TIE’s Most Buzzworthy Pieces from 2022

Part Two

Banner reading "2022 TIE Highlights" with fireworks

This week, Toward Inclusive Excellence continues to reflect on our most notable pieces from 2022. This second assortment of articles touches on subjects ranging from pop culture to Indigenous heritage, mental health, gentrification, and beyond. We hope you enjoy getting reacquainted with these pieces as much as we enjoyed crafting and cultivating them.

A Major Corporation Attempted to Trademark Juneteenth

Black people commemorating Juneteenth

“Sometimes I feel like I live in an “upside-down” world as many things are happening that defy logic. It is not logical, for instance, that billionaires pay lower tax rates than teachers in the United States. It is also not logical for a group of white neo-Nazis to pack themselves into a U-Haul truck with the alleged intention of disrupting a joyous Pride festival. It makes no sense to me that 18-year-olds are allowed to purchase weapons of war for “recreational use.” I could go on and on.

Carrying through the theme of highlighting the illogical, I would love for someone to help me understand why any corporation was allowed to trademark “Juneteenth” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and reportedly held onto said trademark for nearly one year?”

Higher Education Must Support Women Scholars

Women exhausted by the stresses of the pandemic

“New data is shedding a different light on women’s work-life balance during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 2020 to January/February 2022. Many women have found remote and/or hybrid work (splitting one’s time between a remote location and an on-site location) to be beneficial for several key reasons. One, the absence of a commute has meant that some women were able to reduce stress. Second, some women reported feeling a sense of greater control over the ever-elusive work-life balance. Third, some women felt fewer financial pressures that come with a frequent commute to work, such as expenses for parking and public transportation, gasoline, takeout food and beverages, and clothing. Lastly, some women reported feeling less targeted for microaggressions, racism, sexism, and sexual harassment.”

Rihanna Is a Self-Made Billionaire: Why Are Her Accomplishments Being Diminished?

Highly qualified Black woman billionaire

“In 2018, Forbes Magazine selected 20-year-old “celebutante” Kylie Jenner for the cover of its August issue to headline a story on American women billionaires. The cover story dubbed Jenner a rising billionaire due to the success of her cosmetics line, Kylie Cosmetics. The following year, Forbes published a follow-up piece proclaiming Jenner, at 21, the youngest self-made billionaire ever (paywalled).

Proclaiming an heir to the multi-million Jenner-Kardashian empire a ‘self-made’ billionaire was one of the most ridiculous statements printed in recent history. Additionally, the math of Jenner’s (now refuted) claim of self-made wealth did not seem to add up upon further examination of financial evidence from her company. The alleged falsehoods perpetuated by Jenner’s company regarding its sales and valuations were so severe that two years later, Forbes published a quasi-retraction of its previous story touting Jenner’s business prowess. The magazine proclaimed Jenner ‘no longer a billionaire‘ and declared that the data her company had shared with the publication amounted to a ‘web of lies.'”

Preserving the Indigenous and African American Heritage of Martha’s Vineyard

Diverse people reading about Martha's Vineyard

“Each summer, the population of Martha’s Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, swells from a modest 17,000 people to more than 200,000 visitors and residents. August boasts the island’s highest occupancy rate, as it brings several activities and traditions, including the annual Grand Illumination night, the Black women’s Polar Bear plunge (paywalled), and the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. Celebrities and political luminaries such as former President Bill Clinton and comedian Larry David are frequently spotted enjoying island life in towns like Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. Former President Barack Obama and his family loved visiting Martha’s Vineyard so much while he was in office that they purchased a 29-acre compound in Edgartown.”

Dr. Davarian L. Baldwin on How Universities Exacerbate Inequities in Urban Living

illustration of an urban university building

“The arrival of fall heralds a return to college and university campuses for students, faculty, and staff across the United States and with that comes the recognition of these institutions’ vast urban reach. While institutions of higher learning are often bastions of positive change and innovations, the “entangled” relationship between urban life and higher education also nets more complicated outcomes for urban dwellers, which TIE’s latest Fall Semester podcast explores. In this episode, TIE Editor in Chief Alexia Hudson-Ward sits down with Dr. Davarian L. Baldwin, a leading urbanist, historian, and cultural critic, to discuss how this relationship impacts city residents who live in the shadows of these ivory towers.​”

Managers’ Mental Health Matters

Silhouettes of BIPOCs, symbolizing white dismissiveness

“Over the past several weeks, I have been made aware of three leaders’ suicides, including two BIPOCs. As our world is both big and small, I have personal touchpoints to each of these heartbreaking deaths. Some of my close colleagues and friends worked with these people. Last month, Jeffery A. Parker, former CEO and general manager of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), committed suicide at work when he walked in front of a moving train. Ten days later, the mayor of Hyattsville, Maryland, Kevin Ward (no relation), allegedly killed himself by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Earlier this week, America was rocked by news of the death of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, who leapt to her death from her high-rise condominium building shortly after posting a stunningly glamourous image of herself on Instagram.”

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Interested in contributing to TIE? Send an email to Deb V. at Choice dvillavicencio@ala-choice.org with your topic idea.

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Header image is a detail of This is Harlem by Jacob Lawrence. Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. For more information, click here.