Category Archives: Make a Difference

Projects that are making a difference, improving lives, and building communities.

Coronavirus Magnifies Need for Obamacare on 10th Anniversary – By David B. Grinberg

David GrinbergAs America wages a life and death battle against the skyrocketing spread of novel coronavirus, the critical importance of preserving Obamacare is more relevant today than ever. This is particularly true as more litigation to cripple the landmark law is pending at the Supreme Court.

In case you missed it, May 23 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare. The ACA signifies one of the most groundbreaking and comprehensive healthcare laws in history, along with Medicare and Medicaid.

Continue reading Coronavirus Magnifies Need for Obamacare on 10th Anniversary – By David B. Grinberg

Domestic Violence: My Trouble Remembering Kim – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
Terry Howard

On the way to I forget where recently, I was listening to the radio during which the news was, not surprisingly, about the coronavirus pandemic that’s sweeping the world. Businesses are closing, schools are closed, and people are strongly encouraged to stay home.

However, I was suddenly stunned when one report cited surges in reports of domestic violence when an increasing number of “stay home” directives are being issued. For me, there are few things more troubling than the thought of anyone suffering from domestic violence. More disturbing is the unsettling image of victims forced by edict to remain home with her abuser.

And on top of that, feelings of helplessness when grappling with what to do before – or what you could have done – when you find out later that the victim you knew was further abused …or worse… is unfathomable. 

Which takes me to petite little “Kim,” a credit union cashier of no more than 110 pounds soaking wet.

When we left church one Sunday afternoon, I saw Kim and her spouse who I’d not met heading to their car. But they drove off before I could say hello and introduce myself. The next day I went to that credit union to take care of some business.

“I saw you at church yesterday Kim and had hoped to introduce myself and my family to your spouse, but couldn’t catch up with you,” I said as I completed a deposit slip.

“Can I share something with you Terry?” she whispered while leaning closer to me to make sure no one was within earshot. “When we were halfway home my husband used the Bible you probably saw him carrying to hit me over the head because something upset him. He’s my second violent husband.  Because I only seem to attract abusive men, it’s all my fault.”

Recalling that conversation with Kim haunts me to this day, even after I assembled literature on domestic violence and slipped it to her in an envelope a few days later.

Was that enough? Did I further jeopardize her by sharing literature and he was to find out? Was there more I could have done? What can we do to help as outsiders to help people like “Kim”?

True, there are social services available, police (911), agencies and churches. But how can we help the victim who fears getting caught reading literature on the subject, let alone utilizing external resources?

And bring this into today’s realities, how can we help victims who are trapped at home because of a pandemic with no end in sight? Where once they could escape to a job outside the home, that’s no longer an option.

Well, if a home visit is not possible or safe, consider using technology. Check in on someone you know, or suspect, being abused by phone or text, particularly if they’ve evidenced signs of physical (and emotional) abuse. But here you should consult with local resources for other ways you could help since the abuser may monitor her phone calls and text messages.

You could also muster up enough courage to speak directly to someone you know, or suspect, may be a domestic abuser and point the person to resources for counseling and anger management. Here again, an expert can provide a composite profile of a typical abuser along with what and what not to do if you may be weighing speaking to him directly.

Will this help prevent domestic violence? I don’t know. However, this does present opportunities for education on domestic violence and sharing resources to those we know – or suspect – may be its victims. The National Domestic Violence Hotline – https://www.thehotline.org/ – available around the clock in 200 languages – is a good one to start with along with local resources.

For me, there’re few things more upsetting than regret for not doing something (e.g., intervening in alcohol/drug, tobacco abuse) you could have when you hear later about a tragic outcome you may have influenced differently.

So, what became of Kim? As much as I want to know, a part of me doesn’t want to know.

And that eats away at me to this day!

Honoring Vietnam War Veterans – Jenna Spain Hurley

National Vietnam War Veterans Day recognizes veterans who served in the US military during the Vietnam War – observed annually March 29.

