10-14-2019  9:14 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon woman dies in head-on crash on Seward Highway

SEWARD, Alaska (AP) — An Oregon woman died in a weekend head-on crash on the Seward Highway.Alaska State Troopers say 39-year-old Wendy Cox died at Mile 66. Her hometown was not immediately released.Troopers say roads at around 8 a.m. Saturday were slick and icy.Cox was driving a sport...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Trump calls for Spicer votes on 'Dancing with the Stars'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Donald Trump is trying to influence votes on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."Trump on Monday tweeted that viewers should vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. The president called Spicer a "good guy" and wrote "he has always been there for...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

Book by Fusion GPS founders coming out next month

NEW YORK (AP) — The co-founders of a political research firm behind allegations about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia have a book coming out next month.Random House announced Monday that "Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump"...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In 'Jojo Rabbit,' Waititi attempts his boldest balancing act

TORONTO (AP) — It's just a few hours before "Jojo Rabbit" will make its world premiere and writer-director...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Roland Henry had died in a different part of the country, his organs might have been...

Haiti's embattled president faces 5th week of protests

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's embattled president faced a fifth week of protests on Monday as road...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

McMenamins
Terence Chea the Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Fifteen years ago, California voters were asked: Should colleges consider a student's race when they decide who gets in and who doesn't?

With an emphatic "no," they made California the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions, as well as hiring and contracting.

Since then, California's most selective public colleges and graduate schools have struggled to assemble student bodies that reflect the state's demographic mix.

Universities around the country could soon face the same challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to revisit the thorny issue of affirmative action less than a decade after it endorsed the use of race as a factor in college admissions.

The high court agreed in February to take up the case of a white woman who claims she was rejected by the University of Texas because of its race-conscious admissions policy. The justices are expected to hear arguments this fall.

College officials are worried today's more conservative court could limit or even ban the consideration of race in admissions decisions. A broad ruling could affect both public and private universities that practice affirmative action, a powerful tool for increasing campus diversity.

"If the decision is very broad and very hostile to affirmative action, the future of the rest of country may look very similar to California," said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers. "It would be very disruptive at many institutions."

The effects of California's ban, known as Proposition 209, are particularly evident at the world-renowned University of California, Berkeley campus, where the student body is highly diverse but hardly resembles the ethnic and racial fabric of the state.

With affirmative action outlawed, Asian American students have dominated admissions. The freshman class admitted to UC Berkeley this coming fall is 30 percent white and 46 percent Asian, according to newly released data. The share of admitted Asians is four times higher than their percentage in the state's K-12 public schools.

But traditionally underrepresented Hispanic and black students remain so. In a state where Latinos make up half the K-12 public school population, only 15 percent of the Berkeley students are Hispanic. And the freshman class is less than 4 percent African Americans, although they make up 7 percent of the K-12 students.

Junior Magali Flores, 20, said she experienced culture shock when she arrived on the Berkeley campus in 2009 after graduating from a predominantly Latino high school in Los Angeles.

Flores, one of five children of working-class parents from Mexico, said she feels the university can feel hostile to students of color, causing some to leave because they don't feel welcome at Berkeley.

"We want to see more of our people on campus," Flores said. "With diversity, more people would be tolerant and understanding of different ethnicities, different cultures."

UC Berkeley has tried to bolster diversity by expanding outreach to high schools in poor neighborhoods and considering applicants' achievements in light of the academic opportunities available to them.

But officials say it's hard to find large numbers of underrepresented minorities competitive enough for Berkeley, where only about one in five applicants are offered spots in the freshman class.

In addition, California's highest-achieving minority students are heavily recruited by top private colleges that practice affirmative action and offer scholarships to minorities, administrators say.

"It's frustrating," said Harry Le Grande, vice chancellor of student affairs at Berkeley. "Many times we lose them to elite privates that can actually take race into account when they admit students."

Backers say affirmative-action policies are needed to combat the legacy of racial discrimination and level the playing field for minorities who are more likely to attend inferior high schools. Colleges benefit from diverse student bodies, and minority students often become leaders in their communities after graduating from top colleges.

"It's critical that our most selective institutions that look at least somewhat like the rest of our society," Nassirian said.

Ward Connerly, an African-American businessman who has led a national campaign against affirmative action, sees the practice as a form of racial discrimination.

"I don't believe in proportionality," said Connerly, who heads the American Civil Rights Institute. "The taxpayers have a right to say that we want every kid to be treated without regard to race, color, creed or national origin."

Connerly became wary of UC's efforts to admit more underrepresented minorities when he was a university regent in the 1990s. He pushed the board to bar UC from considering race in school admissions in early 1996 before he helped qualify Proposition 209 for the ballot that year.

"I looked at the extent of our diversity efforts and I concluded we were a lawsuit waiting to happen," Connerly said. "There was a very clear view that we had to be concerned about the growing Asian influence at the University of California."

The year after California's ban took effect, the number of black, Latino and Native American students plummeted by roughly half at Berkeley and UCLA, the UC system's most sought-after campuses.

Voters in Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Washington and Nebraska have since approved similar bans with similar results.

At the University of Washington, the number of underrepresented minorities dropped by a third after voters banned affirmative action in 1998.

Despite consistent opposition, California's ban has remained enshrined in law. Earlier this month, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Proposition 209 for the second time. The three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge in which Gov. Jerry Brown joined minority students in arguing the law is unconstitutional.

Affirmative-action advocates say Proposition 209 has created a "new Jim Crow regime" in California, where elite public colleges are dominated by white and Asian students while black and Hispanic students are relegated to less prestigious campuses.

"It is extraordinary that the vast majority of high school graduates in this state are minorities, and they're denied the opportunities to go to their state universities," said attorney Shanta Driver for the group By Any Means Necessary, which filed suit to overturn the ban.

UC officials have tried to increase campus diversity by admitting the top 9 percent of graduates from each high school, conducting a "holistic review" of applications that decreases the weight of standardized test scores and eliminating the requirement to take SAT subject exams.

Administrators note the number of Hispanic students at UC's nine undergraduates has been steadily increasing. The California residents admitted to the UC system for this fall are 36 percent Asian American, 28 percent white, 27 percent Hispanic and 4 percent African American, according to the latest figures.

"We're very interested in a diverse student body that reflects the state of California and the nation," said UC provost Larry Pitts. "We have reasonable diversity, but not as much as we would like."

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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