Thursday, July 12, 2018

OIF Responds to Library Bill of Rights Meeting Room Amendment; American Libraries, July 10, 2018

American Libraries;

OIF Responds to Library Bill of Rights Meeting Room Amendment


"“As cited in the interpretation, there are two prominent cases addressing public library meeting rooms. One involved religion. One involved a white supremacist group. In both cases, the library prohibiting the groups use of space lost lawsuits and were forced to change their policies.

“The Library Bill of Rights Meeting Room amendment should serve as a catalyst for library staff to review or establish policies with assistance from their legal counsel. We encourage libraries to adopt policies that govern meeting space use while meeting the needs of the community that they serve.

“Library staff in need of meeting room best practices may access a variety of free resources through OIF’s Meeting Rooms, Exhibit Spaces, and Programs, which offers strategies and resources for libraries to address community concerns and prepare for potentially controversial library-initiated events. Also, ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has an excellent set of resources on responding to all kinds of challenges related to diversity. Additional resources are available via the OIF blog."

Friday, July 6, 2018

Iceman Came Out. Now He’s Coming Back in His Own Series.; The New York Times, June 28, 2018

George Gene Gustines, The New York Times; Iceman Came Out. Now He’s Coming Back in His Own Series.

"What is next for Iceman? 

I’m really excited that we’re coming back with a new No. 1. This is going to be a great way to invite readers to celebrate with us. Iceman is going to be thinking about how he can help other people and use his mutant power to be the best he can be. He’s going to be up against some pretty big bad guys. In the first issue he’s preventing the next “Mutant Massacre” with Bishop, another X-Man.
We’re also going to see a lot of the previous cast but played out in different ways. Bobby’s relationship with his parents will not be as fraught. He reached a level of peace that you can get to — even with parents like his. We’re going to see his dating life. It’s just going to be such a breath of fresh air to see him really stretch his arms out and have fun. 

You mentioned there would be some community outreach too. 

The reason I love X-Men books is that they speak so much to people who identify as other. We’re going to be seeing Bobby trying to figure out how he can be a shining beacon to the gay community. That’s where me and Bobby Drake are alike: How do you take this platform and try to do something meaningful? That’s something I want all readers to think about: How can you make a difference in your world? I feel super proud of the story I’ve crafted with all those things in mind."

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Equity pending: Why so few women receive patents; The Christian Science Monitor, July 2, 2018

E'oin O'Carroll, The Christian Science Monitor; Equity pending: Why so few women receive patents

"The causes for the gender gap are varied and complex, but much of it can be explained by women’s underrepresentation in patent-intensive jobs, particularly engineering. Research shows women make up roughly 20 percent of graduates from engineering schools, but hold less than 15 percent of engineering jobs. Female engineering grads are not entering the field at the same rate as their male counterparts, and they are leaving in far greater numbers.

“It’s the climate,” says Nadya Fouad, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “The organizational environment is very unforgiving.”

Professor Fouad, who spent three years surveying women with engineering degrees about their career choices, cites inflexible schedules, a lack of opportunities for advancement, and incivility toward women. “It’s not the women’s fault,” she says, noting that she found no difference in levels of confidence in those who stayed and those who left.

Other barriers women face are an absence of supportive social networks and implicit bias on the part of venture capitalists."

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I Was Fired for Making Fun of Trump; The New York Times, June 15, 2018

Rob Rogers, The New York Times; I Was Fired for Making Fun of Trump

"After 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired on Thursday.

I blame Donald Trump.

Well, sort of.

I should’ve seen it coming. When I had lunch with my new boss a few months ago, he informed me that the paper’s publisher believed that the editorial cartoonist was akin to an editorial writer, and that his views should reflect the philosophy of the newspaper.

That was a new one to me.

I was trained in a tradition in which editorial cartoonists are the live wires of a publication — as one former colleague put it, the “constant irritant.” Our job is to provoke readers in a way words alone can’t. Cartoonists are not illustrators for a publisher’s politics...

The paper may have taken an eraser to my cartoons. But I plan to be at my drawing table every day of this presidency."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Expert in Native American intellectual property joins ASU Law Indian Legal Program; Arizona State University, June 11, 2018

Arizona State University; Expert in Native American intellectual property joins ASU Law Indian Legal Program

"In 2007, [Trevor Reed] moved to New York and enrolled at Columbia, beginning a decade-plus of music-inspired study that would result in three master’s degrees, a PhD and a Juris Doctor. He initially went to Columbia hoping to break into the music industry, figuring his best shot at a career in the arts would require being in either New York or Los Angeles.

