Your Quarterly DEI news & updates
February 2022
Hello Fellow IREM members –

Happy New Year and welcome to the DEI committee’s 1st edition of our 2022 quarterly newsletter. The committee made significant progress in 2021 to create the framework for our members to work toward cultivating and promoting an ethical culture where differences are celebrated. This is a core value that is reflected in our mission statement. I am excited that our committee has grown to 10 members with others actively expressing an interest to come on board as we navigate our journey together to disassemble systemic discrimination. I invite you to join the IREM Maryland DEI Committee Facebook to learn more about recipes, upcoming events, suggesting reading content and articles relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also invite you to continue to be the beacon of change. 

Sharón Turner – DEI Committee Chair - Leading with passion and purpose to make impactful changes.
Redlining Becomes a Lasting Legacy
Have you ever wondered why certain urban neighborhoods look the way they do as a result of disinvestment? Or, why there is a vast disparity in generational wealth, health and education in minority communities? The disparity traces back to redlining, a discriminatory policy and practice implemented in the 1930s that supported the Federal Housing Administration’s refusal to insure houses for Black families. The denial of financial services for those who lived in redlined areas (deemed hazardous) precluded home ownership. Redlining ended in 1968 with the introduction of the Fair Housing Act, but the effect of redlining has a lasting legacy in minority communities and an adverse impact on today’s
societal issues.

“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”
– Edward J. Boorstin

Photo: The IREM Maryland Chapter members gathered on January 26th to explore the history of structural racism and classism. Sharón Turner, IREM DEI Committee Chair, was the tour guide for this interactive exhibit. Please contact Sharón Turner at sturner@enterprisecommunity.com if you have questions regarding the exhibit which ends on February 28th. Below is a link for additional information on Redlining.

Contributor: Sharón Turner, Enterprise Community Asset Management
The Origin of Black History Month
Ever wonder where Black History month originated from? This annual celebration of African American Achievements started as Negro History Week in 1926 under the vision of historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson believed that “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” Negro History Week gained popularity in the decades that followed, with a number of cities across the US endorsing it as a holiday. 

In February of 1969, a group of black educators and students at Kent University proposed the month-long celebration we know today. In 1976, President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. As a result, Black History month began being celebrated in educational institutions and communities all across the county. Since that time, every American president has designated February as Black History month with a specific theme. The theme for 2022 is “Black Health and Wellness”, intended to highlight Black scholars and practitioners in Western medicine. Learn more about Black History Month at https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/

Contributor: Rochelle Jackson, Foulger-Pratt
Love Has No Labels
Just a friendly reminder that Monday, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. In the true spirit of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion it seems that a tribute to the subject of LOVE makes perfect sense! The video in the attached link is from the Diversity & Inclusion Ad Council. Hopefully it evokes many emotions as you watch it.

For me the most poignant part is that we are all made of the same skeleton, bleed the same blood, and have the same organs. There’s no reason why the exterior image of our bodies should make a difference in the way that we love. Our hearts start pure when we come into the world. We can all learn to love unconditionally.

The screen behind all of the matches revealed says “…love has no race, love has no religion, love has no disability, love has no gender, love has no age, love is universal.” Comments go on to say, “My heart doesn’t see race, we are all neighbors and friends, LOVE IS LOVE!” If you already have a valentine perhaps you can spread the love by sharing the video with others. With that said, will you be my valentine?

Contributor: Kara Permisohn, Minkoff Company
Celebrating Women's History Month
Every March we celebrate Women’s History Month to honor women’s contributions in American history. Celebrations also occur across the globe culminating in the March 8th celebration of International Women’s Day. The 2022 theme for Women’s History Month is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” The theme is said to be “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.” 

Learn more about Women’s History Month at 

Contributor: Rochelle Jackson, Foulger-Pratt
Did You Know?
1/18/22 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dr. King was most known for his contributions to the American Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s. Did you know that Dr. King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin? He entered Morehouse College at the age of 15 and he was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology. Learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at www.americorps.gov

2/1/22 is the Chinese New Year. It celebrates the lunar year of the Tiger zodiac sign. The lunar calendar is about 354 days long and is based on the moon’s 12 phases. The Chinese New Year is an annual festival that continues for 15 days or until the following full moon. Dumplings are one of many foods eaten for good luck. Learn more about the Chinese New Year at www.Chinesenewyear.net

3/17-3/18/22 is the Hindu Holi Holiday which is one of the most famous festivals in India. It begins at sundown on 3/17 and lasts until sundown 3/18. Holi traditionally celebrates the victory of good over evil and the end of winter and beginning of spring. It is also known as the Festival of Colors. Learn more about the Holi Holiday at https://www.holifestival.org/holi-calendar.html
Recommended Readings
“Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America”
by Mamie Till-Mobley

“Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces”
by Karen Catlin

“Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World”
by Rachel Ignotofsky
DEI Committee Members

Chair
Sharón Turner

Trevor Ankeny | Dani Bressler | Dena Calo | Rich Henneberry | Rochelle Jackson |
Elisabeth Kirk | Kristy Myers | Kara Permisohn | Beverly Willis
The IREM Maryland Chapter 16 recognizes that there is strength in diversity and is committed to cultivating and promoting an ethical culture where differences are celebrated. We are committed to ensuring that members, industry partners, staff, and guests are valued, respected, and provided access to opportunities regardless of race, age, gender identities, sexual orientation, creed, national origin and/or (dis)abilities. Discrimination and inequality are not acceptable; therefore, we encourage all members to listen and learn as we take this journey together and provide ongoing support to disassemble systemic discrimination.