COVID-19 cases are on the rise and it’s upsetting to see the rising number of hospitalizations in so many states. It’s even more upsetting that the White House told Governor Lee to mandate the wearing of masks to head off a likely surge in Tennessee. But it’s downright horrified that the governor didn’t discuss this publicly. The White House message was only discovered through a records request. Did Governor Lee hope that by hiding it, no one would find out? But we’re at a tell-all moment as the Supreme Court prepares to debate the Affordable Care Act. And there’s no hiding how the rush to affirm Trump’s Court nominee comes just in time to vote the ACA out of existence.
Chattanooga’s Hadassah chapter asked me to address antisemitism with Michael Dzik, Exec. Director of the Jewish Federation and Chattanooga’s Mayor Andy Berke. Here is my Nov. 15, 2020 presentation.
Antisemitism goes back long before the term was coined by a German historian in 1781. Violent attacks and expulsions of Jewish communities span centuries. The Babylonians exiled Jews from Zion, the earliest use of the term, into Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions. The Romans forced Jews into Europe. Blamed for causing the Black Plague, Jews were driven out of England, France, Germany, and Italy. They fled to Eastern Europe but experienced violent pogroms and isolation into The Pale. Throughout it all, the elements of antisemitism rarely changed.
For example, the Blood Libel dates as far back as the Temple in Jerusalem with claims that Jews sacrificed Greeks. It reappeared in the Middle Ages when an English cult announced that Passover Seder wine was actually Christian blood. Centuries later, a mob destroyed a synagogue in Damascus for this blood libel. As recently as 1928 in New York, Jews were accused of kidnapping and ritually killing a young girl.
The November Black-Jewish Dialogue focused on the economic impact of COVID-19 on our communities. With participants from coast to coast, Bermuda and Hungary, the dialogue has grown from a local Chattanooga initiative to a global discussion. Hosted by Chattanooga’s Mizpah Congregation in partnership with the American Diversity Report, the dialogue began in August of this year with monthly virtual sessions. Many thanks to Dr. Gail Dawson, Dr. Les Petrovics, and John Miles for sharing their expertise and experience with us.
Forest T. Harper Jr. is the President and CEO of INROADS, the nation’s largest non-profit model of salaried corporate DEI internships and corporate and community leadership development for outstanding ethnically diverse talent at the pipeline and mid-career level.
This year marks 50 years for INROADS. Hear how the organization is important to corporate America’s landscape today and is proving effective in closing America’s Racial Wealth Gap. Understand how to execute diversity & inclusion strategies to accelerate organizations in today’s multicultural market. Harper shares how vital it is to establish talent pipeline development for attracting, recruiting and sustaining diverse talent as well as securing C-Suite alignment.
In this week of chaos, I looked online for occasional moments of relief. I found fascinating videos of animals looking for food in all the wrong places: an escaped ostrich-like emu stopping highway traffic and of a herd of elephants crossing a street into a village. But my favorite was a bear cub eating a delivery pizza on a doorstep in Colorado. I chuckled as he devoured the entire pizza.
But I felt guilty for laughing because bears on our doorstep are like canaries in the coal mine. They signify the new COVID-19 reality, and it isn’t funny.
Laurel Taylor is the Founder and CEO of FutureFuel.io, a student loan repayment platform that uses innovative, technology driven solutions for customers to pay down student debt quickly and efficiently. Financial wellness and equal opportunities should go hand in hand, however, historically that’s not always the case. Regardless of one’s diverse background, financial literacy should be at the forefront of an overall healthy relationship with financial wellness. Laurel has used her own personal experiences with student debt as a catalyst to founding FutureFuel.io and dedicating her life to help those burdened with student debt.
Dr. Zibin Guo: Professor of Medical Anthropology at University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
He specializes in teaching and conducting research in the field of medical anthropology. He employs an applied anthropological approach to study human beliefs and practices related to physical and mental health; and to develop innovative programs to promote populations’ well being in the context of cultural relativism:
• Wheelchair Tai Chi program.
