When asked why I created the American Diversity Report (ADR), I’m tempted to answer that diversity is in my DNA. I was brought up as the only Jewish little girl on the 24 square miles of British Bermuda in a family that immigrated from Russian territories. When we moved to New York, I was bullied for my colonial British accent and found comfort in the music, dance, and folktales of diverse cultures. I played the violin, performed ballet, and wrote stories and poems to express my sense of exclusion. When illness prevented all other expression, reading became my world and writing became my voice.
Two decades ago, I had to resign my job as an executive director of a Jewish Federation because I’d almost died on a mission to Uzbekistan, diversity again surfaced as my passion. But this time, I wanted to leave a legacy that would change the world. I created the Women’s Council on Diversity along with a community Global Leadership Course and a Youth Multicultural video contest. But of all my creations, the American Diversity Report is closest to my heart.
I persevere in this endeavor despite ongoing health challenges. I’m now in my golden years and have endured major surgery resulting in my being unable to speak for years. Unfortunately, I’ve also suffered through mourning the deaths of every member of my nuclear family. May they Rest In Peace.
I’m grateful for my life and the ability to continue my father’s legacy as a U.S. military intelligence officer who liberated a Nazi death camp during World War II. In addition to being the founder and editor-in-chief of ADR, I have served as the executive director of Jewish Federations, created the DuPage/Chicago Interfaith Resource Network and the Southeast Women’s Council on Diversity.
While working in Tulsa, I was trained by the FBI in addressing and responding to hate groups after the tragic Oklahoma City bombing and destruction of the Murrah federal building by white supremacist domestic terrorists. I currently serve on the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and the Chattanooga Council Against Hate. My latest book is titled “When Hate Groups March Down Main Street: Engaging A Community Response”.
In addition to being an award-winning author of 15 books — and being named by Forbes Magazine as a top “Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer” — I am still humbled by the honor of giving people a voice through the ADR. It’s a privilege to engage every day with people of goodwill in tikkun olam (which in Hebrew means “repair of the world“).
The ADR has benefitted the workplace and communities locally, nationally and globally for the past 15 years. The ADR has always been free of charge as part of my lifetime efforts to help foster humanity’s understanding and acceptance of diversity, inclusion and related issues in our increasingly multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic nation — and, indeed, the world.
I’ve had no greater calling in my quest to shape a better future than the ADR. Not only does it deliver a vital message about the importance of diversity and inclusion, but it helps make our world a better place for all people. The ADR is needed now more than ever, as current events attest.
My goal is to ensure that the American Diversity Report will continue to provide a valuable public service as an educational and informational online media platform and training resource for a new generation of leaders — and for every generation.
The funds will be leveraged to expand the award-winning ADR platform, which hosts a diverse writers community of more than 800 articles, podcasts and community projects like ADR New Beginnings. The funds will also boost the ADR’s reach and readership of expert articles covering timely issues of race, color, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, generational differences, and thought leadership on diversity and inclusion.
Please join me in my mission to Promote Diversity, Foster Inclusion and Counteract Hate. Together, we can make a real and lasting impact for the betterment of society during these troubling times and for all times. I can’t thank you enough for your kind consideration to make a lasting real-world difference by supporting diversity and inclusion efforts which are needed now more than ever.
Thank you and God bless you.
This post was previously published on americandiversityreport.com.
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