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Expert Advice: How to Protect Yourself From Bias and Backlash at Work

As reports of antisemitic and Islamophobic threats and acts of hate and violence increase in California and across the country, the California Commission on the State of Hate (Commission) and California Civil Rights Department (CRD) continue to encourage Californians to take advantage of anti-hate resources available statewide, including the California vs Hate hotline and website. “The Commission on the State of Hate stands united in shared humanity with the people of California in denouncing violence and hate,” said Commission Chair Russell Roybal in a statement.

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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. This prohibition extends to discrimination based on religion, national origin, and race.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. This prohibition extends to discrimination based on religion, national origin, and race.

By Edward Henderson, California Black Media

As reports of antisemitic and Islamophobic threats and acts of hate and violence increase in California and across the country, the California Commission on the State of Hate (Commission) and California Civil Rights Department (CRD) continue to encourage Californians to take advantage of anti-hate resources available statewide, including the California vs Hate hotline and website.

“The Commission on the State of Hate stands united in shared humanity with the people of California in denouncing violence and hate,” said Commission Chair Russell Roybal in a statement.

“We recognize what is happening in the Middle East has devastated communities in California. Unfortunately, when these horrific events occur, instances of hate tend to rise as well. No person, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, Israeli, or perceived as members of any of these groups, should be subject to prejudice or violence,” he added.

“If you experience or witness hate in California, we encourage you to contact CA vs Hate to report the incident and get connected to support and resources.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. This prohibition extends to discrimination based on religion, national origin, and race.

One form is the adverse treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived religious practices or membership in a particular racial or national origin group.

Another form is adverse treatment based on the assumption that the individual holds certain beliefs because of their religion, national origin, or race. There can also be adverse treatment due to the individual’s actual or perceived association with, or relationship to, a person of a particular religion, national origin, or race.

The UCLA Center for Equity and Inclusion recommends four tactics to respond to workplace bias or hate.

Interrupt Early

Workplace culture largely is determined by what is or isn’t allowed to occur. If people are lax in responding to bigotry, then bigotry prevails.

Use or Establish Policies 

Call upon existing policies to address bigoted language or behavior. Work with your personnel director or human resources department to create new policies and procedures, as needed. Also ask your company to provide anti-bias training.

Go Up the Ladder

If behavior persists, take your complaints up the management ladder. Find allies in upper management and call on them to help create and maintain an office environment free of bias and bigotry.

Band Together

Like-minded colleagues also may form an alliance and then ask the colleague or supervisor to change his or her tone or behavior.

CA vs Hate is a non-emergency, multilingual hate crime and incident reporting hotline and online portal. Reports can be made anonymously by calling (833) 866-4283, or 833-8-NO-HATE, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT or online at any time. Hate acts can be reported in 15 different languages through the online portal and in over 200 languages when calling the hotline. For individuals who want to report a hate crime to law enforcement immediately or who are in imminent danger, please call 911. For more information on CA vs Hate, please visit CAvsHate.org.

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Activism

Oakland Post: Week of July 10 – 16, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of July 10 – 16, 2024

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Business

Opinion: California Needs to Do More to Boost Employment for Black Americans

California must act now to confront today’s Black job crisis. The Bureau of Labor Statistics last year reported that 90% of the nation’s unemployed U.S. citizens are Black Americans. And despite being less than 10% of Los Angeles’ population, Black people comprise more than a third of its unhoused residents. Senate Bill (SB) 1340 renews hope in confronting this Black job crisis, as $180 billion in federal funds are coming to California to support the state’s green infrastructure projects over the next decade.

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Taylor Jackson, regional organizer, Southern California Black Worker Hub. Courtesy photo.
Taylor Jackson, regional organizer, Southern California Black Worker Hub. Courtesy photo.

By Taylor Jackson
Special to California Black Media Partners
 

California must act now to confront today’s Black job crisis.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last year reported that 90% of the nation’s unemployed U.S. citizens are Black Americans. And despite being less than 10% of Los Angeles’ population, Black people comprise more than a third of its unhoused residents.

Senate Bill (SB) 1340 renews hope in confronting this Black job crisis, as $180 billion in federal funds are coming to California to support the state’s green infrastructure projects over the next decade.

The bill – authored by longtime worker rights and racial equity advocate Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles) – would establish local “disadvantaged worker” demographics across California and require state-funded contractors to prioritize hiring these workers, who are primarily from underserved communities of color.

One Black construction worker who has benefited from an equitable hiring program is Patricia Allen. In 2014, Allen was an unemployed single mother living in the Crenshaw area who was hired to work on LA Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX rail line as part of their Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that prioritized the hiring of local disadvantaged individuals.

“It really felt good to see other faces like mine on the project,” said Allen, who now works as a safety supervisor for a construction company after earning her safety training certificate.

SB 1340 would also require state-funded contractors to regularly track and report disadvantaged workers hired on their projects to hold them accountable to meeting equitable hiring goals established by the state.

