Tag: facebook

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to Join Facebook, 1st African-American to Sit on FB’s Board of Directors

NEW YORK, NY: Kenneth I. Chenault speaks onstage at The New York Times 2017 DealBook Conference at Jazz at Lincoln Center on November 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times)

by , via usatoday.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has named one of the nation’s most prominent black corporate leaders, American ExpressKenneth Chenault, to its board of directors.

The appointment, which gives the social media giant the guidance of a highly regarded finance executive and the first black director on its all-white board, was the culmination of years of recruitment efforts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “I’ve been trying to recruit Ken for years. He has unique expertise in areas I believe Facebook needs to learn and improve — customer service, direct commerce, and building a trusted brand,”  Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Ken also has a strong sense of social mission and the perspective that comes from running an important public company for decades.”

Chenault announced in October that he would retire as chairman and CEO of American Express on Feb. 1, capping a 16-year run.

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg told the Congressional Black Caucus in October that the social media giant was in talks to bring aboard its first black board member but she did not disclose the person’s identity.

The striking lack of people of color in the executive suite and on the boards of Silicon Valley companies won’t come as a culture shock to Chenault, one of the longest-serving black CEOs of a major U.S. corporation and a veteran of an industry dominated by white men in its top management ranks. The appointment to the Facebook board, effective Feb. 5, comes after years of lobbying by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to add people of color to the company’s directors.

Diversity remains a top challenge for Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies that are mostly staffed by white and Asian men. Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, USA TODAY research showed.

Minorities are also sharply underrepresented in non-technical jobs such as sales and administration, with African Americans faring noticeably worse than Hispanics, according to USA TODAY analysis of the employment records of Facebook, Google and Yahoo in 2014.

Women now make up 35% of Facebook’s global workforce, up from 33%, and hold 19% of technical roles, up from 17%, the Menlo Park, Calif. company said last year.

In the U.S., Facebook has brought aboard more people of color. Three percent of Facebook workers are African American, up from 2%, and 5% of them are Hispanic, up from 4%.

But Facebook fell short where the lack of diversity is most acute, in the proportion of African-American and Hispanic workers in technical roles, which has stayed flat at 1% and 3% respectively since 2014. The percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in senior leadership positions at Facebook has also remained largely unchanged.

Chenault was the second black Fortune 500 CEO to announce plans to step down in 2017, along with Xerox Corp.’s Ursula Burns. Less than 5% of the 200 largest U.S. companies are led by African Americans, according to a 2016 report from recruitment firm Spencer Stuart.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Chenault, 66, has been with American Express since 1981. He serves on the boards of IBM, Procter & Gamble and non-profit groups including the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. He’s also a philanthropist who took a lead role in raising money for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

When Chenault announced he was stepping down from American Express, Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is the largest AmEx shareholder, said in a statement that he was the “gold standard for corporate leadership and the benchmark that I measure others against.”

To read full article, go to: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/01/18/facebook-names-american-express-ceo-kenneth-chenault-first-african-american-all-white-board/1043015001/

All Star Code Founder Christina Lewis Halpern Exposes Boys of Color to STEM Opportunities

All Star Code founder Christina Lewis Halpern with All Star students (photo via allstarcode.org)

via blavity.com

“We all want and need a seat at the table, and then we want to run the table and then we want to have our own table. Coding is the ticket to that,” says Christina Lewis Halpern, the founder of All Star Code, a six-week initiative for high school boys of color to discover innovative career opportunities through a computer science based curriculum.

According to Atlanta Black Star, the New York activist is the daughter of the late Reginald F. Lewis, a Wall Street attorney who became the first African-American to build a billion-dollar company. Her father, a Harvard graduate before dying of brain cancer in 1993, operated TLC Beatrice International, a grocery, beverage and household products distributor.

The month before he passed, Lewis named Halpern, who was only 12-years-old at the time, to the board of his foundation. “My family foundation is committed to social justice and believes in the power of entrepreneurship and investing in our community,” Halpern said. Two decades into the future and Halpern, a professional business journalist, created the All Star Code program “to help the next generation of youth catch the next wave of opportunity.”

