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.
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.
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.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of men granting women the right to vote, we should remember that it took two or three generations from the first women’s rights conference in 1848 until that right was granted. Women protested, picketed, and were imprisoned around the US. The disdain for these protesters was strong and anti-Suffragist protests were loud even in Nashville. Sound familiar? Not surprisingly, when the 19th amendment passed in Tennessee, it did so just barely, and was then contested. Fortunately, attempts to rescind passage were not successful and Tennessee became the deciding vote in passing women’s voting rights nationally.
So given our activist history, why are only 19.6% of elected officials in Congress women. And why, in the 2016 presidential election, did only one-third of women eligible to vote cast a ballot? There’s never been a woman president or vice president or chief justice of the Supreme Court. And in Tennessee, which was so instrumental in passing the voting rights legislation, there’s never been a woman governor.
What is the problem? Why aren’t women more prominent in leadership? Are we ignorant of history and therefore taking it for granted? Then read this newspapers’ columns by Linda Moss Mines about the amazing stories behind passing Constitutional Amendment 19 and achieving women’s right to vote. Consider that this Centennial isn’t just a once in a lifetime commemoration, it’s happens only once in several generations.
But I worry that women and their supporters are just too depressed to care about voting given all the economic and social issues confronting us. Can we get over that “Why Bother” attitude? Consider that 76% of public school teachers are women. And 80% of bank tellers, 83% of social workers, 91% of nurses, and 70% of wait staff are women. Yet only thirty-three of the Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. And of the handful of African American CEOs, none are women. It’s way past time that women are seen, heard, and elevated to leadership.
Still not inspired to vote? Dig into the stories of women who are historic icons. A great example is Harriet Tubman who was born into slavery, escaped and then rescued 70 enslaved people using the network we know as the Underground Railroad. Truly a Woman of Valor! Tubman was to be on the $20 dollar bill this year to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment.
So why was the new $20 bill postponed? Treasury Secretary Mnuchin claimed the design delay was over counterfeiting issues while announcing that plans for new $10 and $50 bills would go forward.Yet The New York Times reported that the Tubman $20 bill had already been designed.
We know what really happened. President Trump nixed putting Tubman on the currency saying it was “pure political correctness”. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen angrily responded saying “…this delay sends an unmistakable message to women and girls, and communities of color.”
Can Shaheen get legislation passed to produce the Tubman $20 bills in 2021, or will it take another 100 years? My hope is that we see a positive cultural shift with Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his Vice President. But I’m prepared for the “extraordinarily nasty” tidal wave of name calling already begun by Trump who claimed that men may feel insulted by a woman VP choice.
Despite the inevitable divisiveness, I’m hopeful for a huge turnout of voters who support women in leadership. I’m hoping for an historic Centennial and that someday soon, I’ll have a $20 bill that’s more valuable than anything I’ve ever had in my wallet.
The American Diversity Report (ADR), an award-winning digital multimedia platform, offered a virtual Town Hall featuring a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the future of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in education and employment amid COVID-19. We thank the many donors who made this event and ADR’s next year possible. CLICK to see List of ADR DONORS
“For 15 years, ADR’s dozens of writers from around the U.S. and the world have provided Inspiration, Instruction, and Innovation expertise. We recognize that COVID-19 requires an innovative approach to Diversity, Equity Inclusion,” said Deborah Levine, ADR’s Editor-in-Chief and award-winning author of 15 books.
Deborah Levine, Editor-in-Chief of the American Diversity Report, and her 15 books have been honored with the 2020 International BOOKS FOR PEACE award. The award was born from a project of a group of associations with the aim of enhancing the books (through a literary competition), featuring culture, people, sport, art, dealing with the topics of Peace in the round, not only between peoples, but of peoples: such as gender-based violence, bullying, racial and religious discrimination, social and cultural integration.
Today, in it’s 4th year, the international alliances have expanded to include:
- IODHR: International Organization for Democracy and Human Rights – Norway
- INSPAD – Institute of Peace and Development – Pakistan and European Union
- INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – European Union
- AFRICAN NGOs DEVELOPMENT NETWORK – Africa
- GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO END CHILD MARRIAGE
- MY BODY IS MY BODY – United Kingdom and USA
- FAAVM – Federal association for the Advancement of Visible Minorities – Canada
- IHRMWORLD – International Human Rights Movement – United Kingdom
- NHRF – NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN FEDERATION – India
- FUNVIC – FUNDACAO UNIVERSIDARIA VIDA CRISTA – Brazil
- INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
- MUNDIAL DE EDUCACION PARLIAMENT
- INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DIPLOMATIC STUDIES- Norway
- NAIFA MARUF FOUNDATION – Bangladesh
- SOCIETY FOR GENDER EQUALITY, EDUCATIONAL, ADVANCEMENT & STRUGGLES – Nigeria
- INTERNATIONAL ART FOR PEACE FESTIVAL – Iran
- HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVE CO. LTD – Uganda
- HOPEWORKS GHANA – Ghana
- MAHATMA GANDHI GLOBAL PEACE FOUNDATION – India
- GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY OF PEACE – USA
- PAKISTAN SAFETY COUNCIL – Pakistan
The giant earthquake over our African American history at Trump’s Tulsa rally was followed by a tiny spotlight on Native Americans who protested against Trump’s July 4th appearance at Mount Rushmore. The monument is on sacred Sioux Nation land, but National Guard troops fired pepper spray and arrested indigenous protesters.
Before anyone calls Sioux protestors left-wing radicals, marxists, and anarchists, understand that the National Park Service banned fireworks at Mount Rushmore because they caused wildfires and groundwater pollution on Sioux Nation land.