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.

Chattanoogans Mourn, Pray, and Hope – by Deborah Levine

The traffic was fierce on Martin Luther King Boulevard as people flocked to the community-wide interfaith service at Mount Olivet Baptist Church. Olivet, had grown from humble beginning in the 1920s to one of the city’s largest African-American churches. Yet, the church was packed, overflowing with elected officials, police officers and FBI, military veterans, and media among the diverse crowd of Black & White, Christians, Jews, and Muslim. Together, we prayed over the loss of four marines and a wounded sailor, who would die just hours later. We prayed over the trauma to our entire community inflicted by lone gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

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Should I Trust You? – by Deborah Levine

There’s no escaping the lack of trust these days from local officials to world powers. Whether we get our news from television, newspapers or the internet, we’re inundated with highly emotional trust issues. Take the examples of the turmoil around a third bailout for Greece, the fear over a nuclear arms agreement with Iran, and the disgust with declared international truces in Ukraine, Korea, and Yemen and undeclared domestic truces in Ferguson and Charleston. In the US, trust issues will be a dominant theme in the presidential campaign as candidates accuse, blame, and attack. Reporters rely on phrases such as “can’t trust,” “lack of trust,” “trust but verify,”and “rebuild trust.” For most of us, these phrases are just diplomatic talk for “What were you thinking?” and “No, and Hell no!”

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Was Charleston Terrorism or What? – by Deborah Levine

Nine people were killed by Dylann Storm Roof in Charleston’s historic black church and the debate about how to categorize his actions is fierce. Is it domestic terrorism or mass murder? Is it a case of drug-induced mental illness or a hate crime? The debate embraces some of the most controversial issues of our time: guns, race, alienated young men, and the confederate flag. The question before us should not be which of the labels and issues are relevant and correct. Rather, the question should be how to address the volatile mix now surfacing in terrifying blasts with increasing frequency.

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Can Immigrants and Minorities Work Together? – by Deborah Levine

Dr. Fiona Citkin urges minorities and immigrants to work together to bring meaningful, positive change in the U.S. in her Huffington Post article, “Immigrants and Minorities of America, Unite!” Yes, there are many benefits to bringing minorities and immigrants together, but there are also numerous pushes & pulls involved in uniting them, in establishing their local-global connection. I have long maintained that “Harmonize NOT Homogenize” is key to our working together, but today’s highly emotional environment makes even this approach difficult.

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How Pow Wow Leaders Inspired – by Deborah Levine

SpiritBearWhen regional Native Americans convene in Chattanooga’s First Tennessee Pavilion, you’ll find me there, too. This year, the gathering seemed larger and more energetic than ever. I come to admire the colorful dress, hear the drum circle, and watch the dancing. The booths full of Native American arts and crafts are irresistible and my drawers are full of jewelry purchased there. I also come for the honor guard, a promenade of Native American veterans, police, firemen, and war mothers.

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Je Suis in Cyberspace, Reluctantly- by Deborah Levine

The “Us vs. Them” mentality is universal. It’s embedded in how we define ourselves as individuals and as communities. For every “Us”, there’s a “Them”. Whether by nation, region, religion, language, or religion, it’s human nature to differentiate.  Fortunately, while the phenomenon is a given, the related actions are not. In a world where limited resources can whither away communities, cultural differences increasingly generate violence. Watching the news today is an exercise in confusion as to which war we’re seeing, which era, and which players are currently killing each other off with a seemingly endless supply of arms. It’s tempting to think that little has changed. Yet, the attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, compels us to re-examine the change that impacts us all: technology.

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Women in STEM: Architecture Conversations

Architecture spans both the Arts and STEM and is one of the reasons for advocating that  STEM become STEAM and include the Arts in the acronym. When I began the ADR series on Women in STEM, I received a request to include an article on women in Architecture. What follows is a conversation with two of the professionals at Hollywood-based 5+Design: Associate Principal Mi Sun Lim and Senior Designer Bahar Mahgerefteh.

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Honoring Native American Art in the Southeast – by Deborah Levine

There is much beauty to celebrate in Native American art, but that it’s a struggle to create given the devastating historical events surrounding Native Americans. The Cherokee Nation had a culture that thrived for almost 1,000 years in the Southeastern United States: in Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and parts of Kentucky and Alabama. Life of the traditional Cherokee changed drastically with European expansion and cession of Cherokee lands to the colonies in exchange for trade goods. Migration from the original Cherokee Nation began in the early 1800s as Cherokees wary of white encroachment moved west and settled in other areas of the country’s vast frontier.  Their eventual removal by force prompts the question of whether there is any Cherokee cultural presence remaining in the Southeast.

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Climate Change in Nigeria – by Olumide Idowu

Climate change has become a new reality and a worldwide phenomenon with significant variation in weather patterns occurring over periods ranging from decades to millions of years.
Nigerians ask what is climate change for them; can Nigeria be affected; what impact will it have it on Nigeria? Can we mitigate the negative impact and ensure that climate change/global warming does not have disastrous consequence on Nigeria?

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Spirituality and Entrepreneurship – by Deborah Levine

There are two basic motivations of the entrepreneur. The first is Money, the bottom line. Some say that business people have no soul, that we’re in it only for the money. But the second motivation for entrepreneurs is self-fulfillment, a spiritual sense of purpose. Maybe this spirituality is linked to your faith tradition, but the spiritual element translates across the boundaries of specific religions and cultures. We entrepreneurs make our home where spirituality and business overlap, and it’s about time that we make our address public.

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