2020 kicks off new decade of action for people and planet by UN DESA, 1/2/2020


Photo Credit: UN DESA

What kind of a world do we want to create? As we dive into a new decade, the United Nations is launching a massive campaign to bridge the gap between the world we hope for and the world we may end up living in if we don’t better manage the dire challenges we are facing, including current climate change and inequality trends.

The new “Decade of Delivery and Action,” is fully backed by the highest levels of officials within the UN and among international actors. At the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development last July, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on Member States and other stakeholders to “kickstart a decade of delivery and action for people and planet” in 2020, given the short time left to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

This theme was also reflected in the political declaration, “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,” unanimously adopted at the opening of the SDG Summit in September 2019.

Where are the Hispanic executives? By JD Swerzenski, Donald T. Tomaskovic-Devey and Eric Hoyt for the Conversation, 23 January 2020

Racism, Ecuador

Photo Credit: Robert Curtis Photography

Many organizations have prioritized workplace equality and access to high-paying, executive level jobs for minority groups in recent years.

Several 2020 presidential candidates are putting forward plans to increase minority executive positions by diversifying corporate boards, punishing companies with poor diversity track records and increasing funding for minority–led business institutions. However, according to our own 2019 analysis, white men still hold the majority of executive positions such as CEOs, management directors and financial officers.

As economic and communication scholars, we looked at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission employment data for executives at large and mid–sized companies. Our analysis shows that white men sit in 85% of these high–paying boardroom positions while representing only 38% of the U.S. workforce. The dominance of white male executives, however, is by no means evenly distributed across the country. Our report tracks representation among Hispanic executives city by city.

Earthquake forecast for Puerto Rico: Dozens more large aftershocks are likely by Richard Aster for the Conversation 16 January 2020

Stiglitz, Arhentina

Photo Credit: The Conversation

Multiple strong and damaging earthquakes in southern Puerto Rico starting around Dec. 28, 2019 have killed at least one person, caused many serious injuries and collapsed numerous buildings, including a multistory school in the town of Guánica that luckily was empty at the time. These quakes are the most damaging to strike Puerto Rico since 1918, and the island has been under a state of emergency since Jan. 6, 2020.

This flurry of quakes includes onshore and offshore events near the town of Indios and along Puerto Rico’s southwestern coast. So far it has included 11 foreshocks – smaller earthquakes that preceded the largest event, or mainshock – with magnitudes of 4 and greater. Major quakes occurred on Jan. 6 (magnitude 5.8) and Jan. 7 (magnitude 6.4 mainshock), followed by numerous large aftershocks.

Seismologists like me are constantly working to better understand earthquakes, including advancing ways to help vulnerable communities before, during and after damaging events. The physics of earthquakes are astoundingly complex, but our abilities to forecast future earthquakes during a strong sequence of events in real time is improving.

Children of color already make up the majority of kids in many US states by Rogelio Sáenz and Dudley L. Poston, Jr. for the Conversation, 9 January 2020

Refugee, Youth

The share of the non–Hispanic white population has fallen since the mid–20th century. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of white children fell by 2.8 million, or 7.1%. In contrast, nonwhite children grew by 6.1%.

In 2018, the last year for which data are currently available, the proportion of people in the U.S. under 18 years of age was just barely more white than nonwhite. However, children under 11 were more nonwhite than white.


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