Your Quarterly DEI news & updates
Q3 2022
Hello Fellow IREM members –

At the beginning of each DEI Committee meeting, members check their emotions on the Courageous Conversation Compass to determine which quadrant they identify with. This often guides the subjects of our courageous conversations. Meetings offer a safe space to unpack what’s on our minds and in our hearts to learn from each other judgement and bias free.

At the April 19th Dinner, Drinks and DEI event, we had a fun evening mingling and learning about biases and that they are normal. To keep biases in check is fundamental to treating everyone fairly and respectfully. Strategies such as challenging stereotypes, self-awareness, noticing the behaviors of others, looking for alternative points of view, and spending time with different people can be effective to reduce the effect of unconscious bias. In the words of the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, “I think unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at.” I agree with Judge Ginsberg but believe it’s achievable with intentional work. 

IREM MD 16’s membership is committed to providing educational and enjoyable opportunities for us to navigate our journey to disassemble systemic discrimination. We had fun attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and supporting the REstart initiative. We hope that you be able to join us on July 15th for a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Finally, the DEI committee would like to thank everyone for your continued support. The committee is constantly growing (15 members strong) thanks to Sherraine Rawlins (Chapter 92) and to Sara Grimet (LUX) who recently joined our family. Everyone is welcomed to visit a committee meeting. Drop in for a “listen, learn and lead” session to better understand yourself and the perspectives or experiences of others. 

DEI members strive to be the beacons of change. If you have additional ideas or suggestions for the DEI Committee, let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Sharón Turner – DEI Committee Chair – Leading with passion and purpose to make impactful changes.
July Begins the Islamic New Year!
The Muslim lunar calendar has been observed for 1,440 years. It is about 11 days shorter than the solar, Gregorian calendar and each month starts with the sighting of the new moon. 
 
The Islamic New Year 2022 - also known as the Arabic New Year or Hijri New Year 1444 is the first day of Muharram marking the start of this calendar. It will be celebrated in the U.S. on Friday, July 29th at sundown. Muharram is known as the month of remembrance and is sacred to Muslims around the world. The word Hirji means migration which relates to the Prophet Muhammad who led his people to avoid religious persecution in 622 AD. They fled from Meca to Yathrib, now known as Medina.
 
While no big celebration takes place in most Muslim-majority nations, many declare a public holiday to commemorate the occasion. These include the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. 
 
Muharram is an important religious and cultural event, so asking Muslim friends about the significance of Muharram can be an interesting learning lesson. Muslims themselves could also share stories, ideas and feelings with others, to mark the Islamic New Year. Learn more about the Islamic New Year 1444 at https://nationaltoday.com/islamic-new-year/

Contributor: Rich Henneberry, American Real Estate Partners
International Day of the World's Indigenous People
Every year on August 9th the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed. This is to raise awareness and protect the rights of their populations around the globe. Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures with ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic, and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.

There are an estimated 476 million indigenous peoples in the world living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5% of the world's population, but account for 15% of the poorest people. Indigenous peoples are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty compared to their non-indigenous counterparts. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. At least 40% of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are at some level of endangerment. But indigenous languages are particularly vulnerable because many of them are not taught at school or used in the public sphere.

Did you know that more than 86% of indigenous peoples globally work in the informal economy, compared to 66% for their non-indigenous counterparts? Globally, 47% of all indigenous peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is even wider for women. Without better communication of these issues, Indigenous people cannot be given the equality and equity they deserve. Learn more about international Day of the World’s Indigenous People at https://www.un.org/en/observances/indigenous-day

Contributor: Sharón Turner, CPM, Enterprise Community Asset Management
September is the Start of National Hispanic Heritage Month
In the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month begins Thursday, September 15 and ends on Saturday, October 15, 2022. The purpose is for us to celebrate the successes of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. There’s a focus on history, culture, and contributions from those who have and still do inspire others. 

The observation began in June 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week as introduced by California Congressman George E. Brown. It wasn’t until August 17, 1988, that the law to enact Hispanic Heritage Month was approved by President Ronald Reagan. September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries such as Cost Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This is important to note our nation’s diversity of Latinos. 

Parades, concerts, and food fairs are common ways to celebrate the month. You can also celebrate by supporting Hispanic or Latinx-Owned businesses, take a Latin dance class (Eg. Salsa, Tango, Flamenco), enjoy a Hispanic cocktail (Eg. Palomas, Pisco Sour, Crema de Vie), visit a museum exhibit, or watch a Spanish-language movie. Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month at https://nationaltoday.com/hispanic-heritage-month/

Contributor: Kara Permisohn, Minkoff Company
Did You Know?
In 1971, Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day to remind us of the struggles women faced in the past, face in the present and will face in the future. On March 31, 1776: future first lady Abigail Adams made a plea in a letter to her husband, Founding Father John Adams, and the Continental Congress to “remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors...If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/womens-history-us-timeline
9/5/22 is Labor Day. Did you know that before Labor Day became a federal holiday, it was only recognized by individual states, Oregon being the first to do so on February 21, 1887. It wasn’t until June 28, 1894, that Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history
9/25-9/26/22 is Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, is the start of the Jewish New Year and lasts 10 days. Those 10 days provide Jews with time to reflect on the last year and commit to making necessary changes for the future. It’s customary to wish people a sweet and good New Year. This period ends with another holy holiday, the Day of Atonement Yom Kippur. https://www.chabad.org
Suggested Readings
“Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine” by Olivia Campbell

“An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

“You Will Not Replace Us!” by Renaud Camus

“The 1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones

“White Space, Black Hood - Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality” by Sheryll Cashin
Contribute to the 4th Quarter Newsletter
Here are some upcoming themes for our next newsletter. We welcome new contributors! If you have something to add, or would like to author an article contact Kara Permisohn at kpermisohn@minkoff.com or Rochelle Jackson rjackson@foulgerpratt.com.

Feature Articles (Write 200-250 words)
  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • November is Native American Heritage Month
  • 12/26/22-1/1/23 is Kwanza

Did You Know? (Write 50-75 words)
  • 10/4-10/5/22 is Yom Kippur
  • 10/11/22 is National Coming Out Day
  • 10/24/22 is Diwali
  • 11/11/22 is Veterans Day
  • 11/20/22 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • 11/24/22 is Thanksgiving Day
  • 12/8-12/26/22 is Hanukkah
  • 12/25/22 is Christmas Day
DEI Committee Members

Chair
Sharón Turner

Trevor Ankeny | Dani Bressler | Dena Calo | Carrie Ehart | Sarah Grimet
Rich Henneberry | Rochelle Jackson | Dena Jordan | Theresa Keysar | Elisabeth Kirk
Tikia Neblett | Kara Permisohn |Sherraine Rawlins | 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.