Trends, Plans and Hopes for 2022
Scroll down to see what these ADR Advisors are planning and anticipating for 2022: Marc Brenman, Mark Green, Simma Lieberman, George Simons, Jan Levine Thal, Mauricio Velasquez and Nagwan Zahary.
And enjoy separate articles on 2022 by other ADR Advisors: Carlos Cortes, Gail Dawson, Soumaya Khalifa, Susan McCuistion,
I’m working on a book on diversity metrics, and have gotten a nibble from a mainstream publisher. I’m currently working on a formal book proposal they’ve requested. My paper on diversity metrics is the most popular thing I’ve ever written. I get requests for it from around the world, literally. The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) field has many problems, some of which can be overcome through use of judicious quantification, and vast reduction in naming, blaming, and shaming (the “making white men cry” school of diversity training). In the planning field we say “Measure what you treasure.” Good measurement and success are NOT “raised consciousness of diversity and equity.” It’s more like “In the year 2020 we increased the percent of African-American hires by 36%, from X number to Y number, in an employment pool of Z. This is disaggregated by A amount in managerial positions, B in mid-level staff, and C in administrative staff.”
~ Marc Brenman
The DEI field must measure what it values. The economic landscape measures ownership, as in lands, homes, businesses and intellectual property. Under current conditions, if successful, DEI efforts may persuade White business owners to employ and promote more diverse faces, which results in more people of color working for White business owners. There is no strategic plan or professional field of folks working on moving the stubborn needle of ownership of valued assets for people of color as a barometer of racial equity outcomes. This is what I’m working on. 1% is my goal. Centering and prioritizing ownership outcomes for Black Americans will provide similar benefits for all other groups higher up the economic ladder. While others focus on jobs and hiring practices, I hope to see 1% of the Black population become employers in 1 generation.
(For context, 2.2% of the White population are employers while 0.2% of the Black population and 0.5% of the Hispanic population are employers).
In homeownership, more than 82% of the 128 million homes in America are owned by White Americans. That leaves very little housing stock for the entire collection of non-white populations. To close the widening gap of Black-White homeownership (it is 30% today, was 26% in 1960) requires moving the needle of ownership of Black-owned homebuilding prime contractors by 1%.
The 1% goal can be applied to a variety of arenas of chronic systemic deprivation in Black America. To reach racial equity in America, we must measure what we value and use those measures as a barometer of the success of our efforts. For me, it all starts with informing, educating and transforming the minds of people in positions of power and influence. To this end, I have found a growing demand for Common Ground Conversations on Race in America (commongroundconversations.com), which offers unique training for organizations, institutions and companies. CGC provides paradigm-shifting knowledge and understanding that leads to productive dialogue and actionable steps. CGC doesn’t compete with DEI and racial equity training programs. CGC is the prerequisite training that empowers other DEI programs to achieve their goals.
~ Mike Green
My overall commitment is to bring more people together across differences in ways that enable them to affect sustainable systemic change. I’m looking at my strengths and areas of DEIB, where I can have the greatest impact, be recognized as a thought leader and continue to increase revenue. My three areas of focus and marketing are:
1) Inclusive leadership from the Inside Out: helping leaders define DEI on a personal, organizational and systemic level to transform their workplaces, communities and the people with whom they work. This process includes coaching, training/facilitation and developing strategies to develop and implement a sustainable DEI culture from micro (individual) to macro (systemic change) level.
2) Beyond Allyship: Training, Coaching and Facilitated Dialogues with people at all levels who are inspired and have the drive to go from saying what they perceive as “politically correct,” to taking actions that will make a difference in the workplace, the outside world and may even save lives.
3) Utilize my podcast, Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, to disrupt the way people talk about race. I’ve produced and hosted over 85 cross-race conversations/episodes that are personal and at the same time offer solutions. I’m seeking to bring these conversations into organizations to raise consciousness, increase empathy across race and other differences and ensure that everyone is recognized for the genius they bring.
