Things That Matter

Could The Cultivation Of Ethnic And Racial Minority Communities Yield Positive Outcomes For People Within Those Communities?

The human race is no stranger to segregation. In the United States, Jim Crow laws and “separate but equal” doctrine kept people racially separated for decades. In Germany, there were the Nuremberg Laws. In South Africa, Apartheid. Today, segregation in our country takes a different form—no longer supported by law, it is pervasive yet subtle, an intersectional issue rooted in gender, race, and socioeconomic status. While legally dividing people based on their differences is indisputably wrong, a complex question emerges: Could the cultivation of ethnic, religious, and racial minority communities actually yield positive outcomes for the people within those communities? Many signs point to yes.

On college campuses, this question underscores the phenomenon of “affinity housing”—spaces where minority students can live alongside peers who share important aspects of their identities.

credit: vassar.edu

The debate around affinity housing has spanned the past 50 years, beginning with active calls for change from students at numerous institutions in 1969 (Williams College, Vassar College, and Wesleyan University, to name a few). At Williams College, the discussion began when members of the Williams Afro-American Society occupied Hopkins Hall until the school president responded to a series of requests, including the development of a residence hall specifically for Black students. While that demand wasn’t met at the time—leading to a reemergence of the issue last year—students at Vassar and Wesleyan were more successful, resulting in Wesleyan’s “Malcolm X House” and Vassar’s “Kendrick House”—dorms specifically designated to Black students, which still exist today.

Now, in 2019, a wide number of colleges and universities offer affinity housing for a highly diverse spectrum of students, including women of color, Asians and Asian-Americans, Latinx populations, and LGBTQ groups. Proponents of affinity housing argue that these communal residences provide minority students with a sense of safety and security, especially at institutions with largely white student bodies. However, many people believe that affinity housing hearkens back to a darker epoch of American history, reviving segregationist tendencies that are fundamentally harmful to our progress as a society. Without a doubt, our country’s fraught past has definitely made the legal aspects of affinity housing a bit sticky.

According to the federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate against tenants based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and family status. 

credit: calstatela.edu

So, if a university offers affinity housing for Black students, it could get in trouble if white or Asian students were explicitly prohibited from living there. To avoid this, colleges provide students with the choice to reside in these spaces, using careful language to define their role on campus—for example, California State University’s website describes its Halisi Scholars Living Learning Community as having been “designed to enhance the residential experience for students who are a part of or interested in issues regarding the Black community.” While it focuses on fostering a sense of community for Black students, the Halisi Scholars LLC is available to any student invested in issues of Black culture. Thus, as long as the option to join an affinity housing residence is inclusive to all, there is nothing illegal about it.

Although it can make affinity housing tricky to navigate, the Fair Housing Act protects folks all over the country. In certain states and cities, the protections expand even further to include factors like age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, and citizenship status. Given the diversity of the U.S. population, these measures are absolutely essential to maintaining liberty and preserving our rights; yet history reveals that in spite of this legislation, marginalized communities are still most affected by housing discrimination, which perhaps points to affinity housing as a productive response to a long and unsavory trend.

Netflix’s “Dear White People” touches on the topic of affinity housing, illustrating the polemic nature of this issue through its characters’ divergent opinions. 

credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

While some characters, like Coco Conners—a Black economics student who serves as treasurer for Winchester University’s Coalition of Racial Equality—do not support the new Armstrong-Parker dorm (a residence hall for students of color), several other characters find community there. Yvette Lee Bowser, executive producer of the series, describes this point in the show as a “renaissance” for the predominantly white, fictional Ivy League school.

“Everyone wants to have a sense of community, no matter what their cultural background is,” says Bowser. “That’s really what Armstrong-Parker is about—a built-in sense of community.” As a woman of color, Bowser attended Stanford University, which also offers affinity housing. She reiterates that the housing assignments at Winchester are not meant to segregate, but to do the very opposite: the Amstrong-Parker dorm is designed to maintain connectivity within students’ own, preexistent communities. “You don’t choose to go to a predominantly white institution only to be with black people,” she says. “You want the diverse experience, but you also want to feel those creature comforts and culture comforts.”

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People Are Sharing How They Reached The $100K Ceiling

Fierce

People Are Sharing How They Reached The $100K Ceiling

Hitting that $100K ceiling might seem impossible if you’re a woman, particularly one in a certain field. Fortunately, Reddit is a fountain of financial advice, and men and women are sharing the ways in which they make $100K+ a year.

From improving a teacher’s salary to growing incoming as an artist, it’s all here!

Check the bits of advice out below!

“Programmer… took me 1.5 years after graduating college . But I am very lucky that my company is very high paying most programmers don’t make 100k+ for a while.”- Dangerous-Abalone381

“Really? Are you Front-end, back-end, or full stack? I was always under the impression that programmers/software engineers make a ton of money. Or is a programmer and software engineer different?!”- hoytscher

“Do you think people interested in transitioning to tech need to do a BS or would a boot camp suffice if they already have a BA and experience in other fields? Do you think programming gives good work life balance and salary?

I’m a teacher looking to move for better salary ($70k+) and decent work life balance and it seems like tech is recommended repeatedly.”- SnackHardNapHard

“I’ve been a programmer for 5 years and am only making ~$45k. Granted I did start out very slowly just doing a small amount of programming as part of my main job but I’m expecting to become a full fledged software developer this year.”- wolf_kisses

“I’m a social worker and never expected to make this salary. I worked in hospitals for a few years to get experience and now I take travel contracts. Similar to travel nursing but for social work.”- MurielFinster

“I started making 100k in medical social work after I passed my LCSW exam. Never thought it would be possible in this field.”-OEBmom

“oh wow, this is very cool. did not know you could do travel contracts. have been debating getting my master’s in social work, but am terrified of the debt. how long did you work in hospitals? what age did you start?”- losergoo

“I watch and manage high voltage power transmission lines for renewable energy sources in West Texas.

