Thursday, March 13, 2014

Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget – Ebook

With today’s top diversity story focusing on a small community college getting headlines over a “no white people allowed” social event, I was happy to run into this book, Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget. Some people still aren’t getting it about diversity (the school’s diversity officer came up with the idea of the exclusive party). But these authors get it, and have something important to share:

Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget: How to have a more engaged and innovative workforce with little or no dollars, by Evelina Silveira with Jill Walters.
This results-driven ebook offers affordable tips, tricks and links to get your diversity and inclusion strategy implemented, ongoing and successful.

“Need some inexpensive ways to integrate diversity, inclusivity and accessibility in your organization? Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget gave me some great tips and tools to help build organizational commitment on our diversity journey.”

~Mary Ryan, Manager Community Resources / Diversity & Inclusivity, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket, Ontario.

“If you think you don’t have the resources, money or time to make your organization inclusive, you need to read this book. The tips, and advice presented here demonstrate how even organizations that have “no” budget for diversity can make immediate changes. It's also a great book for any individual who wants to know what they can do to make a difference in their workplace.

~Simma Lieberman, “The Inclusionist”, Simma Lieberman and Associates

“The Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget workbook is a valuable resource filled with practical, ready-to-use information ideal for any NFP wanting to get up to speed with AODA legislation or to advance diversity and inclusion practices. No more excuses! The initiatives outlined in this book can be carried out with little or no cost.”

~Frances Ruffolo, Manager, Knowledge Exchange, Children's Mental Health Ontario

“Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget brings together a large number of great resources in one handy place. By focusing broadly on diversity of all types, the authors have created a helpful guide for any size organization.”

~Elizabeth Goldman, CEO, Perth & District Union Library

“Changes that are transformational are often small and simple. And they are often free or very low cost. Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget is just right for those who want simple, inexpensive actions that even the smallest business can do.”

~Dr. Linda Manning, Intercultural Economist, Transforming Hidden Talent into High Performance

Here's a link where you can learn more. sk


No kidding, a college diversity officer decided a white's only party was the ticket for learning to get along with others:

"The event was focused around an effort ” to “build support and community” for people of color.
“If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that,” stated an email which was sent out to 300 employees.
Students at the college expressed their bewilderment at why a “diversity” event would specifically exclude people of a certain race.
“This….contradicts the message they’re trying to send, don’t judge people based on their color but they’re judging white people because they’re white” said one student.
College spokeswoman Kellie Purce Braseth said the exclusion was “not condoned” by the school, adding, “If you want to come you should be able to come, that just makes a richer conversation.”
However, despite being forced to apologize, Karama Blackhorn, program coordinator for the school’s Diversity and Equity Center, who helped write the invitation, seemingly doubled down.?

Read more in today's issue of Diversity News Online.  Or take a look here -- 

Good reading. Susan

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Most Americans Believe in Same Sex Marriage

Report from The Drucker Institute

Marital Strife

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 | 7 Comments
With a speed that has astonished both its supporters and its opponents, same-sex marriage has gained the support of a majority of Americans.
Opinions and policies range from state to state, however, and this week the United States Supreme Court took up the question of whether marriage by two people of the same sex is as protected by the U.S. Constitution as marriage by two people of the opposite sex.
That cases like these have come before the high court at all is a testament to the importance of the court’s role in socially divisive issues. Peter Drucker, when he first wrote about U.S. politics, found it striking how much the American political process preferred “to handle noneconomic issues on a ‘bipartisan’ basis, that is, to remove them essentially from party politics.”
When there was no room for broad bipartisan consensus, however, “initiative in such an issue is left, as if by passive agreement, to the one body in the American political system that is outside the established party alignment, the Supreme Court.”
As time went on, however, Drucker saw this balance coming apart. No longer, by the 1980s and ’90s, were party politics the home of “economic” issues and the Supreme Court the home of “noneconomic” issues. Instead, a “new pluralism” had placed noneconomic issues front and center in American politics, with numerous single-issue interest groups organized around staunch moral values.
Economic interests can be compromised, which is the great strength of basing politics on economic interests,” Drucker noted in Managing in a Time of Great Change.  By contrast, with many moral issues, “there is no compromise possible.”
That has the effect of placing divisive social issues into a no-man’s land, with no agreed-upon moral authority except for a majority. From this perspective, it’s possible that Drucker would have seen a Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage as an intrusion by the court into the domain of politics. But it’s also possible that he would have seen the politics of same-sex marriage (such as the Defense of Marriage Act) as an intrusion into the domain of the court.
What do you think: What should be the Supreme Court’s role in setting policy on same-sex marriage?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A quick note to readers of this blog:

