WHO IS LASHANA LYNCH? 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ACTRESS RUMORED TO BE FIRST BLACK, FEMALE 007

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Daniel Craig’s last appearance as James Bond will reportedly happen in the still-untitled 25th Bond film (or Bond 25, as it’s known), and there’s no word yet on who the next actor to play the iconic MI6 agent will be. But a new report suggests that the upcoming film will show that the 007 moniker has been passed off to a new agent, played by Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch.

According to Mail on Sunday, Lynch will be given Bond’s famous code number in the next installment in what is being described as a “pivotal” scene. The new 007 will supposedly be tasked with heading to Jamaica to convince Craig’s Bond to emerge from retirement and help take on whatever new catastrophe is imperiling the global order.

“There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says, ‘Come in 007,’ and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman,” the anonymous insider said, according to the report, adding, “It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.”

If Lynch’s role in the film happens as reported, Bond creatives will technically have made history by having a black woman play Agent 007, while evading possible controversy over whether or not the character of James Bond should be portrayed by a performer who is non-white or female. (read more)

Facebook’s 2019 Diversity Report Reveals There’s Still A Long Way To Go

facebook diversity report

Facebook recently revealed their 2019 Diversity Report and shared some of their progress since the report’s inception in 2014. The company shared in a post that since 2014, the number of black women at the company has grown by 25 times and the number of black men at the company has grown by 10 times. Facebook has also grown the number of women and underrepresented groups in leadership positions across the organization. Some additional initiatives that Facebook has implemented to increase diversity and inclusion includes a Military Skills Translator, which allows veteran candidates to better align their background with open roles at Facebook. 2.2% of the company’s workforce is comprised of veterans. Williams also shared that Facebook was voted as one of the best places to work for disability inclusion according to the Disability Equality Index. Facebook has also been named as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality. In addition, partnerships and investments in programs like The Align Program, ROAR, Women LEAD and LEAP, and Community Summits demonstrate that Facebook is making a concerted effort to foster more diversity and inclusion within the organization. According to Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global chief diversity officer, although the company has made strides within the last six years, they are not yet where they want to be. As far as the future, Facebook shared that their goal within the next five years is to have half of their workforce be comprised of people from underrepresented groups such as women, blacks, Hispanics, the differently-abled, and veterans, among others. What are three things that Facebook can do to help them achieve their diversity and inclusion goals moving forward? (read more)

Twitter takes on diversity problem with new engineering apprenticeship program for women and minorities

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KEY POINTS
  • Twitter on Wednesday announced an apprenticeship program designed to bring up-and-coming talent to its engineering and data science teams.
  • The program will bring on full-time employees who will rotate throughout Twitter’s technical teams for 12 months.
  • A company spokesperson tells CNBC that there are currently 16 open roles, “but we could imagine expanding the program in the future.”

Twitter on Wednesday announced an apprenticeship program designed to bring more women and minorities into its engineering and data science teams, as the company attempts to improve diversity among its technical staff.

“The Twitter Engineering Apprenticeship Program is an opportunity for folks from non-traditional tech backgrounds to experience engineering at Twitter,” the company said in one job listing for the program. “We believe the people who build Twitter should be representative of those that use the platform, this includes people from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented within tech such as women, black, Latinx, Native American, etc, just to name a few.”

Over the past few years, Twitter has come under criticism for enabling harassment, including racism, sexism and anti-Semitism, on its platform. Like other big tech companies, Twitter is trying to create products for the masses but has struggled to develop a diverse employee base.

Twitter’s workforce stands at 41.2% women, 4.7% black employees and 4% Hispanic employees, while its technical ranks consist of 21.3% women, 2.9% black employees and 3.3% Hispanics, according to the company’s June 2019 diversity report. The company says its goal is to boost female representation to 43%, and lift black and Hispanic representation to 5% each. (read more)

 

 

 

Disney’s Original Ariel Reacts to Halle Bailey Being Cast in Live-Action The Little Mermaid

littlle mermaid

Halle Bailey has the nod of approval from the original Ariel.

The Chloe x Halle singer, 19, was cast as the singing mermaid in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Reacting to racist Internet comments about her casting, Jodie Benson, the original voice of Ariel in the 1989 animated classic, praised Disney’s decision while recently attending Florida Supercon.

“I think the most important thing is to tell the story,” Benson said at the pop culture convention, as seen in a video on Instagram posted by user part.of.my.disney.world.. “We have, as a family, raised our children and for ourselves that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.” (read more)

Meet The “Queen Of The Dark” Who Was Told To Bleach Her Incredibly Dark Skin By Uber Driver

sudanese model

Meet Nyakim Gatwech, the South Sudanese descent African American model who’s teaching people not to be afraid of the dark. With her deeply pigmented skin and fierce determination, the dark skin model is breaking down the barriers of conventional beauty and encouraging others to do the same.

The 24-year-old African model and fashion icon, who now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has no shame about her melanin, and she makes sure the world is aware. “My chocolate is elegant. So is what I represent… A nation of warriors,” she captioned one of her many Instagram photos, which routinely exceed 10 thousand likes each. In another, she details an experience in which an Uber driver suggested she try ‘bleaching’ her skin – and her only response was laughter. “You won’t believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin.”

