Equality

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
"Star Trek: Discovery" introduces first-ever transgender and non-binary characters
"Star Trek: Discovery" introduces first-ever transgender and non-binary characters
Credit: @startrekcbs via Twitter (Screenshot)

"Star Trek: Discovery" will introduce the franchise's first-ever transgender and non-binary characters in its third season premiering on October 15.

Trans actor Ian Alexander will portray the trans character Gray and Blu del Barrio will make their TV acting debut as the non-binary character Adira.

Business • Economy
Report: 45 of 58 Austrian publicly traded companies have all-male boards
Report: 45 of 58 Austrian publicly traded companies have all-male boards
Credit: unsplash.com / M. B. M.

According to a report from the consultancy Ernst & Young out of 58 Austrian companies that are publically traded at the stock exchange, only 13 have a female board member. In total out of 191 board members, only 14 are female.

Every fourth company does not fulfill the quorum of 30%.

Science • Space
NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps to join ISS as first black woman
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

Jeanette Epps is going to make history as the first black woman on the ISS.

Epps is set to join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada on NASA's Boeing Starliner-1 mission, a six-month expedition aboard the orbiting space laboratory set to launch in 2021.

Politics • African
Zimbabwe bans expelling pregnant women from school
Zimbabwe bans expelling pregnant women from school
Credit: SuSanA Secretariat (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Schools in Zimbabwe are not allowed anymore to expel pupils who get pregnant. Women's rights campaigners said this would help tackle gender inequality in schools and stop many girls from dropping out of school.

Cain Mathema, the education minister in charge of schools, has stated that "I'm expecting every parent and guardian and everyone else to understand that every child must be assisted by all of us to go to school" as many parents of pregnant girls, or the girls themselves, decide to quit schooling due to the pregnancy, and schools do not always do enough to encourage them to stay.

Politics • American • US
Trump pardons campaigner for women's suffrage Susan B. Anthony 114 years after death
Trump pardons campaigner for women's suffrage Susan B. Anthony 114 years after death
Credit: Engraved by G.E. Perine & Co., NY (Public Domain)

US President Donald Trump has pardoned women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony, who had been convicted of participating in the 1872 presidential election. Trump announced the move on Tuesday at a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women in the USA at the White House.

Anthony's trial in 1873 fired up the women's movement in the United States and she had been sentenced to a fine. In August 1920 with the 19th Amendment to the American Constitution the United States introduced the right for women to vote. Anthony died in 1906 at the age of 86.

Sports • Football
First black president in NFL history hired by Washington
First black president in NFL history hired by Washington
Credit: Washington Football Team via Twitter

The Washington Football Team has introduced the first black president in NFL history. jason Wright is a former NFL running back and takes over the position from Bruce Allen as Washington has parted way with him after the team fell behind expecations in the last season.

Jason Wright who is now also the youngest NFL team president stated that "I have always enjoyed building exciting new things and taking on the hard, seemingly intractable challenges that others may not want to tackle".

Business • Media & Advertising
Journalists of colour leave Bon Appétit's Test Kitchen
Journalists of colour leave Bon Appétit's Test Kitchen
Credit: Bon Appétit, YouTube (Reproduction)

Three journalists have colour, Sohla El-Waylly, Priya Krishna and Rick Martinez, have simultaneously released statements announcing their departure from Bon Appétit's Test Kitchen after alleged racial discrimination. Krishna detailed her decision to leave the company in a post to Twitter, writing that even though she was told "that things were changing and that there would be a huge push towards diversity", including equitable pay, the contract she received was "nowhere near equitable, and actually would potentially allow for me to make even less."

Molly Baz and Gaby Melian have since voiced their support for their colleagues and said they would also no longer appear in Bon Appétit videos, with Baz stating that she had asked to be released from "the video obligations of my contract".

