All posts by Editor-in-Chief

Deborah Levine is Editor in-Chief of the American Diversity Report. She is a Forbes Magazine top Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazer and an award-winning author of 15 books. She has been recognized by the Women's Federation for World Peace and the TN Economic Council on Women. She was featured on C-Span/ BookTV and her published articles span decades in journals & magazines: American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, The Bermuda Magazine, The Harvard Divinity School Bulletin. A former blogger with The Huffington Post, she is now an opinion columnist with The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

July 4th Prayer – by Deborah Levine

Originally written for Generation 42 Global Reformers July 4th Prayer Service 

As we gather together virtually for the July 4th celebration, my first thought is to ask for the blessing of our Creator who has placed us all on this precious planet. Our faith leads us to a shared hope for a future where we can harmonize, not homogenize, at the intersection of race, ethnicity, religion, generation, and gender represented in this country. That hope was not a conscious one growing up in British Bermuda as the only Jewish little girl on the island. But I’m honored to now be recognized as a Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazer by Forbes Magazine. And I’m both honored and astounded to be an Award-winning author of 15 books on cultural diversity and the founder of the American Diversity Report where I’ve served as editor for 15 years.

I’m astounded because my early dream was to be a ballerina, forever in pink ballet slippers. But God had other plans for me. Perhaps that’s why, even as a youngster, I was surrounded by diverse cultures and appreciated their artistic expressions.
Continue reading July 4th Prayer – by Deborah Levine

Radio Theater: UNTOLD Stories of a World War II Liberator

Deborah Levine, daughter of a World War II military intelligence officer, shares first-hand stories of WW II and theAaron Levine Holocaust including the wartime letters of her father, Aaron Levine, who was assigned to interrogate Nazi prisoners of war.

And you’ll hear the wartime love letters of Estelle Malloy, a Special Education pioneer whom Aaron married after they graduated from Harvard University. Lastly, you’ll hear the memoirs of Polish Holocaust Survivor, Leon Weisband.
But first, we’ll start at the beginning – with Aaron’s immigrant roots from the Ukraine region and Estelle’s childhood in Bermuda in the only Jewish family to have lived on the island for 4 generations.

Dennis Parker, Deborah Levine, Dylan Kussman at WUTC studio.

Director:  Dennis Parker at the U. of TN at Chattanooga’s radio station WUTC.
Narrator:  Deborah Levine, author.

Actors:
Aaron Levine is played by  actor/director/producer Dylan Kussman, Estelle Levine is played by Charlene Hong White, Aunt Polly by Trish Ross, Leon Weisband by Joel Scribner, Secretary of State Cordell Hull by Greg Glover, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter by George Hoctor and the Reporter by Chase Parker (no relation).

Music is by Aaron Levine’s nephew, Hollywood composer Michael Levine.

CLICK FOR BROADCAST RECORDING

 

“Domestic Infant Suppliers” buckle up – by Deborah Levine

originally published in  The Chattanooga Times Free Press

Writing about abortion is like leaping into a tornado, but here goes. I’ve always hated the idea of abortion, the term evokes pain and suffering as well as sorrow and mourning, whether you’re pro or anti-abortion. But I’ve advocated for giving women choice over their bodies since joining the many Jewish women involved in the first Women’s Liberation March in Manhattan in 1970.

While the protests of the seventies were a revolution, touching multiple area of our lives in the workplace and community,  anti-abortionists saw us as irrational, unattractive feminist shrews. They called us “anti-family,” “angry battle-axes” and “radical Commie lesbians.” The “Domestic Infant Supply” language in the current supreme Court draft doesn’t just echo those sentiments, it magnifies them.

Weird how some things haven’t changed. Matt Gaetz, who’s being investigated for sex crimes, had a timeless response to the leaked Supreme Court’s anti-abortion document  “How many of the women rallying against overturning Roe are over-educated, under-loved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches?” Once again, we’re supposed to give up control our bodies, cough up babies, go back to the kitchen and shut up.

Our protests in the seventies extended to issues of discrimination in a patriarchal society. You’d think that our progress over the decades would affirm women’s equality. But today, patriarchy advocates may ignore Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin: “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” Some will say good! We need more housewives, more Domestic Baby Suppliers.

In the pursuit of power, patriarchal types don’t worry about  investigations into their sex crimes and sexual harassment. Men who invoke the Divine and are supposedly are appointed by God are often excused,  especially by right-wing white evangelicals. 

No wonder we’re worried as we watch the mix of religion and politics ramp up attempts to ban abortions, even in the case of child rape and incest. According to one Ohio State representative, an underage victim should just say thanks for the “opportunity”. 

