All posts by Editor

Deborah Levine is an award-winning, best-selling author. As Editor of the American Diversity Report, received the 2013 Champion of Diversity Award from diversitybusiness.com and the Excellence Award from the Tennessee Economic Council on Women. Her writing about cultural diversity spans decades with articles published in The American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, The Bermudian Magazine, and The Harvard Divinity School Bulletin. She earned a National Press Association Award, is a Blogger with The Huffington Post, and is featured on C-Span/ BookTV.

Regional Diversity: Going Southern with a Holiday Offer

Regional diversity is a major factor in today’s world but how often do we include it in our training?  The US Southeast is a poster child for the regional-national-global culture clashes that we are all experiencing. Check out my Going Southern video podcast and my interview with CSPAN-BOOK TV.  Scroll down and take advantage of my holiday discount offer of my e-book,  Going Southern: the No-Mess Guide to Success in the South.

VIDEO PODCAST  – CLICK  at bottom of photo…

CLICK BELOW  for CSPAN-BOOKTV INTERVIEW

CLICK for Holiday Discount e-Book:
GOING SOUTHERN: THE NO-MESS GUIDE TO SUCCESS IN THE SOUTH

Carol Potter: From Screen & Stage to Therapist

Carol PotterDiversity includes multi-talented women with surprising career paths.  With an acting career spanning over 40 years,  Carol is best known for her role as Cindy Walsh in Aaron Spelling’s Beverly Hills 90210, among many other TV credits.  She has also been seen on stages in New York, including the original Broadway production of Gemini, Los Angeles, and regional theater.

A Harvard graduate, she became a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in 2001.

Click below to hear Carol’s podcast…

Faces of the Future: Generation Z

 What does the future of the US look like? The next generation is the focus of an NBC News special which features stories of their lives and expectations. The American Diversity Report is eager to share excerpts from that special on TODAY.COM
 
TO COME OF AGE IN 2017 in America is to enter adulthood in a time of often overwhelming turbulence. The country is deeply divided, technology is reshaping the world at a breakneck pace, and the future seems filled with uncertainty. As each day appears to bring with it another crisis, from unprecedented natural disasters to horrific mass killings to violent and vehement ideological clashes, questions lurk in the background: Who will inherit this world? And what will they do with it?

Enter Generation Z

 
Loosely defined as those born after 1995, this new wave of soon-to-be grown-ups—also dubbed the iGeneration, Centennials, Post-Millennials, Founders, Plurals and the Homeland Generation, depending on whom you ask—picks up where millennials left off. True digital and social media natives, they’re ever-connected, multitasking on many screens and more comfortable sharing on Snapchat than IRL. “They are the first generation to spend their entire adolescence with smartphones,” says Jean Twenge, author of “iGen,” who has studied the group extensively. “That really rapid adoption of smartphones has had ripple effects across many areas of their lives.”

Generation Z and the 2016 Election

The 2016 election marked the first time many Gen Zers were able to vote, in an event that has served to spotlight and magnify the fractures and fissures in the nation. Decisions made by this administration will have ramifications for years to come, and many of the top issues that drove voters to the polls can be interpreted as de facto battle lines along which the country is dividing itself: Health care. Guns. Immigration. Abortion. The treatment of gay, lesbian and transgender people. Climate change.
 
So how do young people growing up in today’s chaotic environment feel about their country, their cities and their lives? We’ve spent the last few months following a handful of teenagers on the frontlines of Generation Z: five students who graduated from high school in 2017 and are full of big dreams. For these individuals, the issues facing the country aren’t just hypotheticals to see on the news or be debated by politicians onstage, but their daily realities.

A Generation Z story: Destiny Robertson

Destiny grew up in one of the poorest communities in the country, McDowell County, West Virginia. “We have some of the best people in the whole world,” says the 18-year-old, who grew up in the county in the town of Northfork. “I wouldn’t be who I am without where I am.”

West Virginia got a lot of attention on the presidential campaign trail from candidate Trump, who promised to bring mining jobs back to a state struggling with unemployment. People have been leaving McDowell County, once the top coal producer in the state, ever since coal production started to decline decades ago. Since its peak in 1950, the region’s population has dropped by over 80 percent. The unemployment rate is now more than double the national average, and more than 1 in 3 people live in poverty.

Destiny, whose grandfather was a coal miner, believes in her community, but doesn’t think the future lies in trying to chase the past. “A lot of my friends—my male friends—that’s their dream, to become a coal miner. That’s where you can make the most money here, when you can get a job,” she says. “I’m definitely in the minority. My views are that we have to move on from coal.”

Meanwhile, the county, like the rest of West Virginia, is in the throes of the opioid crisis. The overdose rate here is nearly five times the national average. “You have a big problem in West Virginia and we are going to solve that problem,” President Trump said on a visit to the state in August. In October, he declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

The president is popular in McDowell County. Seventy-five percent of the votes here went to him in the 2016 election, but Destiny’s wasn’t among them – at 17, she was still too young to vote at the time. She doesn’t like to get too public with her political beliefs, but she’s passionate about voter registration and encouraging people to make their voices heard. “Being a black woman in this town, it’s important to me to exercise my right to vote,” she says.

And she hopes President Trump will come through for the people of her county, who desperately need help. “This place has an epidemic going on…I’d hope that this new administration will bring awareness to that and help us figure out a way to get rid of the addiction.”

