Category Archives: Editor & Advisors

Editor Deborah Levine and ADR Advisors

Un-Bias Guide for Educators

The Un-Bias Guide for Educators is based on Levine’s Matrix Model Management System which embeds the storytelling principles of cultural anthropology in diversity training. The Un-Bias Guide for Educators is a combination text / workbook customized for high school students, teachers, and administrators. The Un-Bias Guide is an innovative tools for maximizing awareness, boosting sensitivity, and developing competence at a time of intensified biases, both conscious and unconscious. The Un-Bias methodology is interactive on both an individual and group level.

CLICK on the video for details from award-winning author Deborah Levine…

WHAT IS THE UN-BIAS CHALLENGE?

“Today, high school students, more than ever before, seem to have their ‘cyber’ finger on the pulse of society. Unfortunately, the assumed superior foundation uses brick n’ mortar from all resources regardless to it’s accuracy, reliability and accountability. Ultimately, the onslaught will destroy credibility. Who does one trust? How can one vet the truth? Are we desensitized from feeling? How do we act and react when given a true or false? At such a formative and productive age to grow, can you determine and assess? Are you aware? What do you believe? Do you have the ability to communicate and ask what you want to know? Only by having factual knowledge can you process and move forward. The steps taken are a distinction from opinion. An opinion is not a fact. An implication is not an application. What you think at one phase in your life is not what you know in another. Your success depends on your skills.”
~ Honorable Samuel Verniero PhD: Appellate Board Member at Selective Service System

WHY THE UN-BIAS GUIDE IS THE ANSWER

The Un-Bias Guide for Educators is an eye-opening device for bringing students and staff together in these troubling times. Addressed in this edition is diversity among school populations and exercises are presented that will encourage team-building and acceptance. Deborah Levine is an expert at analyzing cultures and how organizations are affected by them. School administrators would benefit greatly by using this manual for professional development in order to develop cultural and organizational awareness among staff and students.
~ Beth Lynne, Ed.D: Technology & education researcher, retired educator

A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE

“As a young person who has worked on a number of teams for political causes and academic projects, I felt that this Un-Bias Guide illuminated the prevalence of bias in interactions and the importance of recognizing it. The Guide begins with exercises to identify personal biases and then progresses to exercises to understand others’ biases through a powerful lens: storytelling. The ultimate effect of this guide is to develop empathy, a trait at the core of effective teams that is crucial to solving problems and addressing the impasses that teams face because of unrecognized biases.”
~ Allen Liu: Recent Chattanooga high school graduate

Un-Bias Guide for Leaders

The Un-Bias Guide for Leaders is based on Levine’s Matrix Model Management System which involves the storytelling principles of cultural anthropology, the planning methodology of urban planning, and the team leadership of facilitation. The Un-Bias Guide is combination text / workbook customized for the workplace. The guide is an innovative tool for addressing unconscious bias and conscious choices.

UN-BIAS GUIDE FOR LEADERS

Designed for team training in the workplace: business leaders, nonprofit administrators, and innovative entrepreneurs. CLICK at the bottom of the following short video to hear Deborah Levine share why the Un-Bias Guide is what today’s workplace needs.

TESTIMONIALS

“When Ms. Levine introduced her story methods and the Matrix Model Management system, light bulbs went off. Tell our stories breaks down barriers and let us react on a different level.”
~ Online Wall Street Journal

“Deborah Levine leads Un-Bias trainees through a discovery process that promotes awareness of the unconscious, deeply held cultural views that we all carry. When those views are examined and shared, a new paradigm of equity and insight begins to evolve. Ms. Levine’s revelatory training, smattered with humor and even a bit of Yiddish, challenge existing notions of diversity and unleash opportunities for leaders and change-makers to shape a more inclusive and representative future.”
~ Rebecca Whelchel, Executive Director of Metropolitan Ministries/Chattanooga Social Services

“Deborah Levine is one on the nation’s leading experts, speakers, authors, trainers and communicators on sensitive and complex issues of cultural diversity. She takes you below the surface and gets at the heart of what works in bringing diverse people together in a mutually beneficial way in which everyone wins. Her latest workbook is a ‘must read’ for employers, managers and labor across all industries. Unlawful discrimination can cost companies big bucks, bad publicity, damage the brand and alienate the consumer base. This exemplary educational guide is a small but wise investment in better understanding and leveraging diversity from the corporate boardroom to the classroom, from Wall Street to Main Street USA. This is an especially important issue to comprehend as America’s population becomes increasingly more diverse in all walks of life. This trend is projected by the U.S. Census Bureau to continue well into the foreseeable future — and the future is now.”
~ David Grinberg, former national media spokesman for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

“In my role as a Human Resources Manger, the training and cultural awareness of the Matrix Model Management System will allow me to relate to others as they would like without assuming what they want or need.”
~ Valoria Armstrong, TN American Water/President,
NAACP Chattanooga/Former President

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Father and Mother’s Day When They’re Gone – by Deborah Levine

Father’s and Mother’s Day are great American traditions, but I’m not sure I like them. Unhappily, I have a really big problem with these days because I don’t have the goods. My mother and grandmother who were such loving figures in my life are gone. My father, who I take after in so many ways, is gone, too. I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.  My children live far away but will no doubt call or send a card. I’m grateful for their love but I would really like to call my own parents. Just knowing they were around made life balanced and feel more secure.

