News Highlights: Week of September 4

Trump ends DACA but gives Congress window to save it, by Tal Kopan of CNN

The Trump administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy will be discontinued. DACA recipients will not have their status revoked before its expiration date, but the Department of Homeland Security will no longer process any new applications. President Trump called for Congress to find a solution before DACA recipients begin losing their status in March 2018. While the administration stated that it does not explicitly plan to deport people with an expired DACA status, CNN reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers will make decisions “on a case-by-case basis” if they come into contact with former recipients. Personal information filed through DACA could also be accessed for ICE purposes. Discontinuing DACA will affect almost 800,000 people, including immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, lived here for over ten years, pursued degrees and careers, and began their own families. Opponents point out that the decision will negatively impact the economy and does nothing to improve the quality of life for Americans.

Arizona ban on ethnic studies unconstitutional: U.S. judge, by Taylor Harris of Reuters

Eleven years ago, the Arizona schools superintendent banned the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program after reports that its courses promoted anti-Republican rhetoric. In a state with a 64% Hispanic student population, Tucson families saw the ban as racist, politically driven, and unconstitutional, so they sued the Department of Education. This week, those families are rejoicing at the news that a federal judge just overturned the ban. Proponents of the program cite its positive influence on test scores and graduation rates of at-risk students, while personal accounts include a statement from a student who says he would have dropped out of school if it were not for the program. Other students expressed that they did not feel an affinity for school initially, but that the courses sparked their interest in education. MAS courses bring messages of inclusion to Mexican American students by centering their stories and experiences, as well as their culture’s art, history, and literature.

A Black Food Historian Explores His Bittersweet Connection To Robert E. Lee, by Nina Martyris of NPR

With a great-great-grandfather who was one of the first slaves to hear that slavery was over, Southern food historian Michael W. Twitty stands up for his African American ancestors’ culinary legacy. In a project he calls the “Southern Discomfort Tour,” Twitty traces his ancestors’ steps through Southern landmarks like Stratford Hall—the birthplace of Confederate general Robert E. Lee—and prepares meals like rabbit stew, persimmon pudding, and oysters in historically accurate slave clothing. In his new book, “The Cooking Gene,” Twitty explores his ancestry through food, such as how when food was scarce, Southerners relied on traditional African American cuisine like cowpeas and fried chicken. On being Black, gay, and Jewish in the face of rising neo-Nazi sentiment, Twitty remarks, “America is the only place on earth where I’m possible, and that is the dirty little secret behind these hate groups. They are here to take away the possibilities that America the Ideal represents.”

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