Politics Lawmakers laud diversity gains in Congress
Why investing in diversity and raising the grade on school spending is urgent
Diversity among teachers is trending downward, but 53 percent of American public-school children are persons of color. As of fall 2018, 15 percent of U.S. students were Black and 27 percent were Hispanic, but only 7 percent of teachers were Black and 9 percent were Hispanic.Before determining how to affect positive changes to increase diversity in the educational workforce, it is urgent to understand why schools lack diversity.
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) said recent diversity gains in Congress could help create policies that better support minority communities.
"I think the more we can support folks who are stepping out and stepping up, the better off we'll all be," Davids said at The Hill's Diversity and Inclusion Summit.
Speaking with The Hill's Rafael Bernal, Davids also highlighted diversity gains outside of politics, including in the entertainment and fashion industries.
Why lawmakers are fighting over the debt ceiling — again
Republicans are using the debt ceiling to send a political message.Lawmakers are now back at the brink, scrambling to pass a suspension to the debt limit — a legal cap to how much the country can borrow — even as they wrestle with approving an expansive infrastructure package and social spending bill. According to estimates from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, lawmakers have until October 18 to avoid a potential default.
"We're seeing lots of new voices coming into the fold," she said.
But Davids, co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and the Congressional Native American Caucus, cautioned against gains that are viewed as tokenism, instead encouraging a policymaking process genuinely driven by diverse voices.
"It's not just for the sake of having someone in the room, but really for the sake of learning from their lived experience or from their expertise," Davids said.
"I think if we're really intentional about the way that we do that, that can help us avoid anything that remotely resembles something that's maybe performative," she said.
.on avoiding performative action:"when we're making sure that we're including voices in the conversation...it's not just for the sake of having people in the room but really for the sake of learning from their lived experience"
NYC's cybersecurity defense center showcases necessity for diverse hiring
The weakest security systems are those created by a team that always agrees and rarely debates. When organizations run the correct analysis and search for the employees they need - instead of trying to fill openings they have, based on copy-and-paste descriptions - what happens most often is the process leads to hiring people who'd have previously been rejected (and rejecting people the CSO or hiring manager simply "likes"). This focus helps avoid the false correlation that presumes a person you like - a person like yourself - will succeed.- The Hill Events (@TheHillEvents)
Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who lost reelection in his South Florida district in 2018, lauded record diversity levels in this year's Congress.
"There's so much bad news out of Congress," he said at the event. "This is some good news that we should all celebrate."
The 117th Congress the most women ever, alongside gains in the number of Black, Native American and LGBTQ members.
Curbelo said members of his former caucus have in many cases worked to recruit a more diverse class of candidates, pointing to by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to increase the number of women in the caucus.
"A lot of Republicans are explicit and open about recruiting minority candidates," Curbelo said.
Hon.: "maybe the Republican party isn't as loud or as explicit about this exercise, but I do think both parties are seeking to diversify and not just by race and ethnicity, but also by age"
'Scream' Cast: Where Are They Now?
Do you like scary movies? The horror genre hasn’t been the same since Ghostface asked Drew Barrymore that question in 1996. Three sequels and one TV spinoff later, the Scream franchise isn’t going anywhere. The first Scream film debuted in December, a month usually reserved for awards contenders and family-friendly holiday fare. Even so, it became a runaway hit, and some critics credited it with revitalizing interest in horror movies. Inspired by a real-life series of murders in Florida, Scream follows a group of high school students as they battle a mask-wearing serial killer known only as Ghostface. Barrymore, then one of the most in-demand young actresses in Hollywood, originally signed on to play the lead role of Sidney Prescott (later taken by Neve Campbell), but she switched to the much smaller part of Casey Becker after scheduling conflicts arose. Casey famously dies in the opening of the movie, but the filmmakers saw the Never Been Kissed actress’ quick exit as a storytelling bonus. If a star as big as Barrymore could be killed off so fast, then it meant that any of the characters could end up dead at any time. Scream also served as a welcome change of pace for Courteney Cox, who was in the midst of playing extremely nice girl Monica Geller on Friends. She was interested in playing tenacious reporter Gale Weathers to show off a different side of her range. (The Cougar Town alum reprised the role in all three sequels and is set to return for the fourth one too.- The Hill Events (@TheHillEvents)
Curbelo expressed frustration at a lack of progress on passing immigration bills, saying such a move would take "dramatic action" in a bipartisan fashion that forces the hand of the two parties' leadership. He said leaders in both parties have maintained a status quo by failing to pass a package.
Curbelo a discharge petition in 2018 as part of attempts to force immigration votes on the House floor.
"The only way we can get back to that point is if members force the issue," he said.
Marie Bernard, chief officer for scientific workforce diversity at the National Institutes of Health, said her agency is working to improve diversity in the broader scientific community, including other federal agencies, academic institutions and foundations.
"We're all in this together," Bernard said at the event sponsored by Gilead Sciences and The Rockefeller Foundation. "It's really important that we take advantage of all that talent if we're going to maintain our leadership role in science across the globe."
Fixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates
Paramount among the troubles is that legislative processes have become fantastically complex, which leaves citizens and many media in the dark as to who is doing what. Consider the recent increase in the debt limit. For weeks upon weeks, Democrats and Republicans bickered. Team Donkey refused to vote for higher debt without Team Elephant's support. Democrats feared many swing voters would be angry and were oblivious that higher debt was needed to cover the costs run up during the Trump administration.
.- The Hill Events (@TheHillEvents) Dr. Marie Bernard: "when you have diverse scientists at the table, number one, they're going to think in broader and different perspectives about the things that are necessary to come up with answers"
She said recruiting diverse groups of researchers can foster broader perspectives and encourage minorities to participate in their research studies.
"Sometimes there are things that you never would have imagined would make a difference for a community that that person from that community will bring forward," Bernard said.
Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled .
Democratic lawmakers are renewing calls to expel any member of Congress implicated in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol following reporting that witnesses have recently informed congressional investigators of their coordination with lawmakers.A Sunday story from Rolling Stone didn't directly tie lawmakers to the violent assault, but two sources who spoke to the outlet instead detailed multiple meetings with members of Congress to coordinate contesting the election results and plan the rallies that preceded the attack. The two have reportedly met with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.