Category Archives: Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Hispanic Heritage Month: Nurses, Education & Scholarships

Hispanic Heritage Month

This is a the time to educate about the US community:

On average, this community is 6 years younger than the median and 6 out of 10 Are millennials or younger. They are currently 40% of the labor force growth and 8 out of 10 new businesses are Latino-owned. They are 54% of projected population growth (2017-2027) and 74% of new US workers are Hispanic. They are a vital part of the US making up 18% of active enlisted military and 19 million are essential workers.

Hispanic Nurse Heroes and Scholarships

Hispanic Heritage Month represents an opportunity to address the accelerating shortage of nurses while ensuring that the Hispanic community is seen, heard and valued.

The partnership between the Carlyle Impact Foundation and Hispanic Star recently raised scholarship funds that will enable Hispanics to pursue careers as nurses. The launch of the program included the video premiere of Jennifer Lopez introducing the Nurse Heroes Hispanic Star Choir, singing the official Spanish version of America’s National Anthem, “El Pendón Estrellado.”

“Last year we saw the contributions and sacrifices of 19 million Hispanics, who served as essential workers everywhere. While 1 in 5 worked in healthcare, the percentage of Latino nurses is disproportionately small compared to the critical need of new nurses. These scholarships will create new opportunities for Hispanics who are eager to fill the nursing gap but do not have the means to do so,” said Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder and CEO of the We Are All Human Foundation. “This is a perfect realization of the Hispanic Star’s mission to unify Latinos and mobilize support from the private sector to accelerate the advancement of the community.

“In less than 3 years there will be a shortage of 1 million nurses in the United States. We are proud to join with Hispanic Star to tap into the Hispanic community to help build the next generation of nurses. We are proud to have a program that not only addresses a looming crisis, but also advances the cause of diversity and inclusion,” stated Alex Charlton, Chairman & CEO, Carlyle Global Partner.

How to Spot Performative Diversity – by Pearl Kasirye

You know how it goes, every Black History Month, Juneteenth, or special holiday, companies around the world publish media about diversity and inclusion. At times, it can feel like they are obligated to do so, and they just plaster a generic diversity and inclusion sign on their website or social media page.

This is common to see with companies that desperately want to be portrayed as inclusive, when in reality, they are far from it. When you visit an educational institution that has 98% white faculty, but they are very vocal about the importance of diversity, it makes you wonder…am I missing something?

Here lies performative diversity, which is the subject of this article.

What is “Performative” Diversity?

When a company rallies for diversity and inclusion in public and is very loud about it on social media, but their policies are discriminatory, then they are engaging in performative diversity.

This can be hard to spot because not many people have the time to interview each employee to find out whether they’ve felt discriminated against during their time at the company.

It can be incredibly difficult nowadays to tell whether a company is saving face, or whether its leaders are genuinely motivated by fairness to level the playing field for all kinds of people.

What does that performative diversity look like?

  1. D&I branding on their website
  2. Token POC people on their company photos
  3. Conveniently timed BLM or D&I social media posts
  4. Large percentage of employees identify with one race or ethnicity

These are just some of the factors to consider when analyzing whether or not a company is participating in performative diversity. You can go to a university where all the faculty members are white except for that one token POC person.

You may ask why there is little racial diversity in their faculty and you’ll be met with phrases like:

  • “We only hire the most qualified people”
  • “There aren’t that many POC people interested in the position.”
  • “This is a white majority neighborhood.”
  • Or the classic, “It’s just a coincidence.”

I’ve been the token POC person before. It’s not fun, half the time you just feel like a black dot on a white canvas that is brought out for photo ops to make the institution look good. Which is why I’m so relieved to be working in a company that actually promotes diversity and inclusion internally – and not just for the press.

True Diversity & Inclusion

When I joined the Pearl Lemon PR agency, I was pleasantly surprised that my hairstyles, my accent, and my race were ever an issue. I’ve never been treated differently from other employees because people in this company genuinely believe that talent can come from anywhere.

