Editor’s Note: This was the introductory presentation at the 2021 Diversity Town Hall in partnership with the Gary W. Rollins College of Business /U. of TN at Chattanooga and the American Diversity Report.
I appreciate both the eagerness and anxiety about the future of the diverse workplace and I’m often asked to predict what that future will look like. Predicting the future requires looking at the past – at the history of the diversity field and how it developed. I’ll get personal here and go back to New York City 40 years ago. I had just graduated college with a degree in anthropology based on cultural structuralism along with the science of storytelling. I was excited about getting a job, but was considered esoteric and irrelevant. No one would hire me. Still hopeful, I went to an employment agency in Manhattan. As soon as I walked in the door, the office manager insisted that I sit at the all-women’s table and take a typing test. I said no and moved to sit at the all-men’s table where they were interviewed for executive positions. The manager said no. I insisted, he physically blocked me. I insisted again, he threatened to call the police.
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.
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.
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? Continue reading Maybe Some Silver Linings – by Gay Morgan Moore→
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.
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.
I’ve always included articles on the environment in the 15 years of the American Diversity Report. When I considered doing an article on the iconic Greenpeace movement which started much of our environmental activism, I thought it would be an intellectual and historical project. But, my 93-year old Aunt Polly informed that Green-ness runs in the family,. Greenpeace is just a cousin away, including one of the movement’s matriarchs.
‘Make It Count’ Event Commemorates Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote, Highlights Equity and Education
This year of 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of a remarkable shift in the women’s suffrage movement—the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 which ensured a woman’s constitutional right to vote.
When my family moved to America from British Bermuda, I was still in elementary school, having completed first form, the equivalent of first grade, at the Bermuda High School (BHS) for Girls. Uniform and uniformed, I marched in step with the other girls, just as my mother had done through her entire schooling at BHS. Yes, I did stand out as the only Jewish girl in the school, or anywhere on the island. But generations of my family were well known on the island, so the singularity was tolerable. Inserted into a New York City suburb, I was delighted to find that this particular oddity was completely irrelevant. For better or worse, I still stuck out and a confidence crisis set in.