5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: June 16

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.

1. Buffalo Supermarket Shooter Charged with Federal Hate Crimes

Payton Gendron, the white gunman who killed 10 Black people in a racist attack at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, last month, has been charged with federal hate crimes and could face the death penalty. 

A criminal complaint against Gendron was filed Wednesday and coincided with a visit to Buffalo from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who met with the families of the people who were killed. 

“No one in this country should have to live in fear that they will go to work or shop at a grocery store and be attacked by someone who hates them because of the color of their skin,” Garland said at a news conference. 

Last year, Garland halted federal executions but did not rule out the death penalty against Gendron. 

The federal hate crime charges against Gendron were based partially on documents found during a search FBI agents conducted at Gendron’s home, which laid out the extensive preparation he had done to carry out the attack as well as his radical and racist worldview. He shared these documents and views with a small group of people online before the attack happened. 

As of right now, evidence suggests Gendron acted alone, but Garland and Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate said investigators are looking into his communications with others before the shooting happened.

2. Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids Fired

 Less than a week after being charged with second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya, Grand Rapids, Michigan, police officer Christopher Schurr has been fired.

City Manager Mark Washington announced Wednesday that Schurr waived his right to a hearing after the Grand Rapids police chief and labor relations officer recommended he be fired. Schurr’s employment was terminated, effective June 10.

 Lyoya, a Black man, was killed on April 4. Footage of the shooting has led to national attention being paid to the case. Multiple videos have been released to the public. In those final moments, Lyoya was shot in the back of the head as he ran away from the traffic stop.

The Dos and Don’ts of Celebrating Juneteenth in the US

Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021, and since then numerous companies have given employees the day off. This year, many people will be off on Monday, June 20 since June 19 falls on a Sunday.

Cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and others are hosting music and cultural festivals, plays and educational programming to commemorate Emancipation Day in acceptable ways. While cities might have this down pat, some companies are marketing and celebrating the holiday in inappropriate ways.

 Walmart, for example, had to stop its plans for selling a Juneteenth ice cream that read “share and celebrate African American culture, emancipation and enduring hope” on the carton. Critics jumped on this, saying Walmart only sought to profit off of the holiday.

 Better ways to show respect for Black Americans and the holiday include focusing on allyship and education in the workplace. For example, General Motors doesn’t give its employees the day off for Juneteenth, but hosts conversations internally to allow employees to reflect on what this day means to them.

Subscribe to Fair360 Enterprise to read more about the dos and don’ts of celebrating Juneteenth.

4. US Department of Labor To Provide $201.8M to Support Employment Training for Workers Hurt by Foreign Trade

 The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will provide $201.8 million to fund training and employment services in 45 states and Puerto Rico to workers who have been affected negatively by foreign trade.

According to a statement from the DOL, “the funds’ allocation includes the initial and second distribution required by statute to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Program. An additional amount of approximately $22.4 million must be distributed before Sept. 30, 2022, fiscal year 2022’s end.”

The program will be administered by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration and supports training, employment and case management services, job search and relocation allowances and income assistance during training. People aged 50 and older with reemployment wages lower than the wages earned prior to trade-affected employment will receive a subsidy.

In a statement from the DOL, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said, “this significant investment underscores the need for Congress to reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Program to ensure our nation remains on the path to an equitable recovery for all workers.”

5. People on the Move: Clint Wallace Moves from Sanofi to Johnson & Johnson

Clint Wallace has been named Head of Human Resources for Johnson & Johnson’s Global Consumer Healthcare Operations. J&J is a Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Hall of Fame company.

Wallace moved to J&J after serving as Senior Vice President of North America at multinational healthcare company Sanofi (ranked No. 25 on Fair360, formerly DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) for six years.

In a 2019 interview with Fair360, formerly DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson, Wallace said he established himself as a leader by building relationships with people and building a “teaming spirit.” He said he has also taken initiative around a purpose.

Even during his 21 years in the military, where he held a rank as an officer, which commanded him a certain level of respect, he said he never let his position “be the driver for people to do as I’ve asked.”

I’ve always let strong relationship building be the driver of what would be the catalyst for them to see me in a role that they would want to listen to or be influenced by,” he said.


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