According to a recent lawsuit, #MeritlessMary – Mary R. Watson a dean at The New School university in New York City – helped have a Black woman professor fired. Allegedly, the termination was in retaliation for reporting Watson’s racist actions. #MeritlessMary appears to be much less qualified as a professor than the Black woman, award-winning filmmaker and scholar Dr. Robin J. Hayes.
“The discrimination has done “long-term” damage to her career and left her “humiliated,” reports The New York Post.
The widely read New York City paper detailed Dr. Hayes’ discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against The New School. The legal action also targets as individuals some of the highest ranking officials at the university including: President David Van Zandt, Labor Relations VP Keila Tennent-DeCouteau, Provost Tim Marshall, Deputy Provost Bryna Sanger, and Executive Dean Mary Watson. Hayes, producer and director of the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba, is African American and openly lesbian.
“The New School only hired her as a token of diversity to stem complaints about its mostly white staff,” the article states.
Read the complete New York Post piece here.
Progressive Pupil announces its slate of prize-winning programming that promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion for the 2018-2019 academic year. Tackling timely issues ranging from mass incarceration to microaggressions, gender identity to first generation college grads, these cutting-edge workshops, trainings, screenings, and performances help campuses and organizations constructively engage in a variety of difficult dialogues. Each program has been curated by Dr. Robin J. Hayes, an Ivy League trained and internationally recognized scholar, and can be tailored to your organization’s needs.
Scroll through the catalogue here or download it below.
According to a new film short by Progressive Pupil released via social media, the university’s leadership refused to fire psychology Professor Emanuele Castano, despite receiving repeated complaints about his sexual misconduct. According to a lawsuit and report in the New York Post, a student alleged Castano raped her at least ten times.
In contrast, according to the video and a recent lawsuit filed by Progressive Pupil’s founder Dr. Robin J. Hayes, The New School’s provost Tim Marshall terminated Hayes after she reported enduring years of discrimination including unequal compensation, harassment, and breach of her contract.
Castano is a heterosexual White man. Hayes is a Queer Black woman.
See the video below.
Many of us women, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community dread these first few days of the new year. The prospect of returning to campuses, nonprofits or companies where we are isolated, harassed, and blocked from success can be disheartening. In my own life, discrimination fanned the flames of doubt and shame I internalized through living in a society where I rarely saw anyone who looked like me-or loved like me-enjoy professional success.
If you’re steeling yourself against microaggressions, mansplaining, or other inappropriate discriminatory behavior, remember two things.
1. It’s Not You.
Discrimination is not something you can prevent with professional excellence, code switching expertise, or fitting into racial or gendered norms of behavior. It is driven solely by perpetrators’ allegiance to White supremacist, sexist and/or homophobic beliefs. (Whether that allegiance is subconscious is not your concern). Discrimination is illegal precisely because it has nothing to do with your actions.
2. You Are Not Alone.
Chances are you are not the only person at your campus or organization that desires a more inclusive atmosphere. To the extent that your feedback is solicited or you have decision-making authority about diversity-related programs, suggesting more trainings and cultural events might jumpstart the constructive conversations about equality and inclusion your organization needs.
I am hopeful for progress. The more we speak up, the swifter change will come. Happy New Year.
Yours in Solidarity,
The pioneering LGBT magazine The Advocate called 9 GRAMS “heartfelt and often humorous” in a glowing review of the play that appears in both its print and online publications. Writer David Artavia explains playwright Maisha Yearwood “has written a brutally honest and poignant one-woman play…putting on full display the ugly truth of what it means to be a targeted Black lesbian American traveling and living abroad.” Peep the full review here.
Go to 9GRAMS.com more information about the next performance of 9 GRAMS.
Progressive Pupil announces its programming line up for the 2017-2018 academic year. With the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba, prize-winning one-woman show 9 GRAMS (recently featured in The Advocate) and always thought provoking workshop Coping With Microaggressions; our programs contribute to learning at universities, nonprofits and corporations throughout the US and abroad.
Download catalogue .pdf here
It is so easy to focus on the negative right now. To endlessly repeat in our minds everything that is wrong, wrong, wrong about White supremacy, fascism and the deplorable people who hold those ideals dear. It has taken me a minute to quiet my own mind and gain some clarity.
The swastikas brandished in Charlottesville last weekend are no different than those placed in dormitories at The New School last November. The murder of ally Heather Heyer is along the same despicable lines as the killing of Black student Richard Collins on the University of Maryland’s campus. For some time now, White supremacist violence has been resurging. And that is terrifying. I am everything these people hate. So many of my loved ones are everything they want to disappear.
The good news is- as Nobel laureate Toni Morrison pointed out-this outbreak of hate is the quaking desperation of people who are losing. Losing ground. Losing support. Losing power. Even with champions in The White House.
The most important thing we can do now is to raise the already swelling tide of opposition to this latest iteration of fascism. A simple way to help is to invigorate dialogues in our communities that promote equality. Events such as diversity trainings or timely programs for Latino Heritage Month are proven to build compassion and acceptance.
Progressive Pupil offers workshops and programs that can help. If our work is not right for your school, place of worship, or company; please also consider the services of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Don’t be alarmed. Be part of the solution.
Bigots can’t win.
Yours with Love and Solidarity,
Enjoy music from and connected to the award-winning film Black and Cuba on Spotify. Featuring iconic musicians from throughout the Diaspora, including Celia Cruz and the Fania All-Stars, Abbey Lincoln, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Happy Black Music Month!
Enjoy this custom playlist by our outreach director Shannon Shird. Lemonade a Seat at the Table