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.

UNTOLD Stories of a World War II Liberator

American Diversity ReportAward-winning Documentary

 

CHATTANOOGA, TN: As antisemitism and Holocaust denial grow world-wide, it’s vital to hear these first-hand stories of WW II and the Holocaust. Deborah Levine, daughter of a World War II military intelligence officer, has created this documentary as a tool for counteracting hate and for Holocaust education. Her father, Aaron Levine was a ” Ritchie Boy” trained at Fort Ritchie, the U.S. secret military intelligence camp focused on training men, often Jewish immigrants who spoke German, to interrogate Nazi prisoners of war.

Hear the wartime perspective of Aaron Levine as he liberated death camps, served as a spy, and wrote letters about his experience. Be inspired by the love letters of Estelle Swig Malloy, a Special Education pioneer whom Aaron married after they graduated from Harvard. Then hear the memoirs of Polish Holocaust Survivor, Leon Weisband who documented the Nazi invasion of his hometown.

“No student of history can come away from this without a deeper understanding of the sacrifices that were made to end the Holocaust and of the power of storytelling to heal the human heart.”
~ Dylan Kussman, Hollywood actor/producer

From her roots in the only Jewish family to have lived in Bermuda for 4 generations, to her role as a Forbes Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazer, Deborah has been dedicated to “Tikkun olam”, Hebrew for “repair of the world”. This latest project is decades in the making, has won awards in 7 film festivals and will be broadcast by Jewish Life TV on ROKU in 2023. Take advantage of this link to see the documentary today and make plans to share it widely.

CLICK for UNTOLD, Stories  of a WW II LIBERATOR

Director:  Dennis Parker.
Narrator: Deborah Levine, author.
Actors/Readers:
Aaron Levine is played by actor/director/producer Dylan Kussman
Estelle Levine 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
Reporter by Chase Parker (no relation)
Music by Aaron’s nephew, Hollywood composer Michael Levine

Tonya Todd Podcast: Diversity in the Entertainment Industry

Tonya ToddTonya Todd is a Las Vegas author, actress, and activist. Invested in fair representation, her continued involvement in the literary, theatre, and filmmaking communities provides a platform to champion marginalized artists and contributes toward an environment that embraces a variety of voices.

Hear Tonya discuss her biracial journey and ….

  • The importance of pushing yourself to make people feel included even when it feels awkward or uncomfortable.
  • The damage caused by dismissing projects as Black or Gay or Asian as if they don’t have universal appeal.
  • Why it’s important to consume media that is centered on people whose identity is different from ours.
  • How allies can contribute to an inclusive environment and assist marginalized artists.

CLICK FOR PODCAST

Hate enablers should not prevail – by Deborah Levine

Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

Have you heard that Kanye West might buy the self-styled free speech platform called Parler? Supposedly “conservative”, the app was used to organize and recruit for the Capitol siege. Parler continually enables hate with accounts that use swastikas as their profile pictures along with posts with Holocaust denial, antisemitism, and racism. Proud Boys, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-government extremists and white supremacists have all promoted their views on Parler.

Continue reading Hate enablers should not prevail – by Deborah Levine

SoLit Award Acceptance Speech – by Deborah Levine

Local Distinguished Author Award 2022

I’m deeply honored by this award from the prestigious SoLit Alliance. Literature is my passion and growing up in Bermuda’s 24 square miles, I explored the vast world through reading. You should have seen me with a pad of paper and a number 2 pencil while still in diapers. I published my first story at age 16 and wrote grants and newsletters for decades. But not until coming to Chattanooga did I blossom as a writer, and thought of myself as one.  

SoLit award  Chattanoogans from every sector empowered me. Thank you to faculty friends at our schools and colleges. And thanks to community service organizations for your support. I’m truly grateful to the Human Resource Directors and diversity officers who encouraged me. Many thanks to local foundations, city and county departments, and, of course our local newspapers which turned me into a columnist. And hugs to the creative souls who helped surface my storytelling skills, almost a century after my mother’s publications about the science of storytelling. Love you, Mom! 

A shout out to all my diverse colleagues with special thanks to friends who lifted me up when dire illness cut short my role as the Jewish Federation’s executive director. I thought my life was over, but you helped me find a new purpose. 

My books, articles, columns, and scripts transformed me, as has the opportunity to give back. 16 years ago, advisors, writers, poets, editors and interns helped create the American Diversity Report.  We’ve now published hundreds of writers, spreading our Inclusion message across the globe. 

SoLit’s words are profound, “Literature has the incomparable power to connect, uplift and inspire people.” And this award magnifies that power. I feel the creative energy percolating inside me. Seeing my hubby’s grin, he knows that this moment will inspire new ideas to take shape and words to be written. 

Thank you so much, SoLit. You’re elevating me to the next level, and the best is yet to come.

