Category Archives: Black-Jewish Dialogue

Black-Jewish Dialogue originating in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A monthly virtual discussion of issues important to the African American community and the Jewish community locally, nationally and internationally.

ANDREW FEILER PODCAST: The Rosenwald Schools

Rosenwald schools
Andrew Feiler (Photo by Paul Perdue)

Andrew Feiler is a fifth generation Georgian. Having grown up Jewish in Savannah, he has been shaped by the rich complexities of the American South.  Feiler has long been active in civic life. He has helped create over a dozen community initiatives, serves on multiple not-for-profit boards, and is an active advisor to numerous elected officials and political candidates. His art is an extension of his civic values.

Feiler’s photographs have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, Architect, Preservation, The Forward as well as on CBS This Morning and NPR. His work has been displayed in galleries and museums including solo exhibitions at such venues as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC, and Octagon Museum in Washington, D.C.

Rosenwald SchoolsAndrew documents the history of the Rosenwald schools program which transformed education for African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. The founders were Julius Rosenwald, born to Jewish immigrants, who rose to lead Sears, Roebuck & Company and Booker T. Washington , born into slavery, who became the founding principal of Tuskegee Institute. In 1912 the two men launched an ambitious program to partner with Black communities to build public schools for African American children. Andrew examines the role of education as the onramp to the American middle class as well as  the past, present and future of the Black/Jewish progressive alliance.

Hear Andrew discuss:

  1.  What was most innovative about how Rosenwald and Washington structured the schoolhouse construction program?
  2. What was the impact of the Rosenwald schools program?
  3. How he developed his approach for telling this story visually.

    CLICK for PODCAST

Black-Jewish Dialogue: February 2022

History R Us!

Hear this very personal look at history from both an African-American and Jewish perspective. Don’t miss this amazing online discussion.
Scroll down for the link.  

Gr

KEN GRANDERSON

In 1992, Ken Granderson, a graduate of MIT, launched his first software development company Inner-City Software, Brains in the Hood. He was committed to closing the Digital Divide by creating technology products and solutions by & for people of African descent. For a decade, he introduced Boston’s communities of color to computers and the Internet, giving local organizations and Boston’s Black newspaper an online world-class presence. Moving back to New York City, he was born in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, his achievements in technical design, education, and empowerment are nationally and internationally impressive.  His website, BLACKFACTS, is an affiliate of the ADR. (CLICK to access)

DEBORAH LEVINE
Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

DEBORAH LEVINE

Deborah coordinated the 1990 National Workshop on Christian Jewish RelationsIn  and created her first Holocaust video in Rockford, Illinois, where she served as of the Jewish Federation’s  executive director . She went on to become the Community & Media Liaison of the Tulsa Jewish Federation shortly after the OK City bombing and is the former exec. director of Chattanooga’s Jewish Federation.  She carries on the work of her father who became the CFO of the American Jewish Archives. He served as a US military intelligence officer during World War II assigned to interrogate Nazi prisoners of war. CLICK for more information about her memoir, The Liberator’s Daughter, and to hear an interview with her father about his wartime experiences.

CLICK TO HEAR DIALOGUE

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

Black-Jewish Dialogue – January 2022

Media and Community

Hear the online dialogue between two television / media experts discuss their ties to their respective communities, how they’re shaped by them, and how they report stories about them.
                               * Scroll down for the link. *

LaTriceLaTrice Currie  is a native Tennessean who  graduated from Hampton U. LaTrice joined Chattanooga’s Channel 3 Eyewitness News in 1995. She now co-anchors news at noon and 5:30 and also serves as Eye On Health Reporter and host of Trends on 3.

LaTrice’s awards include Chattanooga Woman of Distinction, Hamilton County Outstanding Citizen, Black Excellence Chattanooga “Best Media Personality,” Times Free Press “Best Chattanoogan, and NAACP Image Awards. She serves as ambassador for Go Red For Women and  on various boards:  Moccasin Bend Girl Scout Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga, advisory board for Volunteers in Medicine, and Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults. 

Ilene Gould Ilene Gould is a photographer, writer, illustrator and full time news producer for NewsChannel9 in Chattanooga where she has produced every show from mornings, to dayside evening shows, to nightside. She also co-produced an hour long Town Hall called “Changing Chattanooga”. Ilene is a Michigan State Graduate with a degree in Media and Information, a concentration in Film and Video Production, and minors in Fiction Filmmaking and Music.