You are invited to drop by my newest blog, The Retirement Monologues at where I am focusing on the latest retirement issues that face many of us, as we march on through life. Not financial planning (everyone else worries about that), but fun stuff like what are you going to be doing as you retire. Travel? Go fishing? Write blogs that matter?

It would be particularly interesting to comments that relate to diversity and retirement... Any ideas??

I will be interviewing lots of people, commenting on related social and political issues, and trying to pass on some of the more unique and interesting aspects of retiring and staying engaged. If you know of someone who would make a good interviewee, please let me know.

Meanwhile, please drop by and say hello. I would love to have your comments on posts and I am always looking for contributed articles to post on this topic. I have targeted this blog  to women's issues, but hey, everyone is invited to drop by and share their thoughts.

Just finished a post, by the way, on women who are leaving the workforce to start up their own businesses because they are sick and tired of the discrimination wars. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Susan Klopfer

The Retirement Monologues

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Remembring the Scarlet Letter; Fighting Discrimination

Young Women and The Scarlet Letter
Just learned that AOL became the eighth advertiser to pull their ads from Rush Limbaugh's show earlier this week in wake of the controversy over Limbaugh's characterization of Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute."

* * * * *
Shantelle Hicks, kicked out of middle school and then publicly humiliated at an assembly by the school director and another staff member because she was pregnant. 
* * * * *
THE DETAILS OF THIS CONTROVERSY have exploded all over the Internet and you have probably read many posts condemning  Limbaugh and calling for a boycott of the companies that continue to advertise on his show. 
In the firestorm of responses to Limbaugh's comments and the "apologies" he has issued in the wake of sponsors fleeing the show, I have been impressed by the AOL response, quoted above and the response from another former advertiser on the show, Carbonite's CEO David Friend:
"No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."
It is always brave to stand up against discrimination. For a big company like AOL, the CEO has many forces behind him -- all the lawyers he could ever need, employees, suppliers and so many others. 

But what about a young person with few resources who chooses to fight a giant?

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico yesterday filed a lawsuit Tuesday  on behalf of a young Ntive American woman in our community, 15-year-old  Shantelle Hicks, after she was initially kicked out of middle school and then publicly humiliated at an assembly by the school director and another staff member because she was pregnant. 

The complaint alleges that school administrators violated Hicks’ constitutional right to equal protection under the law, Title IX’s prohibitions against sex and pregnancy discrimination and violations of her right to privacy. 

The story of what happened is sad, indeed. 

Do you remember the story of the Scarlet Letter? In my junior high school years, my classmates and I read this 1850 romantic work of fiction placed in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of a man who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

It is almost impossible not to see comparisons between Hawthorne's character and this young teen, after you hear what took place when she decided she wanted to stay in school:

“It was so embarrassing to have all the other kids staring at me as I walked into the gymnasium,” said Hicks. “I didn’t want the whole school to know I was pregnant because it’s not their business, and it wasn’t right for my teachers to single me out.” 

Hicks attends Wingate Elementary School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school just outside of Gallup, New Mexico and is currently in the eighth grade. She discovered she was pregnant approximately three weeks before the assembly, and she and her mother told the director of the middle school and two other staff members. They initially responded by kicking her out of school. 

The ACLU of New Mexico sent a demand letter to the school, informing them that it is illegal to deny a student access to education because of pregnancy status. Wingate readmitted Hicks after four missed days of instruction. 

Approximately two weeks later the director of the middle school and another staff member had Hicks stand before the entire middle school at an assembly and announced that she was pregnant. Until that point, no one other than Hicks’ sister knew that she was pregnant.

Too often, pregnant students face significant barriers or outright discrimination in school,” said Galen Sherwin, staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “Instead, schools should give pregnant and parenting students the support they need to help them succeed, for both themselves and for their children.”  

