Yesterday, July 31, was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. Serena Williams wrote an eloquent column for Fortune, explaining just what that means:
“I’d like to acknowledge the many realities black women face every day. To recognize that women of color have to work—on average—eight months longer to earn the same as their male counterparts do in one year. To bring attention to the fact that black women earn 17% less than their white female counterparts and that black women are paid 63% of the dollar men are paid. Even black women who have earned graduate degrees get paid less at every level. This is as true in inner cities as it is in Silicon Valley.”
Filed under gender, race, work
Tish Jones, courtesy photo
As long as she can remember, Tish Jones has loved words, loved writing and loved being on a stage. A self-identified student of hip-hop culture, she traces her passion for words to African diasporic cultural practices, including the griot, hip-hop, jazz, funk, bebop and blues. Now she’s a poet, spoken word artist, and the executive director of TruArtSpeaks – an organization she founded to cultivate spaces for youth and community, especially through hip-hop and spoken word. Continue reading
In 2014, the police shooting of Michael Brown brought young people pouring into the streets. Their anger, their courage, their commitment quickly flowed beyond Ferguson and police to challenge multiple forms of institutionalized and structural racism of this country. A new generation marched into the streets. Rage and grief sparked their activism, conviction and solidarity sustain them.
On June 2, Judge Aaron Persky gave Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist a slap-on-the-wrist sentence of six months in jail, which means he’ll probably serve three. An eloquent 12-page statement from the Stanford rape victim sparked outpourings of anger and support. Rather than marches in the street, protest took the form of women telling their own stories of sexual assault, of a million-signature judicial impeachment petition, of at least 10 prospective jurors refusing to serve under Judge Persky in other cases, and of statements of solidarity including an open letter from Vice President Joe Biden. Continue reading
Subsidizing corn for a sacred cow A 107-page report (PDF) from the state legislative auditor’s office says the state should stop subsidizing ethanol and questions the potential for increased environmental benefit from increasing production of corn-based ethanol.
The recommendation to end public subsidies for ethanol producers is based on strictly economic analysis that shows increased profitability for ethanol producers has eliminated the justification for subsidies. The state program, begun in 1987, is a producer payment program. The Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) program has also provided subsidies for recently-built ethanol and biodiesel facilities. According to the report, “the producer payment program has paid $93 million over the last five years to companies that have earned profits of $619 million” during the past five years, and “about $44 million is scheduled to be spent on the producer payment program from fiscal year 2010 through 2012.” The report recommends ending the subsidy and “redirecting the funds to programs designed to further reduce fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.” That, of course, is not going to happen because the ethanol industry has a lock on legislative support, as well as the support of the governor.