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According to reports, Black NYPD officers have been forced to meet quotas when it comes to arresting and summonsing people of color. Now, about a dozen Black NYPD officers filed a lawsuit against their department claiming they were pressured to implement racism in their practices. The officers secretly taped uncomfortable conversations they had with their supervisors. One of the officers, whose story was featured in a New York Times article, revealed that he was given a poor performance review and denied a promotion because he didn’t make an adequate amount of arrests. Although Whites only make up one-third of New York City’s population, predominately Black, Latino, and Asian areas are usually overseen by White officers. Read more.


All Def Digital Inks Partnership Deal With Fusion for All Def Movie Awards

Following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, mogul Russell Simmons decided to use his All Def Digital platform to create an awards show that would highlight actors of color. Dubbed the All Def Movie Awards, the concept is moving forward; ADD recently announced they have inked a multi-year partnership with FUSION. The network will broadcast the ceremony, which is slated to air on Feb. 28; the same night as the Oscars. “We are thrilled to have a like-minded network partner helping us build what will be an explosive media property and franchise in the All Def Movie Awards,” said Simmons in a statement. FUSION is just as excited about the collaboration. “Elevating underrepresented voices is core to FUSION’s mission and we are thrilled that the All Def Movie Awards will be an event for us to celebrate the diversity that makes our culture so rich,” said the company’s CEO, Isaac Lee. “Last year, FUSION partnered with All Def Digital as we sparked a dialogue about our country’s broken juvenile justice system and now we are excited to build on the success of that partnership to provoke another important conversation.” Films competing for the Best Picture of 2015 include Beasts of No Nation, Chi-Raq, Dope, Straight Outta Compton, Creed, and ConcussionRead more.


New Report Examines How Inclusive the Entertainment Industry Really Is

After the Oscars snubbed Black actors this year, there has been a closer focus on diversity within the entertainment industry. A new study conducted by the Media, Diversity & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and authored by Stacy L. Smith, delves into diversity numbers across different media platforms. The report, titled Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD), shows that only 28.3 percent of all speaking characters in television and films were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and only 22 stories illustrated representation aligned with the U.S. population. The study also revealed that 22 percent of shows and movies evaluated fail to include one African-American speaking character. “This is no mere diversity problem. This is an inclusion crisis,” said Smith. “Over half of the content we examined features no Asian or Asian-American characters, and over 20 percent featured no African-American characters. It is clear that the ecosystem of entertainment is exclusionary.” Read more.


New Vaginal Ring Will Protect Women from Contracting HIV

A new vaginal ring can protect women from contracting HIV. According to researchers, the ring can cut the chances of a woman getting the virus in half. It lowered HIV infection by 27 percent in over 2,600 women tested in African countries where the virus is prevalent. “This is the first demonstration of a sustained-release approach for HIV prevention,” said Dr. Jared Baeten of the University of Washington. Annalene Nel, who works for the International Partnership for Microbicides, said prevention practices need to be changed in order for them to be effective. “If we don’t change the current prevention paradigm … more than half the women in the communities where the study took place would likely become HIV infected over the next decade,” said Nel. Read more.


Obama Asks Congress for $1.9B to Combat Zika Virus

Combating the Zika virus has been a top priority on President Obama’s list. On Monday, he asked Congress to allocate $1.9 billion to fight the virus in other countries and to put preparation strategies in place in case it becomes widespread in the U.S. “This request supports the necessary steps to fortify our domestic health system, detect and respond to any potential Zika outbreaks at home, and to limit the spread in other countries,” wrote President Obama in a letter. He also added that the money is needed to “protect the health and safety of Americans.” Most of the funds would go to the CDC, who has hundreds of employees helping to address the outbreak. Republican reps suggest the administration utilize unused Ebola funds before asking for more money. Read more.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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