Category Archives: The Arts

Multicultural Art and Poetry

Bunny Bear Adventures – Teaching Guide

This guide for teachers and parents helps children connect to their own feelings and develop empathy for others. The Teaching Guide uses the science of storytelling to design engaging stories as a tool for social and personal competencies. Given the growing need to teach young students respect  and empathy, the video stories of  Bunny Bear Adventures in Diversity Land provide a creative approach for teaching social and emotional awareness and laying the groundwork for positive and productive human interaction.

The stories can be read out loud to students and  be accompanied by the Bunny Bear Adventures Coloring Book. Topics in the stories include: welcoming newcomers, understanding differences, dealing with bullying, awareness of language and valuing compassion and kindness.

Continue reading Bunny Bear Adventures – Teaching Guide

Bunny Bear Adventures – Coloring Book

Inclusive Coloring Book

These coloring pages for ages 6-11 are not only engaging and fun, but also include discussion questions that prompt deep thinking. They’re designed to help young people build critical thinking skills, enhance social and emotional awareness, and increase emotional intelligence.

Bunny Bear and Statue of Liberty
Bunny Bear and Statue of Liberty

Why call it Bunny Bear? My father called all the women in the family “Bunny”: my mom, me, and, when she was born, my daughter who gave me a teddy bear called “Bunny Bear”. The love that Bunny Bear represents keeps me company always and I’m happy to share that love.

The images on the coloring book pages are based on the video stories that you can see when you click on: Bunny Bear Adventures in Diversity Land.


20% DISCOUNT: $19.95 & Postage only $3.50 


Bunny Bear Adventures: Video Stories and Resources- by Deborah Levine

Bunny Bear Adventure in Diversity Land is an international film festival Winner for its use of the science of storytelling to make you laugh and make you sigh!
Bun Kids watch
Hear storyteller, speaker and award-winning author Deborah Levine share true stories about trying to fit in and  being the different one. The stories are a big hit with ages 6-11. Parents and teachers use Adventures in Diversity Land to build social and emotional awareness, learn empathy, appreciate differences and show respect.

SCROLL DOWN for links to the VIDEO STORIES and

“These entertaining and instructive stories help facilitate dialogue about difficult subjects like bullying, race, identity, and discrimination.”
~ Kim Wayans: In Living Color Hollywood actress & writer

Sharing Deborah Levine’s ‘Bunny Bear’ story with my daughters brought about a heartwarming experience that bridged generations. As my daughters, aged 9 and 7, listened with wide-eyed wonder, I found myself just as captivated by the tale. Deborah’s storytelling masterfully intertwines empathy, openness, and inclusion, creating a platform for us to explore these concepts together.”
~ Dr.  Anjam Chaudhary: DEI Program Coordinator, Michigan State U.

“I would highly recommend these stories to any child who is the new child on the block.  Deborah makes one feel that anything is possible in a new situation.  And her voice would make any child feel as if you are talking to just her/him.”
~ Mary Jane McKinsey: grandmother & teacher

“I grew up with Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood — your voice and storytelling cadence took me back to being a child and hanging on his every word. Adults talking to children in a way that shows them they are respected, valued, encourages them to use their imagination, think for and love themselves AND to value and respect others ❤️ we need more of that!”
~ Katie Hall: community activist

CLICK on VIDEO to see the INTRO

CLICK on each BUNNY BEAR STORY to see Videos

candle lighting
Click STORY #1
Moving and Making My Peace:
How the Bermuda Girl Found Sabbath Peace and Decided to Stay

Statue of Liberty
Click STORY #2
Finding My Name in America:
How the New Kid Earned Her Name and Found her Place

Click STORY #3
Who is Really Disabled?
How an Older Sister Got the Gift of Courage

be fair

Click STORY #4
Never Too Young to be Fair:

How a Little Girl Learned to Have Respect and Pass the Lesson Along

pink tulip dancer

  Click STORY #5
The Dancer Got More than She Bargained for: How the Dancing Pink Tulip Learned that it’s Better to Give than Be a Star

RESOURCES! (scroll down for Special Offer)

#1 BUNNY BEAR Teaching Guide

Teaching Guide cover imageThis guide uses the science of storytelling to teach social and emotional awareness. Given the growing need to teach respect and inclusion in our communities and schools, the Bunny Bear Teaching Guide provides a creative and personal approach to laying the groundwork for positive and productive human interaction.

