Tag Archives: diversity

My Lifelong Journey as a Trailblazer for Diversity & Inclusion – by Deborah Levine

Why I created the ADR and
Why we need your support

When asked why I created the American Diversity Report (ADR), I’m tempted to answer that diversity is in my DNA. I was brought up as the only Jewish little girl on the 24 square miles of British Bermuda in a family that immigrated from Russian territories. When we moved to New York, I was bullied for my colonial British accent and found comfort in the music, dance, and folktales of diverse cultures. I played the violin, performed ballet, and wrote stories and poems to express my sense of exclusion. When illness prevented all other expression, reading became my world and writing became my voice.

Two decades ago, I had to resign my job as an executive director of a Jewish Federation because I’d almost died on a mission to Uzbekistan, diversity again surfaced as my passion. But this time, I wanted to leave a legacy that would change the world. I created the Women’s Council on Diversity along with a community Global Leadership Course and a Youth Multicultural video contest. But of all my creations, the American Diversity Report is closest to my heart.

I persevere in this endeavor despite ongoing health challenges. I’m now in my golden years and have endured major surgery resulting in my being unable to speak for years. Unfortunately, I’ve also suffered through mourning the deaths of every member of my nuclear family. May they Rest In Peace.

I’m grateful for my life and the ability to continue my father’s legacy as a U.S. military intelligence officer who liberated a Nazi death camp during World War II. In addition to being the founder and editor-in-chief of ADR, I have served as the executive director of Jewish Federations, created the DuPage/Chicago Interfaith Resource Network and the Southeast Women’s Council on Diversity.

While working in Tulsa, I was trained by the FBI in addressing and responding to hate groups after the tragic Oklahoma City bombing and destruction of the Murrah federal building by white supremacist domestic terrorists. I currently serve on the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and the Chattanooga Council Against Hate. My latest book is titled “When Hate Groups March Down Main Street: Engaging A Community Response”.

Deborah Levine at her book signing

In addition to being an award-winning author of 15 books — and being named by Forbes Magazine as a top “Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer” — I am still humbled by the honor of giving people a voice through the ADR. It’s a privilege to engage every day with people of goodwill in tikkun olam (which in Hebrew means “repair of the world“).

The ADR has benefitted the workplace and communities locally, nationally and globally for the past 15 years. The ADR has always been free of charge as part of my lifetime efforts to help foster humanity’s understanding and acceptance of diversity, inclusion and related issues in our increasingly multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic nation — and, indeed, the world.

I’ve had no greater calling in my quest to shape a better future than the ADR. Not only does it deliver a vital message about the importance of diversity and inclusion, but it helps make our world a better place for all people. The ADR is needed now more than ever, as current events attest.

My goal is to ensure that the American Diversity Report will continue to provide a valuable public service as an educational and informational online media platform and training resource for a new generation of leaders — and for every generation.

CLICK to join the Boost the American Diversity Report Campaign.

The funds will be leveraged to expand the award-winning ADR platform, which hosts a diverse writers community of more than 800 articles, podcasts and community projects like ADR New Beginnings. The funds will also boost the ADR’s reach and readership of expert articles covering timely issues of race, color, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, generational differences, and thought leadership on diversity and inclusion.

The Fall edition if the ADR begins in September. Therefore, I hope to reach our funding goal by August 31 with your generous help and kind support. Please join me in my mission to Promote Diversity, Foster Inclusion and Counteract Hate. Together, we can make a real and lasting impact for the betterment of society during these troubling times and for all times.

I will thank all the ADR contributors in the September newsletter, but I can’t thank you enough for your kind consideration to make a lasting real-world difference by supporting diversity and inclusion efforts which are needed now more than ever.

Thank you and God bless you.

Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

For the past two years I have been writing a series of columns about the complicated intersection of inclusive diversity and robust speech.   Although my last column appeared just two months ago, in some respects it seems like ancient history.  Maybe it is.

Because on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis Police Officer named Derek Chauvin jammed his knee against the neck of George Floyd, an African American man, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, until Floyd was dead.  Those 526 excruciating seconds, recorded and widely disseminated, may have changed the course of U.S. history.  That incident has certainly changed the way that we are currently talking about race in particular and about diversity in general. 

Continue reading Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

Opening for Business – by Shelton Goode and Cathy Light

Finding New Ways to Serve
Employees, Customers and Communities

Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring the effects of the coronavirus on organizations and ways to mitigate the cultural and economic damage they face. To assess the current landscape, we conducted an informal survey of roughly 80 organizations from across metro Atlanta in partnership with HR Executive Roundtable and the HR Leadership Forum. The sample includes organizations from a variety of industry groups. While it is not representative of the U.S., Georgia, or metro Atlanta economy as a whole, it does capture the intense distress being experienced by mid-size, tech, and retail-oriented companies — a snapshot of the crisis, collected recently. We wanted to understand how organizations were dealing with the disruption and what they planned to do once their companies decided to re-open. We were particularly interested in their human resource and leadership resilience and the challenges of bringing employees back to work.