It was a stark contrast from the Swiss companies I was accustomed to that made me feel like I had so much to prove because my race and nationality put me at a disadvantage. To me, it’s clear now that when a company has internal policies that create a culture of acceptance and inclusivity, they don’t have to post about it for you to know that D&I is a priority to them. Let’s take a closer look at what true D&I looks like.

It starts with:

  1. An inclusive recruitment process
  2. Diverse leaders
  3. Color-blind recruitment process
  4. Inclusive company policies
  5. Active recruitment of people from different countries/backgrounds

All of these elements are internal. This has nothing to do with whether or not the company’s social media presence shows diverse people or has black squares in solidarity with BLM. When the leadership is diverse, and the recruitment process is designed to level the playing field for people of different backgrounds, then that is legitimate.

A diverse company doesn’t have to come and tell you that they value inclusivity. You should be able to tell as soon as you meet the employees and hear their stories. When a trans, non-binary POC person can thrive in a company in the same way that a white, straight man would – then that company is truly diverse and inclusive.

The key here is analyzing the difference between those who promote D&I externally vs those who implement it internally. That right there, is what makes the biggest difference.

It means that employees don’t face discrimination and prejudice, and that everyone has a chance to become the best that they can be regardless of their orientation, gender, or race.

 

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

DIVERSITY TOWN HALL: LINKING BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY

Diversity Town HallDiversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) of the futureUTC

 

On Monday, October 18 at 5:00 pm ET, the American Diversity Report presents its 2nd annual Diversity Town Hall in partnership with the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Speaking virtually, the panel of business leaders will explore the relationship of business and community in creating the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) of the future.

MODERATOR

Dr. GAIL DAWSON
Associate Professor of Management
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Gary W. Rollins College of Business/UTC

PANELISTS

ERIC FULLER
President and Chief Executive Officer – U.S. Xpress

DEBORAH LEVINE
Founder/Editor/Consultant – American Diversity Report

DAVID ORTIZ
Corporate Diversity Officer, former board member – La Paz

LORNE STEEDLEY
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusive Growth – Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

CLICK TO REGISTER

The 2021 Diversity Town Hall is virtual, open to the public and free of charge. Register to reserve your seat at the virtual table: CLICK

NOTE: The Town Hall is also the October Black-Jewish Dialogue in partnership with: American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (C.U.R.B. )

 

Photo by John Schaidler on Unsplash

Diversity and Speech Part 22: The Critical Race Theory Donnybrook – by Carlos E. Cortés

A year ago, who would have predicted that Critical Race Theory (CRT) would have become a 2021 national buzz word?  A buzz word for those attacking it.  A buzz word for those defending it.    Probably with relatively few of those attackers and defenders actually having read much of it.

I have, but it’s not easy going.  Lots of ideas.  Lots of jargon.  Lots of obscurantist legal analysis.  But if you stick with it, CRT can be very thought-provoking.

CRT is based on a simple premise: the law is not neutral.  As a result, institutions and systems that arise from the law will not be neutral.   When Mark Twain asked a friend to explain his position on a controversial issue, the friend answered, “I’m neutral.”  To which Twain responded, “Then whom are you neutral against?”

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 22: The Critical Race Theory Donnybrook – by Carlos E. Cortés

Quick Reference Religious Diversity Cards – by Deborah Levine

Path to Religious Literacy

While leadership training will often include issues related to Diversity & Inclusion, few programs include instruction in religious diversity. Yet, cultural awareness, cultural competence, global leadership, and cross-cultural communication are embraced as the tools of the market place of the future. What accounts for this black hole of information on diverse religions?  One has only to turn on the TV, open a newspaper, or check the internet headlines to see that religion is a major factor in interactions across the planet.  It is both puzzling and disturbing that a virtual vacuum of expertise exists in the relationship-oriented sectors of our society: business, education, government, and human services. Trying to avoid culture clash of belief systems can result in a paralyzing sense of being overwhelmed and under-prepared. Too many leaders are left scrambling for strategies and resources designed to turn the religious diversity novice into an expert.