In 2022, I resolve to connect with more colleagues to share ideas, learn from each other, and partner on projects. I’ve had two of my busiest years since I began working professionally in DEI thirty years ago. That and COVID led me to be more isolated and I have not stayed as connected as I’d like.
~ Simma Lieberman
2022 Will mark my 60th year of engagement diversity activism. It began in graduate school when my classmates and I became involved locally by implementing the program of intercultural home visits sponsored by the NAACP. Shortly this led to taking to the streets to do our best to exercise a calming influence when the race riots began. This activist role took many forms over the years which I hope to document, as one of my aims for 2022 is to complete a reflection on my socio-political activity over the years. I am undertaking this not to vaunt my efforts, but to be more fully in touch with the ideas and resources that have contributed to this identity for me and review what worked, what failed, and what directions to pursue now. It will be a story to share and discuss with others, to learn from each other’s stories as we weather this age of extreme polarization. Much of my work in recent years has been focused on improving the lives of men and supporting efforts at finding purpose, direction, and fulfillment in masculinity in the face of disposability in military service and exploitation in the workplace, as well as facing generalized labels of toxicity and privilege as our traditional roles slowly disintegrate. Over the last several years I have been creating games on men’s issues as safe spaces to explore the pain and develop the promise. I believe that my reflections will bear fruit in the development of more effective tools for the work of universal inclusion.
~ George Simons
I resolve to support and participate in theater and other performing arts by groups and individuals who have been shut out of the mainstream. The future, rife with exciting new concepts by innovative new voices, is being forged off the beaten track where diversity, nontraditional beauty, and nonstandard storytelling are accepted, celebrated, and funded. My resolution is to be part of that solution and not part of the problems that have blocked the roads forward for nonconventional work. My plans for the coming year included directing a comedy about literary criticism for our experimental theater company in Madison, Wisconsin, Broom Street Theater. Now that Covid has shut down so many Broadway shows, can community theater be far behind? In the final chapters of my life, I continue to create because a teacher I respected told me years ago that many writers’ final work is their best. Fingers crossed.
~ Jan Levine Thal
UP THE 2022 GOODWILL: My number one resolution for 2021 was to revamp our website diversitydtg.com. I invested heavily in our website and put more content on and I am just giving it away for fee – “skilling up, upping the knowledge base” for anyone who goes to our website. I have included podcasts, short video snippets, articles, checklists, etc. All for free (yours and my favorite flavor). In 2022 I am investing in targeting advertising to “spread the word” of our free resources, help, and support. 2021 was a record year for Diversity Training Group – our 26th year of operation. December was our busiest December in the history of our firm. I see 2022 only being more robust. Trends – more assessment, diagnosis work (4 clients at the same time right now), more training of course (D&I, Emotional Intelligence, Trust, Engagement), more strategy work, more coaching work and our hottest service area offering – ombudsman services. Best to all! Keep up the fight – a fight for all of our lives.
~ Mauricio Velásquez
Empowering UTC students to discuss diversity issues: The University of TN at Chattanooga’s Communication Department offers a new course about Diversity and Media that aims to help students understand concepts of diversity that underpin audiences, media messages, traditional and digital media platforms, and the role of media in shaping societal norms, identify media portrayals, especially stereotypical representation of underrepresented groups in the media, and understand communication theories to explain media’s influence on public attitudes and perceptions. To complement communication and diversity theories, I will collaborate with Deborah Levine, the Editor-in-Chief of the American Diversity Report, to enable and empower students to think critically and write professionally about diversity related issues including gender, sexual orientation, and religion. This collaboration involves three approaches: First, a guest speaker session led by Ms. Levine to discuss real life examples of diversity issues. Second, a Q&A segment to answer students’ questions related to a variety of diversity topics discussed in the course. Third, students’ articles about diversity in the context of organizational/interpersonal communication.
~ Dr. Nagwan Zahary
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