Hear this very personal look at history from both an African-American and Jewish perspective. Don’t miss this amazing online discussion. Scroll down for the link.
In 1992, Ken Granderson, a graduate of MIT, launched his first software development company Inner-City Software, Brains in the Hood. He was committed to closing the Digital Divide by creating technology products and solutions by & for people of African descent. For a decade, he introduced Boston’s communities of color to computers and the Internet, giving local organizations and Boston’s Black newspaper an online world-class presence. Moving back to New York City, he was born in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, his achievements in technical design, education, and empowerment are nationally and internationally impressive. His website, BLACKFACTS, is an affiliate of the ADR. (CLICK to access)
Deborah coordinated the 1990 National Workshop on Christian Jewish RelationsIn and created her first Holocaust video in Rockford, Illinois, where she served as of the Jewish Federation’s executive director . She went on to become the Community & Media Liaison of the Tulsa Jewish Federation shortly after the OK City bombing and is the former exec. director of Chattanooga’s Jewish Federation. She carries on the work of her father who became the CFO of the American Jewish Archives. He served as a US military intelligence officer during World War II assigned to interrogate Nazi prisoners of war. CLICK for more information about her memoir,The Liberator’s Daughter, and to hear an interview with her father about his wartime experiences.
Carlos: Steve, now that you’ve retired as Associate Director of Residence Life at the University of Maryland, College Park, I would love to get your thoughts about the changing nature of student speech.In the twenty-five years that I worked with your department, I saw many changes.
Steve: You’re right.The two of us certainly had fun designing our Common Ground program back in the 1990s.That program would bring together diverse groups of students – sometimes more than a dozen – to discuss current equity dilemmas.A series of four, 90-minute dialogue sessions, all framed around a single provocative question.Should laws governing abortion be changed?Should universities use intentional methods to diversify their student populations?Rousing and illuminating conversations.
Hear the online dialogue between two television / media experts discuss their ties to their respective communities, how they’re shaped by them, and how they report stories about them. * Scroll down for the link. *
LaTrice Currie is a native Tennessean who graduated from Hampton U. LaTrice joined Chattanooga’s Channel 3 Eyewitness News in 1995. She now co-anchors news at noon and 5:30 and also serves as Eye On Health Reporter and host of Trends on 3.
LaTrice’s awards include Chattanooga Woman of Distinction, Hamilton County Outstanding Citizen, Black Excellence Chattanooga “Best Media Personality,” Times Free Press “Best Chattanoogan, and NAACP Image Awards. She serves as ambassador for Go Red For Women and on various boards: Moccasin Bend Girl Scout Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga, advisory board for Volunteers in Medicine, and Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults.
Ilene Gould is a photographer, writer, illustrator and full time news producer for NewsChannel9 in Chattanooga where she has produced every show from mornings, to dayside evening shows, to nightside. She also co-produced an hour long Town Hall called “Changing Chattanooga”. Ilene is a Michigan State Graduate with a degree in Media and Information, a concentration in Film and Video Production, and minors in Fiction Filmmaking and Music.
Ilene also works part-time as Community Manager at Better Sax, where saxophonist Jay Metcalf teaches and creates online lessons to learn to play the saxophone by ear.
Be inspired! Hear these two creative souls who share a love of music from their respective religions. Scroll down for the link to the recording.
Melvin Kindall Myles is a Mississippi native, born and raised in the Delta area of Clarksdale, MS; known as the birthplace of the blues. He is a Soulful Christian and Jazz Vocalist now based in Atlanta, GA where you will find him regularly serving in the Worship and Arts Ministry of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the former pulpit of MLK Jr.
Welcome to the Black-Jewish Dialogue, a virtual exchange of information and perspectives . The November dialogue “Black and Jewish” has been recorded. Scroll down for the link to the Dialogue recording.
Bryant is a veteran of the US Army, and a graduate of the Military Intelligence Cryptologic College of Corry Station, Pensacola. After a particularly difficult deployment to Iraq he shifted his focus from intelligence analysis to Jewish community building, interfaith outreach, and inclusion initiatives. Bryant is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant working primarily with North American Jewish organizations, a Jewish Educator, Teen Engagement Mentor, a 2018 Union for Reform Judaism Jew V’ Nation Fellow, and bluegrass hobbyist. Bryant is currently studying the “Intersections, Conflicts, and Alliances of the Black and Jewish Diasporas” at Western Washington University (in preparation for Rabbinic school), and resides in Bellingham, Washington.
