NYC Council Plans to Expand Opportunities for Women, Minority Business Owners: The New York City Council plans to introduce a proposal that would direct more work contracts to companies owned by minorities and women, the New York Times reports. The proposal is in response to allegations from civil-rights groups that there is little accountability for ensuring equal opportunity among businesses owned by minorities and women. Last year, the city met just 48 percent of its goals to award contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses.

From Brooklyn Neighborhood to Olympic Games
: Keeth Smart worked his way up from a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood in New York to becoming a three-time Olympic fencer and eventually a top Bank of America executive. In this story, The Grio profiles Smart's journey, including his ups and downs, and the role his family played in pushing him forward.

Muslim Woman Sues Disney for Discrimination: A former Disney employee has sued the company, alleging her employer did nothing to stop harassment from her co-workers and would not accommodate her request to wear a hijab with her uniform, NBC News reports. Disney officials said they offered the former employee, who is Muslim, several compromises including a specially designed cap or a different position that would not require a uniform.

Lemonade for Detroit: A 9-year-old Detroit boy is gaining national attention for his idea to sell lemonade in support of his hometown, The Grio reports. Joshua Smith's lemonade stand earned nearly $4,000 for the city of Detroit after the media attention led to increased sales and donations. For his efforts, Joshua was given the "Spirit of Detroit" award and received a $2,000 scholarship for college, provided he maintains a 2.5 grade-point average when he graduates from high school in nine years.

UndocuBus Has Plans to Stop at DNC: A bus of about 30 undocumented immigrants is traveling across the country and plans to end up at the Democratic National Convention in an attempt to humanize the illegal immigration debate, Colorlines reports. The bus, which will travel through southern states including Arizona and Alabama, is decorated with the words "No Papers, No Fear" on the sides.

This article is part of our Next America: Communities project, which is supported by a grant from Emerson Collective.

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