Category Archives: Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

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?
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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

My Salute to Women Overcoming Challenges – by Soumaya Khalifa

Resilience, Determination, Support and Hard Work

Soumaya
ADR Advisor Soumaya Khalifa

This Women’s History Month I am thankful for the many women who paved the way for me. These amazing women include my mother, sister, daughter, mentors, friends, colleagues, managers and too many others to list.  With these women as guides and companions, my path has been smooth yet challenging, steady yet adventurous.  For all of those women, I am deeply grateful.

I know a beautiful five year-old named Samira.  At birth, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation that doctors thought would keep her from seeing, speaking, walking, running and living her life like any typical child.  Of course, her family was devastated: they wanted only the best for their newborn daughter.  Samira’s mother, however, immediately jumped into action.  She sought doctors who specialized in Samira’s condition and found the physical, occupational, speech and other therapies that she needed to thrive.  Samira’s mom fought the doctors, therapists and insurance companies to make sure her daughter received the best treatments and support.

Continue reading My Salute to Women Overcoming Challenges – by Soumaya Khalifa

Maybe Some Silver Linings – by Gay Morgan Moore

The world will long remember the past year!  We were thrust into circumstances that will forever change us individually and globally. We know the results – over 530,000 dead in the United States alone, millions sickened, an economy in free fall struggling to recover, a severely challenged health care system, new medicines, new disease conditions, and trillions of dollars in government spending attempting to ameliorate the effects of this global pandemic. The list of negative consequences goes on. But are there some “silver linings?” Is there some good coming from this daunting and often frightening global challenge?
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Diversity and Speech Part 19: The Gendered Sports Dilemma – by Carlos E. Cortés

The theme for this month’s edition: what gender related issues should be addressed and how can they evolve productively?  Let’s up the ante.  What gender related issues must be addressed?  Here’s one: transgender women in sports.

Oh that all equity conflicts could be resolved simply by mouthing diversity clichés.  Not this one.  With regard to this perplexing issue, two pro-diversity camps have gone to war.  Probable allies on most equity concerns, these two camps have dug in their heels, often engaging in hyper-accusatory rhetoric in what has become known as the TERF wars.

TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminists.  That term is used derogatorily by trans activists when referring to feminists who are perceived as not fully and unconditionally accepting trans women into their ranks.  Targets include TERF lesbians, revealing an LGBTQ split over this issue.    Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 19: The Gendered Sports Dilemma – by Carlos E. Cortés

I’m Black and I’m Proud – by Eva Johnson

Eva Johnson and John Lewis
Eva Johnson and John Lewis

I attended 12 public schools in Chattanooga during times when almost everything was racially separated: schools, churches, restaurants, tours,  organization memberships.  After my high school  graduation and an  early marriage, I relocated  with family to New England and eventually graduated from  Southern Connecticut University.  In the mid-seventies when I became an educator in a large suburban high school in Hamden, Connecticut, only about 10% of the school’s staff and student body was African American.  

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Defeating Disparity– By Katelyn DeBaun-Fee

Race & Economic Disparity

By the end of 2020, federal student loan debt in the United States surpassed $1.7 trillion, increasing by over 100% in the last decade. While this has become a national crisis impacting nearly 45 million borrowers, Black women are the most heavily burdened. A 2020 report by the AAUW indicates that Black women, on average, hold over $37,000 in loans each, compared to $31,346 held by white women, and $29,862 held by white men. As a whole, Black women, despite being the most institutionally educated demographic in the U.S., have a total of $35 billion in student loan debt.  Furthermore, 57% of Black female college graduates indicate that they struggle to repay their student loans. While white borrowers are able to pay back an average of 10% of their total student loan debt each year, Black borrowers are only able to pay an average of 4% back, largely due to racial pay disparity.

Continue reading Defeating Disparity– By Katelyn DeBaun-Fee

Is it just a Box? – by Michele Wages

Complexity of Diversity

As I rode the elevator, I overheard a conversation between two African American adults.  They were talking about one of their bosses and one said, “People who are not Black do not understand the prejudices and oppression we have gone through.”

As I left the elevator and walked into the doctor’s office, I was handed a clipboard with some required forms I needed to fill out.  One section caught my attention: Race.  It asked me to check a box.  I immediately thought about the conversation I just heard, and looked over my choices, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander.  I then thought about prejudices and oppression for each choice.

Continue reading Is it just a Box? – by Michele Wages