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For more stories of Generation Z, click on
  Faces of the Future

History, Monuments, and Culture Clash – by Deborah Levine

Any discussion of monuments and cultural symbols tends to be highly emotional, regardless of which side of the controversy you’re on. Here in Chattanooga, the controversy features the statue of General A.P. Stewart at the county court house. For some, Stewart represents post-Civil War bridge building and the creation of the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park. For others, his Confederate uniform and the monument’s funding by the Daughters of the Confederacy symbolizes slavery followed by Jim Crow laws.
My experience with historical monuments began thirty years ago when I was hired as the junior of three assistant directors in the American Jewish Committee’s Chicago office. It was August and when a reporter from The Chicago Tribune called, I was the only staff person not on vacation.

Continue reading History, Monuments, and Culture Clash – by Deborah Levine

Addressing Social Isolation among Men – by Elwood Watson

Despite his material and enviable career success, Don, like many of his mid-20th-century contemporaries and many men today, more than a half a century later, was hampered by a common theme that is prevalent in the lives of many men — a lack of genuine friendships. The old saying that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true in regards to this particular issue.

Men have chosen to become totally consumed with one’s career to the detriment of having any healthy relationships. There have been a number of theories and reasons from experts as to why so many  men have difficulty establishing and maintaining valuable, close relationships with other men. The social awkwardness and a rejection of intimacy with other men are present in fear of being viewed or labeled as gay. Societal mores have historically frowned upon it. Instead, men have chosen to become totally consumed with one’s career to the detriment of having any healthy relationships. Reasons aside, many individuals with the X/Y chromosome have a real deficit in their level of camaraderie with other men.

The undeniable conclusion from many psychologists, psychotherapists, mental health experts as well as testimony from a number of men themselves is that too many men have too few, if any, real male friends.
There has been a plethora of studies providing evidence that men who are largely friendless are living in an unhealthy situation, often resort to alcohol, engage in drug use, suffer from depression, and should reexamine their current predicament. Some things to consider:
Continue reading Addressing Social Isolation among Men – by Elwood Watson

Engender Exhibit Goes Beyond the Binary

(Artwork by Jonathan Lyndon Chase – Pulpit)
Kohn Gallery presents Engender, a group exhibition featuring  contemporary artists who are revolutionizing the way we visualize conventional gender as exclusively male or female. Established in 1985, the Kohn Gallery has presented historically significant exhibitions in Los Angeles alongside exciting contemporary artists, creating meaningful contexts to establish links to a greater art historical continuum.

Through painting, a medium that has traditionally embraced this binary, these artists are pushing the genre in new, unprecedented directions, challenging the ways in which paintings can be used to deconstruct and rewrite conventional notions of personal identity. The exhibition highlights the inter-blending of traditional and figurative abstraction as the foundation for more fluid and inclusive expressions of identity, engendering a new visual pronoun. Engender is beyond the binary.

“If the show can expose people to questions about gender, questions that they may have never known to ask, that would be a success in my book.  I want people to be exposed to this topic first and foremost.  I think awareness is what will lead to further conversation.  When you have something so tethered to a long history of cultural categorizations such as gender, assumptions occurs.  Assumptions that negate proper exposure, discussion, and education on a very complex and multilayered component of all our lives.  The artists in the exhibition are reclaiming that narrative, visually crafting languages that speak to their own unique experience, and yet can very much be understood by all.”
~
Joshua Friedman, Curator and Associate Director of Kohn Gallery 
Continue reading Engender Exhibit Goes Beyond the Binary

Refugees: Are We Eating our Young? – by Deborah Levine

Islands at Risk

Refugee International reported a few years ago that a Kiribatian man tried to convince a New Zealand court to make him the world’s first climate change refugee. Kiribati is an impoverished group of Pacific islands vulnerable to rising sea levels.  He didn’t succeed, but many experts predict a growing number of displaced people seeking asylum because of global warming. The planet has limited drinkable water, fertile land, clean air, and food. The planet’s current supplies are steadily shrinking.

Continue reading Refugees: Are We Eating our Young? – by Deborah Levine

Mauricio Velasquez: Diversity Trends in Today’s Workplace

Diversity Training GroupMauricio Velasquez is the President & Founder of Diversity Training Group (DTG). In this follow-up interview (CLICK to see Part 1),  he provides an update on the current and emerging diversity issues in the 2017 workplace and an analysis of their increasing intensity. With more than 25 years experience in diversity field, Mauricio is a mover & shaker in the business, government, and education sectors. He is a regular contributor of articles to the American Diversity Report.

CLICK below for PODCAST

Our Domestic Terrorism – by Deborah Levine

What happens in Vegas does NOT stay in Vegas. Domestic terrorism is a national issue. I often write about how  the byproduct of economic dislocation is an increase in violent attacks. When people feel they have little to lose, they lose their socialization and their humanity.  The result is a rise in domestic abuse and acts of violence on strangers, whether individually or in crowds. The anger and divisiveness that now permeate our culture take the phenomenon beyond the disenfranchised. Incidences like this attack on a concert in Las Vegas parallel the rise of  traditional terrorism and are symbolic of the desire to deconstruct society.

I cannot accept the explanation of mental illness which implies that this massacre is just a single individual with no takeaway that impacts the country. Nor can I accept that Las Vegas was punishment for criticizing Trump and not standing for the national anthem, as one religious figure is saying.  Neither denial nor incitement should be acceptable if we are to confront domestic terrorism in our midst.

Continue reading Our Domestic Terrorism – by Deborah Levine

Nurturing and Humility in Leadership – by Deborah levine

I have been puzzled in recent weeks by colleagues congratulating me on my humility. What are these folks talking about? People who knew me years ago would definitely be amused by that. At best, I was described as “Sweet but Stern.” At my boldest, I was told that I could terrorize entire cities. Community leaders had a white-knuckled grasp on their chairs when I tersely announce my intention to speak off-the-record. Not even a voice from the back of the room calling out, “Oh ho, this should be good!” slowed me down.

Continue reading Nurturing and Humility in Leadership – by Deborah levine