I attended 12 public schools in Chattanooga during times when almost everything was racially separated: schools, churches, restaurants, tours, organization memberships. After my high school graduation and an early marriage, I relocated with family to New England and eventually graduated from Southern Connecticut University. In the mid-seventies when I became an educator in a large suburban high school in Hamden, Connecticut, only about 10% of the school’s staff and student body was African American.
The words “diversity” and “inclusion” are big buzz words in today’s society, and they should be as they are very relevant and important in today’s times. But although these words are often thrown around, it is important for us to think critically about what they mean. And to assess their impact on business and society as a whole.
Many large companies are hiring for diversity in race and gender, amongst several other categories. But why, so often, is culture left out of the equation? Should it be? Definitely not. And here’s why.
How does one consider achieving peace while living in a world that is currently confused, polarized and disunited? How do we live in a manner that leads to peaceful cooperation? We have, historically, tried various political and economic systems and yet we, as a society, continue to exist in a seemingly endless downward spiral with only brief peace-like respites. Given our current set of conditions, we can guess where it all leads if a fundamental change doesn’t occur.
It appears that humanity is in need of asking itself certain fundamental questions, such as: Who am I? What is the purpose for my existence? What do I believe in? How should I correctly act towards others? Once we begin to discern answers to these and other questions of value and character can we start to move ourselves and our society towards a more unified and productive direction. A direction that leads us out of ourselves and begins to widen our vision.
Look inside to shape your impact
This pandemic has affected the world population and we are facing different kinds of problems. But we believe that we will come out much stronger from this crisis. Hence we need to take some steps to ensure that the world becomes a better place for living in post pandemic era. We need to take some steps towards that. Helping others is not only good for them and a good thing to do; it also makes us happier & healthier too. It also helps us to build a strong communities & a society at large. It is not only making money & creating wealth, but also sharing time, energy and ideas.
“The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane… Change yourself – you are in control.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Economic Impact of COVID-19
COVID-19 has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. It has had a devastating effect on our social economy, public health & monetary system. Millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million, could increase by 132 million or more by the end of the year.
Half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforce are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Workforce caregivers facing biggest challenge of survival & informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable because they lack social protection, access to quality health care and have lost access to productive assets. They are lacking proper nutrition, secure jobs & cannot access health care faculties.
Health disparities, i.e., differences in outcomes from disease experiences, are well-described and documented. The statistics that tell us of the incidence and prevalence of diseases within our populations (epidemiology) are readily available. In large measure, the prevalence (the number of cases within a population at any given time of measurement) of heart disease/high blood pressure, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, infectious diseases (influenza, pneumonia) are all among the top ten causes of death for all population subgroups (source: Statistica.com).
Staying Healthy in Your Golden Years During COVID-19
Retirement is a part of our lives where we look forward to relaxing and enjoying the abundance of extra time. We have a chance to explore the world, pursue hobbies, and spend time with our grandchildren.
But let’s not forget that the key aspect of having a vibrant and productive retirement means you have to keep your body and mind healthy.
Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping a high focus on our health is more important than ever. As our older loved ones follow all the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe and healthy, they can also include some additional activities in their routines to help keep their minds sharp and bodies fit.
As the debate rages on the extent of equity and social justice for all, two perspectives are emerging. On the one hand, the traditional school of thought represents people who believe that things are going well and that the system operates well based on their conception of equity and social justice for all. These traditionalists assert that our system is fair and that it works as it is supposed to do. They further claim that the system’s operation aligns with the founding fathers’ statements in the 1776 Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that their Creator endows them with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Perhaps the past Century will not be known for the World Wars, for the atom bomb, for the rapid growth of scientific technology leading to IT, nor for even the Holocaust and a new awareness of crimes against humanity. In the long eye of history, perhaps the past Century will be known for fatherlessness. As such it will also be known for “Atyahiány”, Our Father’s absence, a most bitter and embittering fatherlessness: For Hitler was fatherless, Stalin was fatherless, Sceuicescu, the tyrant of Romania, was a bastard, Sadam Hussein of Iraq had no father, the ruler of Libya, Khadaffi was fatherless, Castro was a bastard.
Foremost Happy Juneteenth to Everyone!
On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was the judiciary treaty signed by President Abraham Lincoln which was the country’s official acknowledgment to abolish slavery.
But did it?
Many of us were taught in school the importance of dates:
*1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue
*1920 Women’s right to fight, suffrage allowing women voting
*1969, Moon landing, “One giant leap for mankind”
*2009, America’s first president of color, Pres. Barack Obama
*1863, the ending of slavery, right?
Am in being picky about a date? Darn right!
Although the Civil War ended in April 1865 when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, enslaved people in Texas didn’t learn about their freedom until June 19, 1865.
About 2.5 years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, it was Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union army who finally arrived in Galveston and issued General Order No. 3 that secured the Union army’s authority over Texas.
The last city in the United States to be informed of the ending of slavery was in a small town called Galveston, TX, in 1865!
How could this have occurred?
The same way we have the losses of the lives of Mr. George Floyd, Mr. Eric Garner, Mr. Rayshard Brooks, and hundreds more! The same way we have yet to properly prosecute those who fail to protect.
People who could help stood by and did or said nothing.
Juneteenth celebrates human freedom. Slave owners in 1865, knowingly broke the law-keeping their slaves in bondage through the Fall of 1865 to capitalize on more free labor.
**What if the minimum wage was increased to $100 / hour but for 2.5 years you were paid at your current rate?
**What if a mysterious stranger paid your rent for the next 2.5 years and your landlord forgets or chooses not to tell you?
**What if your mortgage or car note were paid off and your lender kept taking your monthly payments for almost the next three years?
Get the point?
In “Lone Star Pasts” Susan Merritt reported:
“Lots of Negroes were killed after freedom…bushwhacked, shot down while they were trying to get a way. You could see lots of Negroes hanging from trees.”
Freedom is not an African-American right. Freedom is a human right. Juneteenth is more than slaves being freed. It is recognition of a system’s acknowledgment about how immoral, unjust, and unethical the ideology that people could own other people was wrong.
Juneteenth (annually June 19), is to be celebrated by everyone.