It’s one thing to return to a place for the sake of your own memories, quite another to go there on the pretext of someone else’s, to walk through their shadows and rekindle their nightmares. As a member of the subsequent generation, the Vietnam War is not a living memory for me, much like the East-West divide and Berlin Wall are not so much defining moments in cultural identity for today’s German teenagers as they are fodder for museum exhibits and high school history exams. Even as someone raised in part by a Vietnam War veteran, somehow, the war was something that just simply was, a small, if persistent, shadow in the background of our lives. Continue reading Honoring Vietnam War Veterans – Jenna Spain Hurley

Corporate Women in Tech Part 2 – by Tamara Backovic

How Dominant Is Bro Culture in Tech?

Whether we like it or not, it is clear that gender equality in the tech world is still a dream, not a reality. When it comes to women in tech statistics, they show a drastic gender gap. 

For instance, women hold only 24% of jobs in the tech field.

Nonetheless, the situation seems to be improving in the recent period. The likes of Indra Nooyi or Ginni Rometty are leading by example. These women can act like the lighthouses, which we all need to help us enter a better future.

So, how does the “bro culture” affect the position of women in the modern tech industry? To answer this question, we will need to dig deeper into the corporate world. Thus, let’s not waste any more time and start looking for clues and relevant information.

Continue reading Corporate Women in Tech Part 2 – by Tamara Backovic

Corporate Women in Tech Part 1 – by Tamara Backovic

Is Moving up the Corporate Ladder in Heels Mission Impossible?

In the recent period, impactful campaigns, such as #MeToo, have once again drawn attention to the issue of gender inequality. More precisely, the position of women in modern society has been discussed and dissected.

Even so, the statistics on women in tech show that women hold only 20% of all job positions in the industry.  Marginalization, in this case, is an understatement!

So, how can women overcome gender bias and climb the corporate ladder? Is 2020 the year to put an end to those patterns of behavior that discriminate against women and their accomplishments? Let’s find out.

Continue reading Corporate Women in Tech Part 1 – by Tamara Backovic

N-word 2020 – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
Terry Howard

Years ago, I penned a piece, “The N-Word Still Stings,” a day after having the word – rather, the dagger – hurled at me from beer guzzling cowards on the back of a pickup truck while I was out walking in the neighborhood. Which brings us back into the N-word conundrum in February 2020. It continues to raise its ugly head – during African American History Month 2020, mind you. During “post racial America,” mind you. During America “made great again,” mind you.

You see, in a small city in the South, one still reeling from an acrimonious removal of the name of a Confederate general from the local school, a white kid called an African American classmate the “N-Word.” And the black kid’s mom went ballistic. When the local newspaper picked up on this controversy, it published it. Soon the small city deteriorated into a city-wide freak out along racial line.

Continue reading N-word 2020 – by Terry Howard

Advisors Perspectives on 2020 Trends -Part 2

Boyington
Sheila Boyington

As we can see trends in 2020 around Diversity and Politics seem less than positive as things in the US seemingly can not evolve past party over politics.  While that appears in the political arena, the fact that economy is full stream ahead, that helps people feel hopeful.   

 Diversity is still of concern, as it  gets caught up in politics.   Our national motto is E Pluribus Unum which means Out of Many….One.   This speaks to our two greatest strengths – unity and diversity.   When our unity is weakened our diversity is weakened because when we aren’t fully appreciative of each other’s heritage, ethnicity or beliefs, we are not at our best.

When we are fully pluralistic and totally appreciate of  every single individual as equal under our constitution, we are strongest However, we have actually been through more difficult times than these as history reveals. 

