Category Archives: Social Issues

Social causes, activism, and projects

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

The Impact of Images – by Kenyada Posey

Cultural expressions, icons, and the arts have played a major role in how we’ve seen ourselves and others in the past, and can play a major part in bringing us together in the future. Before social media, newspapers and black and white television exposed us to the lives of others, arts, and society. Whether it be negatively or positively, music, TV, and movies and the imagery they evoke will continue to impact our society and the way we view community.

As a Black woman, the images shown in movies, TV, and mentioned in music has had a major impact on me and my self image.  Cultural expressions have seemingly been more negative than positive and date back to the runaway slave flyers posted around America a century or two ago. The image of the Black woman and Black man were usually exaggerated with a huge nose and a goofy-like look to depict ignorance. We have also seen the image of the angry Black woman plastered everywhere.
Continue reading The Impact of Images – by Kenyada Posey

Diversity and Speech Part 21: Predicting the Future of Cultural Expression – by Carlos E. Cortés

Carlos Cortes
ADR Advisor Dr. Carlos Cortes

  Historians devote their lives to predicting the past.  So when called upon to predict the future of cultural expression, as the editor did for this issue, I had to distance myself from my disciplinary comfort zone.

Not for the first time.  Two decades ago I had to do this when completing  my book, The Children Are Watching: How the Media Teach about Diversity (Teachers College Press, 2000).  In that book I focused on the traditional mass media: magazines; newspapers; film; television; and radio.  It was the first book (and maybe still only) to examine how the media have treated the theme of diversity, not the depiction of specific diverse groups.  In other words, how have media provided an informal public multicultural education, for better and for worse?

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 21: Predicting the Future of Cultural Expression – by Carlos E. Cortés

Try Heart Based Solutions – by Keith Thornton

As we acknowledge our oftentimes dismissal of our societal commonalities, the human lineage possess generations of historical struggle in attempts to stem conflict born out of various differences and disputes.  The earliest inhabitants of our planet have always found clan like strength to endure as a species in spite of never ceasing conflict.  Fast forward to present day and on cue, we perpetuate all that has been done before us with seemingly the same results, unaware we have options to greatly change our human narrative.  As an alternative approach, to today’s hesitance to engage each other in a candid manner for solutions, we should consider to the merits of creative heart-based solution making as way to overcome social barriers.

Continue reading Try Heart Based Solutions – by Keith Thornton

The Wound that Will Not Heal – by Dianne Irvine Fleet

I am a 72-year-old well-educated, sad, tired and angry Black woman.  Let me tell you why I am so sad, tired and angry.

I am writing this in April, 2021, at the end of the prosecution’s case in the Chauvin trial.  For most Black Americans, the killing of George Floyd was like opening an old wound and picking at a scab again and again so that the wound never quite has a chance to heal.  The Chauvin trial has caused us to relive that terrible day and to realize that the wound has not yet healed.  You may not read this until the trial is over and the verdict is in, but, no matter the outcome, the wound will still be there.

Continue reading The Wound that Will Not Heal – by Dianne Irvine Fleet

How I’m Trying to Make a Positive Difference – by Marc Brenman

Advisory Board - Marc Brenman
ADR Advisor Marc Brenman

I’m trying to make a positive difference in American political life by investigating whether and how it’s possible to draw some Trump voters toward the political center. In November 2020, about 48% of American voters voted for Trump. Voting for Trump is a proxy measure for rightwing feelings and beliefs. Many of these beliefs are extreme. None contribute to the American Dream of fairness, equity, opportunity, equality, and compassion, or the Good Society. Do we want to live in a permanently ideologically divided country, with the risk of civil war?
Continue reading How I’m Trying to Make a Positive Difference – by Marc Brenman

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.
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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

Diversity and Speech Part 18: Hate Speech – by Carlos E. Cortés

Carlos Cortes
ADR Advisor Dr. Carlos Cortes

Hate speech may be the thorniest point of contention between diversity advocates and free speech absolutists.  Of course most people oppose hate and detest hate speech.  But what should we do about it?  That’s where disagreements begin.

Let’s look at hate speech from four perspectives.  Legal: what does the U.S. Constitution say about hate speech?  Behavioral: is hate speech merely speech?  Aspirational: ideally, what would we want when it comes to hate speech?  Operational: how might government hate speech restraints work in practice?

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MLK Day: Civil Rights Lessons for Millennials and Gen Z – by David Grinberg

David Grinberg
David B. Grinberg

On Monday the nation will pause to observe the annual holiday honoring the life and legacy of iconic civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet too many Millennials and members of their younger cohort, Generation Z, consider civil rights history as ancient history at the dawn of a new millennium.

However, there are profound and poignant lessons which today’s young people need to learn. The most important lesson is how to make major changes in society through the type of peaceful means championed by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow civil rights leaders of the time.

A term of significance for young people to comprehend is: “civil disobedience.” Continue reading MLK Day: Civil Rights Lessons for Millennials and Gen Z – by David Grinberg