Ilene also works part-time as Community Manager at Better Sax, where saxophonist Jay Metcalf teaches and creates online lessons to learn to play the saxophone by ear.

CLICK TO HEAR DIALOGUE

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda

 

Black-Jewish Dialogue December 2021

Let there be music!

Be inspired! Hear these two creative souls who share a love of music from their respective religions.
Scroll down for the link to the recording.

music

 

Melvin Kindall Myles is a Mississippi native, born and raised in the Delta area of Clarksdale, MS; known as the birthplace of the blues. He is a Soulful Christian and Jazz Vocalist now based in Atlanta, GA where you will find him regularly serving in the Worship and Arts Ministry of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the former pulpit of MLK Jr.

Rabbii

 

Rabbi Micah Lapidu works at The Alfred & Adele Davis Academy, a Reform Jewish Day School. He’s also a songwriter and composer of Jewish and spiritual music including four albums: Be a Blessing (2013)A Palace in Time (2015)Eit HaZamir (2016), and Menschology (2017). His music has been sung & performed at Jewish organizations around North America and Israel and in several churches including  Atlanta’s Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

CLICK to hear December Black-Jewish Dialogue

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

A Personal History of Blacks and Jews Part 2 – by Marceline Donaldson

Today, United Fruit is a huge corporation, but that Black/Jewish beginning is almost lost in history. In today’s world it would be seen very differently from what it actually was. It was beginning to lose that history when I was growing up because Jews were beginning to call themselves “white” and the general U. S. society could not see such an alliance and friendship as one amongst equals as existed between the man who founded United Fruit and the man who was responsible for a serious part of its early growth. But when I was a small child, the stories and the talk were about how United Fruit would not have existed or grown as it did without the friendship and working together of those two men – the Jew and the Black. Back then Jews were not hired to work regular jobs. In fact, it is within my lifetime that banks went from hiring no Jews to now hiring Jews for jobs up and down the bank ladder. Jews back then had to either start their own company or find some other independent way to make a living. That is what Mr. Zemurray was doing. Looking back into that history from today, it is easy to re-write it so that its real beginnings are “cleaned-up”.

Continue reading A Personal History of Blacks and Jews Part 2 – by Marceline Donaldson

A Personal History of Blacks and Jews Part 1- by Marceline Donaldson

Racism, when it has become “structured” into a society and into its institutions, is a very complex thing. We like to think it is an “unfortunate incident” which happened because the person to whom it happened was complicit in some way. It is not. Every action you take is governed by the bigotry structured into the society in which you live which has successfully structured that bigotry into every core and every cell of its existence. The experience of bigotry is not a one time experience. It is all day everyday for those who are the “minority.” It is also an all day everyday experience for those who are “white.” Their lives move ahead beyond their talents and contributions to this society because of the fact that they are in the “better than” group.

Continue reading A Personal History of Blacks and Jews Part 1- by Marceline Donaldson

Black-Jewish Dialogue November 2021

Black and Jewish

Welcome to the Black-Jewish Dialogue, a virtual exchange of information and perspectives . The November dialogue “Black and Jewish” has been recorded.  Scroll down for the link to the Dialogue recording.

Bryant  Bryant Heinzelman

Bryant is a veteran of the US Army, and a graduate of the Military Intelligence Cryptologic College of Corry Station, Pensacola. After a particularly difficult deployment to Iraq he shifted his focus from intelligence analysis to Jewish community building, interfaith outreach, and inclusion initiatives. Bryant is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant working primarily with North American Jewish organizations, a Jewish Educator, Teen Engagement Mentor, a 2018 Union for Reform Judaism Jew V’ Nation Fellow, and bluegrass hobbyist. Bryant is currently studying the “Intersections, Conflicts, and Alliances of the Black and Jewish Diasporas” at Western Washington University (in preparation for Rabbinic school), and resides in Bellingham, Washington.

