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Racism

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Nature

In an editorial for Nature, Chancellor Melissa Nobles, Chad Womack of the UNCF, Prof. Ambroise Wonkam of Johns Hopkins University, and Elizabeth Wathuti of the Green Generation Initiative detail the long history of racism in science and outline their work as guest editors on a series of special issues of Nature focused on racism in science. “Racism has led to injustices against millions of people, through slavery and colonization, through apartheid and through continuing prejudice today,” write Nobles and her co-authors. 

Bloomberg News

Senior lecturer Edward Golding speaks with Bloomberg’s  Caroline Hyde, Romaine Bostick and Joe Weisenthal about a new study he co-authored, which finds that Black Americans pay more for their homes.

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg reporter Yalman Onaran writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that Black homeowners pay more over the life of a home loan, hurting their ability to save for retirement. “The biggest reason for the gap is the risk-based pricing found in most U.S. mortgages, which disadvantage Black borrowers because they tend to make smaller down payments and have lower credit scores,” writes Onaran.

CNN

A new study by MIT researchers finds that Black Americans pay more than any other group to own a home, reports Anna Bahney for CNN. "The small differences compounding over the life of the mortgage and during home ownership can add up," explains Senior Lecturer Edward Golding. "Even if it is a few hundred dollars a year here and there, it can amount to another year's salary families would otherwise have."

Reuters

A new study by MIT researchers finds that Black homeowners in America continue to have to pay more to own a home, reports Reuters. The researchers found that “the annual difference of $743 in mortgage interest payments, $550 in mortgage insurance premiums and $390 in property taxes, when invested over 30 years results in lost retirement savings of $67,320 for Black homeowners.” 

Guardian

Graduate student Joy Buolamwini speaks with Guardian reporter Ian Tucker about her work fighting algorithmic biases. Buolamwini explains that she is, “trying to identify bias, to point out cases where bias can occur so people can know what to look out for, but also develop tools where the creators of systems can check for a bias in their design.”

Boston Globe

Adam Vaccaro of The Boston Globe reports that Prof. Christopher Knittel is working with Uber to identify and reduce racial bias observed in ride-sharing services. Knittel explains that he is working on designing “follow-up studies to minimize the amount of discrimination that’s occurring.”

Salon

In an article for Salon, Prof. Christopher Knittel notes there is a long history of discrimination against African-Americans in the transportation industry. While Prof. Knittel’s research shows ride-sharing services have decreased wait times in lower income areas, it also found “more frequent cancellations when a passenger used stereotypically African-American-sounding names,” among other discriminatory practices. 

WCVB

A study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel that found discriminatory practices by Uber and Lyft drivers has prompted the latter company to begin monitoring for racist behaviors, reports WCVB’s Abigail Elise. Lyft will monitor “driver behavior, ratings and cancellation rates in low-income and minority areas” to track drivers.

NBC News

A study co-authored by MIT researchers finds African-American ridesharing passengers are more likely to experience cancellations and higher wait times, reports Chelsea Bailey for NBC News. "The patterns of discrimination were quite clear and consistent in both cities – and one can only assume it's happening all across the country," explains Prof. Christopher Knittel.

Marketplace

Prof. Christopher Knittel speaks with Lewis Wallace of Marketplace about his study that shows that Uber or Lyft passengers with “African-American sounding” names were more likely to be cancelled on or experience long wait times. “The chances that an Uber driver accepted their ride, observed their name, and then cancelled their ride more than doubled,” says Knittel. 

CNN

A study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel finds that some Uber and Lyft drivers are discriminating against passengers with “African-American sounding” names and taking women on longer, more expensive rides, writes Sara Ashley O’Brien for CNN Money. "We went into this hoping that we wouldn't see anything, but we found pretty strong evidence of discrimination," says Knittel.

Forbes

A new study co-authored by Prof. Evan Apfelbaum examines the best way to address racism in the workplace and beyond, reports Ellen McGirt for Forbes. The researchers found that “the more that leaders understand what people see as the root of the problem — malice or ignorance — the more likely they are to come up with effective solutions.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Mark Scott writes that a study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel finds that some Uber and Lyft drivers racially discriminate. The researchers suggested that the companies could avoid discrimination by “not including passengers’ names when bookings are made.”

Bloomberg News

A new study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel shows some Uber and Lyft drivers are racially discriminating when selecting passengers, writes Bloomberg News reporter Eric Newcomer. One of the study’s findings was that “Uber drivers disproportionately canceled on riders with black-sounding names, even though the company penalizes drivers who cancel frequently.”