Dr. Barbara Weitz
Barbara is the former Director, Film Studies Certificate Program at Florida International University English Dept. She has done research for years with Dr. Tudor Parfitt and with the Kulanu Organization in identifying and supporting Isolated, Emerging and returning Jewish Communities around the world. She also has been on the steering committee of FCOS (Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary) and has spent time at our southern border trying to assist migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. She is currently heading up the organizing group preparing to help refugee Afghanis settle in the community. Through her research with Jews of Color, she has spoken at conferences and given webinars on the growing topic.
Hear the conversation about equity in education from these experts based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This podcast is part of the ADR Black-Jewish Dialogues.
Ardena Garth Hicks: Education Activist
Ardena is a Hamilton County native and practicing attorney who is the 2020 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. She is a member of the Hamilton County Partnership Network Board of Directors, appointed by TN Education Commissioner Candace McQueen. The Partnership’s charge is to “review the progress of the five schools in the Partnership Network- which have been deemed priority schools by the state…and make recommendations to the Hamilton County Board of Education and Network leadership to support students’ growth and development.”
She is President of Chattanooga Endeavors, Inc., a non-profit organization which advocates for the interests of citizens repatriating from incarceration. Ardena previously was Special Prosecutor for Child Abuse cases with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office. She served as Hamilton County’s first elected District Public Defender from 1990 to 2014 (3 successive 8-year terms), having been appointed to the newly-created position by Gov. Ned McWherter in 1989. Ardena graduated as a Ooltewah HS valedictorian, earned her bachelor’s degree at Middle TN State U. and earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the U. of Kansas.
Dr. Jill Keegan Levine: Education Administrator
Jill is the Chief of Innovation and Choice for Tennessee’s Hamilton County Schools, a district of over 45,000 students. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief of the Opportunity Zone, a learning community focused on turnaround of the twelve highest needs schools in the district, as well as serving previously as the Chief Academic Officer of the school district.
After graduating from Wellesley College with a double major in Music and History, Jill began her career teaching 3rd grade and directing musical theater productions in the New Orleans Public Schools. She was the principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet, a Chattanooga Pre-K through 8th grade school, for 14 years. She led the transformation of two low performing schools into award winning, innovative, exciting and challenging places of learning. In 2012, Jill was recognized as the National Magnet Schools Principals of the Year. From 2013-2015, she served in the Obama administration as the first full time Principal Ambassador Fellow at the US Department of Education. In that capacity, she worked closely with Secretary Arne Duncan to increase the department’s focus on the importance of school leadership.
The monthly Black-Jewish Dialogues began in Chattanooga virtually in July 2020 and quickly spread across the USA and internationally. As our communities progress in understanding each other, we explore new topics each month. History is frequently an underlying theme.
The November Black-Jewish Dialogue focused on the economic impact of COVID-19 on our communities. With participants from coast to coast, Bermuda and Hungary, the dialogue has grown from a local Chattanooga initiative to a global discussion. Hosted by Chattanooga’s Mizpah Congregation in partnership with the American Diversity Report, the dialogue began in August of this year with monthly virtual sessions. Many thanks to Dr. Gail Dawson, Dr. Les Petrovics, and John Miles for sharing their expertise and experience with us.
The online Black-Jewish Dialogues began in the summer 2020 and quickly went global. The monthly Dialogues were recorded, and placed on individual pages in the American Diversity Report as ongoing resources.
CLICK on video to hear the presentation by Deborah Levine for Chattanooga’s Mizpah Synagogue that initiated the Dialogues. Hear the video and see excerpts of the transcript.
Scroll down for links to the Dialogues and related podcasts.
TRANSCRIPT EXCERPTS: It’s a true challenge to talk about issues involving African Americans and Jews in these turbulent times. The murder of George Floyd and COVID-19 have put a spotlight not just on monuments and law enforcement, but also on festering issues of economic, social and healthcare inequities. The issues echo the 1960s civil rights era but with the internet, terminology, quotes, memes and comments are constantly morphing. And spreading. Two weeks ago, a Black-Jewish woman messaged me, worried about how the words of Louis Farrakhan were being blending with those of local White Supremacists. (See Farrakhan) Will the words of our nonviolent sixties icons, James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr., successfully counteract this trend? I hope that celebrating the life of the civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis will re-emphasize the impact of non-violent activism. (See John Lewis)