“The ACLU’s lawsuit seeks damages and declaratory relief for violations of Hicks’ constitutional right to equal protection under the law and of Title IX prohibitions against sex and pregnancy discrimination in education.” 

“We believe that Wingate intentionally humiliated Shantelle in retaliation for her refusal to leave the school,” said ACLU of New Mexico cooperating attorney Barry Klopfer. 

“It is outrageous that educators would subject a young woman in their care to such cruelty. Adopting one’s moral convictions from the Scarlet Letter is completely inappropriate and fails to take into account a child’s educational needs.” 

Lawyers on this case include Klopfer, Alexandra Freedman Smith, Laura Schauer Ives and Maureen Sanders of the ACLU of New Mexico; and Sherwin and Lenora Lapidus of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. 

More information about this case can be found at:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hire Diversity, Make More Money (Retailers Learn From Profs)

A new business marketing study gives retailers a strong reason to hire with diversity in mind.
Yearly earnings are boosted by as much as $100,000 when they employ people who look like their customers, a new study suggests.
But this still involves more than simply playing ethnic mix-and-match, says one professor.
Temple University, Rutgers University and Davidson College profs studied 739 outlets of the U.S. department store J.C. Penney and found that where the pool of employees mirrored the ethnic makeup of the communities they served, this earned retailers an average of $94,000 more per year than stores in which staff wasn’t as representative of the wider community.
That figure averages out to $630 more per employee, and earned the company an extra $69 million last year, the study found.
The study was the first to establish such a strong link between diversity and profitability.
“In some ways the whole thing was sort of surprising,” says co-author Derek Avery, a professor of Human Resources Management at Temple’s Fox School of Management. “Even though the finding is somewhat intuitive based on social-psychological principles – similarity has got to sell. But when you look at all the literature that’s out there it really hadn’t worked. Evidence was very mixed.”
But previous studies measured the financial effect of matching employees and customers of the same ethnic group, and Avery says his group’s study examined diversity and retail on a broader scale -- yielding a more comprehensive set of answers.
He cautions retailers and other companies not to misinterpret the study’s conclusions — setting quotas or numerical targets for employees of various ethnic groups misses the point.
Avery says customers at a mainstream retailer aren’t necessarily swayed by attempts to pander to ethnic solidarity. Instead, he says, a monochromatic sales team in an ethnically diverse area sends negative signals to shoppers of various backgrounds.
The study, titled “Is There Method to the Madness? Examining How Racioethnic Matching Influences Retail Store Productivity,” appears in the journal Process Psychology.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Too Few Black CPAs, Says Howard University Professor (Who Offers Solutions)

Listen to Frank Ross, CPA:

Most of the accounting profession recognizes the importance of attracting more Blacks to the field and helping them pass the CPA exam. Few, unfortunately, have a good track record in getting results. In 2002 and 2010, Blacks hired by CPA firms accounted for only 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Even slightly lower, the percentage of Black professional staff members of CPA firms was 2 percent in 2002 and 3 percent in 2010. As expected, this has resulted in the marginal representation of Blacks at the management level of CPA firms, with only 1 percent of Black partners in 2002 and less than 1 percent in 2010, according to the American Institute of CPAs.

Have can this problem be resolved?

Ross, director of the Howard University School of Business Center for Accounting Education and a visiting professor of accounting, teaching auditing and ethics, offers his opinion.

(In 1968, Ross was one of the nine cofounders and the first president of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). In December 2003, he retired from KPMG after providing more than 38 years of service. Prior to retiring, he was the Mid-Atlantic area managing partner for Audit and Risk Advisory Services and managing partner of the Washington, D.C., offices. Ross was also a member of KPMG’s board of directors and chairman of the KPMG Foundation board of directors.)

This article continued --

Not just students do teachers, says Teaching Tolerance organization

When schools implement anti-bullying programs, the focus is usually centered on student-to-student bullying. However, students aren’t the only bullies in school. Teachers sometimes earn the label when they employ questionable disciplinary and management practices. Addressing Teacher Bullies is a presentation intended to help educators assess and reflect on their classroom management style and learn more about how inappropriate displays of teacher power can impact student learning.

Teaching Tolerance designed this presentation for teacher leaders, professional learning groups, staff development coordinators and other educators interested in engaging their colleagues around issues of teacher behavior and classroom climate.

Click here to learn more.