Culture wars are super combustible when cultural conflicts combine with religious ones. The far-right, white evangelical support for revoking the 49-year old law can claim divine inspiration, but that’s not how all religious groups see the abortion issue. A March survey from the Public Religion Research Institute found that a majority of religious groups have more nuanced beliefs.

A member of a Brooklyn Zen Buddhist center said her faith calls for compassion and abortion bans fail to consider why women have abortions. Further, the bans would hurt the poor and marginalized the most. The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding reported that 56% of U.S. Muslims say abortion should be legal in most or all cases. A scholar-in-residence at the National Council of Jewish Women said, “This ruling would be outlawing abortion in cases [risk to life of mother] when our religion would permit us.” She pointed out that Judaism does not share the concept that life begins at conception.

We’re already seeing online cluster bombs launched in this emotional firestorm. They target so many facets of society: gender, generation, race, ethnicity, religion. Reactions now appear in corporate policies as well as legal ones. All this as the 2022 elections approach. Time to vote! I’ll be rejecting anyone who sees women as their sex toys or “Domestic Infant Suppliers.” How about you?

Everett Harper Podcast: DEI Decision Making

DEI Decision Making Everett Harper is an entrepreneur, strategist, and the CEO and Co-Founder of Truss, a technology infrastructure company.  In his new book, “Move to the Edge, Declare it Center,” Harper shares effective methods for decision making in situations where there may be a lack of complete information, ways to sustain teams during uncertain and stressful periods, and effective techniques for managing personal anxiety—a crucial leadership skill.
Hear Everett discuss:

  1. Does being a Black CEO influence how you lead, solve problems and build teams?
  2. Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important for companies?
  3. Advice  to companies that aren’t currently diverse, but want to start addressing the issue?
  4. How to create measurable and sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion processes – and how companies can begin to adopt them to achieve their business goals.
  5. Navigating tragedy and the unknown, and how leaders can apply these life lessons to their organizations.

Everett CLICK to hear podcast

Book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3we0h8I
Book on Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/37I5Z9y
Book for ordering via Independent booksellers on Indiebound: https://bit.ly/3LhP9fs
Author and speaker site: https://everettharper.com

Reflections on the Holocaust — by Deborah Levine

As my radio theater play, UNTOLD: Stories of a World War II Liberator, is in preparation for broadcast, I am reminded of the 1st time that I agreed to serve on the local Holocaust Remembrance Day Committee was painful, even after almost seventy years since the end of World War II.  I agreed to assist in promoting the event beyond our Jewish community and I agreed to participate in the reading of the names of the victims.  And I resigned myself to being an usher at the event, not my favorite thing.  What I didn’t bargain for was a seat on the stage when I offhandedly shared that I was helping in memory of my father who was a U. S. military intelligence officer during World War II.  Aaron Levine was an army translator of German and French.  And by the way, he was a liberator of a labor camp.

Continue reading Reflections on the Holocaust — by Deborah Levine

Giselle Roeder Podcast: Surviving Tyranny

Giselle Born prior to WWII Giselle Roeder spent her early life in the relatively tranquil setting of a rural village in Pomerania, the most eastern part of Germany ceded to Poland in 1945. The bloody trauma of the fighting between the advancing Russians and the retreating German army in her neighborhood meant that thousands of people, including her family became displaced persons. l

Giselle lived in 3 Germanys: 1) 10 years under Nazi rule, 2) 10 years under Communist restrictions and 3) 10 years in the capitalistic West Germany. Giselle learnt early not to talk about anything she heard at home. After the Russian invasion witness to rapes, gruesome acts of murder; evicted and part of the ‘wall to nowhere’ next to the Russian war machinery on their way to Berlin & Victory. Starving, sleeping under the stars, against all odds she grew up and always found a way to save herself and her family. Escaping East Germany, and in a way, also West Germany , she married an unknown pen friend from Canada.

Be inspired, especially given current events in Ukraine, by her determination to stay alive and her courage to tell the stories that nobody wants to talk about.

CLICK for Podcast PART 1

 

GiselleSee Giselle’s website  for her books::
“Healing with Water” – Kneipp Hydrotherapy at Home
“Sauna” – The Hottest Way to Good Health
“Forget Me Not” – Bouquet of Stories
“Ein Mensch von Gestern” – German Poems
“Flight into the Unknown” – Part 2 of “The Nine Lives of Gila”.

 

 

Culture Wars: Can artists win? – by Deborah Levine

Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press   

Why do we now say Kyiv instead of Kiev? It’s because Kyiv is the Ukrainian pronunciation and Russia’s invasion is a culture war.  Their disputes are old-as-dirt and Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev tried to enable a Ukrainian revival with the transfer of Crimea from Russia. But, Soviet repression went beyond land and sovereignty.