I got this job by being in the Navy for a number of years as a power plant operator, then becoming a nuclear plant operator, then going to college and dropping out, then getting really lucky. All in all, I hit 100k salary after working in the industry for just about 10 years.”- Sand_Dargon

“I’m an in house lawyer at an investment bank. I was 25 when I was first hired as a first year associate at a big law firm and started making $160,000 a year. 2 years later I hit $200,000. Those who work in the corporate sector, whether it’s consulting, finance, or law easily make over $100k. The problem is that in the big cities- NYC, LA, SF, etc. the housing is so expensive that even that doesn’t go very far if you have student loans.”- IwastesomuchtimeonAB

“I graduated in 2008 so I came out making $160k. Then my whole class got laid off and I went to making $70k. It’s been 13 years and I STILL don’t make as much money as I made the day I left law school. 2008 was rough man.”-Cat_With_The_Fur

“Data analyst

I’ve been out of undergrad for 13 years, but I worked retail for a bit and did grad school. I started in this sort of career pathway in 2014 and just hit 6 figures this year, so about 7 years in this industry.

My first DA-related job paid 42k/yr. Over the next few years I went from 42->44->50->52->75 (promotion to “senior” analyst) ->77->80->83->100 (same title, new company)”- PressureAwkward

“I also work in data and had an untraditional path to it. I graduated undergrad in 2013 and grad school at the end of 2018, and hit 6 figures around 1.5 years after grad school. I live in a very high cost of living city so that affected things as well.”- rlf923

“I’m also in Data Analytics, and it took 4 years after undergrad to make 6 figures. I studied Economics. My starting salary was $44k, and I received pay increases of about 25% annually until my salary was $104k. I was in a development program with a company, and all the raises were automatic except the last one. I’ve since moved, but my salary in the new position (also analytics) is $100k in a much lower cost of living area.”- kelsitear

“I work in the fashion industry as a designer and stylist. I’m lucky enough to be in the more high-profile side of things. It only took me two years to get to that point, I happened to just work on peojects within that kind of wage range and went from there.”-RosesAndPoinsettias

“I was an assistant fashion designer before the pandemic and lost my job. This gives me hope that the fashion industry will open up more opportunities in the future for me to get into it again.”- psychadelicamanic

“Likewise. I work at a Project Manager for a large insurance company. Took me 10 years after undergrad to hit the 100k mark (with bonus). Did Army for 4 years and when I transitioned out, had to start at a more entry level position (With a pay cut). Went from 55k to 98k in 5 years, and 4 different positions. Biggest benefit of the army, no student debt and good starting salary.”- mgmsupernova

“Set Decorator. (Interior designer for movies) Started as a PA, moved to set dresser, and finally to the head of the decoration department. PA is minimum wage, but as you work up the wages of course go up. I think it took me about 4 years to get to the 100000 a year mark. And of course, income fluctuates by show contract. None of us in the industry made as much money in 2020, for example, with the shutdowns.”- textilesandtrim

“People at salons can make a ton of money. I work at a nail salon part-time and I can make upwards of 300 plus tips a day. I made over 300 yesterday and about 60 in tips, which is very low IMO. I just had low quality clients (not a high service amount and low tips).

I always imagined hair salons being in even more than that. Cut and color ranges from 60 to what, 400 bucks? If you are willing to grind and build up your rapport, you can make a great living.”- TakethThyKnee

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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Things That Matter

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Photo: Polk County Jail via Associated Press

On Wednesday, an Iowa woman pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. The woman, 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin, intentionally hit a 12-year-old Black boy and a 14-year-old Latina with her car in 2019. The charges include two counts of violating the U.S Hate Crime Act, as Poole Franklin intended to kill the victims because of their ethnicity.

Nicole Poole Franklin admitted to authorities that she targeted the girl because she thought she looked “Mexican”. She thought the boy was an Islamic terrorist.

As part of her defense, Poole Franklin is claiming that she suffers from schizophrenia and PTSD. Since her arrest, she admitted to police officers that she smoked meth before going on her hate-filled rampage.

The incident, which happened in December of 2019, struck fear into the hearts of communities of color in Des Moines, Iowa, where the hate crimes took place. “Anytime things happen to any minority, people are concerned about what happened,” said Joe Gonzalez, the executive director of Latino Resources Inc. in Iowa. “It was a horrific thing and people were concerned — especially people of color.”

When Nicole Poole Franklin ran over the children, she injured the boy’s leg. The girl, Natalia Miranda, was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for two days.

Natalia Miranda was walking to junior high school on December 9, 2019, when Poole Franklin ran her down on the side walk. Miranda was unconscious for 40 minutes before she woke up and walked to school, where she alerted the authorities.

Natalia Miranda says she remembers the car speeding towards her, but she doesn’t remember being hit. “I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the 14-year-old told KCCI. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

As of now, prosecutors are recommending that Nicole Poole Franklin serve 27 years behind bars.

Poole Franklin is also looking at two charges of attempted murder–both of which could carry up to 25 years each. Prosecutors are recommending that she serves all of the jailtime–state and federal–at the same time.

Here’s to hoping that the justice system does what is right and puts Nicole Poole Franklin behind bars for a long time–if only to save the lives of innocent children of color whose only crime is walking down the street.

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