Category Archives: About Us

About the American Diversity Report

A Post-Pandemic Recovery Playbook for Women  – by Cathy Light

As vaccines roll out, we turn our attention toward economic recovery. The traditional stimulus measures of the past, dominated by investment in infrastructure and construction, will not be effective in our post-pandemic world. Those sectors are male-majority employers, and COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on women.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in one month (September 2020), more than 1 million Americans over the age of 20 left the U.S. workforce. Roughly 80% – over 865,000 of them – were women. There are now nearly 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force than there were in February 2020 before the pandemic. In October 2020, the U.S. retail trade sector gained 103,700 jobs. Women accounted for only 11.4% of those gains, despite making up 48.4% of the retail trade workforce. We must do better.
Continue reading A Post-Pandemic Recovery Playbook for Women  – by Cathy Light

Maybe Some Silver Linings – by Gay Morgan Moore

The world will long remember the past year!  We were thrust into circumstances that will forever change us individually and globally. We know the results – over 530,000 dead in the United States alone, millions sickened, an economy in free fall struggling to recover, a severely challenged health care system, new medicines, new disease conditions, and trillions of dollars in government spending attempting to ameliorate the effects of this global pandemic. The list of negative consequences goes on. But are there some “silver linings?” Is there some good coming from this daunting and often frightening global challenge?
Continue reading Maybe Some Silver Linings – by Gay Morgan Moore

Pandemic futurists wanted – by Deborah Levine

Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

DEBORAH LEVINE
Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

 “Yellow Terror” arrived in the mail out of the blue. I opened to the first page and I’m sure my face turned pale as I read, “Poor Shreveport! Woe-stricken Memphis! How afflicted, how lamentable you are… Friends, dearly beloved have been laid low, and the very air is ripe with lamentation.” Those words were written in an 1873 opinion column  by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. The language sounds old-fashioned, but as noted by the booklet’s writer, American Jewish Archives director Gary Zola, they are echoed today.

Infectious diseases have haunted us historically, and I take their misery and devastation personally.  When I first came to America from Bermuda as a young girl, I came down with chicken pox, measles, German measles, pneumonia, and scarlet fever all in my first year here. Antibiotics saved me and I’ll be forever thankful to the scientists who invented medications and vaccines. But I’ll never underestimate the power of transmissible diseases.
Continue reading Pandemic futurists wanted – by Deborah Levine

Diversity and Speech Part 19: The Gendered Sports Dilemma – by Carlos E. Cortés

The theme for this month’s edition: what gender related issues should be addressed and how can they evolve productively?  Let’s up the ante.  What gender related issues must be addressed?  Here’s one: transgender women in sports.

Oh that all equity conflicts could be resolved simply by mouthing diversity clichés.  Not this one.  With regard to this perplexing issue, two pro-diversity camps have gone to war.  Probable allies on most equity concerns, these two camps have dug in their heels, often engaging in hyper-accusatory rhetoric in what has become known as the TERF wars.

TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminists.  That term is used derogatorily by trans activists when referring to feminists who are perceived as not fully and unconditionally accepting trans women into their ranks.  Targets include TERF lesbians, revealing an LGBTQ split over this issue.    Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 19: The Gendered Sports Dilemma – by Carlos E. Cortés

I’m Black and I’m Proud – by Eva Johnson

Eva Johnson and John Lewis
Eva Johnson and John Lewis

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.  

Continue reading I’m Black and I’m Proud – by Eva Johnson

Art of Healing – by Deborah Levine

originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

DEBORAH LEVINE
Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

Of all the inauguration speakers, the one that truly hypnotized me was Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate. The tiny young powerhouse joins the roster of famous inaugural poets like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Reading “The Hill We Climb”, she had us all climbing with her. It was a joy to see her energy, hear her inspiring verses, and be reminded that poetry heals the soul.

The words bring optimism about the future. A colleague messaged, “The seed of hope has been planted. It is up to each of us to build upon that hope in order to cultivate and strengthen the ties that bind us together as a People —one Nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all!”

Continue reading Art of Healing – by Deborah Levine

The He(Art) of the Museum  – by Cindy Steede Almeida

BermudaCuriosity is a good thing. For those of us who are curious about the ancient world and have a need to discover the source and unearth the past to make sense of our present world, a museum ticket is our gateway to other worlds!

My curiosity led me to uncover the mystery of the word museum or mouseion (Greek) meaning the seat of the muses. In Greek mythology the nine muses were held in high esteem. The Merriam-Webster dictionary attributes the inspiration for song, poetry, the arts, and sciences to these sister goddesses. The Muses were to be enshrined in these edifices as a source of inspiration. According to Britannica.com, a mouseion was built to be a designated institution for philosophical discussion and contemplation. It was intended to be a place of learning and the arts.  Continue reading The He(Art) of the Museum  – by Cindy Steede Almeida

Black-Jewish Dialogue: February 2021

HISTORY, ARCHIVES & MUSEUMS

The monthly Black-Jewish Dialogues began in Chattanooga virtually in July 2020 and quickly spread across the USA and internationally. As our communities progress in understanding each other,  we explore new topics each month. History is frequently an underlying theme.

Many thanks to our February Presenters:

John Edwards: Chattanooga historian working with the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and President of The Chattanooga News Chronicle.

Dr. Dana Herman: Managing Editor and Director of Research & Collections of the American Jewish Archives.

CLICK to hear the February Black-Jewish Dialogue

CLICK for background information and links to earlier dialogues

Co-Sponsors:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

The mind-numbing siege – by Deborah Levine

Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

DEBORAH LEVINE
Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

I should write about the siege of our Capitol but my brain has oozed out of my ears. I’m rendered speechless at the gallows and chants calling to hang Vice President Pence who refused to illegally overturn the election. My loved ones hid under the covers seeing the nooses, Viking-like horned helmets, Confederate flags, Auschwitz T-shirts with skull and crossbones and 6MWE (6 Million Weren’t Enough) signs referring to Jews killed during the Holocaust. Not surprising that people wondered if America, not just Trump, lost its mind.

Continue reading The mind-numbing siege – by Deborah Levine

Diversity and Speech Part 18: Hate Speech – by Carlos E. Cortés

Carlos Cortes
ADR Advisor Dr. Carlos Cortes

Hate speech may be the thorniest point of contention between diversity advocates and free speech absolutists.  Of course most people oppose hate and detest hate speech.  But what should we do about it?  That’s where disagreements begin.

Let’s look at hate speech from four perspectives.  Legal: what does the U.S. Constitution say about hate speech?  Behavioral: is hate speech merely speech?  Aspirational: ideally, what would we want when it comes to hate speech?  Operational: how might government hate speech restraints work in practice?

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 18: Hate Speech – by Carlos E. Cortés