“When I got there, it opened up so many new issues for me,” Reed said. “It just so happens that Columbia owns this massive archive of Native American musical recordings that I don’t know if anybody had really ever heard about. When I learned about that, it sparked an interest in wanting to return music and other types of archival collections, artifacts and other types of intellectual property back to Native American tribes.”

That led to the Hopi Music Repatriation Project, a joint project of the Hopi Tribe and Columbia University, which Reed began leading as a master’s degree student. Think Indiana Jones, the fictitious archaeologist and university professor, but the complete opposite. Instead of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” plundering wondrous works from indigenous cultures, it was “Returners of the Lost Art.” The project focused not only on returning recordings and rights, but also working with tribal leaders, educators and activists to develop contemporary uses for the materials.

“I stayed on at Columbia well after my business degree had finished, and I joined the PhD program in ethnomusicology, which is essentially the anthropology of music,” Reed said. “And we just set to work on this project, and it carried through law school, and I was able to refine my work in copyright and cultural property. It’s been an interesting ride.”"

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Artist Tom Beland’s Heartfelt BLACK PANTHER piece becomes a variant cover; The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture, March 15, 2018

Taimur Dar, The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture; Artist Tom Beland’s Heartfelt BLACK PANTHER piece becomes a variant cover

[Kip Currier: I just chanced upon and got a copy of this moving Black Panther variant comic book cover by cartoonist Tom Beland, which Marvel Comics commissioned, following his original cartoon that went viral.
It's inspiring to see the diverse leadership roles that people can take to communicate messages and ideas that move individuals and societies forward in affirming ways.]

Black Panther variant comic book cover by cartoonist Tom Beland.
James "Kip" Currier (c) 2018

"As gratifying as it is to see Black Panther obliterating the myth that films with a predominately black cast can’t find mainstream success, perhaps its greatest achievement is the strong reaction among black girls and boys. If this 7-year old kid taking up the M’Baku challenge doesn’t melt your heart, then it’s probably made out of vibranium!

To say that Black Panther is a watershed moment for superhero films and representation is an understatement. Less than a week after Black Panther smashed box office records on opening weekend in February, cartoonist Tom Beland (True Story, Swear to God) drew this poignant piece. Despite taking Beland less than 15 minutes to draw, to his amazement it was shared over 10K times on social media!"

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Marvel Comics editor-in-chief on company's diversity push, using a Japanese pen name; CBS News, June 2, 2018

CBS News; Marvel Comics editor-in-chief on company's diversity push, using a Japanese pen name

""We're 100 percent committed to diversity...Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn't been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio… But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work -- are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has."

One of the people in charge of making Marvel more inclusive is vice president of content and character development Sana Amanat. She created Kamala Khan -- Marvel's first Muslim superhero -- who helped sell more than half a million Ms. Marvel books to date."

Deadpool 2’s Dennison on Bringing Diverse Body Types to Superhero Genre; Comic Book Resources, May 25, 2018

Taylor Williams, Comic Book Resources; Deadpool 2’s Dennison on Bringing Diverse Body Types to Superhero Genre

"Following his breakout role in Taika Waititi’s 2016 comedy adventure Hunt for the Wilderpeople, New Zealand-born actor Julian Dennison has leaped to international stardom as Russell, aka Firefist, in Deadpool 2. The foul-mouthed, flame-throwing mutant is unlike any superhero movie audiences have seen before, both in temperament and physique. The latter is what excited the 15-year-old for the part, as other chubby kids can now see a hero who looks like them.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Dennison noted how special it was for him to be able to portray the character. “There isn’t just one kind of person that can play a superhero,” he said. “For me, playing a chubby or fat superhero was so special because I would go and watch these movies with my friends and would never see anyone like me. I am excited to be that for other kids who look like me.”"

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ABC just took a moral stand on Roseanne. Spoiler alert: Donald Trump won't.; CNN, May 29, 2018

Chris Cillizza, CNN; ABC just took a moral stand on Roseanne. Spoiler alert: Donald Trump won't.

"ABC's decision to cancel Roseanne Barr's eponymous show following a racist comment she made about former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett on Twitter was shocking for two reasons.

First, because it amounted to a TV network drawing a moral line in the sand -- insisting that no amount of money or ratings gave Roseanne the right to express views that ABC described in a statement as "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values."

Second, because that decision to take a moral stand represents a stark contrast from the moral relativism preached by the president of the United States.