• Bringing Wheelchair Tai Chi Chuan to the Paralympics
• Cross-culture dementia research
• Asian Americans’ health cultural adaptation in the United States.
For more information about Dr. Zibin Guo and his work, CLICK on these websites:
The announcement of the passing of Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg came during the online services celebrating the Jewish New Year. I could see an old friend on Zoom just put her head in her hands and stay there. I’d seen the announcement a few minutes before services started at sunset so I’d had a brief moment to digest the news. I immediately texted my cousin. We both identify with the description of Ginsberg as “Elder Badass”, having fought our own life-long battles for women. She texted back, “Nooooo!”. Our grief was immediate and we could already hear rumblings of imminent battle.
Jewish tradition holds that someone who dies as the New Year begins is among the most righteous. The Divine holds death back for these souls until the year’s last moment because they’re so needed, driven by the biblical obligation, “Justice, Justice, shall you pursue”.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 21, 2020
CONTACT: Deborah Levine firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTH EQUITY AND HEALTHCARE DISPARITIES AMID COVID-19 SPOTLIGHTED IN AMERICAN DIVERSITY REPORT
New Edition Includes Articles, Podcasts, Poems, Black-Jewish Dialogue
CHATTANOOGA, TN – Deborah Levine Enterprises LLC today announced the latest issuance of the American Diversity Report (ADR), an award-winning digital multi-media platform containing the latest news, educational resources and related information highlighting key issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the public arena. The theme of the October edition is health, healthcare and equity, as the nation struggles with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has already infected over 8 million Americans and killed 220,000.
“COVID-19 is on the rise, our economy is volatile, and an uncertain political environment surrounds the health and wellbeing of Americans,” says Deborah Levine, Editor-in-Chief of ADR and an award-winning author of 15 books. “The diversity of our situation is evident as the pandemic has disproportionally impacted people of color per new infections and higher death rates, as well as glaring disparities in affordable healthcare coverage.”
“This new edition of the American Diversity Report serves as a valuable public resource on critically important topics of DEI during these turbulent times,” adds Levine, who is also a columnist for the Times Free Press newspaper of Chattanooga and was named a “Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer” in 2019 by Forbes magazine. “We are all linked by our common humanity and concern for our own the health, in addition to the health, wellbeing and healthcare of our families, colleagues and friends – especially as the United States becomes increasingly more diverse in all aspects of public and private life.”
In addition to the timely articles listed below, the October edition also includes poetry and podcast interviews with Natasha Copeland, an African American award-winning veteran journalist with NBC News; and Charlie Buhler, a bi-racial female film director. Also listen to the recording of this month’s Black-Jewish Dialogue on Heath, Healthcare, and Equity. The featured articles by ADR advisors and contributors include the following:
- BIPOC, COVID-19, and Disparities in Healthcare
- Diversity and Speech: Health Equity
- Health Disparities and the Culture of Lack
- The Surrender of the Medical Superhero
- Healthy Golden Years
- Neurodiversity: An Organizational Asset
Deborah Levine is a management consultant, speaker and leading diversity change agent with 33-years of experience. The inventor of the Matrix Model Management System of neuro-communication, she has received the Champion of Diversity Award from DiversityBusiness.com, the Excellence Award from the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, and the Chattanooga Award for Management Consulting.
Levine’s published articles span decades in journals and magazines such as, The American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, The Bermudian Magazine, and The Harvard Divinity School Bulletin. She’s also a syndicated writer for The Good Men Project, a former blogger for The Huffington Post, and has been featured on C-SPAN Book TV. Further information is available online at https://deborahlevine.com/
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QAnon has gone mainstream. This fringe group’s theory that there’s a deep state dedicated to child trafficking, cannibalism, and anti-Trumpism is no longer under the radar. Some point to the successful Georgia primary of QAnon backer, Marjorie Greene, as proof. Others point to President Trump congratulating her and calling her a “Future Republican Star”. While Vice President Pence tried to counteract Trump’s enthusiasm for QAnon, the fact that QAnon ended up on the front page of The Chattanooga Times Free Press tends to support the mainstream theory.