DEBORAH LEVINE is Editor-in-Chief of the American Diversity Report, an award-winning author of 15 books, and a Forbes Magazine Diversity And Inclusion Trailblazer. She has served as a speaker, consultant and coach to nonprofits, government agencies, corporations and universities. Her diversity work began in childhood in Bermuda as the granddaughter of one of its Founding 400 and the only Jewish family to have lived on the island for 4 generations. She is a Holocaust educator and former executive with Jewish Federations, American Jewish Committee, and DuPage/Chicago Interfaith Resource Network.
Deborah is a Cognitive Diversity inventor using the neuroscience of storytelling, emotion metrics, and decision-optimization. Given her pioneering work: IT office manager in the 1980s, interfaith organization founder in the 1990s, FBI security training in Tulsa after the Oklahoma City bombing, women’s advocacy organizer in 2000, and inventor of a cognitive diversity system, Deborah has more than 33 years experience as a change maker for a diverse world in challenging times.
Deborah’s latest book, When Hate Groups March Down Main Street: Engaging a Community Response, is the culmination of decades of work with communities and organizations to understand and counteract hate groups. Beginning with her father who was a U.S. intelligence officer in World War II assigned to interrogate Nazi prisoners of war, her family has been dedicated tikkun olam (Hebrew for repair of the world). Deborah writes about him, including his wartime letters in her memoir, The Liberator’s Daughter. She speaks about his experiences and her own with neo-Nazis during her tenure at Tulsa’s Jewish Federation after the Oklahoma City bombing and more recently, online.
Clients: Hadassah Chattanooga, Southern Adventist University, Mastermind Networking, Holocaust Education/Chattanooga Sr. High School for the Arts & Sciences, Chattanooga, BlueCross BlueShield of TN, Jewish Federation of Rockford, IL.
DEI DESIGN: UN-BIAS MATRIX
The cornerstone of her innovative work is the Matrix Model Management System.This interactive tool kit deploys the Storytelling Matrix, Conflict-Comfort Matrix, and Wise Decision-Making Matrix. The System develops thought leaders and builds innovative teams. While maximizing the assets of cultural differences, the System boosts emotional intelligence around race, ethnicity, gender, generation, and religion. The current version of the Matrix System is the Un-Bias Guide Series for Leaders & Educators.
Clients: New York University (Business program), Unum Life Insurance of America, First TN Bank, SunTrust Bank, Galvanize Inc., US National Parks Service, Erlanger Health System, Maine Medical system, National Assoc. of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), SE Assoc. of Social Workers, Metropolitan Ministries, and the City of Chattanooga.
Deborah’s cross-cultural coaching and workshops are tailored for the Global-Southern connection but are agile for cross-cultural competence and can be applied to cross-cultural marketing. Using the engaging style of Southern storytelling, her book, Going Southern: The No-Mess Guide to Success in the South, combines culture, humor, and tips for expats & US transplants coming into the South and those who work with them. The book was featured nationally on CSPAN book TV and is often bought in bulk.
Clients: Volkswagen, Nissan, International Paper, Kimberly Clark, La-Z-Boy Inc., BlueCross BlueShield of TN, Birmingham International Center, Chambers of Commerce (Chattanooga and Birmingham), and the Birmingham International Center. Deborah served as VP of Communication for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s International Council.
Deborah’s experience in religious diversity spans 33 years beginning with coordinating the National Workshop on Christians and Jews, speaking at the 100th anniversary of World Parliament of Religions, and serving as consultant to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. She was executive director for Jewish Federations in Illinois and Tennessee and director of community relations for the Tulsa Jewish Federation after the OK City bombing. She has published award-winning books: Religious Diversity in our Schools and Religious Diversity at Work. Her presentations and training on religious diversity are invaluable in today’s diverse workforce.
Clients: Assoc. of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the Equity Forward Conference/University of TN at Chattanooga, Colleges of Medicine (Chattanooga, Birmingham). Metropolitan Ministries, Women’s Council on Diversity, DuPage Interfaith Resource Network, Wheaton College. Elmhurst College.
Deborah first published her written stories in high school. Encouraged by her mother who had published in academic journals regarding the influence of storytelling on children, she was in the first class at Harvard U. to study Folklore and Mythology. Deborah created and directed the Oral History Project of the American Jewish Committee/Chicago, the East Ridge Storytelling Archives, and Chattanooga’s Women GroundBreakers Storytelling series. She has taught Content Storytelling at the Business College/U. of TN at Chattanooga and coached diverse entrepreneurs in branding themselves with their memoirs.
As a speaker, trainer and coach for Diversity & Inclusion, cross-cultural competence, and leadership development, Deborah has assisted education organizations: school districts, colleges, and universities as well as nonprofit boards and staff. She served as executive director to Jewish Federations, founded the nonprofit Women’s Council on Diversity, and designed a Teen Global Leadership class in partnership with Volkswagen Chattanooga . With her considerable experience in program planning, community interface, teaching and management, she is able to design projects that boost the performance and broaden the scope of inclusion efforts on multiple levels.
Clients: Diversity Retreat/Beverly Hills, Fulbright Scholars of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Southern Adventist University, and the Global Leadership program at Chattanooga State Community College, Urban League Chattanooga, public schools in Tennessee, Illinois, and Oklahoma, Youth Multicultural Video Contest.