diversity

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia governor embroiled in a blackface scandal earlier this year is appointing a new top aide whose job will be to make government more inclusive.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday that he's appointing Janice Underwood to a newly created senior position whose duties will include formulating a strategic plan to "address systemic inequities" in state government.

Underwood is the former director of diversity initiatives at Old Dominion University.

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We may have gone from the cozy neighborhood to the diverse community of the internet. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merill ponders the benefits and the perils of the modern age.

Salisbury University

Dr. Charles Wright was inaugurated as Salisbury University’s ninth president yesterday.

He committed himself to improving the affordability of a college education.

“Some universities are already at the point where the return on financial investment is seriously questioned, he said. “We need to make certain that money is never an insurmountable object, a barrier, to college education. We need to creative this opportunity for every student who is willing to commit to a plan of study, work hard and succeed.”

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school has won a national award for fostering diversity as it weathers the scandal ignited by a racist photograph from its 1984 yearbook.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education picked Eastern Virginia Medical School for its Institutional Excellence Award this year. School president Richard V. Homan says he learned of the award a few weeks ago, "after the chaos," but couldn't announce it because of the association's rules.

Virgnia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - The incoming freshman class at Virginia Tech will be the most diverse in the school's history.

The Roanoke Times reports that 34 percent of the Blacksburg school's 6,400 first-year students are classified as either as first-generation, low-income or minority students.

The school's goal is to reach 40 percent by 2022.

Virginia Tech will next year begin using a simplified, streamlined application designed to make applying for financial aid more accessible.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - With two leading candidates who have a shot at becoming Maryland's first black governor, the crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary reflects the state's changing demographics and the party's efforts to harness the energy of an increasingly diverse electorate around the country.

Recent polls show former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker are leading in a close and crowded primary.

umes.edu

BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal judge says she will appoint a special official to craft a plan to increase diversity at Maryland's historically black colleges.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake this week rejected proposals by a civil rights group and state higher education officials. She wrote in a ruling Wednesday that neither party's proposals were "practicable, educationally sound, and sufficient to address segregative harms of program duplication."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Transgender woman Danica Roem (rohm), whose defeat of an outspoken, socially conservative lawmaker has made news around the world, is just one of several women who made history in this week's Virginia elections.

The state House is also getting its first Latina members, its first Asian-American woman delegate and likely its first openly lesbian member.

Altogether, at least 10 new Democratic women will be joining the House, and that number could tick up as races that were too close to call Wednesday go through recounts.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Two top Maryland lawmakers say they support expanding the state's medical marijuana industry next year to increase participation by minority-owned businesses.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch wrote in a July letter that they support passage of "emergency legislation" in the legislative session that begins in January.

Currently, 15 growers are allowed, and but none is a black-led company. A bill designed to bolster diversity ownership failed to pass in the closing moments of this year's legislative session.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore judge has temporarily blocked Maryland's medical marijuana commission from issuing licenses to companies to grow marijuana.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams issued the temporary restraining order on Thursday.

Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach praised the growth that the institution has seen since the year 2-thousand.

She noted that enrollment has risen from around 64-hundred students to just over 87-hundred.

In addition, she noted that minority and nonresident alien students she said has jumped by 227 percent over the last 17 years.

But, she added, the university needed to make a greater effort to bring more diversity to the campus.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - An applicant for a license to grow medical marijuana in Maryland has sued a state commission for allegedly failing to consider racial diversity when the panel named the top 15 finalists.

Court documents show Alternative Medicine Maryland filed the suit Monday in Baltimore Circuit Court. The lawsuit seeks to stop the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from awarding licenses.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The chairman of Maryland's medical marijuana commission is meeting with Maryland's attorney general to discuss diversity concerns in the state's marijuana licensing process.

Dr. Paul Davies is scheduled to meet with Attorney General Brian Frosh on Tuesday.

Critics have noted a lack of diversity in applicants selected as finalists to grow and process marijuana. Davies wrote last week that the commission is committed to promoting racial diversity in the state's developing medical marijuana industry.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The chairman of Maryland's medical marijuana commission says the panel is committed to promoting racial diversity in the state's developing medical marijuana industry.

Dr. Paul Davies wrote Thursday the panel will work with the legislature on the issue.

Critics have noted a lack of diversity in applicants selected as finalists to grow and process marijuana. They say the law required the commission to "actively seek to achieve" racial, ethnic and geographic diversity.

A Nation Divided

Jun 16, 2016
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As Virginia's only Latino state lawmaker, Alfonso Lopez made it his first order of business to push for a law granting in-state college tuition to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally since childhood.

The bill died in committee.

So Lopez tried again the next year. And the year after that.

Now, in his fifth year in office, Lopez is gearing up for one more attempt in 2017. 

"If we had a more diverse (legislature) and more Latinos in the House of Delegates," he says, "I don't think it would be as difficult."

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The University of Delaware has announced a commitment to recruiting more diverse students and faculty from under-represented backgrounds.
    
The university plan focuses on recruiting and developing faculty members who are the first in their families to go into academia and are from low-income backgrounds.
    
The state is currently accepting bids for consultants to study the issue of diversity on Delaware's flagship campus.
    

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McLEAN, Va. (AP) - The director of a national association of music teachers is out of a job after he reportedly told a diversity forum that blacks and Latinos lack the "keyboard skills" needed for the profession.

The Reston-based National Association for Music Education said Wednesday it has parted ways with its executive director and CEO, Michael Butera.

Attendees at a forum in Washington last month sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts say Butera stormed out after questions about his organization's lack of diversity.

salisbury.edu

They were mostly students and faculty as Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach took the stage yesterday for a Town Hall.

It was entitled “Rap With Me.”

But in recent months the issue of diversity on campus led to a group of students who met with the President about – what they see – as a lack of racial awareness on campus.

They presented the President with a statement during their meeting with her and then said they would return with specific issues.

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ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - A citizen-led task force has recommended that the Howard County Police Department should implement a pilot program to explore the use of body cameras.

The Baltimore Sun reports members of the advisory council suggested the cameras could help "ensure equality for both the officer and the citizen."

Citizen Advisory Council chair Linda Lee Hickerson says the program could eliminate "the he said/she said" issue during a traffic stop, arrest or other interaction.

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Despite a 2009 executive order by Governor Jack Markell to increase the diversity of the state workforce a new report says that it has declined over the years.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that black state officials and administrators have declined from 21 percent six years ago to 20 percent.

A group of African American leaders including those from the NAACP of Delaware and the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council say they will organize an effort to confront discrimination in state government.

Don Rush

The changing demographics of the nation has gotten Delmarva Public Radio's Essayist George Merrill to compare his childhood in New York to his town of St. Michaels.

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The racial and ethnic makeup of Northern Delaware is now headed toward parity by 2060.

That means that it will reflect the kind of diversity that is now found in Philadelphia.

It is part of a long term trend in diversity in counties like Kent and New Castle.

And what had once been virtually all white communities in rural areas like Cecil and Dorchester counties in Maryland have changed dramatically since 1960.

Salisbury University Website

Salisbury University has been ranked in the nation’s top 15 percent in undergraduate education according to “The Princeton Review”.

In the 2015 edition of The Best 379 Colleges it highlighted the school’s diverse student body, commitment to fields of study and the variety of student activities.

Rob Franeck, the guide’s author, said that the outstanding academics were the principle reason for selecting the school.

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With more than 400 employees the Salisbury’s government work force is less diverse than the city is as a whole.

The Council members agreed to create a task force during a work session last night that would to look at the lack of representation.

Council President Jake Day told the Salisbury Daily Times that at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that “the numbers reflect the numbers of the community.”