Category Archives: Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Are Men Necessary? (Part 2) – by Terry Howard

I can’t keep up with bad behaviors by men nowadays – not all men before you lapse into cardiac arrest in anger at me – but those dudes who can’t seem to deal with their demons, fears, mental illnesses and hatreds in ways other than through the barrel of an AR-15.

So was it not men who flew planes into the World Trade Center, the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon on 9/11? Was it not the “Alt Right” men who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that led to at least one death and scores of injuries? 

Was it men who murdered nine church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015 and who gunned down six Asian women in Atlanta two years ago? Weren’t the gut-wrenching shootings at Texas’s Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School and at the July 4th parade near Chicago committed by men?  Was it a demented man who killed 11 worshipers at a Pittsburg synagogue? And more recently, was men who killed six Muslims in Albuquerque, or a man who plunged a knife into the neck of author Salam Rushdie in New York?
Continue reading Are Men Necessary? (Part 2) – by Terry Howard

A Middle East Angle on Diversity Part 1: When is protection oppression? – by Dana Winner

Each time we convene a new JASSPr class in the city of Jahra, Kuwait, the girls sit at the back of the room while the boys take their place at the front of the room. The first time I saw this, I felt offended on behalf of the girls. I wondered who told them they must sit at the back of the class? Is it an explicit order or implicit habit? More important, what could I do about it? Should I do anything about it? Their culture is about protecting the girls. When is protection oppression?
Continue reading A Middle East Angle on Diversity Part 1: When is protection oppression? – by Dana Winner

Civil Rights Icon Diane Nash….What else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

Photo: From left, Rev. John Edwards, Jr., Diane Nash, John Edwards, III

When I got the news that President Biden recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to civil rights icon Diane Nash, I called an elated John Edwards, III, publisher of the Chattanooga News Chronicle having recalled a chat I had with him a while ago about his memories of and experiences with Nash.

Said Edwards, whose dad was an influential pastor and civil rights leader in Tennessee, and whose church was bombed by racists, “I was only 12 years old when I got the approval from my father to take part in the sit-ins. Dad dropped me off at the church early each morning where I sat on the front row and took my marching orders from John Lewis and Diane Nash. I was so enamored with those two Fisk University students and the courage they embodied.”
Continue reading Civil Rights Icon Diane Nash….What else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

On rustic church pews – by Terry Howard

If ever there was an eye-catching picture, this one fits the bill.

You see, a fellow I grew up with in a small town in Virginia posted it on Facebook. I’m not sure of its source or time, but think that maybe it was sometime in the 40s or earlier. Who knows for sure?

Okay, I admit to having lost count of the number of times I’ve looked at it, and am doing so right now as Juneteenth is in the spotlight. However, to get other reactions I randomly shared it with several folks.
Continue reading On rustic church pews – by Terry Howard

Reflections on the Holocaust — by Deborah Levine

As my radio theater play, UNTOLD: Stories of a World War II Liberator, is in preparation for broadcast, I am reminded of the 1st time that I agreed to serve on the local Holocaust Remembrance Day Committee was painful, even after almost seventy years since the end of World War II.  I agreed to assist in promoting the event beyond our Jewish community and I agreed to participate in the reading of the names of the victims.  And I resigned myself to being an usher at the event, not my favorite thing.  What I didn’t bargain for was a seat on the stage when I offhandedly shared that I was helping in memory of my father who was a U. S. military intelligence officer during World War II.  Aaron Levine was an army translator of German and French.  And by the way, he was a liberator of a labor camp.

Continue reading Reflections on the Holocaust — by Deborah Levine

“Let’s Go High” with Bayard Rustin – by Terry Howard

Growing up in Virginia, my momma used to say to me that I sometimes “run around like a chicken with its head off.” That’s as perfect a depiction of any of my chaotic life as the month of June slips away. Duly noted.

You see, amid traveling, speaking engagements, fawning over a newborn grandson, greeting guests in my wife’s restaurant (and sometimes, yes, getting on her last nerve) and yard work, I failed to write something pertaining to Gay Pride Month. I really wanted to but never got around to it.

So while being confronted with the dual realities of the month coming to an end and the unrelated surge in hate mongering spilling into violence against LGBTQQI people, I decided to “go high.”

Continue reading “Let’s Go High” with Bayard Rustin – by Terry Howard

U.S. Indian Boarding School Report – by Marc Brenman

In April 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report. The report was probably prompted by several year’s ago Canadian report on First Peoples boarding schools, and by the appointment of the first Native American Secretary of the Interior. The Canadian report was issues by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in 2015. 

The U.S. report has much interesting information on cultural eradication. Native American children were forced from their families and into schools that were little better than prisons, beginning in the early years of the American Republic. Esteemed Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin expressed anti-Indian beliefs. Interestingly, these sentiments were sometimes expressed in confidential memos to Congress, as if it was known even then that the actions were morally reprehensible. 

Continue reading U.S. Indian Boarding School Report – by Marc Brenman

Improving Gender Diversity Hiring – by Addie Swartz

Returning from The Great Resignation

Recent findings from the Pew Research Center uncovered that across 34 countries, a median of 94% of respondents think it is important for women in their country to have the same rights as men, with 74% saying it is very important. Yet, women are less optimistic than men that they will achieve gender equality. How can these two diametrically opposed trends exist in the same world at the same time? It’s the sad reality for women in the world and the workplace that while their talent abounds, opportunity does not.

The numbers simply do not lie. According to the World Economic Forum, it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide. Post-pandemic, there’s a dearth of women in leadership roles, estimated to be only 27 percent of all managerial positions. According to McKinsey, the gender-regressive reality of these trends might mean that global GDP growth will be $1 trillion lower in 2030; conversely, taking action to advance gender equality could add as much as $13 trillion to the global economy by the same year.

Continue reading Improving Gender Diversity Hiring – by Addie Swartz

 Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard

On my way out of a local fitness center, I happened across a used book dispenser and, like I always do, peered inside. The cover of one of those books, “Are Men Necessary?” by Maureen Dowd was indeed an attention getter if ever there was one. Although I was amused by it, some may find the book’s title off putting. Yes, I get that. 

Which brings us to the issue of men these days – more to the point, arguments for and against the “necessity” of men as Dowd put it. 

Let’s start by applying the (non-procreation) “necessity” test to a partial list of “men” as we think about the behaviors of some (note that I didn’t say “all”) men these days.

Continue reading  Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard

4 Challenges Women Face in the STEM Fields – by Julie Morris

How to Overcome Them

Representation is important, and more voices at the table make for better decisions, better products, and more inclusive business practices. While the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math continue to grow and change, the need for highly-motivated, well-trained women is also on the rise. However, men still make up nearly 75% of the STEM workforce and women still face several barriers to entry in these high-demand careers.

Continue reading 4 Challenges Women Face in the STEM Fields – by Julie Morris