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190323 Elisabeth Hgberg of Sweden competes in the women's 10 km pursuit during the IBU World Cup on March 23, 2019 in Oslo. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / BILDBYRÅN / kod JE / 160425 - BILDB190323JE006
Brookings Now

10 things we learned at Brookings in March

Below are 10 of the things we learned this month from the research at the Brookings Institution.

1. There will be more of the status quo in the U.S.-North Korea relationship in the foreseeable future

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands before their one-on-one chat during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC16A5993080
On February 27 and February 28, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi for their second U.S.-North Korea Summit. Jung Pak analyzed the mixed results of this summit, writing that little policy change or progress was achieved.

2. Captain Planet should have been a woman

People look at a globe which is a part of of an installation in downtown Copenhagen December 6, 2009. Copenhagen is the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 which starts from December 7 until December 18. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski (DENMARK ENTERTAINMENT ENVIRONMENT IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E5C61T3J01
Christina Kwauk, reflecting on the ’90s cartoon “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” writes that “research shows a clear linkage between women’s leadership and pro-environmental outcomes.” Even when controlling for local variable such as civil liberties, per capita GDP, and the presence of environmental organizations in countries, Kwauk notes that “women’s political participation remains a powerful and significant predictor of environmental protectionism.”

3. America is becoming increasingly polarized

A demonstrator protests with a sign showing a divided Red and Blue America in front of the Trump International Hotel during the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis - HP1EE3O1FJKIW
Highlighting sections from his new book, “Divided Politics, Divided Nation,” Vice President of Governance Studies Darrell West discussed our polarized nation drawing on experiences from his life and family. From Clinton’s impeachment to whether Jesus would condone torture tactics to Brett Kavanaugh’s divisive Senate hearing, West takes the reader through a journey of our fractured nation.

4. The diversity gap for public school teachers is higher now than in previous generations

Teacher Jenna Rosenberg speaks to her first grade class at Walsh Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois, March 1, 2013. According to officials in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration, possible consequences of impending across-the-board U.S. government budget cuts, Illinois will lose approximately $33.4 million in education, putting around 460 teacher and aide jobs at risk that would receive funding. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: EDUCATION POLITICS BUSINESS) - GM1E9320AA101
While there have been great strides in making the teacher workforce more diverse in the last three decades, the percent of non-white teachers in America’s public schools is now only 17 percent according to a report from Michael Hansen and Diana Quintero. Still, this increased attraction of minorities to the teaching profession is encouraging, especially in the face of realizing that educators are experiencing the biggest diversity gap ever.

5. Women are increasingly founding venture-backed startups across the country

team of women at work
2017 data showed than just 16 percent of venture capital funding in the U.S. went to startups with at least one female founder, and only 2.5 percent of that funding went to companies with all female founders. This is concerning as women make up 47 percent of the workforce. However, though these numbers are concerning, Ian Hathaway claimed that they do show improvement from previous numbers in 2005 and are a part of a trend of representation for women.

6. A reminder that college admissions have always benefited the elite

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut November 12, 2015. More than 1,000 students, professors and staff at Yale University gathered on Wednesday to discuss race and diversity at the elite Ivy League school, amid a wave of demonstrations at U.S. colleges over the treatment of minority students. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton - GF20000056999
As wealthy and celebrity parents are headlined again in the college admissions cheating scandal, Richard Reeves, director of the Future of the Middle Class Initiative at Brookings, calls attention to the disparities that have always been present in college admissions. Through large donations or legacy student programs, wealthy parents can get their children into college easier than middle class or low-income parents. Reeves calls on elite universities to let this be a wake-up call to their admissions practices.

7. Mourning the victims of Christchurch, New Zealand

People lay flowers outside New Zealand House, following Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, in London, Britain March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls - RC178C0E1510
Daniel Byman offered his thoughts after the shooting that claimed the lives of at least 50 people and injured dozens more in Christchurch, New Zealand. Among his five points: Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric fuels white nationalist hatred, and right-wing terrorism must be monitored more closely for the safety of minority groups. Leadership must be taken by government officials—as demonstrated by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern—and social media companies to condemn hatred and to stop its global spread.

8. Brexit is delayed for now

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during the debate on extending Brexit negotiating period in Parliament in London, Britain, March 14, 2019. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC11E05C2DF0
Following dramatic developments and an inability to compromise, British lawmakers are pushing back their Brexit deadline in order to allow more time to get their plans in order. Amanda Sloat unpacks Prime Minister Theresa May’s continued failure to get her deal approved and the unlikelihood of a second referendum or a no-deal Brexit.

9. The Senate voted to overturn President Trump’s emergency declaration

U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Director Mike McDaniel and Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Carla Provost, holds a briefing on "drug trafficking on the southern border" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1453617A40
Twelve Senate Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting President Trump’s national emergency declaration to build the wall on the southern U.S. border. Elaine Kamarck discussed why this could lead to a path for impeachment for the president. This sign of Republicans abandoning the president’s proposal could potentially be the first step toward a bipartisan coalition for impeachment.

10. Automation trends perpetuate the conservative-liberal divide

A line worker installs the back seats on the flex line at Nissan Motor Co's automobile manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, U.S., August 23, 2018. Picture taken August 23, 2018. REUTERS/William DeShazer - RC1B6E2ACF40
In a new report, Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, and Robert Maxim confirmed a strong history of automation in heavily Republican counties, showing that “all but one of the ten states most heavily exposed to future job market changes cast its electoral votes for President Trump in 2016.” In these counties, economic anxiety fuels backlash politics against globalization and immigration, further polarizing right and left.

Julia O’Hanlon contributed to this post.

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