Book of the Month
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 7/14/2015
From the book jacket
#1 New York Times Bestseller, National Book Award Finalist. Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
You can read the New York Times review of the book by Michiko Kakutani here.
November Is Native American Heritage Month
During November, the nation collectively recognizes the achievements, contributions and rich culture of the Native Americans.History
Native American Heritage Month was first recognized in 1915 with the annual meeting of the Congress of the American Indian Association, building upon previous work of Dr. Arthur C. Parker. Despite this proclamation, various states began organizing days of commemoration at different times of the year. It wasn’t until 1990 that a joint resolution from the White House was issued, designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Learn more about the history of Native American Heritage Month from the Library of Congress.Health Concerns
American Indians and Alaska Natives have a unique relationship with the federal government. Tribes exist as sovereign entities, but federally recognized tribes are entitled to health and educational services provided by the federal government. Though theIndian Health Service (IHS) is charged with serving the health needs of these populations, more than half of American Indians and Alaska Natives do not permanently reside on a reservation, and therefore have limited or no access to IHS services.
Though often referred to as a singular group, American Indians and Alaska Natives represent diverse cultures, languages and customs unique to each community. Health challenges, however, have not been as unique with many Native American communities similarly experiencing the harsh impact of diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, stroke and infant mortality.
Words of Native American Chiefs
November 11 is Veterans Day
Veterans Day is a public holiday that is dedicated to honoring anyone who has served in the United States military. The holiday began as a day to remember the end of World War I and was declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday became Veterans Day in 1954.
Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
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Gallup: Graduates Exposed to Diversity Believe Degree More Valuable
By Stephanie Marken, October 28, 2015
- Grads with exposure twice as likely to say degree is worth it
- Public college graduates most likely to experience diversity
- Grads with exposure more likely to be engaged in jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Public college or university graduates are more likely than those who graduated from a private university to strongly agree that they were exposed to people of different backgrounds during their collegiate experience. If U.S. college graduates strongly agree that they interacted with people from different backgrounds on a regular basis in college, the odds that they believe their college degree was worth the cost are 2.2 times higher than other graduates who do not strongly agree that they interacted with people from different backgrounds.
Association of American Colleges & Universities
Celebrating 100 Years of Leadership for Liberal Education
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusive Excellence
Since 1971 AAC&U has developed initiatives that bring together faculty and institutions of higher learning to provide national leadership that advances diversity and equity in higher education, and the best educational practices for an increasingly diverse population. AAC&U understands diversity and equity as fundamental goals of higher education and as resources for learning that are valuable for all students, vital to democracy and a democratic workforce and to the global position and wellbeing of the United States. AAC&U's commitment to make excellence inclusive—to bring the benefits of liberal education to all students—is rooted deeply in commitment to a diverse, informed, and civically active society.
Questions & Answers: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers with at least 15 employees, as well as employment agencies and unions, from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It also prohibits retaliation against persons who complain of discrimination or participate in an EEO investigation. With respect to religion, Title VII prohibits:
- treating applicants or employees differently based on their religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring, assignments, discipline, promotion, and benefits (disparate treatment);
- subjecting employees to harassment because of their religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – or because of the religious practices or beliefs of people with whom they associate (e.g., relatives, friends, etc.);
- denying a requested reasonable accommodation of an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – if an accommodation will not impose more than a de minimis cost or burden on business operations; and,
- retaliating against an applicant or employee who has engaged in protected activity, including participation (e.g., filing an EEO charge or testifying as a witness in someone else’s EEO matter), or opposition to religious discrimination (e.g., complaining to human resources department about alleged religious discrimination), (see more).