Julian Castro Must Uphold Fair Housing

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Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. One of Castro’s first official acts as HUD Secretary should be to concretize the Department’s duty to promote fair housing throughout its programs and activities.


What We Say and What We Do

How We Communicate on Immigration Greatly Influences Our Course of Action 


Central American children (above) seek solace in the U.S.

By Melissa Moore and Julie Fisher-Rowe

Americans of all stripes take pride in our country’s reputation as a place of opportunity, and time and again migrants to the US prove crucial to our country’s economy, social fabric, and future potential. But the values we hold dear and our national rhetoric on immigration have sharply diverged—with dangerous implications for vulnerable children arriving at the border who need real solutions now more than ever.


The Voice & Vision of Maya Angelou

Musings from members of our community about the impact of Dr. Maya Angelou on their lives, dreams, and creativity.

A Young Girl, Grabbing Life by the Lapels, by Eva-Marie Malone

It feels like a contradiction to mourn the passing of Dr. Angelou, because unlike many other well-known people who are gone, her life doesn’t seem incomplete. Often, the first response to the loss of someone famous is to imagine “what might have been” or what else they might have accomplished. Everything about Dr. Angelou’s life and writing felt complete.  Although this transition feels like a personal loss to many of us, her impact continues to resonate and breathe for all of us. 


From Angie Zapata to Laverne Cox

Sitting in a cab on my way to the airport, after facilitating a full-day communications workshop in Mississippi, I flipped through a magazine mindlessly. Suddenly an advertising insert from a department store caught my eye. It was Barneys' campaign featuring exclusively transgender models, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters. My thoughts immediately flashed back to 2009 when I was working at GLAAD and was focused on increasing Spanish language media coverage on Angie Zapata’s story. Angie was an 18-year-old from Colorado who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher after her date found out she had been assigned a male identity at birth. The case drew national attention as one of the first in which a hate crime law was applied in a murder trial where the victim was transgender.


Why the Sterlings Matter

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling doubled down on bigotry this week, disparaging NBA icon Magic Johnson for his HIV positive status, and saying that Johnson and other African-American entrepreneurs have done little to assist the black community. Sterling’s latest rantings made clear the depth of his personal prejudices, and that his racist remarks on a surreptitiously recorded telephone call were no anomaly.


Will Wearing 'Suits and Ties' Make African-American Boys Safe?


Image from the video "Suit and Tie in the 217" (Tiffany Gholson/YouTube)

Inspired by Justin Timberlake’s song “Suit and Tie,” the African-American boys of Illinois Central High School created their own video for the song in an effort to debunk racial stereotypes around young black males. This reinforces the idea that they must embrace traditional Western business attire. The video begins with a group of African-American boys walking through the entryway of their high school garbed in suits, ties, pressed dress pants and cardigan sweaters. Their body language as they stroll through the school halls shows confidence, assertiveness and, most importantly, self-control. Subtitles throughout the video offer positive self-reflection statements like, “we are scholars, and we are athletes.” However, does the video model what we would ideally like our young black men to demonstrate and norms they should adhere to?


Measuring What Matters

We measure a lot of stuff in our society—stuff like gasoline prices, Hollywood box office numbers and, Heaven help us, Kim Kardashian’s Twitter followers (there are 20.7 million, in case you’re wondering). But it’s rare that we try to measure our progress in achieving the American ideal of opportunity, especially when it comes to our nation’s young people.


Beyond Colorism: Beauty and the Many Shades of Brown

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Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o discusses colorism at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon

In the era of Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States, some black women see themselves as beautiful, strong, and intelligent. They are also combating racial stereotypes that are perpetuated within their communities and are now coming into their own. They are now seen as industry leaders within science, business, education, social justice, entertainment, and more. However, many of them have not been able to see their own beauty past the color of their skin. What does beauty mean in the black community and how does colorism affect our livelihood?


Homeownership and Affordable Housing Remain Tough Goals

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Despite negative experiences with the housing crisis, many Americans believe homeownership is an important part of the American Dream. While Americans are more confident in their ability to make housing-related payments, they also find obtaining a mortgage as difficult and costly. Recent data on falling home purchases and mortgage applications reflect these beliefs. Public opinion data also shows that Americans believe finding affordable housing is more difficult than ever. Affordable housing, an important way to invigorate communities and prevent poverty, is a top priority for minority groups and Millennials. However, the recession and the housing crisis have disproportionately affected these groups.


A Year of Major Milestones for Home Opportunity...Let's Not Screw It Up!

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There was major action on the Home Opportunity front in 2013, the result of persistent activism by advocates, joined by millions of everyday Americans.  The gains set the stage for much-needed relief to homeowners, more equal opportunity for diverse communities, a boost to our economy, and a reinvigoration of the American Dream.  But those outcomes are far from guaranteed, and we could easily screw it up.  Let’s not.


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