Donald Trump is different from anyone who has held the office before him in all sorts of ways. But, to my mind, the biggest -- and most critical -- difference between Trump and his predecessors is his total abdication of the concept of the president as a moral leader for the country and the world."

Valerie Jarrett Says Roseanne Tweet ‘a Teaching Moment’; Variety, May 29, 2018

Joe Otterson, Variety; Valerie Jarrett Says Roseanne Tweet ‘a Teaching Moment’

"Valerie Jarrett spoke about the tweets directed at her by Roseanne Barr during an appearance on an MSNBC town hall on Tuesday.

“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” Jarrett said “I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense–the person who’s walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse or walk across the street. Or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, ‘the talk’ as we call it. Those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day.”"

Monday, May 21, 2018

What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand; CNN, May 21, 2018

; What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand

"At the root of Trump's appeal to his voters is a promise to check the disruptive forces of globalized economics and ethnic diversity that have been remaking the United States in recent decades.

Almost every week brings a new controversy over Trump's approach, from the failure to deal with undocumented migrants brought to the US as kids and his administration's plans for a more selective legal immigration system. 

That's where he and the royals differ. While Harry's bride sees a chance to use ethnicity to reboot the magic of the monarchy, Trump has more often used diversity to divide."

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Achieving Diversity Demands Less Talk and More Action. And Good Intentions Alone Won't Do It.; Entrepreneur, May 1, 2018

Dan Lauer, Entrepreneur; Achieving Diversity Demands Less Talk and More Action. And Good Intentions Alone Won't Do It.

"If you're like me, you probably never heard of inclusion riders until Frances McDormand mentioned them in her Best Actress acceptance speech at the Oscars. But these contract clauses, mandating certain demographic hiring goals for casts and crews at movie shoots, will likely become more ubiquitous as conversations around diversity continue to increase -- in both Hollywood and the wider world.

Still, while the value of diversity has become a staple in everyday dialogue, there has yet to be much real progress to show for it, particularly in the startup space...

Inclusion programs, in short, can be effective. But to truly succeed at these initiatives, a company needs to weave in diversity from the ground up. Here’s how to get started..."

Giving up on ‘diversity and inclusion’; TechCrunch, April 29, 2018

Jon Evans, TechCrunch; Giving up on ‘diversity and inclusion’

"I went to see Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital speak this week. Her remarkable story is pretty well known by now — she “built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless,” to quoteBackstage’s site. She said several interesting things, but let’s start with this one: as of 2019, she will no longer be giving talks on diversity and inclusion.

That may raise eyebrows, given that her fund focuses on funding underrepresented minorities. Her reason, and I’m paraphrasing here but I feel I’ve captured the gist, is that Diversity & Inclusion have become to the tech industry as Human Resources is to a big company; a fig leaf there to protect the status quo, not to improve it.

It’s hard not to agree with her. Companies host D&I events and speakers; hire vice presidents of D&I; organize “diversity training” (which, according to copious evidence, doesn’t work and in fact often backfires.) They talk about diversity. They add diversity slides to their PowerPoint decks. But what do they actually do? I am reminded of Nassim Taleb’s famous dictum: “Don’t tell me what you think, just show me your portfolio.”"

A black man was forced to pay upfront at a Chinese restaurant. He got his meal — and $10,000.; The Washington Post, April 30, 2018

Amy B Wang, The Washington Post; A black man was forced to pay upfront at a Chinese restaurant. He got his meal — and $10,000.

"Hong Shing will also be required to display a poster that says the establishment “respects and follows the letter and spirit of the Ontario Human Rights Code.”"

Sunday, April 29, 2018

At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives; The New York Times, April 28, 2018

Julie Creswell, Kevin Draper, and Rachel Abrams, The New York Times; At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives

"Finally, fed up, a group of women inside Nike’s Beaverton, Ore., headquarters started a small revolt.

Covertly, they surveyed their female peers, inquiring whether they had been the victim of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Their findings set off an upheaval in the executive ranks of the world’s largest sports footwear and apparel company.

On March 5, the packet of completed questionnaires landed on the desk of Mark Parker, Nike’s chief executive. Over the next several weeks, at least six top male executives left or said they were planning to leave the company, including Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike brand, who was widely viewed as a leading candidate to succeed Mr. Parker, and Jayme Martin, Mr. Edwards’s lieutenant, who oversaw much of Nike’s global business.

Others who have departed include the head of diversity and inclusion, a vice president in footwear and a senior director for Nike’s basketball division.

