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.

Hijacked by Hate – by Deborah Levine

(Originally published as an opinion column for The Chattanooga Times Free Press)

No PR firm could have rocketed the new Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar onto the national scene as quickly as her comments on Israel, Jews, and pay-offs. Congress’ debate on how to censure her use of centuries old stereotypes ended with a general denouncement of hate groups, but she remained front and center. I saw Congress’ official response to Omar’s words as a wishy-washy, no-brainer attempt to avoid a statement regarding Israelis and Palestinians. They should be able to do more than echo the Month Python joke, “Run Away! Run Away!”

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Why Bother Writing? – by Deborah Levine

Why bother writing when technology does much of the work for us? Templates plan for us, spell-check edits for us, and there’s enough information online to produce a ocean of plagiarized work. It’s no surprise that technical and business writing skills are becoming lost arts. Yet, successful communication with colleagues, teams, and clients relies heavily on written memos, emails, reports, proposals, and evaluations. Professional development should include the development of writing skills, but rarely does.

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Toni Crowe: Engineer Goes Writing

Toni CroweAfter growing up in Chicago’s projects, Toni Crowe graduated from the University of Illinois with an Engineering Degree. She obtained her Master’s in Management, became a Professional Engineer, Certified Professional  Manager, and a corporate Vice-President. She evolved into an entrepreneur and CEO of Just One with the goal of  stopping “just one” person from making her mistakes.
In June 2018, Toni started successfully pursuing her dream of becoming a full-time author.

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Sybil Topel: Journalism, Marketing and Communications

Sybil Topel serves as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. She led the marketing department for a boutique architecture firm in Nashville prior to earning her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in Atlanta in 2014. As a media consultant her clients included insurance companies, healthcare systems and FedEx. She has worked in communications for AT&T and SunTrust Banks. Sybil started her career as a journalist.

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Fiona Citkin: Women Immigrants’ Success in the US

Fiona Citkin is Managing Director of Expert MS Inc. Originally a professional educator from Ukraine, Fiona came to America as a Fulbright Scholar studying languages and cultures. She holds 2 doctorates, speaks 3 languages, and has published several books,  including the award-winning Transformational Diversity. For her latest book, How They Made It in America , she interviewed 100 immigrant women and profiled 18 of them in this book.

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Everything Old is New Again – by Deborah Levine

(Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press)

“I can’t be that old!” I muttered when I saw the latest cover of my Harvard alumni magazine. It commemorated the year 1969, fifty years ago, with the phrase “Time of Turmoil”. The article explains how “The images of that time remain vivid for those who lived through it…” They’re more than vivid for me. The campus turned into Protest Alley and tear gas rose up from the streets. There were Civil Rights marches and demonstrations and students demanding African-American studies. There was a blossoming Women’s Liberation Movement as the women’s college Radcliffe merged with Harvard. Today’s activists use similar strategies of marches, signs, and slogans, but with an internet megaphone.

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Seun Babalola: Docuseries on Africa

Oluwaseun Babalola is a Sierra Leonean-Nigerian-American filmmaker. She founded DO Global Productions, a video production company specializing in documentaries. Her focus is to create and collaborate on projects across the globe, while providing positive representation for people of color. She is a co-founder of BIAYA consulting, a consulting firm that bridges resource and knowledge gaps for African entrepreneurs in emerging industries. BIAYA’s first project was a convention in Lagos, Nigeria  to help build a sustainable creative industry that can grow and export content.

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Bigger is Better is Over – by Deborah Levine

(originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press)

The day of the Bigger the Better came to an epic crash when Amazon pulled out of a deal to build its new headquarters in Queens, a borough outside of New York City. The huge investment was going to result in 25,000 new jobs and millions, if not billions, in new tax revenue to support schools, housing, and infrastructure. But the $3 billion dollars in tax breaks was controversial and local objections meant that Amazon activated its ‘Run Away’ mode.

Like anyone who’s spent years working in Manhattan, I know that New Yorkers’ protests can be loud, insistent, and downright aggressive. That’s why Frank Sinatra sang about New York, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” Was Amazon unprepared or just annoyed by the New York normal? Its abrupt exit shocked New Yorkers and prompted NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to say, “Amazon couldn’t handle the heat” and the debacle was an “abuse of corporate power.” The incident prompted political diatribes, tweets, and cartoons galore, but little understanding of the key issues at stake.

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Embrace our Local-Global Connections – by Deborah Levine

(Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press)

The recent kerfuffle involving Chinese graduate students speaking in their native language during a break at Duke University underscores our growing hostility towards internationals. The head of a master’s program urged the students to speak and practice English 100%. Even if it’s just private conversations in Chinese, she worried that they’d be overheard and discriminated against for not speaking English. As the controversy exploded, she stepped down as program head while Duke reassured its international students that they were valued.

International students make up 14% of Duke’s class of 2021 and are a substantial revenue source for the university’s revenue, like many of our higher education institutions. It’s not surprising that Duke respects these students’ contribution to their ongoing existence. The university chose not to buy into the current fear and loathing of anything foreign that generates suspicion, dislike, and even violence. There is little to be gained in allowing the negative trends to overcome common sense and the common good.

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