Forest T. Harper Jr. is the President and CEO of INROADS, the nation’s largest non-profit model of salaried corporate DEI internships and corporate and community leadership development for outstanding ethnically diverse talent at the pipeline and mid-career level.
This year marks 50 years for INROADS. Hear how the organization is important to corporate America’s landscape today and is proving effective in closing America’s Racial Wealth Gap. Understand how to execute diversity & inclusion strategies to accelerate organizations in today’s multicultural market. Harper shares how vital it is to establish talent pipeline development for attracting, recruiting and sustaining diverse talent as well as securing C-Suite alignment.
The American Diversity Report’s theme focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on our community is as visionary as it is timely. It also opens up opportunities for contributors to offer insights tangential yet related impacts. What follows is a look at a peripheral issue; visiting those homebound because of the pandemic and other illnesses.
Two years ago, I fell off a 10-foot wall and broke three ribs. I ended up in the emergency room. The pain was excruciating.Back home while holed up in my bedroom in recovery for over a month, and plying myself with pain medicine, I lost my appetite and close to 25 pounds. It was unnerving to steal a look at the barely recognizable person – me that is – in the bathroom mirror during that time.
Now although the last thing I wanted was visitors, quite a few well-meaning folks wanted to stop by. But the specter of being stared at like a car wreck on the side of the road was something I didn’t want and asking them not to visit proved more difficult than I could imagine.
I got a call from my cousin Lenny from a New York hospital telling me that they’d just admitted his elderly mother into the emergency room. He was upset because the hospital restricted his time with his mother as part of COVID-19 protocols.But “Upset” didn’t cover his reaction to the receptionist not wearing a mask and neither a few of the medical staff. He made his objections loud and clear and took pictures on his phone. At that point, security was called and he got tossed out.Picturing this kerfuffle over my aunt’s prone body, I’m taking the war over masks personally.
When I see headlines about North Dakota’s Republican governor Doug Burgum being on “brink of tears as he decries ‘mask shaming’, I’m horrified that the governor had to beg but encouraged that he had the courage to do so. It takes guts for a Republican governor to antagonize the anti-maskers when Biden says yes and Trump says no way. The battle’s begun in a presidential campaign fight to the political death.
Maybe you’ll get to hug your mom in person this weekend, but it’s likely that your Mother’s Day moment will be online or by phone. We’re not back to what we call normal and travel is still a luxury many of us don’t have. Especially if Moms are older and health-compromised. COVID -19 may have many of us disappointed over missing a warm embrace, but it should also make us plan the appreciation of the women in our families, and communities, more deliberately.
My daughter in New England announced weeks in advance that my Mother’s Day gift would be arriving soon. It doesn’t matter what kind of present she sends, I could feel her love bubble up through my cell phone. And she probably felt the mommy love I sent her way. We both know that feeling well. It just gets magnified thinking of Mother’s Day.Continue reading A COVID-19 Mother’s Day Gift – by Deborah Levine→
Okay, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. And maybe that’s a good thing because you may not like what I’m about to say to you Ms. “What’s your name?”
You see, I pulled up in my SUV the other week, parked, put on my mask and was about to head into the grocery store when I saw you and your three young kids – two in car seats if I remember correctly – in the parking space next to me. And by the way, your kids – all less than five years old I’d guess – are absolutely beautiful. You must be one proud momma.
Now there was nothing out of the ordinary for me until I saw you roll down your window and pluck out a still smoldering cigarette you’d been puffing on. Hey, I thought (and wanted to shout) “hey lady, haven’t you heard about the dangers of second-hand smoke on children?” as I walked towards the store.
Pssst, hey COVID-19, sit your behind down. I have something to say to you. If you’re looking for us to throw in the towel because of what you’ve done, well it ain’t gonna happen.
Sure, you caught us off guard. We didn’t see you coming. You snuck into our back yard – “West Coast” yard, they say – and spread your destruction across our nation, snuffing out over 100,000 lives along your hellish way.
On March 19th 2020, Warwick Marsh and Kurt Mahlburg, Coordinators of National Day of Prayer Australia, sent me an invitation wake-up call saying, “Join us tonight and every night for the next 11 nights as together we cry out for God’s mercy for our nation. against COVID-19 Virus.”
Although I could not connect through the live-streaming webinar, I did connect with my Prayer Generals from Africa, marshaled by Missionary Protas Bulinda, Coordinator of American Diversity Report NEW BEGINNINGS in Africa and Apostles Khassim Nyundo and Rev. Joel Ndunde, Intercessory Prayer Warriors who lead Intercessors of Prayer in Kisumu and Kakamega Counties respectively.
Before I got up for my Morning Prayer Watch on Saturday, March 21st, I was woken up with a Voice that told me to audibly tell all Nations to Put Away All Idolatry & Destroy Global Pestilence COVID-19 and Hate by applying Ezra 10:1-19.
We live in a world that is adversely affected by another virus more lethal than COVID-19, called HATE. For the past 15 years, Deborah Levine, President of American Diversity Report, has been addressing this enemy of humanity called HATE. Together with the Mayor of Chattanooga, Andy Berke, they established the Council Against HATE, that I believe can be adopted by every state, religion, culture and nation worldwide to overcome our biggest enemy today, called HATE, through Global Interfaith Harmony that is celebrated every year in February.
In her very recent email to me, Liz Scrayer, the CEO of the United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) raised her great concerns for the Corona Virus and said, “But it also isn’t lost on me that in the era of COVID-19, the USGLC’s message of America’s global leadership is mission critical to our nation’s interests. So we are trying to track it all: the global impact of coronavirus from the legislative to the diplomatic front to the developing world to the economic uncertainty. The magnitude of issues for U.S. interests and the world is daunting.”
As I am writing this message, Apostle Khassim Nyundo based in Kisumu City (former Nyanza Province) in Kenya is spearheading National Day of Prayer in line with the Prophetic Word that the LORD gave me on March 9, 2009 while in Mbale in neighboring Uganda after 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Revival. At the same time the President of the Republic of KENYA, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Vice President William Ruto, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are leading the Nation of Kenya in the National Day of Prayer and Repentance in Nairobi, Kenya’s Capitol.
Through this short but urgent message, I am calling on us all, as respective leaders in our respective fields, to join Australia for the rest of the days left in this month of March to PRAY every Day and/or Night, for not only Australia and Kenya, but for their nations and cities as well, wherever they are located. We need a synergy of different capacities to address the common challenges/ opportunities confronting Humanity.