Category Archives: ADR Advisors

American Diversity Report Team: ADR Advisors

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.
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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?

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.

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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

U.S. Indian Boarding School Report – by Marc Brenman

In April 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report. The report was probably prompted by several year’s ago Canadian report on First Peoples boarding schools, and by the appointment of the first Native American Secretary of the Interior. The Canadian report was issues by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in 2015. 

The U.S. report has much interesting information on cultural eradication. Native American children were forced from their families and into schools that were little better than prisons, beginning in the early years of the American Republic. Esteemed Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin expressed anti-Indian beliefs. Interestingly, these sentiments were sometimes expressed in confidential memos to Congress, as if it was known even then that the actions were morally reprehensible. 

Continue reading U.S. Indian Boarding School Report – by Marc Brenman

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 

Change is Inevitable. So is the Future – by Deborah Levine

Working from home is a new norm, but it isn’t a new concept, just an increasingly necessary one. Computers have pointed us in that direction for almost 50 years. When my mother insisted that I take the first computer programming elective offered at my high school during the 1960s, I thought she was nuts. I was focused on learning Russian and preparing for a catastrophic moment in the Cold War. But Mom informed me in her soft sweet voice that computers were the change shaping the future and she was commanding, not suggesting. And if that weren’t weird enough, she insisted that I take a typing class to ramp up my keyboard speed.

Continue reading Change is Inevitable. So is the Future – by Deborah Levine

Ukraine’s aching pain: Cold War 2.0 – by Deborah Levine 

Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press
(First of 3 columns on Russia-Ukraine war)

DEBORAH LEVINE
Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

  Back in 2019, my opinion column called, Don’t Underestimate Putin’s  Threat, was published. I quoted Ukrainian-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff’s joke about how the KGB, Soviet Russias secret police, stood for Kiss Goodbye Your Butt. Today’s Russia is “…a world erupting with new money and new power” says British producer Peter Pomerantsev in his book, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible. Not much has changed. Russia still uses the KGB false flag” strategy, claiming that the current conflict is Ukraine’s fault, pseudo-annexing Russian-leaning parts of Ukraine and sending in its military as “peace keepers”.

Continue reading Ukraine’s aching pain: Cold War 2.0 – by Deborah Levine 

History for Women’s History Month – by Deborah Levine

Is Women’s History Month still relevant today? Is the need for sisterhood activism over as some say? We look back at the first group to advocate for women’s right to vote nationally and see that it was ultimately successful. The Seneca Falls Woman’s Rights Convention was held long ago in1848. But the words of its organizer Elizabeth Cady Stanton still hold true and yet are still controversial, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.”

Continue reading History for Women’s History Month – by Deborah Levine