Melian released a statement to her Instagram, writing: "After weeks of negotiations, Conde Nast Entertainment is not meeting my expectations regarding the plans to have a more diverse and inclusive video program. For that reason I will not be signing a contract with them to appear in videos."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Apple TV+ announces new Oprah Winfrey show "The Oprah Conversation"
“The Oprah Conversation” is Oprah Winfrey’s newest series on Apple TV+, following “Oprah Talks COVID-19” and “Oprah’s Book Club.”
“The Oprah Conversation” is Oprah Winfrey’s newest series on Apple TV+, following “Oprah Talks COVID-19” and “Oprah’s Book Club.” Credit: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ announced its new Apple Original series "The Oprah Conversation", "a new series that will continue to explore impactful and relevant topics with fascinating thought leaders from all over the world." Oprah Winfrey's new show was filmed remotely and is set to debut on July 30 exclusively on Apple TV+. The first episode, titled "How to Be an Antiracist", will feature bestselling author Professor Ibram X. Kendi. Other guests include Emmanuel Acho, creator and host of "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man" and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson.

Politics • American • US
Chicago temporarily take down Christopher Columbus statues
Chicago temporarily take down Christopher Columbus statues
Credit: Unknown author / Wikimedia commons (Public Domain)

After a week of protests in Chicago, Chicago's two Christopher Columbus statues were taken down on Friday morning. The statues, located in the Little Italy neighbourhood and in Grant Park, have been "temporarily removed until further notice, according to the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Sports
Washington Redskins announces it will be called 'Washington Football Team' pending the decision of a new name
Washington Redskins announces it will be called 'Washington Football Team' pending the decision of a new name
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

The Washington Redskins announced the franchise is officially going to change its name to the Washington Football Team, pending adoption of a new name. The decision to use 'Washington Football Team' for the 2020 season is to give the franchise some time to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input.

The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season.

Sports
Washington Redskins to change controversial team name
Statement published by the Washington Redskins
Statement published by the Washington Redskins Credit: @Redskins via Twitter

After years of pressure from both Native American leaders and major retail brands, the Washington Redskins American football team announced it would retire "the Redskins name and logo upon completion of a review." The use of the term "redskin", considered a slur against Native Americans, has long been seen as controversial but it has taken major sponsors such FedEx, Pepsi and Nike to threaten to pull funding for the team to take action.

"Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years," so the team's statement published on Twitter.

Politics • American • US
"Black Lives Matter" mural painted outside of Trump Tower
Tweeted by Mayor Bill de Blasio: "Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message. #BlackLivesMatter"
Tweeted by Mayor Bill de Blasio: "Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message. #BlackLivesMatter" Credit: @NYCMayor via Twitter

New York City painted a large, yellow "Black Lives Matter" mural on the street just outside the Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. Activists and city workers were joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who authorised the mural earlier this month.

"Black lives matter in our city, and Black lives matter in the United States of America. Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand. Let’s paint it right in front of his building for him," so the mayor who helped paint parts of the mural.

Business • Media & Advertising
NBCUniversal wants to increase diversity, starts "Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative"
NBCUniversal wants to increase diversity, starts "Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative"
Credit: unsplash.com/Matt Botsford

NBCUniversal has announced that in an effort to increase diversity and inclusion in its workforce, it is starting the "Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative". The initiative, which was sent out in a memo to employees at NBCUniversal News Group, calls to have a workforce made up of 50 percent people of colour and 50 percent women but the network has not included a timeline.

"We want to increase diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera, and earn the trust of every community in America that relies on us for exceptional journalism,” so Cesar Conde, chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group.

Politics • African
Gabon: Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality
Gabon: Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality
Credit: unsplash.com/Teddy Österblom

Gabon senate voted in favor of decriminalising homosexuality. The bill is now awaiting ratification by President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

"Parliament is restoring a fundamental human right for its citizens: that of loving, freely, without being condemned. The Republic defends respect for everyone's privacy and remains One and indivisible beyond feelings. Yes to dignity, no to hate. #Gabon" – Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the president's wife, voiced her support on Twitter.

