The ability to communicate is essential to inclusion in professional, learning, or social settings. A Deaf employee, for example, can’t fully contribute to a business unless they can participate in impromptu meetings or hallway chats with colleagues. If English is a second language for a medical student, they need detailed and accurate notes to retain critical information. For a senior aging into hearing loss, losing the ability to connect with family members by phone can be devastatingly isolating. I know of this situation all too well – In my work as a sign language interpreter I’ve seen how connections can be lost when communication isn’t available or readily accessible
In all of these instances, inclusive communication enhances diversity by facilitating involvement, acceptance, and belonging. Today, innovative technology is creating new opportunities for people of different backgrounds, experiences, and linguistic modes to seamlessly share information, collaborate, and engage. Three examples are outlined below.
Dr. Nagwan R. Zahry is assistant professor of communication at U. of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Originally from Egypt where she was a Sr. Program Manager for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Midwest Universities Consortium, Nagwan got her PhD from Michigan State U. in media and information. After graduation, she became an assistant professor of communication and in 2018, she joined UTC where she teaches social media marketing, public relations, media and diversity. Her research focuses on science communication, health communication and persuasive messaging.
Hear the discussion:
1- What are some of your research findings that surprised you?
2- would you elaborate more on your media and diversity course?
3- Does your research areas change overtime? If so, why?
And learn how to counteract scientists’ negative stereotypes as governors try to communicate empathy during Covid-19.
Since February includes my wedding anniversary and a day on which everyone celebrates love (February 14), I wish to share these thoughts on relationships from a recent sermon on Parashat Va-eira. In the Torah, God sends Moses to talk to Pharaoh and tells him, “I will put you in the role of God before Pharaoh and your brother Aaron shall be a prophet. You speak the words I command to you, and Aaron will speak them to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7:1-2).
Rashi, a medieval rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, understands why Aaron’s role is not redundant. Aaron makes the words eloquent for Pharaoh to hear and understand. Thus, we learn the role of the prophet: taking complex ideas, hard lessons, and putting them into plain language. Even the greatest of wisdom is worthless if it cannot be applied. Language is only the beginning, and must be coupled with empathy, with attention to non-verbal cues, and with proper tone. We know Moses claims to be slow of speech, especially compared to his brother. His speech is fine, but Aaron knows the real difference between speech and communication. Continue reading Communicating with Empathy – by Rabbi Craig Lewis→
This is the seventh 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 the myriad 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 various issues raisedconcerning language and the exercise of speech.
In the past two columns I compared two threads of that diversity movement: intercultural diversity and equity-and-inclusion diversity. For the most part interculturalists emphasize voluntary speech restraint through the development of intergroup understanding.In contrast, while they often draw upon interculturalist principles, some inclusionists are more willing to pursue direct speech restraints, such as through regulations.When it comes to the third strand of the diversity movement, critical theory, its advocates tend to take an even stronger position in support ofthe direct restraint of speech, including through laws and codes.
Small talk delights and confounds us, and it is worth asking why.In this short humorous piece I will confine myself to American small talk, as there appear to be different variations on this tune, as Mark Twain might also have pointed out if he had written more about American English and less about the German language.
On the one hand, it can feel overly factual and too easy, (are they making fun of me?) on the other hand, it is full of ambiguity and hidden meaning.But do you KNOW what that meaning is?It is also a way of getting to know you quickly, whatever the circumstances, sharing information, getting the real information fast or just having some fun in a bored moment.
Hence I share with you a “Small Talk Vignette” from one of my trips in the US.Although I am American, I have felt like a foreigner in the US at various times, and this was one of them:
Some refer to Generation Z – those born, roughly, from the mid-1990s onward – as ‘The Final Generation’. This is not due to some apocalyptic vision of the future, but rather as a reflection of the nature of culture in online spaces.
In previous generations, it could be reasonably assured that a monoculture would develop. Because of the nature of the distribution of media and the limited ways in which it could be communicated, entire generations of youth would grow up with roughly the same cultural experiences – watching the same shows and cartoons, consuming the same film and radio programs.
Sybil Topel serves as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. She led the marketing department for a boutique architecture firm in Nashville prior to earning her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in Atlanta in 2014. As a media consultant her clients included insurance companies, healthcare systems and FedEx. She has worked in communications for AT&T and SunTrust Banks. Sybil started her career as a journalist.
Some of us have extra-sharp hearing, and others begin to lose their hearing at different times. For the first time in history, 20% of those in their late teens and early 20’s are reporting signs of a hearing loss – a problem that will cause major challenges for commerce and industry. (One cause for this is loud music played through earbuds for too long.) Presbycusis, hearing loss caused by age, is another challenge, and often starts in the late 50’s or early 60’s. By age 65, one third of Americans experience this problem. There are simple, practical strategies that can help. Here are three taken from the e-book, “What did you say?”
One of the many benefits I enjoy from writing this column is that I get to communicate from up here on my, shall we say, “perch.” From up here, I get to rant and rave, sprinkle dashes of uncomfortableness into conventional wisdom, tweak comfort zones, take folks dangerously close to the end, leave them suspended Wile E. Coyote-like midair, then lasso them in before they plunge over the cliff into the “diversity dangers” that lurk below.From here, I get to do some vigorous backpedaling, or source attribution when I need to pass the buck if things get a tad too hot or have the potential to backfire on me.
Case in point; watch me right now as I hand off the thorny issue of sweeping stereotypes to Dr. Claire Brown, facilitator of a seminar titled “Conquering communications collisions between men and women.” In fact, it was Brown whom I “blame” for the attention-getting title of my column, “When women chit chat, men go nuts!” (By the way, the Aug. 2012 issue of “The Wall Street Journal” ran an article pointing out that although some may dismiss chit chatting as an unnecessary and annoying waste of time, the practice is essential social grease.)