So how did she do it? “We seeded this initiative and provided an anchor grant. About 20 percent of the money invested in All Star Code last year was from the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, or Lewis family personal funds,” Halpern explained. Other donors included Bond Collective, Cisco, Comcast, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Chase, MLB Advanced Media and Yahoo!. These corporations in addition to operational support gave $350,000 in funding.

Because of the lack of opportunities in STEM for men and women of color, Halpern’s All Star Code is designed to change that. The nonprofit raised more than $740,000 in 2016 at the annual All Star Code fundraiser in the Hamptons. Due to the generous contributions of the donors, the organization, which started in New York City and has stretched to Pittsburgh, has expanded and continues to grow rapidly.

The number of boys that participated in the Summer initiative skyrocketed from only 20 in 2014 to 160 this year. Halpern says that their goal is to have at least 1,000 high schoolers in 2020.

To read full article, go to: Daughter Of The First African-American To Build A Billion-Dollar Company Exposes Boys Of Color To STEM Opportunities | BLAVITY

Paypal, ApplePay, Spotify and Other Tech Companies Purge White Supremacist Groups from Their Platforms

by Jessica Yarvin via pbs.org

After the violent protests in Charlottesville, tech companies are rethinking their roles in providing online services for hateful groups. The fight is only beginning, as far-right groups and freedom of speech advocates have argued that tech companies are infringing on their first amendment rights by blocking their access to these services. For now, here are the companies who have taken steps to remove white nationalist and other hate groups from their platforms:

GoDaddy: The web domain name provider cut off the neo-nazi website The Daily Stormer, citing that the website had “crossed the line from exercising freedom of speech to provoking further mayhem.”

Apple Pay: On Wednesday, Apple Pay blocked websites that sell white nationalist merchandise, such as clothing with nazi symbols from using their payment services. A day earlier, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to employees where he said “hate is a cancer” and announced donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

Discord: Members of the “alt-right” movement, whose beliefs are a mix of white nationalism, neo-Nazism and extreme populism, flocked to this group messaging service due to it’s privacy and anonymity; however, after the violence in Charlottesville, the company booted white nationalist groups and users off the app. In the days leading up to the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the New York Times reported that some white supremacists used the app to organize transportation to and lodging for the event.

Spotify: The music streaming service removed dozens of white supremacist artists that the Southern Poverty Law Center had identified as hate music.

Facebook: Citing violations of the company’s guidelines, Facebook banned eight pages associated with the white nationalist movement, along with the personal page and Instagram account of a white nationalist featured in the Vice News documentary about the Charlottesville rally. Continue reading “Paypal, ApplePay, Spotify and Other Tech Companies Purge White Supremacist Groups from Their Platforms”

Teacher Ana Barbara Ferreira Changes Hairstyle to Support Bullied Student

Teacher Ana Barbara Ferreira and her student (photo via Facebook)

article via bbc.com

A Brazilian teacher has come up with a unique way to help a schoolgirl who was being bullied because of her hair.

Ana Barbara Ferreira, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, said her student was “sad” after being ridiculed by a boy, who had said her hair was “ugly”. “At that moment, the only thing I could tell her was that she was wonderful and shouldn’t care about what he was saying,” she wrote in a Facebook post that went viral. A bigger show of support came in the following day, when she went to work wearing the same hairstyle as her pupil, much to the girl’s surprise.

“When she saw me, she came running to hug me and say that I was beautiful,” Ms Ferreira said. “I told her: ‘Today I’m beautiful like you!'” She posted a picture on Facebook of her with the pupil – both smiling and with similar hairstyles.The teacher has been widely praised on social media. Her post has been liked by more than 142,000 people and shared 30,000 times.

Ms Ferreira said: “Yesterday, my student told me there was a boy saying that her hair was ugly. She was very sad. At that moment, the only thing I could tell her was that she was wonderful and shouldn’t care about what he was saying.

