News Roundup | 1.31.18

DeKalb County Votes to Relocate Confederate Monument

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 Jan. 23 to move the Confederate monument currently located in the center of Decatur Square, a few miles away from Emory’s Atlanta campus. The commissioners are currently accepting suggestions from the public about where to put the monument, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The vote to move the monument follows the national debate over the place of Confederate monuments in public spaces after clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters turned violent in Charlottesville, Va., last year. Georgia state law prohibits the county from destroying, hiding or placing the monument into storage. The Decatur monument, a 30-foot tall obelisk was built in 1908 and contains inscriptions that praise Confederate soldiers and sailors, as well as the initials C.S.A, which stand for the Confederate States of America, according to CBS46.  

Emory Pediatrician Wins Japan Prize for Immunology Research

Emory University School of Medicine Professor  Max Cooper has been named a co-laureate of the prestigious Japan Prize for his work in immunology. The Japan Prize Foundation awarded Cooper and Australian scientist, Jacques Miller in the “Medical Science and Medicinal Science” field for the discovery of the “dual nature of adaptive immunity” and the B and T lymphocyte lineages, according to a Jan. 30 University press release. Cooper and Miller’s research has contributed to the advancement of anti-cancer and anti-cytokine drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, according to the AJC. The Japan Prize is awarded to scientists who make “significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology, thereby furthering the cause of peace and prosperity of mankind,” according to its website

Law School Launches Legal Services for LGBTQ Community

Emory University School of Law, with support from Emory’s Office of LGBT Life, launched Emory LGBTQ Legal Services (ELLS) Jan. 20 at the second annual Emory OUTlaw Conference, ELLS co-founder Faris Mohammed (18L) wrote in a Jan. 29 email to the Wheel. ELLS is “an organization created to provide pro bono legal assistance to members of the LGBTQ community in the Atlanta area” by connecting attorneys and volunteer law students with low-income clients and compiling a database of resources for its clients, according to a Jan. 23 University press release. ELLS co-founder Nicole Schladt (18L) said that although the organization may be limited in capacity in its first year, she hopes that the organization will grow with additional interest and requests. Director of the Emory Office of LGBT Life Danielle Steele notes that this could be a selling point for Emory with potential students.

Emory Places Seventh on National Employer Ranking for Diversity

Emory ranked seventh in Forbes’ list of America’s best employers for diversity Jan. 23. Of employers in the education industry, Emory was second only to No. 5 Harvard University (Mass.), and is the top diversity employer in Georgia and the southern United States, according to a Jan. 25 University press release. Forbes, in partnership with research firm Statista, compiled its ranking of the 250 best firms and institutions in the U.S. from anonymous online surveys of 30,000 American employees. The survey included questions about diversity, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disability, with answers from underrepresented minorities, women and people aged 50 and older receiving greater weight in final calculations, according to Forbes. Forbes also considered other factors, such as the gender balance within a company’s management team, in its ranking. Only companies and institutions with 1,000 or more employees were eligible to be considered for the ranking.

Lizard Thicket’s Emory Point Store Closes

Women’s clothing store Lizard Thicket closed at Emory Point in January 2018 after five years of operation at the location. “We will miss this wonderful community, but look forward to having you shop with us online … or at one of our surrounding Atlanta branches!” a sign posted at the former location of the store reads. Lizard Thicket still has nine other locations in Georgia, according to its website. —Michelle Lou

FBI Deputy Director Steps Down

Andrew G. McCabe stepped down as the F.B.I.’s deputy director Jan. 29 after criticism from President Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans for political bias and in the midst of an internal probe examining his handling of the F.B.I.’s investigations into former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to The Washington Post. Trump and other Republicans criticized McCabe for bias in the F.B.I. investigation of Clinton after his wife Jill McCabe ran for the Virginia State Senate as a Democrat. Jill McCabe received nearly $500,000 in donations from a super PAC of former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Clinton, according to NBC News. F.B.I. Director Christopher A. Wray said that McCabe’s departure follows procedure, not politics, despite McCabe telling friends he felt pressure from Wray to step down, according to The New York Times. The White House has denied any involvement. McCabe will immediately go on leave before he officially retires March 18.

Bipartisan House Group Issues DACA Plan

The bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus proposed a plan to resolve the debates around immigration policy Monday, which would provide tax-paying undocumented immigrants without criminal records a 10- to 12-year pathway to citizenship, according to CNN. The proposal also eliminates the diversity visa lottery; appropriates $1.591 billion toward physical barriers, such as a U.S.-Mexico border wall, and $1.123 billion for non-barrier infrastructure; and creates a new merit-based visa for underrepresented “priority” countries with education, work and language requirements. The White House proposed Jan. 25 a pathway for citizenship for undocumented immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and for those who are eligible for DACA, which would be about 1.8 million people, but proposed the allocation of $25 billion for infrastructure and technology and the end of the diversity visa lottery. The proposal comes after senators voted 81-18 Jan. 22 to reopen the government, after the federal government entered a shutdown Jan. 20 when Senate Democrats and Republicans failed to reach a compromise on DACA. —Michelle Lou