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Alison Guillory / WABE

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Christina Marshall-Valdez is the CEO of Taelur, a web and mobile platform that connects plus-size women to clothes that fit them.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Downtown Atlanta is home to one of the first programs in the U.S. dedicated to funding and developing startups founded by black and Latino women.

It's called the BIG incubator and on Saturday, four teams are graduating from the three month bootcamp.


Christina Marshall-Valdez is the founder of the start-up called Taelur, the French word for tailor. On her computer, she selects images of clothing, styles and body parts.

"The quiz is what's informing our artificial intelligence, so that's the engine for our site," she explained.

Closer Look: Bridging The Gender Gap In STEM; And More

Jan 6, 2017
Joye Nettles, Stephanie Espy and Sandy Welfare (left to right) discuss STEM fields on Friday's ''Closer Look.''
Eboni Lemon / WABE

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Morehouse College freshmen Philip Rucker, Damon Redding and Tyree Stevenson use a programming language called Python to plot a map of weather stations in the United States.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Silicon Valley has a diversity problem: only one percent of technical employees at large tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google are African-American.

Industry leaders in Atlanta say tech companies here do a little better -- partly because there’s a more diverse pool of talent to draw from in the city. But those leaders also say there’s a still a long way to go.

Several groups in the Atlanta area are looking to change the picture.

Black Men Code

Brett Levin / flickr.com/scubabrett22

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus says there's not enough diversity on the state's Commission on Medical Cannabis. Out of 17 members on the commission, none are African-American.

State Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, who chairs the Black Caucus, said minority input leading up to the legalization of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions made a necessary impact then.

"For instance, sickle cell and lupus is something that disproportionately affects people of color. But had the caucus not fought for sickle cell, it would not have been included," Dawkins-Haigler said.

Oregon Department of Transportation / www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/

What does diversity in the workplace look like? Perhaps a more relevant question is what should diversity in the workplace look like?

According to Forbes.com, a 2014 report from Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends found that diversity or inclusion was consistently cited as one of the least important issues on leaders’ minds compared to other human resource matters.

Beacon Municipal Center in Decatur
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Decatur residents are concerned. Home prices are rising, and the city is losing its African-American population.

On Monday night, city commissioners voted to approve a $109,000 contract to hold public meetings about how to keep the city diverse, welcoming and affordable over the next six months. The goal is to come up with a Community Action Plan document for city commissioners to adopt. 

Diversity Still Lacking In TV, Film Despite Progress

Jul 9, 2015
Actors and extras work during the filming of the Walking Dead, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Atlanta.
Mike Stewart / Associated Press


There’s more diversity in TV and film than ever before, and there are plenty of examples of that progress, too.

A few of the big names that come to mind include Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and Tyler Perry.

Last season’s FOX drama, “Empire,” with an all- African-American cast was a ratings smash.

“There’s clearly a move toward more diversity,” said HBO’s Vice President of Talent Development, Kelly Edwards, during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

M. Agnes Jones third grader Leticia Cotton plays on the bank of Sweetwater Creek.
Collin Knauss / National Park Trust

Kids who live in town often don’t get out into the natural areas around Atlanta. At the same time, parks are struggling to attract younger and more diverse visitors. But there are efforts to address both of those gaps.

Clarkston, Ga., Is Small In Stature But Big On Diversity

Apr 27, 2015
Clarkston City Hall in DeKalb County is known for its diverse population.
Courtesy of the city of Clarkston

Though the size of Clarkston, Georgia, is just a little over a mile, the city boasts one of the most diverse communities in metro Atlanta.

During the 1990s, refugee asylum programs identified the small DeKalb County city as an ideal place to resettle the new immigrants in the United States.

Since then Clarkston has become known for its diversity – residents from more than 50 nations now call the tiny enclave home.

The town's diversity is something the city is proud of, according to Mayor Ted Terry.

Mitch Cohen/Courtesy of Chattahoochee National Forest / flickr.com/chattoconeenf

The U.S. Forest Service knows it has a visitor diversity problem. The Chattahoochee-Oconee Forest covers more than 800,000 acres in North and Central Georgia. It has trails, picnic benches and campgrounds. But less than 2 percent of its visitors are African-American, according to a recent report from the Forest Service.

University of Georgia arch, looking to Downtown Athens
StevenV / Flickr.com/stevenv

The University of Georgia is adding a $250,000 endowment to help fund its Office of Institutional Diversity.

“To expand diversity training opportunities on campus and to expand initiatives focused on the recruitment and success of under-represented faculty and students,” University of Georgia President Jere Morehead said in the "State of the University" speech this week.

The university will also conduct a campus-wide climate survey about diversity-related issues.


A proposed list of six federal judge appointments from Georgia is raising diversity concerns. 

The Obama administration and Georgia’s two U.S. senators reportedly agreed to the list late this summer.

Outside the Richard B. Russell federal building in downtown Atlanta, a handful of state lawmakers and advocates protested the lack of diversity on the list and among federal judges in general.