Category Archives: By Deborah Levine

Articles by Deborah Levine, Editor of the American Diversity Report

Unconscious Bias “R” Us – by Deborah Levine

NOTE: Article originally appeared in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

Who doesn’t know about the cops being called on two black men at Starbucks? Don’t we all know that Starbucks closed its stores around the country to do unconscious bias training? But what would you answer if asked for a description of “Unconscious Bias”? Most folks will ramble, hem and haw, or just say, “I have no idea.” When asked to describe training to prevent unconscious bias from becoming outright prejudice and discrimination, the response may be a profound, dumbfounded silence.

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment at the Border – Deborah Levine

NOTE: This article originally appeared in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

According to immigration lawyers, children as young as five will be in court going through the legal process. They’ll have to prove to a judge why they should not be deported. Separated from family and lacking legal counsel, the cruelty of their situation is magnified by anti-immigration comments: “They brought it on themselves” and “they had it coming”.

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Make Some Noise for Urban Planning! – by Deborah Levine

NOTE: Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press.
by Deborah Levine

The education I received getting my Master’s urban planning degree in the 1990s had less to do with the classroom and more to do with developing the Windy City. That’s the nickname given Chicago more than a century ago, not for its weather, but for its gusts of political hot air. The hot issue of my time was planning the city’s high rise developments and rapid growth into nearby neighborhoods. A major land parcels under debate was home to inner city housing projects. The projects were built with the intent to alleviate poverty but had become African American islands battered by desperation over the lack of good schools, public transportation, decent jobs, and grocery stores.

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Moving on from Just One Woman – by Deborah Levine

NOTE: Originally published in The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

There’s a spotlight today on the women attempting to transform longtime invisibility into success, money, and power. How’s that working for us? There’s been a disappointing 25% decrease in the number of women CEOs in the Fortune 500 in the past year. Several corporate women CEOs earn as much, and sometimes more, than their male counterparts including Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, Debra Cafaro, CEO of real estate investment trust Ventas, and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. Unfortunately, women make up only 5% of CEOs in the Fortune 500. Astonishingly, only one Fortune 500 company has both a woman CEO and a woman chair of its Board of Directors. Just one.

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Mandela’s Legacy – Personal, Pivotal, & Pioneering – by Deborah Levine

NOTE: This article was originally published on The Huffington Post.

On what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday the world will revisit his extraordinary leadership after his 1990 release from twenty-seven years in prison. Yet, Mandela’s influence was far-ranging long before the 1990s when he pulled together the South Africa that we know today, negotiated a rainbow nation, and became its first black president. I want to honor Mandela’s early impact and emphasize the global involvement in South Africa’s apartheid government and in its demise. The role of international financial institutions in the Mandela story is key for me both historical and personal. Lobbying the banks to divest in South Africa was the catalyst for my involvement not only in the anti-apartheid movement, but in the advocacy of civil rights over a life time.

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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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Greenpeace, Matriarchs, and Me — by Deborah Levine

As the editor of the American Diversity Report, I’ve insisted on including environmental articles, focusing on the economic impact of Going Green on our world, our workplace, and our lives. When I considered doing an article on the iconic Greenpeace movement which started so much of our environmental activism, I thought it would be an intellectual and historical project.  But,  my 92-year old Aunt Polly informed that my Green-ness runs in the family, that Greenpeace is just a cousin away and that includes one of the movement’s matriarchs.

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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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