Equity

In 1994, I read a book called Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times. It updated classic fairy tales with politically correct jargon aimed at comically — and of course, ineffectually — minimizing the disadvantages of Red Riding Hood's sight-impaired grandmother or the height-challenged Rumpelstiltskin.

This summer, football players at Northwestern University came very close to successfully forming a union — not to demand that they be paid, but to demand better scholarships and safety protocols. Had their bid succeeded, it might have changed college athletics — and, indeed, higher education — in some fundamental ways.

By now, you've probably heard about the video from Monday of protesters at the University of Missouri asking a student photographer — shooting on assignment for ESPN — to leave them alone, chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go!" and pushing him away.

The word "diversity" gets thrown around a lot in these parts, and recently, it has come under a lot of scrutiny; it's easy to invoke, but what does it actually mean?

In 1890, a shoemaker from Louisiana named Homer Plessy indentified himself as "black" on the decennial U.S. Census population survey. Plessy did this even though, as a Creole who was one-eighth black, he was light-skinned enough to pass for white.

The six horsewomen of the Castro clan are gathered in the center of the rodeo ring. They sit high on their imported sidesaddles, their ruffled skirts tucked neatly beneath them. These women are bound by blood or marriage. During the week, one works as a hairdresser, another is a nanny, two are students, and the others clean houses. But when the northern Virginia weather allows, they spend their Saturday afternoons on horseback.

Updated 7:50 p.m. ET

Over the weekend, players of color on the University of Missouri football team announced they would not participate in any football-related activities until university system president Tim Wolfe resigned, saying Wolfe had failed to address racist incidents on campus. As many have noted, the players' strike could have cost the university's football program millions of dollars.

This morning, Wolfe resigned.

Last Thanksgiving, NYU junior Micah Finkelman sat down to dinner with her white, liberal, Ohio family the same week a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Finkelman's parents had watched the dramatic news coverage of clashes between police, protesters, and looters and wondered what to make of the images. Their daughter struggled to explain why the Black Lives Matter movement should matter to them. But now, she's spent a semester in a classroom gathering the evidence to make her case.

If, as historian James Truslow Adams defined it in his 1931 book The Epic of America, the American dream is a "dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement," then Hollywood is the glittering factory in which this dream is manufactured and distributed across a nation, and exported to the rest of the world.

There's been lots of talk over the past few years about the glaring lack of diversity in Silicon Valley's tech industry. Software engineer Leslie Miley made national news this week when he publicly explained his recent decision to leave his job at Twitter — a job he loved — citing frustration over the company's overwhelmingly white workforce and internal resistance to changing it.

Martin Luther King Jr. had been dead 11 days.

His assassination fresh on her mind, Harriet Glickman, a teacher raising three kids in suburban Los Angeles, sat down at her typewriter.

"Dear Mr. Schulz," she wrote, "since the death of Martin Luther King, I've been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence."

Over at the New York Times Magazine, ambivalence toward capital "D" diversity courses through Anna Holmes' excellent essay "Has 'Diversity' Lost Its Meaning?" Holmes, the founding editor of Jezebel and now an executive at Fusion, notes that while corporate odes to "diversity" are de rigeur these days at places like SXSW and fancy media conferences, these lofty pronouncements often deflate back at the office.

Earlier this year, Victor Barillas decided to get on the HIV prevention pill called Truvada. When taken every day, the pill is nearly 100 percent effective in blocking the transmission of HIV, even through unprotected sex.

In 2012, Harvard Business professors Benjamin Edelman and Michael Luca launched a study to look at whether black hosts on AirBnB earned less than their non-black counterparts. Edelman and Luca examined the pricing strategy of all AirBnB hosts in New York City and found that, on average, non-black hosts charged 12 percent more than black ones.

East of Eden, John Steinbeck's 1952 novel, is on stage at Chicago's legendary Steppenwolf Theater through November 15. I remember reading the book as a teenager growing up in Boston and being pleasantly surprised to find that it featured a Chinese-American character named Lee.

Ah, the fine art of Columbusing. Code Switch has explored the subject in the past:

If you've danced to an Afrobeat-heavy pop song, dipped hummus, sipped coconut water, participated in a Desi-inspired color run or sported a henna tattoo, then you've Columbused something.

The world of children's lit has always traded in grisly topics — children's literature scholar Jerry Griswold deems "scariness" one of the five elemental themes of the genre.

Voices For Illinois Children, National Women's Law Center

Illinois fares poorly in a recent national report looking at access to child care assistance. In fact, the state ranks dead last after after cuts were made in July to drastically reduce maximum income levels for families to qualify. The report, by the Washington, D.C.-based National Women’s Policy Center, compared policies between the states as well as the District of Columbia.

It used to be that American Muslims who wanted a halal meal had to live in a major city and know a good butcher. Want to find an eligible spouse? Get your parents involved. In the market for halal cosmetics? Good luck.

Times are changing though.

Greg Howard is a staff writer at Deadspin, a Gawker Media site that covers sports and culture, and has written and reported on everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to the shortcomings of boomerangs. But he's become best known for his writing over the past year about the behind-the-scenes turbulence at a planned ESPN site called "The Undefeated," which meant to focus on issues of sports and race.

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7. It's a hosting choice that has raised questions over whether TV stations will be required to give equal time to other candidates — and raised eyebrows, because of Trump's controversial statements about Mexican immigrants.

As debates over race and SNL swirl once more, NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans offers this commentary:

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

A civil rights icon made a stop in Springfield this week to talk about activism and his new books. John Lewis, a Congressman from Georgia, is the last living member of a group of civil rights leaders known as the "Big Six." Martin Luther King Jr. was also in that group, and mentored Lewis.

Over at the New York Times, Jack Hitt considers the ubiquity of one particular icon of the post-Confederate South. "In front of nearly every courthouse or at the main intersection of nearly every town in the South, you will find a Confederate memorial," Hitt writes. "From the late 19th century to the early 20th, the icon of choice was not a fountain or an obelisk but a young man in the prime of courage. He is Johnny Reb, staring attentively ahead, at something."

Some new research suggests that ending America's devastating problems with school segregation is good for white kids, too. Over at NPR Ed, our colleague Anya Kamenetz describes these findings:

Pages