet, multiple employees sent a united message telling the newly appointed CEO: "Step down."

Chris McAvoy led the pack, tweeting, "I love @mozilla but I'm disappointed this week. @mozilla stands for openness and empowerment, but is acting in the opposite way." He then declared: "I'm an employee of @mozilla and I'm asking @brendaneich to step down as CEO."

Almost immediately, employees including John Bevan, Jessica Klein, Sydney Moyer and Chloe Vareldi tweeted very similar sentiments and also asked the CEO to resign.

In an even more drastic move denouncing Eich, three Mozilla board members resigned following the announcement.

Former Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, who runs online security company AVG Technologies; John Lilly, another former Mozilla CEO and current partner at venture-capital firm Greylock Partners; and Ellen Siminoff, CEO of online-education startup Shmoop, all resigned from the board last week.

Three people remain on the Mozilla board: co-founder Mitchell Baker, Katharina Borchert, CEO of German news site Spiegel Online, and Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

"We expect and encourage Mozillians to speak up when they disagree with management decisions, and carefully weigh all input to ensure our actions are advancing the project's mission," Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, added in a statement.

Celebrate Pride Month!  ADP Promotes Diversity and Inclusion with LGBTQ Employee Self-Identification

Self-identification can help companies to better develop programs and benefits that meet the needs of LGBTQ associates and to better attract and retain a diverse talent pool to stay competitive in today's tight labor market.

Originally Published by ADP.

Numerous studies have shown that having a diverse workforce brings a wider range of opinions to the table which leads to better problem solving and drives innovation. But to benefit from diverse perspectives, companies first need to understand the makeup of their employee population beyond gender, ethnicity and race.

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Ruling in Colorado Bakery Case Sends Message About Discrimination

The Supreme Court made it clear that you cannot target people based on religion or sexual orientation — but left the future of similar cases in limbo.

David Mullins (L) and Charlie Craig / REUTERS

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday morning in favor of a baker hailing from Colorado who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple. The victory is a shaky one, though, as it deflected from the broader issue.

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White Officer Called Black Police Chief N-Word, Threatened to Beat Her to 'Death With a Banana'

Despite proof of a series of racist and threatening Facebook posts against Tiffany Tims, an Ohio officer hasn't been fired.

Screenshot from Facebook Messenger / WCMH NBC4

UPDATE May 30, 2018 at 10:38 p.m. ET:

On Wednesday night the Nelsonville City Council unanimously voted to fire police officer Joshua Braglin. The vote came during a city council meeting attended by numerous protesters.

ORIGINAL STORY

A white male police officer from Southeastern Ohio made racist and threatening Facebook posts against Hocking College Interim Police Chief Tiffany Tims, who is Black. Nelsonville Police Officer Joshua Braglin hasn't been fired. So, community organizers have scheduled a protest for Wednesday evening.

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Lesbian Latina Sets Out to Make History and Oust Anti-LGBT Texas Gov.

Lupe Valdez, former sheriff of Dallas County, is the first openly gay and Latina to win a major party nomination for governor in Texas.

REUTERS

A new sheriff may soon be in town in Texas, and she's already making history.

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Vickers "Vic" Cunningham, a former Dallas judge who's running in the Republican primary runoff election for Dallas county commissioner on Tuesday, decided to provide his children a monetary incentive to condone homophobia and racism. Cunningham set up a living trust with a clause rewarding his children if they marry a white, straight Christian.

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Reason 1,000 Why Ben Carson Gets a Side Eye — HUD Is Being Sued by Civil Rights Groups

Carson is under fire for sidelining a housing regulation rule that discourages racial segregation.

President Donald Trump appointed Ben Carson secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) without any prior experience except that Carson "grew up in an inner city." Now Carson is leaving the door wide open for housing discrimination.

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Lynching Memorial and Museum Opening Highlights America's Racist Past, Parallels Today's Killings of African Americans

"We're dealing with police violence. We deal with these huge disparities in our criminal justice system. You know, if everything was wonderful you could ask the question, 'Why would you talk about the difficult past?' But everything is not wonderful."

@nullafacente_/INSTAGRAM

Hundreds of people lined up in the rain to experience a long overdue piece of American history and honor the lives lost to lynching at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery Alabama on Thursday.

The Equal Justice Initiative, sponsor of this project, has documented more than 4,000 "racial terror" lynchings in the United States between 1877 and 1950.

The first memorial honoring the victims includes sculptures and art depicting the terror Blacks faced; 800 six-foot steel, engraved monuments to symbolize the victims; writings and words of Toni Morrison and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and a final artwork by Hank Willis Thomas capturing the modern-day racial bias and violence embedded in the criminal justice system and law enforcement.

Among memorial visitors were civil right activist Rev. Jesse Jackson and film director Ava Duvernay. According to the Chicago Tribune, Jackson said it would help dispel the American silence on lynchings, highlighting that whites wouldn't talk about it because of shame and Blacks wouldn't talk about it because of fear. The "60 Minutes Overtime" on the memorial just three weeks earlier was reported by Oprah Winfrey, who stated during her viewing of the slavery sculpture, "This is searingly powerful." Duvernay, quoted by the Chicago Tribune, said: "This place has scratched a scab."

The Montgomery Downtown business association's President, Clay McInnis, who is white, offered his thoughts to NPR in reference to his own family connection to the history that included a grandfather who supported segregation and a friend who dismantled it. "How do you reconcile that on the third generation?" he asked. "You have conversations about it."

A place to start: The Montgomery Advertiser, the local newspaper, apologized for its racist history of coverage between the 1870s and 1950s by publishing the names of over 300 lynching victims on Thursday, the same day as the memorial opening. "Our Shame: the sins of our past laid bare for all to see. We were wrong," the paper wrote.

The innumerable killings of unarmed Black men and the robbing of Black families of fathers, mothers, and children today not only strongly resemble the history of lynchings, but also bring up the discomfort and visceral reactions that many have not reckoned with.

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and the man who spearheaded this project, told NPR: "There's a lot of conflict. There's a lot of tension. We're dealing with police violence. We deal with these huge disparities in our criminal justice system. You know, if everything was wonderful you could ask the question, 'Why would you talk about the difficult past?' But everything is not wonderful."

WFSA, a local news station, interviewed a white man who had gone to see the Legacy Museum downtown, also part of the EJI project, located at the place of a former slave warehouse. He talked about how he was overwhelmed by the experience and that "Slavery is alive in a new way today."

Reactions on social media were reflective of the memorial's power and the work that is continuing toward progress.

During a launch event, the Peace and Justice Summit, Marian Wright Edelman, activist and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, urged the audience to continue their activism beyond the day's events on issues like ending child poverty and gun violence, according to the Chicago Tribune: "Don't come here and celebrate the museum ... when we're letting things happen on an even greater scale."

Perhaps the reason to honor and witness the horrific experiences of our ancestors is to seal in our minds the unacceptable killings of Blacks today, and the work we ALL have to do now to stop repeating the past.