“Today, I woke up and remembered what happened and decided to wear the same hairstyle she used to wear. When she saw me, she came running to hug me and say that I was beautiful, and I told her: ‘Today I’m beautiful like you!’.”

Source: Brazil teacher changes hairstyle to support bullied girl – BBC News

Officer Who Shot and Killed Philando Castile Charged With Manslaughter

Philando Castile (photo via madamenoire.com)

article by via madamenoire.com

Prosecutor John J. Choi of Ramsey County, Minnesota announced today that Officer Jeronimo Yanez will face three criminal charges for shooting and killing Philando Castile in July. Castile’s death, if you will recall, came just a day after the police-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Choi said that Yanez’s use of deadly force was not justified as he “never removed or tried to remove” the gun he had in his pocket during the traffic stop. Yanez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. The latter charges were applied since both Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old child were present in the car and put in danger during the shooting.

Officer Yanez killed 32-year-old Philando Castile on July 6 during a stop in Falcon Heights. The St. Anthony police officer shot Castile after spotting his gun, and the New York Times reported that Yanez’s lawyer claims that Castile didn’t follow commands. However, in Facebook live video recorded by Castile’s partner, Diamond Reynolds, she said that Castile was license to carry his weapon and was trying to make Yanez aware of his gun when he was shot.

The livestream video showed Castile bleeding with the officer standing nearby, and it was viewed millions of times. Those who knew Castile had nothing but great things to say about the school cafeteria manager following his death, and those who didn’t know him, for the most part, were demanding action.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Yanez is the first officer since 2000 to be charged in a police-involved death in Minnesota, this despite there being more than 150 deaths involving police in the state since that time.

To read more, go to: Officer Who Shot And Killed Philando Castile Charged With Manslaughter

Tennessee Corrections Center Official Resigns After His Racist FB Posts Come to Light

David Barber, deputy director of the Shelby County Corrections Center in Tennessee, resigned after derogatory posts from his Facebook account came to light. (Courtesy of Shelby County)

article by Cleve R. Wootson Jr. via washingtonpost.com

David Barber kept his Facebook profile set to private, but anyone who was friends with him could see the very public nature of his job — right next to the racist posts that made him lose it. Barber, Deputy Director of the Shelby County Corrections Center in Memphis for the past 17 years, resigned amid a growing controversy over the posts.

One featured a picture of President Obama next to a man in a Ku Klux Klan mask and said “The KKK is more American than the illegal president.” Another post, according to the Memphis Flyer, is about the Obama family claiming they had been discriminated against because they’re black.

According to the newspaper, Barber commented, “Arrest convict hang and confiscate all assets.” The posts were shared from the page of a group called “the Free Patriot,” which posts conservative-tinged news stories.

To read more, go to: A Tenn. jail official called the KKK ‘more American’ than Obama. Now he’s out of a job. – The Washington Post

West Virginia Mayor Resigns After Co-Signing on Racist FB Post About Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama (photo via essence.com)

A petition calling for Mayor Beverly Whaling’s termination has garnered over 24,000 signatures.

article by Rachaell Davis via essence.com

UPDATE (11/15/16): West Virginia Mayor Beverly Whaling has resigned. WSAZ News reportedly received confirmation that Whaling has submitted an official resignation letter, following the fallout from her comments on a racially offensive Facebook post, in which Clay County Corporation Director Pamela Ramsey Taylor referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as “an ape in heels.”

Previous Report:

As racial tensions continue to rise across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, a disturbing incident out of West Virginia has thousands demanding action.

Clay County Development Corporation Executive Pamela Ramsey Taylor hurled words of blatant disrespect and disregard for First Lady Michelle Obama in a racist Facebook post, where she referred to FLOTUS as “an ape in heels.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling agreed with Taylor’s racially offensive statement, commenting on the original post, “Just made my day, Pam.”