USA Postage $3.50

#2 BUNNY BEAR Adventures:

Bun Coloring book coverThis coloring book for ages 6-11 is not only engaging and fun, but includes discussion questions that help build critical thinking skills, enhance social and emotional awareness, increase empathy, appreciate differences and show respect.
(Note: older kids and adults will also enjoy Bunny Bear)

USA Postage $3.50

Adventures in Diversity LandSPECIAL OFFER!

20% DISCOUNT: $19.95  USA Postage only $3.50 


NOTE:  Media/graphics created by AI Art Generator NightCafe using artist “anime”, Anime Key Visual, Japanese Manga, Pixiv, Zerochan, Anime art, Fantia

You can hear Bunny Bear discussed on the Downtown radio show (owned by Stephen King). And on Channel 3 Chattanooga 

Diversity and Speech No. 38: Conversations at The Cheech – by Carlos Cortés

I’m no artist.  Never have been.  I’ve always enjoyed viewing art, but I can’t draw or paint a lick.  I even finished at the bottom of last December’s family cookie decorating contest.

Thankfully, the Riverside (California) Art Museum didn’t know about my failings when it asked me to become the consulting humanist for its new venture, the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, better known as The Cheech.   I stepped into a brand new world.   Here’s what happened.

Continue reading Diversity and Speech No. 38: Conversations at The Cheech – by Carlos Cortés

Diversity of Film and TV Staff Still Lagging – by Rose Joneson

Behind the Scenes

In the film and TV industries, the lack of diversity is a crisis that stretches back decades and remains largely unresolved despite increasing demands for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It is a multilayered issue that occurs both in front of the camera and behind it. Be that as it may, discussions on the two are disproportionate, with diversity in casting a more prevalent and publicized matter than the latter. Public awareness and criticism spell the difference, as they often spark movements like #OscarsSoWhite that push the industry to take visible strides.

The same cannot be said for diversity in production crews, where gender and racial gaps continue to persist. UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report reveals that women and people of color (POC) remain vastly underrepresented behind the scenes, taking up less than a third of key roles. While this is already an improvement from a few years ago, much can still be done to improve diversity among crew members.

The state of diversity

It’s no secret that whoever holds the power to greenlight projects also determines whether DEI goals are met and set. More than sociocultural norms, this is the crux of the problem, as key decision-makers and regulatory bodies are predominantly white, male, or both. Additionally, the trickle-up effect is common across production companies, where DEI policies only apply to entry-level positions. This is an ineffective measure where diversity is concerned, as these roles are often inconsequential when it comes to decision-making and relevant representation.

Today, only 22% of directors are female and 30% POC, with the number of film writers 33% and 32% respectively. To make matters worse, where diversity is present in key roles, the budget lags far behind that where white men are at the helm. While this unequal balance of power cripples the democracy inherent in a diverse crew today, it isn’t something new.

Working towards diversity in the industry has long begged the question of sustainability. A Michigan State University article indicates DEI measures have a short lifespan and often hinge on emotionally-charged events that draw public outcry. As the aforementioned #OscarsSoWhite incident received widespread coverage with the help of social media, the awarding body committed to renewed efforts toward diversity. For a while, it worked; but as public attention and awareness shifted elsewhere, so did the commitment wane.

The way forward

All things considered, how can the industry do better moving forward? To start, it can increase diversity behind the scenes.

Start at the top

As waymakers in their teams, leaders are instrumental in promoting diversity from the top down. Take the pivotal role of the creative director, who is responsible for overseeing a project’s marketing, communications, and creative operations. Given the scope of their work, they directly report to CMOs and directors on production; yet more than that, they play the role of mentor and critic to a host of team members. As such, they are uniquely positioned to cultivate and encourage diversity in how content and materials are constructed, executed, and presented to the public. In doing so, they create opportunities for women and other minorities within their teams to share not just their craft but their narratives as well.

