Q1 | 2024 Edition

Happy New Year Fellow IREM Members!

“Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start almost invisibly or arrive with a big bang. They hold the promise of new lessons to be learned, new territory to be explored, and other lessons to be recalled, practiced, and appreciated. Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear, and hope.” – Melody Beattie – Journey to the Heart

Melody Beattie is a great author, and her message is so appropriate. 2023 was a challenging year with many tragedies and atrocities, some of which are lingering, and others are in the rearview mirror. The holiday season was filled with many bright lights in various cultures and communities to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. We love how some communities did not extinguish their lights and are keeping them on display throughout the year as a glimmer of hope for positive change.

The IREM Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee continues to be a beacon of light for understanding so that we can celebrate our differences. We held our first virtual “Chat and Chew” on the topic of Misgendering: What it is and why it matters. Catherine Hyde was the presenter and provided excellent content and dialogue that left our members feeling engaged and wanting to learn more. The committee’s focus in 2024 is to continue to provide a safe, judgment-free platform for courageous conversations to foster inclusiveness. We will also continue to educate through immersive experiences, such as visiting museums and bringing in additional guest speakers. Stay on tap for upcoming events. We are open to suggestions for topics you’d like to hear more about.

As always, thanks again for your support and we hope that you enjoy this new season and cycle. We look forward to learning and growing with you in the upcoming year!

Sharón Turner and Dani Bressler – DEI Committee Chairs – Leading with passion and purpose to make impactful changes.

Feast of


Epiphany and Christmas showcase diverse cultural traditions around the world. Both are observed in distinct ways in various cultures. The true 12 Days of Christmas begin on the 25th of December and extend for 12 days ending on January 6th, the Epiphany. While Christmas...


Happy Birthday

Tammy Baldwin!

On February 11, 1962, Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin was born in Madison, Wisconsin. Baldwin’s grandparents raised her because her mother suffered from mental illness, chronic pain, and drug abuse. She’s most well known for having been the first openly LGBTQIA+ Woman...




Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist, was born Araminta Ross, in March of 1822 (although some believe she may have been born as early as 1820) in Dorchester County, Maryland. Born to enslaved parents Harriet Green and Ben Ross, she was put to work at a very young age. Tubman’s...


Did You Know?

Louis Braille’s birthday is January 4, 1809. He was a French educator and inventor of the system of writing for the sightless. At the young age of 15, he created the 6-dot embossed code which relays words and phonetic sounds in various combinations. Later Braille adapted the system to musical...

In commemoration of Buddha’s death and the entrance into Nirvana, Buddhist celebrate Nirvana Day on either February 8th or 15th. The majority of Buddhist worldwide celebrate Nirvana Day on February 15th. It is commonly celebrated by remembering lost family members, reading a book on...

People in Ireland have been observing Saint Patrick on March 17th, the anniversary of his death, since around the ninth or tenth centuries. The day celebrates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland with religious services and feasts to honor him. The first Saint Patrick’s Day parade took...


Suggestive Readings

To learn more about topics in this issue click here.

St. Patrick's Day

Three Kings, Ten Mysteries: The Secrets of Christmas and Epiphany” by Grzegorz Gorny, Janusz Rosikon

LGBTQ Americans in the U.S. Political System: An Encyclopedia of Activists, Voters, Candidates, and Officeholders

by Jason Pierceson

Harriett Tubman: The Road to Freedom" by Catherine Clinton

Contribute to the 2024 2nd Quarter Diversity Digest.

We welcome new contributors! Feature articles contain 200-250 words. Did You Know? topics run 50-75 words. If you have a topic to add, or would like to author an article, contact Kara Permisohn [email protected] | 301-252-3845 c.

Diversity Digest Contributors

Committee Chair Sharón Turner

Committee Co-Chair Dani Bressler

Diversity Digest EditorKara Permisohn


Dani Bressler | Elisabeth Kirk | Tikia Neblett

Kara Permisohn | Sharón Turner

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. 

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