Sandra Moore Podcast: Advantage Capital

SSandra Mooreandra M. Moore is managing director and chief impact officer at Advantage Capital. The firm focuses on high growth and high wage business investing in communities where access to investment capital has historically been hard to find.

Businesses in the United States owned by Black and Brown entrepreneurs typically begin with just one-third the capital of the typical White entrepreneur-owned startup, and as a result, receive far fewer investment dollars because they lack collateral. How can entrepreneurs of color gain greater access to capital and resources to grow and build their businesses, and ultimately have a greater impact on the local communities where they live. *What are the measurable outputs and outcomes of impact investing in businesses located in distressed areas, and how are we pushing the envelope of what’s possible to set the industry standard? *What is the power and potential of public-private partnerships that can help fund minority owned businesses that often lack equitable access to capital; how are we advancing the legislative landscape for local economic development?

The fact that minority-owned businesses traditionally face highly uneven access to investment capital, therefore start out with a significant disadvantage in many cases. *Through leveraging government incentives, there are alternative investment dollar alternatives for small businesses that lack collateral or are deemed higher risk because they are located in distressed or rural areas. *Impact investing in distressed and rural communities can have profound effects on people’s lives, including the creation of higher paying jobs, more wealth opportunities and benefits for workers, and career training.

CLICK for Podcast

 

Counteracting the “Heil Hitler” phenomenon – by Deborah Levine

 originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

On the morning before the Jewish New Year, I walked into a neighborhood grocery store and was greeted by a customer with “Heil Hitler!” and a Nazi salute. My stunned silence prompted the man to shout “Heil Hitler” even louder.  He eagerly came closer to me, repeating the Sieg Heil salute, which was adopted in the 1930s to signal national obedience to Adolf Hitler. The crowd waiting in line for the cashier giggled. I gagged, and hoped it was all just a bad joke.

But it wasn’t. He turned to the crowd and explained why they should join him. “Hitler could rally the crowd, inspire everyone to join him. So follow me, Heil Hitler, then we’ll all say a prayer.” Hearing this linking of  Hitler to faith and prayer, the cashier turned green. I turned purple. 

Continue reading Counteracting the “Heil Hitler” phenomenon – by Deborah Levine

Royal Ripples – by Deborah Levine

originally published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, I remember when my daughter first heard the queen speak on the radio. “Wow! I never heard English spoken so beautifully. Who is that?” I smiled because I’d grown up trying to imitate the “Queen’s English” as a youngster in the British colony of Bermuda. I was doubly saddened by the queen’s passing because it came just days before my birthday. How does one celebrate life and death at the same time? My first instinct was to ignore my birthday. Who wants to celebrate getting older anyway?  So I vacillated between mourning and sulking. 

Continue reading Royal Ripples – by Deborah Levine

Rev. Fred Davie Podcast: Religious Diversity at Interfaith America

religious diversity Reverend Fred Davie is a Senior Advisor for Racial Equity at Interfaith America, where he executes programming with a primary focus on the intersection of race and religion. He is also a minister in the Presbytery of New York City, and recently served as the Executive Vice President at Union Theological Seminary.
Hear Rev. Davie address these vital questions:
  1. Why does Interfaith America consider religious diversity a foundational American strength?
  2. Why should religion be front and center in conversations about both diversity and social change?
  3. How does religious diversity help build better institutions and a better civil society?
You will be inspired to engage in ongoing discussions of …
  • The need for a positive conversation about religious pluralism.
  • How our diversity conversation should be more focused on highlighting the contributions that America’s varied communities bring to our potluck nation rather than continually centering tension and oppression.
  • How religion is a force that inspires many and is a bridge of cooperation between our diversity and the largest contributor to our civil society.

CLICK for podcast interview

Brace for hard lessons in Ken Burns’ new documentary

Originally published as opinion column in The Chattanooga Times Free Press)

To all of you who, like me, have been long time Ken Burns fans, his documentaries have been mesmerizing: Civil War, Jazz, Baseball, Vietnam and The Roosevelts. And while I eagerly await his upcoming movie, The U.S. and the Holocaust, I have a certain amount of dread about its release. We’re living in a time when even The Diary of Anne Frank is controversial. The banning of Maus demonstrated how divided we are over telling the stories of the Holocaust. And given Ken Burns’ focus, I expect the outcry is going to be loud and vicious. Somewhat like the outcry to President Biden’s “semi-fascism” term for MAGA extremists. 

Continue reading Brace for hard lessons in Ken Burns’ new documentary

ADR October 2020 – Press Release

ADRFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      October 25, 2022
CONTACT: Deborah Levine   info@diversityreport.com

HEALTH EQUITY AND HEALTHCARE DISPARITIES SPOTLIGHTED IN AMERICAN DIVERSITY REPORT

New Edition Includes Articles, Podcasts, Poems

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.

“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 Covid 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. The featured articles by ADR advisors and contributors include the following:

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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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