To read full article, go to: West Virginia Mayor Criticized For Racist FB Post About Michelle Obama Essence.com

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Says New York Will Remain a ‘Refuge’ for Minorities, Immigrants

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Nov. 19, 2014. (Gary Wiepert/AP)

article by Kristine Guerra via washingtonpost.com

Amid reports of harassment and threats directed at minorities and immigrants in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a Facebook post on Saturday that his state is a refuge for those who feel they are under attack.

“Whether you are gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, black or white or brown, we respect all people in the state of New York,” Cuomo (D) wrote. “It’s the very core of what we believe and who we are . . . We don’t allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state.”

To read more, go to: Gov. Andrew Cuomo: New York a ‘refuge’ for minorities, immigrants – The Washington Post

Black Doctors Challenge Delta Airlines with Inspirational Hashtag #WhatADoctorLooksLike

(photo by @drshantesays via twitter.com)

article by Natasha Alford via thegrio.com

When physician Tamika Cross shared her story of being dismissed while trying to help a man in need, many black doctors felt her pain.

Cross says she was on a Delta Flight from Detroit heading to Minneapolis when a passenger became unresponsive and flight attendants called for medical help.

But when Cross tried to step in, she recalls the flight attendant told her, “We are looking for actual physicians…”

“I’m sure many of my fellow young, corporate America working women of color can all understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected,” Cross wrote in a Facebook post after the alleged incident.

The response has galvanized black doctors to respond by posting their own credentials — and faces — to show people exactly #WhatADoctorLooksLike.  #WhatADoctorLooksLike challenges stereotypical depictions of black people by showing their successes and achievements.

Delta is currently investigating the Cross incident.  Meanwhile, black doctors everywhere will continue to win.

Check out the best responses to #WhatADoctorLooksLike below:

Source: Black doctors hit back at Delta with inspirational #WhatADoctorLooksLike | theGrio

Solange Knowles Writes Insightful, Personal Essay on Racial Discrimination

Solange Knowles
Solange Knowles (photo via solangemusic.com)
article by Lesa Lakin
by Lesa Lakin, Lifestyle Editor

Today I woke up to a Facebook post that my roommate from college shared on her feed. Her response to that tauntingly generic Facebook encouragement— “What’s on your mind?” seemed a little more perturbed, urgent and determined than usual: “This is a must read! #blacklivesmatter #takeaknee and if u don’t like my hashtags feel free to unfollow me.”  Whoa… okay, she had my attention. I found my glasses and I was in. The share was an essay by Solange Knowles about her recent experience with racial discrimination at a Kraftwerk concert.

The essay is entitled “And Do You Belong? I Do…”,  and the title is a pretty good indication of what follows. Here we go, I thought… I am about to read about how someone had caused Beyoncé’s sister to feel some type of way. I knew it would be a truthful expression of Solange having to deal with some, well… ignorant mess. I’ve certainly been there. This was going to be a level of discrimination probably more than the norm though, because why else make such an effort to share?

Solange’s essay is thought-provoking and definitely worth the read. She is insightful and honest about her past experiences with racial discrimination, as well as her recent encounter while trying to dance and enjoy music with her family.

Though the content of the post is not surprising – again, so many of us have been there – the trash throwing did surprise me. (Yes, someone throws trash at Solange and her family.) Really?? It was taken there??? But instead of responding in the moment in a way that likely would have brought negative attention to her and her family, I have to applaud Solange for instead turning to Twitter, then laying it out there again in writing, as well as covering the anticipated naysayers with intelligent responses.

Here is her essay in its entirety:

http://saintheron.com/featured/and-do-you-belong-i-do/

In light of GBN’s own essay on personal discrimination:

http://goodblacknews.org/2016/07/14/editorial-what-i-said-when-my- white-friend-asked-for-my-black-opinion-on-white-privilege/

We are reminded by her action that knowledge is power, well-chosen words are power, and speaking up in protest is power. I think it’s important that she bravely lays it out there for the world to hear.

Thank you, Solange.