Barbara Weitz  Dr. Barbara Weitz

Barbara is the former Director, Film Studies Certificate Program at Florida International University English Dept. She has done research for years with Dr. Tudor Parfitt and with the Kulanu Organization in identifying and supporting Isolated, Emerging and returning Jewish Communities around the world. She also has been on the steering committee of FCOS (Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary) and has spent time at our southern border trying to assist migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. She is currently heading up the organizing group preparing to help refugee Afghanis settle in the community. Through her research with Jews of Color, she has spoken at conferences and given webinars on the growing topic.

CLICK for DIALOGUE RECORDING

 

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

DIVERSITY TOWN HALL: LINKING BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY

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

 

October 2021:  American Diversity Report presented 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 explored 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 FOR VIDEO OF DIVERSITY TOWN HAll

CLICK  for transcripts
Presentation #1 by Deborah Levine

 

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

Equity in Education Podcast

ADR PODCAST
BLACK-JEWISH DIALOGUE

Hear the conversation about equity in education from these experts  based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This podcast is part of the ADR Black-Jewish Dialogues.

of education

Ardena Garth Hicks: Education Activist 

Ardena is a Hamilton County native and practicing attorney who is the 2020 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. She is a member of the Hamilton County Partnership Network Board of Directors, appointed by TN Education Commissioner Candace McQueen. The Partnership’s charge is to “review the progress of the five schools in the Partnership Network- which have been deemed priority schools by the state…and make recommendations to the Hamilton County Board of Education and Network leadership to support students’ growth and development.”
She is President of Chattanooga Endeavors, Inc., a non-profit organization which advocates for the interests of citizens repatriating from incarceration. Ardena previously was Special Prosecutor for Child Abuse cases with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office. She served as Hamilton County’s first elected District Public Defender from 1990 to 2014 (3 successive 8-year terms), having been appointed to the newly-created position by Gov. Ned McWherter in 1989. Ardena graduated as a Ooltewah HS valedictorian, earned her bachelor’s degree at Middle TN State U. and earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the U. of Kansas.

of educationDr. Jill Keegan Levine: Education Administrator 

Jill is the Chief of Innovation and Choice for Tennessee’s Hamilton County Schools, a district of over 45,000 students. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief of the Opportunity Zone, a learning community focused on turnaround of the twelve highest needs schools in the district, as well as serving previously as the Chief Academic Officer of the school district.
After graduating from Wellesley College with a double major in Music and History, Jill began her career teaching 3rd grade and directing musical theater productions in the New Orleans Public Schools. She was the principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet, a Chattanooga Pre-K through 8th grade school, for 14 years. She led the transformation of two low performing schools into award winning, innovative, exciting and challenging places of learning. In 2012, Jill was recognized as the National Magnet Schools Principals of the Year. From 2013-2015, she served in the Obama administration as the first full time Principal Ambassador Fellow at the US Department of Education. In that capacity, she worked closely with Secretary Arne Duncan to increase the department’s focus on the importance of school leadership.

 CLICK for PODCAST LINK

Also hear: BLACK-JEWISH DIALOGUE PODCAST: POETS SPEAK

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (
C.U.R.B. )

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Black-Jewish Podcast: Poets Speak

MAY 2021 BLACK-JEWISH DIALOGUE

Marilyn Kallet

Marilyn Kallet recently served two terms as Knoxville Poet Laureate, 2018-2020. She has published 18 books, including How Our Bodies Learned, The Love That Moves Me and Packing Light: New and Selected Poems, Black Widow Press. She translated Paul Eluard’s Last Love Poems and Benjamin Péret’s The Big Game.

Dr. Kallet is Professor Emerita at the University of Tennessee. From 2009-2020, she mentored poetry groups for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, in Auvillar, France. Her poetry has appeared recently in Plume and American Diversity Report.

Black-Jewish

Maria James-Thiaw is a poet, performer and an educator from Central PA. She has written three poetry collections and her poetry has been published by Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, Love Your Rebellion and other journals. Her choreopoem, Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project debuted in Summerdale, PA in 2018 to 6 sold out audiences. She won the Art of Protest Poetry Prize from Penn State for works from that production. In 2020 she created a Zoom version entitled RMT 2.0. This performance poet attended Marilyn Kallet’s workshops in France in 2011 and 2015. Maria is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program and she is the Program Coordinator of Creative Writing for CASA, Capital Area School for the Arts in Harrisburg, PA.

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, C.U.R.B. – Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

See October 2020 Black-Jewish Dialogue

CLICK for PODCAST