Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

Understanding Immigration.

October 24, 2009

As I was talking about wanting to visit the White Horse Tavern in the West Village in New York City yesterday, I remarked to my partner that I finally realized why I never read the awesome books of Frank McCourt in high school or college — going to Catholic Schools for 16 years probably had something to do with it given his reflection of growing up a poor Catholic in Ireland and returning to the United States in young adulthood.

Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis A Memoir should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States today!

Before anyone decides their position on immigration reform, health care for immigrants, etc. they need to see that the human condition knows no country boundaries. People are people and how we treat others less fortunate than us says a lot about who we are.

Happy reading!


Civil discourse . . . a definition

April 2, 2009

Last night, Oberlin College hosted NPR journalist Diane Rehm. As her son interviewed her in front of a standing room only crowd at Finney Chapel, Diane reflected and spoke honestly about her ethnic roots, her childhood, her coming of age, and the life changing moments that have made her who she is today.

She was never shy and offered her perspective on many contemporary issues including civil discourse. I paraphrase her definition which is powerful and meaningful:

“Civil discourse is our ability to have conversation about topics about which we disagree, and our ability to listen to each others’ perspectives.”

She commented further that, “Civil dialogue and civil discourse begin at home.”

Finding Common Ground through Planning

April 9, 2008

After having spent three full days gathering perspectives of community leaders and members in an urban neighborhood on the East Coast to inform a community planning process, I am reminded of a quote from Audre Lorde, an accomplished black feminist poet:

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Comprehensive planning, when done right, creates an opportunity for communities to recognize, accept and celebrate differences.

Indicators for Successful Leadership: Comfortable with Diversity

April 2, 2008

In the world of business, diversity is defined in many (and often inconsistent) ways: prime vs. minority, affirmative action, people of color, quotas, inclusion, disadvantaged business enterprises, just to name a few. While language matters (and I might add that we need to drastically update our diversity lexicon), what is most important for a leader is to be comfortable with diversity in general . . . diverse thoughts, cultures, races, religions, ages, educational levels, household compositions, work environments, customer bases, political affiliations, just to name a few.

Diversity programs are a thing of the past because diversity comes in all shapes and sizes, everyday and everywhere. Diversity is really about integrating perspectives of the “majority”of people with whom a leader comes into contact. And, majority is defined as “everyone”.