It is a humbling setback for a company that is famous worldwide and has built its brand around the inspirational slogan “Just Do It.” While the #MeToo movement has led to the downfall of individual men, the kind of sweeping overhaul that is occurring at Nike is rare in the corporate world, and illustrates how internal pressure from employees is forcing even huge companies to quickly address workplace problems.

As women — and men — continue to come forward with complaints, Nike has begun a comprehensive review of its human resources operations, making management training mandatory and revising many of its internal reporting procedures."

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Marvel’s Champions to Introduce Teenage Inuk Superhero, Snowguard; Comic Book Resources, April 26, 2018

Justin Carter, Comic Book Resources; Marvel’s Champions to Introduce Teenage Inuk Superhero, Snowguard

"For help with Amka’s development, Zub went to Nyla Innuksuk, founder of the VR production company Mixtape, who’s Inuit and grew up in Igloolik and Iqaluit. Innuksuk was initially hesitant upon learning about Zub’s plans to add an Inuit character, but said she appreciated that he came to her early in Snowguard’s development. She was also drawn to the character because she’s not another Indigenous woman portrayed as a victim. “To see a powerful young person who is fighting back against what she sees as wrong has the potential to make a real difference,” Innuksuk said."

Facebook finally explains why it bans some content, in 27 pages; The Washington Post, April 24, 2018

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tracy Jan, The Washington Post; Facebook finally explains why it bans some content, in 27 pages

"“We want people to know our standards, and we want to give people clarity,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said in an interview. She added that she hoped publishing the guidelines would spark dialogue. “We are trying to strike the line between safety and giving people the ability to really express themselves.”"

Monday, April 23, 2018

Starbucks won’t have any idea whether its diversity training works; The Washington Post, April 23, 2018

Hakeem Jefferson and Neil Lewis, Jr., The Washington Post; Starbucks won’t have any idea whether its diversity training works

"Without the expertise to know what makes an intervention more or less successful, it is hard to imagine that Starbucks or any other organization stands much of a chance of developing a successful diversity training program that has long-term, sustainable effects on its culture. Moreover, Starbucks claims that it is interested in knowing whether the training program it will implement will be effective. As social scientists, we know firsthand how difficult it is to measure the effects of an intervention, and we wonder who on Starbucks’s team is sufficiently equipped to do this. The track record of those Starbucks has included in its announcement is remarkable, but it is social scientists — not lawyers or activists — who are trained to adequately and rigorously assess whether this intervention works, or if it will join the long list of those that don’t.

The inclusion of social scientists at every stage of the process can make diversity training more than feel-good PR moves that are of little consequence. Yes, engaging the scholarly community will mean that the process will be slower. But as bias expert Brian Nosek said, if Starbucks and its corporate peers think interventions like this are worth doing, they should certainly think that it’s worth doing well."

Monday, April 16, 2018

China's Weibo reverses ban on 'homosexual' content after outcry; The Guardian, April 15, 2018

Lily Kuo, The Guardian; China's Weibo reverses ban on 'homosexual' content after outcry

"One of China’s largest social media sites, Sina Weibo, has reversed a ban on online content “related to homosexuality” after outcry from the country’s internet users.

On Friday, Sina Weibo said that for the next three months it would be removing comics and videos “with pornographic implications, promoting bloody violence, or related to homosexuality”. The internet company said the initiative was in an effort to “create a sunny and harmonious community environment” and comply with the country’s cybersecurity laws...

Many quoted China’s constitution and laws about the protection of minorities. One internet user referred to article 38 of China’s constitution which maintains that the “personal dignity” of Chinese citizens is “inviolable” and that insult directed against citizens is prohibited.

Others pointed out homosexuality was decriminalised in 1997 and in 2001 removed from the government’s list of mental disorders."

Longing for the freedom not to hide myself; The Washington Post, April 15, 2018

Ria Tabacco Mar, The Washington Post; Longing for the freedom not to hide myself

"Ria Tabacco Mar is counsel of record for Charlie Craig and David Mullins in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Charlie Craig, one of the men that Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Colorado bakery, turned away because they are gay, said something about shopping for a wedding cake that stuck with me: “That day,” he said, “I really let my guard down.”

I knew exactly what Craig meant. Not just because he’s my client but because I keep my guard up most days, too — just like nearly every LGBT person I know."

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Watch: The Best Parts of the X-Men; Parade, April 5, 2018

Parade; Watch: The Best Parts of the X-Men 

"Co-created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in 1963, the X-Men are a group of mutants born with superhuman powers ranging from telepathy, flight and superhuman strength and agility, to the ability to absorb physical characteristics of others. Young X-Men hone their skills with the guidance of Professor Charles Xavier (aka Professor X). Unfortunately, they’re persecuted for being different, even though they fight interstellar battles against evil on the regular. Still, what kid wouldn’t want to attend Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters?

