A very useful website for information on civil rights issues these days is http://www.civilrights.org. Civilrights.org is operated by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund. It has many useful lists of anti-racism and other anti-discrimination sources and reports, such as this recent one on hate crimes and what to do about them.
The site just reported on this major progress in government appointments, as Amanda Simpson becomes the first ever transgender presidential appointee. Here is the statement from the website by Tyler Lewis:
President Obama recently appointed Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman, to be the senior technical adviser to the Department of Commerce. Simpson – the first ever transgender presidential appointee – will serve in the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. The federal agency enforces sanctions and embargoes on various goods and regulates the export of sensitive technologies, such as software and machinery. Since 9/11, the bureau has made restricting the export of technologies that could be potentially used to create weapons of mass destruction a top priority. With 30 years of experience working in the aerospace and defense industries, most recently serving as deputy director in advanced technology development at Raytheon Missile Systems, Simpson is exceptionally qualified for the position.
President Obama’s openness to finding talent among all Americans is a welcome change from the previous administration, even if it took a decade into the 21st century. He may not be as progressive on things like the economy as many would like to see, but his orientation to real diversity and operational openness marks a major change for this government and society.