Tag Archives: immigration

Lean In – Women GroundBreakers Storytelling

Personal and inspiring stories by women groundbreakers are front and center for the 6th annual celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This year, in honor of the group becoming a member of the national Lean In movement founded by the CFO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, Chattanooga’s Lean In Circle will host not one event, but a 4-part series.   Humanities TN is the Presenting Sponsor of these storytellers as they put  Hot Topics into historical perspective: Immigrants, Education, Civil Rights, & Veterans/ Military.

March 3: IMMIGRANTS – The Walden Club  RSVP 3/3
       Hear how women immigrants make a difference and inspire future change makers.
Dr. Mbakisya Onyango: Prof. of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science/ UTC (CECS)
Jessica Oliva-Calderin: Immigration lawyer & Managing attorney partner/ CALDERIN & OLIVA
Nasera Souidi-Johnson: Nasera Souidi-Johnson: Past Pres./ International Business Council (Chattanooga Area
Chamber of Commerce), Past Pres./VP of Membership French-American Chamber of Commerce, Director/ CBL Associates & Properties
Historical Context: Dr. Lisa Clark Diller – Chair of History & Political Studies/ Southern Adventist U.
Facilitator: Denise Reed – President & CEO/ The Concierge Office Suites

March 8: EDUCATION  – Girls Preparatory School
Be inspired by women’s stories from the cutting edge of education in Chattanooga.
Welcome: Sheila Boyington
Introduction: Mayor Andy Berke

Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, Vice Pres. of College & Career Success/ Public Education Foundation (PEF)
LuLu Copeland, Director of Workforce Development & Training/ Chattanooga State Community College
Historical Context: Linda Moss Mines: Chair of History & Social Sciences Dept./ GPS, Historian/ Hamilton County, Board Member/ Chattanooga History Center
Facilitator: Luronda Jennings – Founder & Exec. Director/ Journey Educational Services, Inc.

March 17: CIVIL RIGHTS –  Ridgeview Baptist Church   RSVP 3/17
Hear lessons learned from the very different paths to justice, inclusion, & equality.
Ardena Garth Hicks: TN’s 1st African American woman Public Defender
Dr. Eleanor McCallie Cooper: Co-Founder of Chattanooga Connected
Dollie Hamilton: Compensation Consultant CCP – Human Resources
Historical Context: Caroline Sunderland, Former Sr. Educator/ Chattanooga History Center
Facilitator: Maria Noel, Diversity & Inclusion/ Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

March 24: VETERANS/ MILITARY  – The Gathering Place at The Crossing Church    RSVP 3/24
Hear what these women veterans achieved in service to their country, where they are now, and their inspiring words of wisdom.
Patty Parks: U.S. Navy-retiree, TN State Director/ Military Women Across the Nation
Aubrey Williams: U.S. Army, United States Military Academy/ West Point
Lt. Tay Brymer: Public Affairs Officer/ Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Chattanooga
Historical Context: Major Paul Dean – MA History/ Vanderbilt U., Sr. Army Instructor JROTC / Ooltewah HS
Facilitator: Jessica Dumitru, J. D. (Texas A&M), MA International Affairs (New York U.), BA European History & International Politics (Sewanee)
Lean In – Women Ground Breakers is a community outreach project of the American Diversity Report. Created in 2001 as the Women’s Council on Diversity, we continue to provide public diversity programs onsite locally & online globally. We are now the Chattanooga Circle of the national Lean In movement begun by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Face Book. Members include: Deborah Levine (Chair), Leanne Barron, Cathryn Cohen, Erin Crane, Traci Day, Carrie Di Memmo, Laura Hessler, Ardena Garth Hicks, Luronda Jennings, Shawn Kurrelmeier Lee, Linda Moss Mines, Victoria Overholser, Tina Player, Denise Reed, Donna Roseberry, Brenda Freeman Short, Sue Stohlmann

For more information & to RSVP: CLICK www.womengroundbreakers.com

Can Immigrants and Minorities Work Together? – by Deborah Levine

Dr. Fiona Citkin urges minorities and immigrants to work together to bring meaningful, positive change in the U.S. in her Huffington Post article, “Immigrants and Minorities of America, Unite!” Yes, there are many benefits to bringing minorities and immigrants together, but there are also numerous pushes & pulls involved in uniting them, in establishing their local-global connection. I have long maintained that “Harmonize NOT Homogenize” is key to our working together, but today’s highly emotional environment makes even this approach difficult.