The critical question is…..will leadership once again  pull us together and face the future as One Nation- One People?   Leadership has always been essential to progress in the United States.   Hope springs eternal so it is important to keep the hope that we will bounce back once again unified and strong.  Therefore continuing to highlight the bright spots as ADR and other outlets do, will help to spring that eternal hope
~ Sheila Boyington

Advisory
Howard Comen

2020 will be a New Beginning as we approach the 400th anniversary of the landing at Plymouth Rock. It will be a world turning a corner, We will look backward 400 years and correct the inequalities. Men and women will become equal in developing this New Beginning. All faiths, races, cultures, and nations must respect their differences and celebrate their similarities and work together to identify and solve local community problems and share this information globally. The Red, Black, Yellow and White Nations must stand up and realize we are really one race, just different shades.

We need to build on the 400-year assessment of the past and look forward to the next 400 years where God is released from being locked away in the hearts of the selfish, greedy, power-hungry citizens. ADR is developing a platform using local Mayors of cities and towns to do this from the grassroots upwards. Our five-year plan is being developed in cooperation with the U.N. World Interfaith Harmony Week Project, the World Conference of Mayors, and the Historic Black Townships and Settlements Alliance. We will be expanding the ADR City of Chattanooga Council Against Hate globally.
~ Howard Comen

Keith Weedman
Keith Weedman

We each have a responsibility to give back to our communities. I choose to give back by addressing socio-economic diversity through building relationships across socio-economic boundaries. Giving back in this way provides you as a leader the opportunity to elevate key leadership skills. When there is no paycheck between you and someone you want to help, then you can elevate your skill building mutual trust and respect. They may first question your motives when you take a personal interest in them and in their situation.

Through establishing mutual trust and respect, you will discover an abundance of untapped potential. You can also discover leadership potential hidden within you. When you help them see and unleash their potential, you will elevate your skill to change the lives of the people you lead by unleashing their hidden potential. What you learn as a mentor or tutor to help someone from a different socio-economic status will make you a more effective leader. If you mentor or tutor a child or youth from across socio-economic boundaries, then do this without critically judging their parents. When you critically judge their parents, you undermine how the children and youth see themselves because of the bond between parents and their children.
~Keith Weedman

CLICK for ADR Advisors Part 1

Educating Tomorrow’s Spenders – by Dr. Beth Lynne

Advisor Beth Lynne
Beth Lynne

College loans, credit cards, mortgages—they all add up to a lack of disposable income, and worse yet, with the possible social security shortfall predicted by the year 2034, no extra funds to put away for retirement, so today’s high school students run the risk of not having enough money to live on through their golden years. Even worse, they may find it difficult to support themselves and their eventual families. It is difficult to predict what will happen to our economy, but if today’s high school graduates learn to arm themselves financially, they can live a comfortable life with a soft monetary cushion.

Continue reading Educating Tomorrow’s Spenders – by Dr. Beth Lynne

Beware of Cupid’s Arrow at Work – by David B. Grinberg

While office dating can send you to the honeymoon suite, it’s more likely to land you in the heartbreak hotel, outside on the company doorstep, or in a red hot legal mess.

Whether you’re shooting Cupid’s Arrow or being struck by it, workplace romance can have a detrimental impact on your career. Office dating can damage your prospects for advancement, negatively impact your health and wellness, while causing your productivity to plummet.

Continue reading Beware of Cupid’s Arrow at Work – by David B. Grinberg

Racing To The Bottom – by Martin Kimeldorf

In the 20th century, corporations and state enterprises perfected a “free trade” sleight of hand for extracting resources and cheap labor globally. Today, as sources of “cheap labor” become less profitable, artificial intelligence (AI) is wielded as a tool for further exploiting American labor.

When automated manufacturing first showed up in the 60s, the “pundits” (then called eggheads) worried about automation shortening the workweek. They argued that the increase in leisure would destroy the American work ethic. Today, automation’s potential for delivering the paradise of a 20-hour workweek has been largely forgotten, even though productivity per worker has rocketed off the charts. Today most people feel over-worked, and leisurely lifestyles remain the province of the rich.

Continue reading Racing To The Bottom – by Martin Kimeldorf