December 15th, 2011
06:29 PM ET

Opinion: Navarrow Wright: After 'Black in America,' we must draw more African-Americans to tech

Editor’s Note: Navarrow Wright is the chief technology officer of Interactive One. He was chief technology officer of BET.com and co-founder of GlobalGrind.com with Russell Simmons. Wright was featured in CNN's recent "Black in America" documentary and is on Twitter @navarrowwright.

Soledad O'Brien chronicles the journey of eight African-American entrepreneurs in the NewMe Accelerator in "Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley" at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. ET on February 11 and February 12.

By Navarrow Wright, Special to CNN

I have to admit: CNN’s “Black in America: The New Promised Land - Silicon Valley” had a significant effect on me.

It started a national conversation around topics that I have been passionate about for some time now. I have spent the last few years talking to as many people who would listen about how opportunities in technology could change their lives. This documentary has become a way to accelerate the conversation.

Following the question and answer portion of the first live-audience documentary screening, people came up to me, one after the other, saying different versions of the same statements.

“Wow, I didn’t know about the disparity was this significant.”


What will it take to make a woman president?
In the years since Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, the number of women leaders in Washington has decreased.
December 15th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

What will it take to make a woman president?

Editor’s Note: Marianne Schnall is a journalist whose writings and interviews have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Women’s Media Center, Glamour Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also the co-founder and executive director of Feminist.com, as well as the co-founder of the environmental site EcoMall.com. Her new book is titled  "Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice."

By Marianne Schnall, Special to CNN

It has been three years since we applauded Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” during the 2008 presidential campaign. However, there has been little progress for women in Washington to celebrate since then. In fact, the current statistics on women’s representation in the U.S. government are pretty shocking: while women make up almost 51% of the U.S. population, they are only about 17% of Congress. The United States ranks 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures, behind countries such as Cuba, China, Iraq and Afghanistan. Heading into the 2012 election, there seems to not only be an absence of female leadership, but some discouraging trends, like that 17% - last year, for the first time in 30 years, the percentage of women in the House of Representatives actually went down.

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to some pioneering and influential women - political leaders, business executives, publishers and thinkers - and I asked them why they believe women have made such little momentum in Washington just four years after having a near presidential contender - and what we can do to get more women into the pipeline of political leadership.


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Filed under: How we live • Politics • Women
December 15th, 2011
12:54 PM ET

Opinion: Forbes' 'If I were a poor black kid' writer Gene Marks responds to Baratunde Thurston

Editor's note: After Forbes contributor Gene Marks wrote a column entitled, "If I were a poor black kid," writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston responded with "Letter from a poor black kid" on CNN's In America blog. Marks responded Thursday with a letter to Thurston. A follow-up by Marks will appear in Forbes on Monday.

"Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley" airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on December 18 on CNN.

Hi Baratunde,

Thanks for your piece – I thought it raised great points and continued the discussion. I wish you success with your new book too. And I read The Onion every day.

What do I know about being a "poor black kid?" Absolutely nothing. I'm a middle class white guy. But I went to school. So I know about that. And I'm in the business of technology. So I know about that.

How can any inner city kid even have the chance to overcome the inequality that our President spoke about and have a chance at some opportunity?


Arizona sheriff faces federal allegations of discrimination
The U.S. Justice Department found Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio discriminated against Latinos.
December 15th, 2011
12:36 PM ET

Arizona sheriff faces federal allegations of discrimination

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has engaged in systemic discrimination against Latinos with practices that violate federal law and the Constitution, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

A comprehensive investigation found that the practices include "unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Latinos," according to a Justice Department statement.

It also noted that the sheriff's office has discriminated against "Latino inmates with limited English by punishing them and denying critical services."

It further blames office for allowing "specialized units to engage in unconstitutional practices" and for a lack of oversight and deputy training.


Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Latino in America
Engage: Almost half of U.S. adults say 'I don't' to marriage
A recent Pew Research Center study shows that just 51% of Americans are married.
December 15th, 2011
10:22 AM ET

Engage: Almost half of U.S. adults say 'I don't' to marriage

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

Number of married Americans plummets to a record low - Los Angeles Times

American citizens caught in crosshairs of immigration enforcement - The New York Times

'Where's the black Liz Lemon?' Author Issa Rae answered the call - New York Magazine

Occupy doesn’t resonate with blacks - San Francisco Chronicle

Survey: Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. women report sexual violence - The New York Times

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Occupy 2.0? Black church leaders join movement
Jamal Harrison Bryant, right, and Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis address reporters at the National Press Club.
December 15th, 2011
09:37 AM ET

Occupy 2.0? Black church leaders join movement

By David Ariosto, CNN

Washington, D.C. (CNN) – A group of African-American church leaders announced Wednesday their intention to join ranks with the Occupy movement in the nation's capital, bolstering what some consider a mutual message of condemning income inequality and social injustice.

The move comes against the backdrop of evictions of Occupy protesters encamped in city parks and squares across the United States, raising questions about whether the two groups can capitalize on momentum gained by the months-long movement.

"We are occupying until poverty is eradicated," pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, near where a core group of activists remains encamped.

Read the full story