Gatwech is not only an advocate for diversity in the fashion industry but also a voice for Black rights around the world. She’s even been dubbed “Queen of Darkness,” a title she happily accepts. “Black is bold, black is beautiful, black is gold… Don’t let American standards damage your African soul.” Love the skin you live in, no matter what color or shade it may be! (read more)

‘No one left behind’: Lenny Henry calls for more diversity in the arts

Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry has given a rallying call for more diversity in the arts and entertainment, saying nobody should be left behind.

The comedian, actor and writer won the outstanding achievement award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, which celebrates every genre of the arts, for his long career and also his championing of diversity.

Talking afterwards about the campaigning that has been close to his heart, Henry said he would not rest until everyone in the industry felt represented at work.

Read more: Lenny Henry’s pride at Sky Arts honour

Henry told Sky News: “My thing is nobody left behind, no one left behind now in our industry.

“Let’s have people behind the scenes and on camera and let’s have that be diverse and representational.

“We shouldn’t have to put up with anymore, walking on a set and not seeing people who look like us. So 50-50 male-female, 15% BAME.” (read more)

Source Lunch with … Kevin Clayton, vice president of diversity, inclusion and community engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers

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Kevin Clayton’s career has come full circle.

A former basketball player at Shaker Heights High School, Clayton has lived in California, New York, Georgia, Michigan and Florida. He started his career with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, and has had prominent roles with the likes of Bon Secours Mercy Health, the United States Tennis Association and Russell Corp. He also had a successful consulting firm.

Clayton wasn’t planning on returning to Northeast Ohio, but when the Cavs offered him a newly created position that called for someone to lead diversity and inclusion initiatives for all of the organization’s properties, the former Wilmington College hoops standout found the opportunity too intriguing to bypass.

“This, for me, is my dream job at kind of the latter stages of my career,” said Clayton, whose hiring was announced in early April. “I’m as happy as I could be to be back in Cleveland to leverage all the assets that our organization has to help a community that I grew up in.”

The future of diversity and inclusion in tech

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Silicon Valley is entering a new phase in its quest for diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Some advocates call this part “the end of the beginning,” Code2040 CEO Karla Monterroso tells TechCrunch.

At first, advocates were focused on calling out the lack of diversity at tech conferences, pressuring companies to release diversity data and debunking the pipeline problem. Then the focus shifted to hiring heads of diversity and implementing unconscious bias training (more on this in our ‘Diversity and inclusion playbook‘, but it’s worth pointing out those things are on their own are not productive).

“We’re past the window dressing stage and now it’s time to talk about accountability, consequences, promotions and retention,” she says. “And what it means to prioritize things to make sure the industry is not inhospitable.”

While the diversity and inclusion movement has made some gains in the last few years, it has still suffered severe setbacks. On one hand, tech employees are recognizing their immense power when they speak up and organize. On the other hand, those accused of sexual harassment and misconduct are too often facing too few consequences. Meanwhile, people of color and women still receive too little venture funding, and tech companies are inching along at a glacial pace toward diverse representation and inclusion. (read more)

How racial gerrymandering deprives black people of political power

racial gerrymandering

Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court expanded the meaning of one of the most important civil rights laws in U.S. history — the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Among other things, the court prohibited a then-common practice among some states of spreading minorities across voting districts, leaving them too few in number in any given district to elect their preferred candidates. The practice became known as “racial gerrymandering.”

The court’s solution required that states create majority-minority districts — districts in which the majority of the voting-age population belonged to a single minority. With voting that occurred largely along racial lines, these districts allowed minority voters to elect their candidates of choice.

But a fascinating development occurred in the years since. These districts, rather than giving African Americans more political power, might have actually started to deprive them of it. Majority-minority districts, by concentrating the minority vote in certain districts, have the unintended consequence of diluting their influence elsewhere. Experts say some Republican legislatures have capitalized on this new reality, redistricting in their political favor under the guise of majority-minority districts. (read more)

 

Why the NFL must make increasing diversity a bigger priority, both at its highest levels and among coaches and GMs

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ATLANTA — Several years ago at the annual NFL Spring Meeting, while standing in the sprawling hallway of a swanky resort as high-ranking team and league officials began to pour out of a conference room for lunch, an associate asked me a question that resonates even more loudly today.

The individual, at the time a person of considerable heft in football circles, wondered aloud that if I sat in that hallway all day, how many people of color — excluding coaches — would be among those scampering in and out of meeting rooms in their smart business suits? It’s something that has run through my head in the years since, spending countless hours hanging around and waiting for such meetings to conclude, and it’s a dynamic hardly lost on those at the league office as well.

For two days in Atlanta this week, the NFL hosted a Quarterback Coaching Summit, trying to identify a pipeline of diverse coaches on the offensive side of the ball in the pro and college ranks who can hopefully rise to become head coaches themselves. Coaches and general managers spoke frankly and passionately about the problems they face during the symposium, trying to address the issue at the grassroots level. And they did so knowing that the power structure within the league — owners and team presidents and GMs — are almost entirely white, and there is a dearth of people of color in a position to hire in football. (read more)

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