Mormon church counters its lily-white image
With its "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks beyond white guys in black ties.
November 2nd, 2011
04:10 PM ET

Mormon church counters its lily-white image

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) – The scene at a Mormon congregation here on a recent Sunday would surprise Americans who think of Mormons as young white missionaries in stiff white shirts, black ties and name tags.

Yes, there are white missionaries handing out bulletins at Washington’s Third Ward – what Mormons call their congregations – but there's also Ruth Williams, an elderly African-American woman, decked out in her Sunday best, doing the same.

White, black, Asian and Hispanic Mormons mingle before the service begins. As it gets under way, an African-American tween plays a video game on his smartphone in one pew as a 30-something white woman across the aisle taps away on her iPad.

Read the story from CNN's Belief Blog

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Race • Religion
Engage: Japanese-American vets honored; Cecilia Muñoz under fire
Susumu Ito, pictured in Germany in the 1940s, was among Japanese-American soldiers to receive a Congressional Gold Medal.
November 2nd, 2011
12:22 PM ET

Engage: Japanese-American vets honored; Cecilia Muñoz under fire

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

Japanese-American vets honored with Congressional Gold Medal
"Thousands of Japanese-American veterans will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday for their services during World War II." - Politico  More at CNN.

Immigrant advocacy groups defend Cecilia Muñoz amid calls for her resignation
“A Latino radio host and blogger is calling for Cecilia Muñoz to resign from the White House for her defense of the administration’s deportation policies. Presente.org, the immigrant rights group that led the petition to get CNN’s Lou Dobbs off the air, is demanding that Muñoz denounce the Secure Communities program.  In response, a group of some of the nation’s leading immigrant advocacy organizations released a statement Monday in support of Muñoz.” - New America Media


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Filed under: Engage
November 2nd, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Opinion: Silicon Valley is no meritocracy for minorities

Editor's note: Hank Williams is a tech entrepreneur and CEO of Kloudco, an internet startup that provides centralized tools for searching and managing online information. Previously, Hank was CEO of ClickRadio, a pioneer in Internet music. He blogs at whydoeseverythingsuck.com, and is featured in "Black in America 4 - The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley," which airs on CNN at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. ET on February 11 and February 12.

By Hank Williams, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Last Wednesday, a Twitter fight erupted between technology experts Michael Arrington, founder and former editor of TechCrunch, and Vivek Wadhwa, a technology researcher and writer, after a screening of CNN's documentary, "The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley."

Arrington said a few very clear things about his view of the state of diversity in Silicon Valley. Among them: There may be very few African-Americans in Silicon Valley, but despite this Silicon Valley is a pure meritocracy, and one becomes successful because he or she has a "big brain." Vivek disagreed. As an Indian-American entrepreneur, he said he sees significant bias in Silicon Valley, and even recounted a specific instance where he was told, "You people don't make good CEOs."

First, let me say, I think Arrington truly believes everything he has said about the tech world being a meritocracy. Lots of people believe it.

But not me.

Read Hank Williams' full commentary