Top 10 Reads for July

First and foremost this month, we at Fenton are celebrating the life and legacy of a giant in civil rights activism and advocacy. Rep. John Lewis and his dedication to justice and public service have left an indelible mark on this country. In a statement honoring John Lewis, former President Barack Obama summed it up best, “Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.” 

In commemoration of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, July is disability pride month. And with our marching orders in mind, we are fighting for accessibility and always looking for ways to be more inclusive in our work here at Fenton. This month in our reading, we dug a little deeper into accessibility issues in the COVID-19 response and how to build a more accessible, inclusive, just world. 

Our commute times may be functionally zero, but we’re still devouring all news and thought leadership on progressive issues whenever we can. Between the global pandemic, ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, policing reform and criminal justice reform, disability rights activism, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the push for more equity in education, our reading list this month is stacked.

  1. John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80. Images of his beating at Selma shocked the nation and led to swift passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was later called the conscience of the Congress.
    By Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times
  2. The Invention of the Police. Why did American policing get so big, so fast? The answer, mainly, is slavery.
    By Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
  3. Pushing for More Women in the Police Force Is a Cop Out. Though it’s presented under the guise of feminist reform and more equitable hiring practices, more women in the police force is a false flag for change.
    By Torrey Crim, Bitch Media
  4. “Juvenile Lifers” Were Meant to Get a Second Chance. COVID-19 Could Get Them First. The Supreme Court gave teens sentenced to life in prison a shot at freedom. Many are still waiting.
    By Eli Hager, The Marshall Project
  5. Building Accessibility Into America, Literally. Thirty years on, the Americans With Disabilities Act has reshaped the way designers and the public have come to think about equity, civil rights and American architecture. But it’s only a start.
    By Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times
  6. How to center disability in the tech response to COVID-19. Social justice and civil rights movements will remain incomplete and insufficient as long as they perpetuate ableist practices and ideas and are inaccessible to disabled people.
    By Lydia X.Z. Brown, Brookings Tech Stream
  7. Disability Rights Activists Take On Twin Pandemics of Racist Police Brutality & COVID-19. Two months after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked an international uprising, we look at the underreported, but devastating impact police violence has on people with disabilities, especially Black disabled people.
    By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
  8. Demand for Chief Diversity Officers Is High. So Is Turnover. Frustrated by talk but little action and a lack of resources, many diversity executives find themselves rotating through C-suites.
    By Chip Cutter and Lauren Weber, Wall Street Journal
  9. OK Boomer Captures the Fight to Desegregate New York City Schools. How can we live together if we can’t even learn together?
    By Marcus Alston And Alexander Rodriguez, Teen Vogue
  10. What College Activists Want. Defunded police. Inclusive coursework. Faculty who look like them. Students demand radical change for racial justice, and they’re not backing down.
    By Katherine Mangan and Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education