With the USSR dissolution, Ukraine established a new government with its own national anthem in Ukrainian, not Russian. It’s no accident that Putin’s treaty demands include protection for the Russian language. It may seem trivial, but imagine if England suddenly tried to re-establish British control over America and insisted that we revert to British English. If England were like Putin, you might go to jail if you refused to spell “color” as “colour”, the original, British version. Or what about our patriotic song, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”? That melody was originally an unofficial national anthem of England. We wouldn’t tolerate going back to its original title: “God Save the Queen”. We’d fight a new War of Independence.

Continue reading Culture Wars: Can artists win? – by Deborah Levine

Deb Hunter Podcast – History of the Cherokee Nation

Cherokee

Deb Hunter is a USA Today best selling author, historian & podcaster.  A former executive director of the World Chamber of Commerce, she is active in Atlanta’s British-American Business Council.

Her journey with the Cherokee Nation began in 2021 when she contacted them for permission to explore their history for a Civil War discussion. That lead to numerous conversations.  They even scoured records to see if there were mentions of the English communicating with the Tribe in the 1600s.  Deb could include that in their history on her All Things Tudor podcast.

The latest revelation by Secretary Deb Haaland of the Indian Boarding School Initiative is synergistic as the report includes a Cherokee School in Chattanooga TN – the Brainerd Mission – and Deb is originally from Chattanooga.
Note: She worked with a historian from the Cherokee Nation to verify this information.

Recommended books:

  1. Amazon.com: Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800–1907 (New Directions in Native American Studies Series Book 14) eBook : Reed, Julie L.: Kindle Store
  2.  Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic, William G. McLoughlin

Research aids:

  1. Brainerd Mission | Finding Aids | Special Collections | University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (utc.edu) 45830ea6-3402-4dcf-8320-16e58d5425d1 (nps.gov) (pgs 20-23 are the most accurate account in this document)
  2. Cherokee Phoenix | NEW ECHOTA | Volume 2, Number 19; Published August, 12, 1829 (wcu.edu)
  3. Missionary Activities Among the Cherokee Indians, 1757-1838 (tennessee.edu)(good history of Brainerd starting around p. 74)

CLICK to hear Podcast

Follow Deb at www.AllThingsTudor.com or on social media as @theDebATL.

 

WINDHAM-CAMPBELL PRIZES REVEAL 10TH ANNIVERSARY RECIPIENTS

WINDHAM-CAMPBELL
(l-r: Sharon Bridgforth, Emmanuel Iduma, Margo Jefferson, Wong May, Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, Tsitsi Dangaremba, Winsome Pinnock and Zaffar Kunial)

“I am receiving this award with wide open arms, humbling crumbling with gratitude – calling the names of those on whose shoulders I stand, those that have loved and guided me, those known and unknown who are my champions.”

~Sharon Bridgforth, 2022 Windham-Campbell Recipient for Drama

The Windham-Campbell Prizes recently announced the 2022 class of recipients – including Pulitzer prize-winning Margo Jefferson, the trailblazing playwright Winsome Pinnock, and PEN Pinter prize-winning Tsitsi Dangarembga – marking the 10th anniversary of one of the world’s most significant international literary awards. 

For the past decade, this major global prize has recognized eight writers annually for literary achievement across fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama, at every stage of their careers. With total prize money now exceeding $14m USD, each recipient is gifted an unrestricted grant of $165,000 USD to support their writing and allow them to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.

Continue reading WINDHAM-CAMPBELL PRIZES REVEAL 10TH ANNIVERSARY RECIPIENTS

It’s called war, folks – by Deborah Levine 

DEBORAH LEVINE
Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

 Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

In the days since Russia invaded Ukraine, we’ve tried to avoid World War III. There’s no doubt that the economic strategies are impressive. Putin is right to call out the sanctions as war. The Russian ruble has lost much of its value.  The Russian stock exchange closed for days with one financial analyst toasting its death saying, “Rest in peace dear comrade”. Corporations exited in droves including Ikea, Exxon, Boeing, Ford, Harley-Davidson, Volkswagen, Disney, Nike, Apple, Dell, and Google. Visa and Mastercard suspended their Russian operations.

As devastating as these sanctions have been, Russia continues to demolish cities, take over nuclear facilities, and bomb neighborhoods. And while we’d hoped for a cease fire, plans to bomb Ukrainian military-industrial complex to smithereens were just announced.

Continue reading It’s called war, folks – by Deborah Levine