The Biden Administration has intended for states to utilize these federal grant dollars to boost equitable hiring programs and other community benefits. To remain competitive in securing future federal funding, California must demonstrate that it is successfully executing equitable hiring programs. Tracking and reporting are the most effective ways to ensure that California is keeping receipts on workers hired on development projects and ensuring that the communities they come from have benefited.

California awarded one of its first contracts from these federal dollars to a Texas-based company. Without SB 1340, Black community members are concerned about the implications: firms like this out-of-state contractor are not currently required to hire local workers from vulnerable communities, including Black men and women.

As critical as SB 1340 is in helping to solve the state’s Black job crisis, the bill has fallen on deaf ears in the Governor’s Office. SB 1340 is yet to be funded, despite being passed by the State Senate and Assembly Labor Committee as well as strongly recommended by a sizable coalition of statewide community partners. While Gov. Newsom makes promises to support legislation that aim to make a more equitable California, Black workers need him to act now on those promises. 

Although California is facing budget constraints, SB 1340 will be a low-cost bill to implement. It’s a small investment that will pay big dividends given that it will create jobs that would take thousands of people out of poverty, ultimately saving the state money with their tax-paying jobs reinvested back into the state.

Because of California’s long history of institutionalized racist policies, Black communities were excluded from building the state’s infrastructure during the 20th century. SB 1340 would give Black workers an opportunity to play an important role as California transitions into a new green economy.

“This bill is not just about building roads and bridges. It’s about building communities where all people can have environmental and economic justice,” said Dawn Modkins, director of the Southern California Black Worker Hub.

To voice your support for SB 1340, please call or email your state legislator’s office or call the Office of the Governor at (916) 445-2841.

About the Author 

Taylor Jackson is the regional organizer at the Southern California Black Worker Hub.

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Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌

Funded by Big Tech? Calif. Lawmakers Debate the Future of Journalism

Last month, Sen. Steven Glazer (D-Orinda) vowed to bring back a journalism support bill he authored that had hit a snag in the legislative process. A few weeks later, the lawmaker lived up to his promise. On June 27, the California Senate moved to advance Senate Bill (SB) 1327 with a 27-7 vote under the Urgency Clause – special language contained in legislation that privileges it to take immediate effect after the governor signs it.

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Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, a former journalist and member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, supports SB 1327.
Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, a former journalist and member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, supports SB 1327.

By Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media

Last month, Sen. Steven Glazer (D-Orinda) vowed to bring back a journalism support bill he authored that had hit a snag in the legislative process.

A few weeks later, the lawmaker lived up to his promise.

On June 27,  the California Senate moved to advance Senate Bill (SB) 1327 with a 27-7 vote under the Urgency Clausespecial language contained in legislation that privileges it to take immediate effect after the governor signs it.

SB 1327 would impose a charge – called a “data extraction mitigation fee” in the bill — on major digital technology platforms such as Meta, Amazon, and Google to fund local news. Glazer pulled the bill from the floor in May when he discovered he didn’t have the minimum two-thirds votes for passage. Now, that he has generated enough support to move the bill forward, Glazer called his push to pass it a “rescue effort.”

SB 1327 is now on its way to the Assembly for review.

“We are in a moment of peril in our democracy, and our hollowed-out newsrooms are in the center of that crisis,” Glazer said during the opening of his presentation during a hearing for the bill on the Senate floor.

Glazer continued, “Ours is 248 years young. Seventy-one percent of the world’s population is under autocracies. Now, in countries such as Hungary, Argentina, and Turkey, we see these democracies teetering. You simply have to see their actions to curtail and take control of independent news media that was keeping these democracies honest.

SB 1327 has been getting pushback from digital tech giants and some publishers that are worried about losing advertising, the supposed threat of government influence, discrimination against larger publishers, and nonprofit newsrooms getting a slice of the mitigation fee.

Sen. Roger Niello (R-Roseville) voted against the bill. During the debate on the floor, Niello said it gives him “great pause to entertain a proposal” where over half the journalism industries today are “owned by hedge funds and individual investors,” he said.

The lawmaker who owns several high-end car dealerships added that the bill could bring “unintended consequences such as capital venture groups reaping the profits, should SB 1327 become law.

To qualify for the tax credit, news media outlets must initially circulate or distribute news content within the state of California and operate internet platforms.

SB 1327 proposes a 7.25% on gross receipts derived from data extraction transactions, according to the bill’s language.

Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles) spoke the ways public opinion, politics and civic life have been influenced by misinformation and disinformation since the decline of the journalism industry. A member of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC), Smallwood-Cuevas is a former journalist.

“These are efforts to make a difference,” Smallwood said of SB 1327. “I must applaud the author for his work particularly because the alternative must also include building a representative workforce within the newspaper industry, which this bill takes into account– ensuring that those who look like California tell the story of California.”

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