Cast a wider net

In order to boost diversity among crew members, companies must recruit the diversity they seek. While it’s easy to simply onboard as many diverse talents as possible and call it a day, the human resource director would know that a lot more intention must go into the recruitment process–especially if the goal is to keep and promote diversity within ranks. As such, companies must cast a wider net in terms of their policies and culture. More than just a footnote on job postings or an empty promise, concrete and actionable DEI measures that embrace, value, and facilitate the growth of diversity–both in staff and productions themselves–are key. In this way, women and other minorities are encouraged to join the team, as well as to stay on.

Diversity in the film and TV industries has been slow to progress over the past few years. While it has a long way to go, effective leadership, intentional recruitment, and a more empathetic workplace can hasten progress.

“Nappy-headed hoes (2.0)” – by Terry Howard

As a lifelong basketball fanatic – and a years ago mediocre point guard on my high school team, my unconscious (okay, conscious) bias against the game as it is played by women got, “slam dunked” on during the recent NCAA women’s basketball tournament. 

Wow, what have I been missing all these years? Heck, the girls’ championship game, watched by 9.9 million viewers, the highest ever, was a lot more exciting to me than the boys’ games.

Continue reading “Nappy-headed hoes (2.0)” – by Terry Howard

Jacqueline Schwab Podcast: Music and Culture

Schwab Pianist Jacqueline Schwab spins musical stories out of the myriad strands in the American quilt and with community music making at their heart. Her signature playing features in over a dozen of Ken Burns’ documentaries, including his Grammy-winning Civil War, as well as in The Irish in America and other PBS documentaries. She has performed at the White House for President Clinton, on PBS with the American Pops Orchestra and in almost every state of the Union. Her latest album I Lift My Lamp—Illuminations from Immigrant America celebrates music from American immigrants. Jacqueline Schwab grew up in Pittsburgh and has since lived in Boston and on Cape Cod.

Hear Jacqueline talk about musicians who perform music from other cultures and her new album, “I Lift My Lamp.”

Learn how musicians explore with respect music of other cultures, weigh in on the diversity problems confronting the world and promote cross-cultural healing.

CLICK to hear Podcast

Diversity and Speech No. 35: Rockin’ Diversity – by Carlos E. Cortés and Teri Gerent

Carlos:  Tell me, Teri.  How did you come up with the idea of teaching history through rock and roll music?

Teri: I’ve always loved music.  From the time I became a history teacher in 1998, I thought of music whenever we reached the twentieth century.  Then it hit me.  Why not help students reconsider U.S. history by structuring a course around music?  It worked.  

Carlos:  Well, if music works for teaching high school students, why not for diversity workshops, too?    

Continue reading Diversity and Speech No. 35: Rockin’ Diversity – by Carlos E. Cortés and Teri Gerent

The Audacity of Baby Steps and Hope! (Part 1) – by Leslie Nelson

racial healing“What are the typical saboteurs of genuine efforts to have cross-racial dialogues about race?”

That was the opening question posed to Phyllis and Eugene Unterschuetz, co-authors of Longing Stories in Racial Healing.  They were invited by Terry Howard, co-founder of Douglasville’s 26 Tiny Paint Brushes Writers’ Guild, to speak at our Nov. guild meeting. 

The book is a memoir of the White couple’s immersive journey across the nation exploring the deep, murky, irritable waters of racism. Their mission was to have a candid and honest conversation about racism in a room mostly filled with people of color.

Continue reading The Audacity of Baby Steps and Hope! (Part 1) – by Leslie Nelson

Tonya Todd Podcast: Diversity in the Entertainment Industry

Tonya ToddTonya Todd is a Las Vegas author, actress, and activist. Invested in fair representation, her continued involvement in the literary, theatre, and filmmaking communities provides a platform to champion marginalized artists and contributes toward an environment that embraces a variety of voices.

Hear Tonya discuss her biracial journey and ….

  • The importance of pushing yourself to make people feel included even when it feels awkward or uncomfortable.
  • The damage caused by dismissing projects as Black or Gay or Asian as if they don’t have universal appeal.
  • Why it’s important to consume media that is centered on people whose identity is different from ours.
  • How allies can contribute to an inclusive environment and assist marginalized artists.