Continue reading Can Immigrants and Minorities Work Together? – by Deborah Levine

Modern Feminism’s Alive and Kicking: Immigrants’ Input – by Fiona Citkin

The vague feminism of our grandmothers was about their desire to be counted with – not only as wives and mothers but also as equal partners in life outside home and society salons. If we think of feminism as influence-seeking, it’s as old as humanity, transitioning from individual to mass feminism. Thus, strong women always strived to achieve individual influence—and some succeeded. Think La Malinche, lover/advisor of Juan Cortez, or Esther – wife/advisor of Persian King Anasuerus, or feminist-minded Eleanor Roosevelt who shaped the role of the First Lady, or countless others who became influencers because of their men. Women rulers, like Queen Victoria, Catherine the Great, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, and Margaret Thatcher, – impacted the world through their strategic thinking. History provides ample individual illustrations of what’s feasible for a “weaker sex.”

Continue reading Modern Feminism’s Alive and Kicking: Immigrants’ Input – by Fiona Citkin

Family in Sepia — by Poonam Chawla

A black-and-white photograph curled at the edges pressed between the pages of Anna Karenina falls into my hands as I fumble about the bookshelf. Anna Karenina. It appears I was using the photograph as a bookmark and apparently gave up after page 662. Do not judge me, dear Reader – I was only fifteen at the time. No doubt, I found the drama of my own life infinitely more interesting.

Continue reading Family in Sepia — by Poonam Chawla

The Traveling Hearth — By Marineh Khachadour

Home is the place that cradles our souls and soothes our most primal needs. Yet, for most of us, the only place that is certain to be a home is a mother’s womb, for after we are born, we move through time and space sometimes by force, sometimes by will, and spend a lifetime searching for a way of return. My family relocated to the United States when I was just out of high school. It was a decision made by my father who as a young man had been brought to the Soviet Republic of Armenia in 1946. My father’s parents had survived the Genocide of the Armenians on western Armenian lands (Eastern Turkey) in 1915, and like thousands, had made a life for themselves in Aleppo, Syria after walking for days through the deserts of Der El Zor.

Continue reading The Traveling Hearth — By Marineh Khachadour

Bermuda Jews Part 2: The Immigrants — by Deborah Levine

(Part #2 of the Bermuda Jews History Series)
In the early 1900s, Jewish tailors among the Eastern Europeans who arrived in America in droves. Only one tailor, my great grandfather, ended up as one of few Bermuda Jews. Picking up an Americanized version of his Russian last name, he became Axel Malloy passing through Ellis Island in New York City. He was better known by the first name of David, a name change that happened when he seriously ill. The family kept to the Eastern European Jewish tradition changing one’s name to hide from the Angel of Death.

Continue reading Bermuda Jews Part 2: The Immigrants — by Deborah Levine

New Citizen Launches Global Paint for Charity from the South — by Rony Delgarde

My transitional experience from the tough life of a new immigrant to become a college graduate, as a new U.S. citizen, a volunteer for CARE International, a private humanitarian aid organization, and now my charitable organization the Global Paint for Charity, I feel very grateful and blessed to be here especially in Atlanta Georgia. But it’s important, as immigrants living in the Diaspora, that we don’t forget what we can do to help people back at home. It’s not good enough for us to complain about what other people aren’t doing for us. It’s important that we all need to group and regroup together, to discuss ways to make a difference in those in needs back at homes and our community in here.

Continue reading New Citizen Launches Global Paint for Charity from the South — by Rony Delgarde

An Immigrant’s View of Corporations and Staffing — by Barry Downes

Coming from a diverse background, I have always had an interest in diversity and thought about it holistically. From a very young age I was very passionate about diversity and wanted to take in as much knowledge as I could about it. I recall speaking to various elders about the topic; some were family members, many were family friends and acquaintances. They spoke of the changes that were inevitable and only a matter of time. When an individual comes from a diverse background they tend to be more aware and in tune with diversity. That is not to say they are more knowledgeable about the topic than someone that is not from a diverse background, but they sense the emerging trends.

Continue reading An Immigrant’s View of Corporations and Staffing — by Barry Downes

Why Indian Americans Are Going Back to India — by Ajay Ohri

Indian Americans or immigrants born in India have been in the news and the public eye. This includes Bobby Jindal,Governor of Lousiana; the WWF Wrestler ‘Khali’; Vikram Pandit; CEO of Citigroup and Indira Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico. Movie makers Meera Nair and Night Shyamalan have further raised the visibility of this hard working community. Actor Karl Penn who is on Barack Obama’s arts committee has helped Indian Americans become mainstream. Indian students in American colleges are one the largest block of international students in the country. Yet, there is another side to the Indian American story where immigrants do not feel at home in the U.S. and are leaving.

Continue reading Why Indian Americans Are Going Back to India — by Ajay Ohri

I Can Do Anything Better than You! — By Dr. Fiona Citkin

“Anything you can do I can do better” was an unspoken refrain of the interviews I conducted with immigrant women leaders, researching my upcoming book. Their combined brilliance nearly triggered my inferiority complex. How come they did SO MUCH better than me? I’d ask myself (I typically take everything personally).

Continue reading I Can Do Anything Better than You! — By Dr. Fiona Citkin