Continue reading Quick Reference Religious Diversity Cards – by Deborah Levine

Diversity Matters: At Boardroom Tables and Beyond – by Kobina Ansah

Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States following the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in 1865. Since that day, each year Black communities have commemorated that fateful day by uniting in celebration. Over the last year, however, following the murders of George Floyd and many others, Juneteenth has taken on a new meaning.

As a person of color who has worked in Corporate America and gone on to start my own company, Juneteenth is a time for me to reflect not only on the progress that has been made, but also focus on the steps we need to take to give Black and other minority founders the same opportunities as our non-minority counterparts.

Continue reading Diversity Matters: At Boardroom Tables and Beyond – by Kobina Ansah

Arts in Health Inspire Women – by Nicole Brown and Chyela Rowe

Arts in Health Program

Why create an Arts in Health program for Mother’s Day? According to the CDC, women caregivers have a greater risk for poor physical and mental health, including depression and anxiety. Mothers have held such heavy weights this last year: from grieving losses to taking on more responsibilities such as managing work from home, additional hours for childcare, homeschooling, at-home nursing, coaching, offering tech support and much more. The presence of art and music in healthcare enhances the overall experience. It allows us to remove ourselves from whatever we’re battling to be motivated and inspired. 

Diverse partners joined together in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to inspire and support women and female artists for Mother’s Day and, most importantly, promote health and well-being through the Arts. The program included artwork by Alex Paul Loza, music by Shane Morrow and a presentation of new work from poet Erika Roberts in partnership with multiple organizations that will resonate with communities across the country.

Continue reading Arts in Health Inspire Women – by Nicole Brown and Chyela Rowe

DEI in the Boardroom – by Dr. Deborah P. Ashton

Equity Impacts Corporate Decisions

Why have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) expertise in the Boardroom? Look at the controversy swirling around the Georgia’s voting law–the backlash, the boycott, and the backlash to the boycott. Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens lose from both the law and the boycott. I contend that if there had been DEI experts on the boards of the major corporations that traditionally lobbied in Georgia, this may have been averted. Corporations could have predicted how the passage and signing of the bill into law may have impacted their brand. While the bill was being crafted social justice concerns could have been addressed, along with concerns regarding voting integrity. When you are driving you slow down before you come to the hairpin curve rather than trying to correct for it afterward. I have always contended that we should resolve a problem before it begins.

Continue reading DEI in the Boardroom – by Dr. Deborah P. Ashton

Diversity and Speech Part 20: Communicating across Generations – by Carlos E. Cortés

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

Carlos Cortes
ADR Advisor Dr. Carlos Cortes

In those memorable opening lines of his novel, The Go-Between, writer L. P. Hartley captured many dilemmas.  The dilemma of memory.  The dilemma of change.   The dilemma of misunderstanding.

It also captured the dilemma of generations, particularly conversations across generations.  We did things differently then.  They do things differently now.   How are we going to help them understand what we experienced?  How are they going to help us understand what they are experiencing?
Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 20: Communicating across Generations – by Carlos E. Cortés

Voices of Asian American Women – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

Reports are that there are over 23 million Asian Americans living in the United States. Other reports are that over the past year, there are at least 4000 reports of various forms of harassment, including assaults, directed against Asian Americans in the United States. And tragically, during recent shootings in Georgia, eight lives were snuffed out, among them six Asian women. These are the facts.

So I begin this by introducing you to incredible Asian American women – Wei Wei Jeang and Lisa Ong – long-time friends of mine during the years I lived in Texas. Not only did I want to check in on the well-being of Wei Wei and Lisa, both outspoken and strong advocates of equality and fairness, I wanted to get their thoughts on what’s been happening to Asian Americans over recent years. I’ll begin with a little bit about their backgrounds.
Continue reading Voices of Asian American Women – by Terry Howard