Among the first X-Men were Cyclops, Beast, Ice Man, Angel, Marvel Girl and Magneto. Other legendary heroes include Storm, Wolverine and Rogue. With so many heroes—and villains—in the X-Men universe, each going through their own internal struggle, nearly everyone can find a character to relate to."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Illuminating the Profession: Women in Copyright; Landslide, A Publication of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law, March/April 2018

[Kip Currier: The new issue of Landslide magazine, a digital and print publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), has a fascinating interview of 6 female copyright experts. Ralph Oman, a former U.S. Register of Copyrights (1985-1993) and a copyright law professor at George Washington University Law School, poses intriguing copyright-related questions, of interest to copyright wonks and would-be copyright practitionersfrom the future of copyright in the digital age, to copyright cases that were decided “right” and those decided “wrong”, to “the number one legislative copyright priority in this Congress?”, and more.

Unfortunately, the full article is only available for members of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law. In my view, this article could and should have been made freely accessible future  to reach a much wider audience and showcase these outstanding and inspiring role models and leaders in copyright law, representing a wide range of sectors and copyright areas. [C'mon ABA, I get that you want to have a paywall for the IP Section of ABA, but how about providing some limited access or a few articles from an issue. The article's called "Illuminating the Profession: Women in Copyright", so why not further that aim by making the article accessible to more people and attracting more women to IP careers?!]

The six copyright luminaries are, in alphabetical order, June Besek; Dale Cendali; Mary Rasenberger; Kate Spelman; Francine Ward; Nancy Wolff. ]


Illuminating the Profession: Women in Copyright
Meet the copyright stars! Get to know some of the outstanding attorneys who practice copyright law."

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sources: Zinke tells employees diversity isn't important; CNN, March 26, 2018

Sara Ganim, CNN; Sources: Zinke tells employees diversity isn't important

"Several employees at the Interior Department have told CNN that Secretary Ryan Zinke repeatedly says that he won't focus on diversity, an apparent talking point that has upset many people within the agency.

Three high-ranking Interior officials from three different divisions said that Zinke has made several comments with a similar theme, saying "diversity isn't important," or "I don't care about diversity," or "I don't really think that's important anymore."

Each time, Zinke followed with something along the lines of, "what's important is having the right person for the right job," or "I care about excellence, and I'm going to get the best people, and you'll find we have the most diverse group anyone's ever had," the sources said."

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Computer science faces an ethics crisis. The Cambridge Analytica scandal proves it.; Boston Globe, March 22, 2018

Yonatan Zunger, Boston Globe; 

Computer science faces an ethics crisis. The Cambridge Analytica scandal proves it.

"Software engineers continue to treat safety and ethics as specialities, rather than the foundations of all design; young engineers believe they just need to learn to code, change the world, disrupt something. Business leaders focus on getting a product out fast, confident that they will not be held to account if that product fails catastrophically. Simultaneously imagining their products as changing the world and not being important enough to require safety precautions, they behave like kids in a shop full of loaded AK-47’s...

Underpinning all of these need to be systems for deciding on what computer science ethics should be, and how they should be enforced. These will need to be built by a consensus among the stakeholders in the field, from industry, to academia, to capital, and most importantly, among the engineers and the public, who are ultimately most affected. It must be done with particular attention to diversity of representation. In computer science, more than any other field, system failures tend to affect people in different social contexts (race, gender, class, geography, disability) differently. Familiarity with the details of real life in these different contexts is required to prevent disaster...

What stands between these is attention to the core questions of engineering: to what uses might a system be put? How might it fail? And how will it behave when it does? Computer science must step up to the bar set by its sister fields, before its own bridge collapse — or worse, its own Hiroshima."

Pitt makes disciplinary moves after department implicated in sex-harassment investigation; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 22, 2018

Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pitt makes disciplinary moves after department implicated in sex-harassment investigation

"The University of Pittsburgh has disciplined an unspecified number of people associated with its Department of Communication after an investigation found violations of university policy and federal law against gender discrimination. 
The investigation, triggered by past and recent allegations of sexual harassment and sexual relationships between staff and students, “found a consistent pattern in which women were not as valued and respected as their male colleagues,” said a statement by Kathleen M. Blee, the dean of Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences.
“This resulted in an environment in which the inappropriate acts of the few were tolerated by the silence of others,” she acknowledged.
“The investigations revealed failures of systems and failures of character,” her statement added."