2020 turned into a momentous year for diversity training. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many diversity trainers, myself included, to re-invent themselves by adapting their workshops into an online format. The Memorial Day killing of George Floyd thrust anti-racism into the center of diversity training, challenging those presenters who had generally soft-pedaled the issue. President Donald Trump’s September 22 executive order, “Race and Sex Stereotyping,” caused government agencies and contractors, including some higher education institutions, to suspend or mute their diversity training.
As a child, on Easter Sunday, my mother had my clothes neatly pressed laid on the bed. My wardrobe consisted of a light knee length dress, normally sky blue or ivory, with white socks, and white patten leather shoes. She’d tie a light blue ribbon in my hair and hand me rosary beads to place in my tiny white purse. Then my parents, brother and I went to church. I had been too young to understand the importance of the day. All I cared about was getting home to my basket of chocolate and toys. After mass we’d go to my grandmother’s house for pasta with simmering tomato sauce cooking on the stove and a rack of lamb with fresh garlic hot in the oven. It filled the room with a delectable aroma. Year after year we continue the same food tradition, not the wardrobe, and spend it with family. But this year may be different…
I’ve seen movies about it and even wondered if it could happen, but to live it, is surreal. Easter is April 12th. Will we be with family? Will anyone be able to spend it with their family or go to church? With Covid-19 aka Corona Virus across the world, who knows?
This is my final (for now) of three columns offering fifty-year projections concerning the following question: as a nation, where will we stand in 2070 when it comes to the contested interplay of diversity and speech? These three columns are based on a December, 2019, public presentation on diversity and speech that I gave at the Speculative Futures in Education Conference at the University of California, Riverside. In my previous two columns I argued that, during the next fifty years, there are likely to be significant changes in the legal framework for dealing with Hate speech and Harmful speech.
First, Hate. In the past decade the internet has dramatically altered the hate speech conversation. As an easily-accessible mechanism for spreading hate and precipitating action, the internet has developed into a true weapon of terror. First Amendment absolutists repeatedly proclaim that the best way to fight hate is simply through “more speech.” However, “more speech” has proven to be decidedly ineffective in combating the internet hate speech avalanche, including troll storms and doxing. For that reason, I predict that the necessity of curbing hate-speech-fueled violence, particularly against marginalized people, will ultimately drive government to restricting at least some forms of hate speech by 2070.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Then and Now
From 1868 (and a 14th amendment that gave birth to black “Americans”) to 1968 (which saw the brutal murder of a black Christian preacher whose elevated voice of the oppressed was silenced), 100 years of segregationist policies and practices protected and preserved white supremacy and oppressed nonwhites.
Those policies & practices didn’t die with the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They remain in place today, more than 50 years later, in every city in America.
It’s an annual tradition of the American Diversity Report to share quotes on upcoming trends from ADR Advisors in the new year. Here are the perspectives from several of our advisors, listed alphabetically. In addition, some advisors have written 2020 articles: CLICK for Carlos Cortez, Mike Green, David Grinberg, Terry Howard, and Dr. Joseph Nwoye.