Continue reading Opening for Business – by Shelton Goode and Cathy Light

Inclusive Sports – by Martin Start

Diversity in the Sports World

Sport plays a significant role in creating communities as common bond is formed when individuals and teams compete celebrating their successes and failures with others.  The Olympics is as much a peace movement as a sporting event with the Olympic flame a symbol of harmony, cultural plurality and togetherness. Athletes have been practitioners of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) for decades meeting and connecting with people from other countries and backgrounds setting aside differences and developing a sense of fair play for all. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali is one of the most celebrated sporting figures of the 20th Century and he brought the whole world together when an estimated global audience of 1 billion viewers watched his famous “The Rumble in the Jungle” fight with George Foreman. In the 21st Century, major sporting apparel companies understand the ubiquitous commercial benefits of I&D as evidenced in the World Economic Forum article titled: The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming which stated:

     “It is important for corporations to step up and advocate for diversity and tolerance on a public platform. A great example of this is Nike’s support of American football quarterback and rights campaigner Colin ` Kaerpenick. More than a marketing exercise, it showed the world that one of America’s best-known corporations was willing to stand aside one man in his battel against racial injustice and intolerance.”

Continue reading Inclusive Sports – by Martin Start

Religious Diversity on the Road – by Deborah Levine

Dialogue

I was excited to return to Cincinnati where my father had been the CFO of the American Jewish Archives. I was on the road, speaking on Religious Diversity in our Schools and at Work at the invitation of a Women of Faith event sponsored by American Jewish Committee, Xavier University & the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Now that so much of our work is done online and out teams communicate through cyberspace, it’s vital that cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence in the area of religious diversity be part of the leadership tool box. Lessons learned from in-person presentations like this one should be reviewed and updated for  a new world of long-distance work.

Continue reading Religious Diversity on the Road – by Deborah Levine

Campus Diversity in Data Science – by Robert Florida

Meet the Class of 2020:
Kevin Womack Works to Increase Diversity in Data Science

campus diversityAs an undergraduate student at Morehouse College, Kevin Womack double majored in mathematics and computer science. To study two such demanding fields was doubly difficult, he says. But, crediting his mother (an engineer) and his father (a computer scientist), Womack says that quantitative reasoning came naturally to him and he was undaunted by the workload. Now a student in the master’s degree program at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, Womack excels in his coursework and is an advocate for increased diversity in data science. Here, he discusses his background, his career goals, and his commitment to diversity.

Tell us about your time as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Continue reading Campus Diversity in Data Science – by Robert Florida

Diversity and Speech Part 10: Harmful Speech 2070 – by Carlos E. Cortés

This is the second of three columns in which I make 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 public presentation on diversity and speech that I gave at the December, 2019, Speculative Futures in Education Conference at the University of California, Riverside.

In my previous column I argued that the internet has dramatically altered the diversity-speech discussion, particularly when it comes to hate speech.  As an easily-accessible mechanism for spreading hate, including through troll storms and doxing, the internet has developed into a true weapon of terror.   

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 10: Harmful Speech 2070 – by Carlos E. Cortés

Diversity and Speech Part 9: Hate Speech 2070 – by Carlos E. Cortés  

Carlos Cortez
Carlos Cortez

During my tenure as a fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, I examined how the diversity movement of the past half century has influenced our nation’s conversation concerning speech. Then, in October, I ran across a call for proposals to present at a December 2019, symposium on Speculative Futures of Education. 

This seemed right down my alley.  For the past forty years I have been dabbling in futurism, including giving a popular public lecture, The Future Basics in Education.   Why not apply this projective thinking to diversity and speech?  So I submitted a proposal, which was accepted. 

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 9: Hate Speech 2070 – by Carlos E. Cortés  

Diversity and Speech Part 8: Managing Diversity – by Carlos E. Cortés

Carlos Cortez
Carlos Cortez

This is the eighth in a series of columns based on my research as a former fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.   In these columns I have discussed what I call the diversity movement — the composite of individual, group, and organizational efforts to reduce societal inequities that penalize people because of their actual or perceived membership in certain social groups.   In particular I have focused on the intersection of diversity and speech. 

After analyzing the past half century of the diversity movement, I concluded that the movement actually consists of four separate but intersecting diversity strands: intercultural; equity and inclusion; critical theory; and managing diversity.  My past columns have sketched the parameters of the first three strands.  In this column I will focus on the fourth strand, managing diversity.

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 8: Managing Diversity – by Carlos E. Cortés

Yanique Woodall: Promoting D&I in the PR Industry

Yanique Woodall
Yanique Woodall

Yanique Woodall is the Head of Brand Communications, Product Innovation PR, and Social Impact Communications at Home Depot. Additionally, she serves as Treasurer for the PRSA Foundation, an independent, charitable organization committed to promoting diversity within the PR industry. Woodall graduated with her masters in corporate & public communications from Seton Hall University and serves as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

CLICK to hear Yanique Woodall’s interview