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Letter Home from WW II Soldier – Courtesy of Deborah Levine

On special occasions, Veterans & Memorial Day, I reread this letter from a young soldier, my father, Aaron Levine to his dear wife. On the verge of being deployed to Europe during World War II, he wrote this 1944 note. He writes my pregnant mother who came to NYC to see him off, but missed him.  My father didn’t see his son until he was one year old. Aaron Levine passed away at age 84 and worked on community projects even on his death bed. 
 Literary, practical, loving, and compulsively methodical, here is his WW II good-bye letter …

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Volkswagen and Women Who Rock – by Deborah Levine

Over the years, I’ve attended press conferences, graduations, receptions, and concerts at Volkswagen Chattanooga’s conference center, but I’ve never before seen it decorated entirely in pink. The event was the first ever Volkswagen Women Who Rock Awards Brunch. After having my picture taken in the photo booth wearing a pink Volkswagen hard hat, I meandered through the crowd waiting to hear from the keynote speaker, Julie Baumgardner, CEO and Founder of Chattanooga’s family oriented nonprofit, First Things First.

Women Who rock
Women Who Rock attendees

We watched profiles of the award nominees on the overhead screens as we listened to each of their favorite songs. It was a musical lesson in diversity. True to Volkswagen’s techie mindset, the playlist could be downloaded on Spotify. After much munching and brunching, we were brought to attention by Shireena Avery, the Volkswagen Diversity Sponsor to the featured Employee Resource Groups (ERG). The Women Who Rock program got underway with Megan Herndon, President of Volkswagen’s Women in Motion ERG.

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The Challenge of Unconscious Bias – by Deborah Levine

Starbucks’ plan for an afternoon of unconscious bias training is admirable but may not be effective. The fuzzy, vague term of unconscious bias is often applied indiscriminately, but unconscious bias isn’t a one-size-fits-all term amenable to a one afternoon of training. Yes, it can refer to the incident where the police were called to arrest two African-Americans waiting for a meeting at Starbucks. But it can also mean only smiling at customers that look like you, rejecting resumes from diverse applicants, and promoting the employees who resemble the current leadership team. If we want to address unconscious bias effectively, we need to first be aware of how the senses, emotions, and brain interact to create unconscious bias. Second, we must go beyond awareness of our biases to sensitivity to their impact. Lastly, we need to develop a system that internalizes wise decision making with ongoing reinforcement of that competence.

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Re-Visiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – by Deborah Levine

Is President Trump reconsidering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?  Many American cities, like Chattanooga, have built their economies on international industries, their vendors, and outdoors sports competitions including Ironman.  Before the halt to our participation in the TPP, there was a well-attended panel discussion on the controversial TPP  at the Small Business Incubator with moderator Jim Frierson, who was Chief of Staff in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) during the Reagan Administration. The cabinet agency is responsible for developing international trade policy for the President and negotiating with our trading partners. America’s first bilateral free trade agreements — with Israel and Canada — were initiated, negotiated, and implemented during his eight-year tenure. As intense competition from Japanese autos and semiconductors appeared to threaten the US and then receded, the seeds of an ambitious Pacific regional trade compact were planted in exploratory meetings by the USTR himself, Ambassador Bill Brock, a Chattanooga native.

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Pandora’s Box of Hate – by Deborah Levine

Editor’s note: this article on anti-Semitism was originally published as an op-ed in The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Russian President Putin got my attention when he suggested that Jews with Russian citizenship might have interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. “Maybe they’re not even Russians,” said Putin. “Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship – even that needs to be checked.” Putin reminded me why my great grandparents made the harrowing journey from Russia and the Ukraine to the United States. My ancestors weren’t the only ones. Between 1881 and 1924, over 2.5 million East European Jews sought to escape the relentless persecution and ghettoization. The slice of history was captured in the movie Fiddler on the Roof, but while Hollywood entertained, it didn’t fully show the history of anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, or its ongoing ripple effect.

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#MeToo, Three, Four, and Five: A Leadership Challenge – by Deborah Levine

Why have women waited so long to tell their stories of sexual harassment, discrimination, pedophilia, abuse, and discrimination? How do we as individuals and as a nation process this tidal wave of #MeToo information as people come forward? I’ve hesitated to tell my stories of sexual harassment because I’ve never been able to comprehend and digest them. The first time I experienced my feminine vulnerability, I was only four years old. I was playing outside in the garden of our home in Bermuda, when a teen-age neighbor squatted down next to me as I was playing with my favorite marbles in the garden. Smiling at me, he reached under my skirt and stroked my privates through my underpants. Before he walked away, he made me promise not to tell my father, silencing me.

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Trends in Thought Leadership – by Deborah Levine

(originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Thought Leader has become a popular term in 2018. It sounds impressive and timely, even if we’re not sure what it means. At one level, the term is meaningless. If you aspire to be a thought leader, does that mean you’re currently a thoughtless leader? Joking aside, Thought Leader has come to refer to an expert in a given field who’s been able to monetizing that expertise. Some look at the reference as the result of inflated ego, but also as a useful marketing tool for increasing visibility and recognition.

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