Science • Space
NASA headquarters to be renamed after its first female African American engineer, Mary W. Jackson
Mary Winston Jackson (1921–2005) successfully overcame the barriers of segregation and gender bias to become a professional aerospace engineer and leader in ensuring equal opportunities for future generations.
Mary Winston Jackson (1921–2005) successfully overcame the barriers of segregation and gender bias to become a professional aerospace engineer and leader in ensuring equal opportunities for future generations. Credit: NASA

When Mary W. Jackson started working for NASA in 1958, she was the first female African American engineer at the agency and now, 62 years later, the NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be named after her. Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, was a key figure in influencing the hiring and promotion of women at NASA and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019.

Jim Bridenstine announced the renaming of the agency's headquarters building on Wednesday and praised Jackson's time at the agency: "Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology."

Politics • American • US
Statue of Theodore Roosevelt at NYC's Museum of Natural History will be removed
The Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History, sculpted by James Earle Fraser in 1940.
The Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History, sculpted by James Earle Fraser in 1940. Credit: Ad Meskens / Public domain

The office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History would be removed. The statue shows an African man and a Native American man standing next to Roosevelt on a horse.

The mayor's office stated that the American Museum of Natural History had asked for the statue's removal as it "explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior" and that the city of New York supports the museum's request as it "is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue".

Politics • European
The European Parliament has taken a formal vote that "Black Lives Matter" and supports the cause of the protests
The European Parliament has taken a formal vote that "Black Lives Matter" and supports the cause of the protests
Credit: Pendect/Ashley Winkler

In a resultion that bears no legal consequences, the European Parliment has denounced racism and white supremacism and declared that "Black Lives Matter". The resolution has been passed with 493 votes in favor and 104 votes against and "strongly condemns the appalling death of George Floyd".

Business • Media & Advertising
Netflix CEO to donate $120 million to HBCUs
Reed Hastings speaking at the Media Convention Berlin in 2015
Reed Hastings speaking at the Media Convention Berlin in 2015 Credit: Mondileinchen / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, announced that he and his wife Patty Quillin would be donating a total of $120 million to three HBCUs, historically black colleges and universities. Morehouse College, Spelman College and United Negro College Fund will receive $40 million each.

In their statement, the pair said that they have "supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years" because they believe that "investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America's future" and adding "generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams."

Lifestyle • Food
Mars plans to "evolve" Unlce Ben's brand
Uncle Ben's Logo
Uncle Ben's Logo Credit: Mars Inc

In a statement on Wednesday, Mars Inc announced it is planning to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity to address racial bias and injustices. "Now as we continue to listen to people from around the world, look inward and continue to educate ourselves on how the elements of the brand are perceived, we recognize it is time for us to evolve, which we will do," so the company's statement.

Uncle Ben's was inspired by two black men: a black Texan farmer, known as Uncle Ben, "who was known for growing high-quality rice" and the logo image was inspired by Frank Brown, a "beloved Chicago chef and waiter".

The announcement came hours after Quaker Oats released a statement that it will rebrand Aunt Jemima.

Politics • American • US
The Trump Administration has put an end to transgender health care protection
Donald J. Trump at the  September 11th Pentagon Observance Ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019
Donald J. Trump at the September 11th Pentagon Observance Ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

While the LGBTQ+ community is celebrating Pride Month, the Trump administration eliminated a regulation that prohibits discrimination in health care against transgender patients. The Affordable Care Act, aa Obama-era regulation commonly known as Obamacare, stated in section 1557 that it "prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities."

Deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality heavily criticized the Trump administration, stating it was "horrendous to not only gut nondiscrimination protections but to gut nondiscrimination protections in the middle of a pandemic," and fears that "this rule opens a door for a medical provider to turn someone away for a Covid-19 test just because they happen to be transgender".