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November 9th, 2011
05:32 PM ET

Rareview: Bringing black voices to Occupy Wall Street

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

In the earliest day of Occupy Wall Street, Malik Rahsaan wasn't seeing the black and brown faces he expected to be there.  Rahsaan, the "Occupy the Hood" co-founder, and Monica Montgomery, an activist, saw the issues in their community need to have a voice at Zuccotti Park, too. "We've been struggling and now America's getting a taste of what we've been living with and dealing with for generations," Montgomery said. "Let's join and be a part of change for everyone."

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Filed under: How we live • Race • Rareviews
Poll: Should using a discrimantory slur be cause to lose a job?
Director Brett Ratner won't be hosting the Oscars -- he resigned due to backlash after he used a gay slur.
November 9th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Poll: Should using a discrimantory slur be cause to lose a job?

Movie director Brett Ratner got people angry last weekend when he made an anti-gay remark during a Q&A session after a screening of his latest feature, “Tower Heist.” The comment spawned calls for him to be fired from his job producing the Oscars and it spread like wildfire throughout the blogosphere.

He quickly apologized but critics didn’t let go, and the comment cost him the most coveted producing job on TV.

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Filed under: Black in America • Polls
November 9th, 2011
04:40 PM ET

Opinion: Why Arizona's GOP will need to start job hunting

Editor's note: Mario Solis-Marich  is a talk show host whose show is heard on AM-760 radio in Denver. He has worked on election campaigns throughout the Southwest and was an early voice that called for a national boycott of Arizona after SB 1070 passed.

By Mario Solis-Marich, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Apparently, disgust with the anti-immigrant cry embraced by the right-wing nativists in Arizona is not limited to Latinos, or even to Democrats. Last night, the legislative leader of Arizona’s anti-immigrant movement, State Senator Russell Pearce, lost the fight of his political life in a safe Republican district.

The winner Tuesday night, Jerry Lewis, a political newcomer and fellow GOP candidate, has indicated a much softer tone on immigration.

More than 10,000 signatures supported Pearce’s recall, and at the polls, Lewis led 53.4% to Pearce's 45.3%.

FULL POST

Engage: Heavy D dies; 50 years later, 'West Side Story' lives on
Rapper Heavy D, left, pictured with Cee Lo Green, died Tuesday at age 44.
November 9th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

Engage: Heavy D dies; 50 years later, 'West Side Story' lives on

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.

'Heavy D' dies at 44
"Rapper and actor Heavy D, who played an influential role in shaping rap music in the late '80s and early '90s with a fusion of New Jack Swing and reggae, has died. He was 44. Heavy D, who was born Dwight Arrington Myers, died Tuesday in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after collapsing on the walkway outside his Beverly Hills home, according to law enforcement sources. Myers' survivors include a daughter." - The Los Angeles Times

50 year later, 'West Side Story' still inspires
“This incredibly successful and highly acclaimed musical marked the first time Puerto Ricans were the focus of a mainstream cinematic production. ... 'Why are we watching West Side Story 50 years later? West Side Story is still shown today to gangs in the L.A. County jails. You’d be surprised how current the movie is in terms of being shown, if nothing else, to start discussions on gang violence. We might not find it very violent, and the body count is really low, but the seed of prejudice is still the same. '” -  MovieMorlocks.com

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'Personhood' amendment fails in Mississippi
Activists celebrate the defeat of Mississippi's amendment 26 on Tuesday night in Jackson.
November 9th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

'Personhood' amendment fails in Mississippi

Mississippi voters’ rejection yesterday of a ballot initiative that would have bestowed "personhood" on any fertilized human egg is being celebrated by the measure’s opponents. But its supporters, including a nationwide group that advocates for laws declaring life begins at conception, are not giving up. Personhood USA said it plans to introduce similar measures in Florida, Montana and Ohio next year, but many are analyzing why this round failed.

The initiative, known as amendment 26, would have effectively banned abortion in the state and restricted certain methods of contraception and fertility treatments. It also could have become a challenge to federal laws establishing the legality of abortion. Supporters believed the amendment was necessary to prevent what they perceive as the killing of unborn children.

Opponents criticized the measure as too vague, because the details of how it would be codified and enforced would have been left up to the state legislature. Others condemned the proposal as an attempt to exert unprecedented control over a woman’s body. Some national anti-abortion groups were against the measure on the grounds that it could lead to a Supreme Court case that could end up bolstering Roe v. Wade, the case that established women's constitution right to terminate pregnancies.

Read the article, "Mississippi voters reject anti-abortion initiative"

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Filed under: Politics • Women
November 9th, 2011
07:03 AM ET

Silicon Valley diversity data stays secret

(CNNMoney) - How diverse are Silicon Valley's offices and executive suites? Activists have been trying for years to answer that question, but some of the industry's largest and most influential employers - including Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook - closely guard that information.

Every U.S. company with more than 100 employees is required to file a one-page form each year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an independent federal agency. Called the EEO-1, the form categorizes U.S. workers by their race and gender.

It's a blunt and imperfect measurement tool, but it's also the only hard data available for tracking the diversity of corporate America.

CNNMoney filed a Freedom of Information request in August seeking EEO-1 data from 20 companies: The tech industry's 10 biggest firms by annual sales and 10 smaller but influential firms, including Facebook and Twitter. The EEOC denied the request in full, saying it is legally prohibited from releasing that information. CNNMoney later filed the same request with the Department of Labor, and is awaiting a response.

Read the article, "Silicon Valley fights to keep its diversity data secret"

November 9th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

How teaching technology changes lives

High tech industries are dominated by white and Asian workers, but the fastest-growing segment of of mobile devices and social media is African Americans and Latinos. Now, several organizations are focusing on teaching those groups the technology behind their favorite devices and websites. Some believe that teaching technology is the path to opportunity and helping their communities.

Soledad O'Brien reports "Black in America: Silicon Valley – The New Promised Land," at 8 p.m. November 13 on CNN.