January 2019
Issue #3


This month in Speaking of Diversity ...an insightful Q & A with Ilan Rodriquez , Milton Academy's Director of Student Multicultural Programming; we take a unique look through the eyes of the award-winning photographer, Angélica Dass at the subtleties of skin color ; we've included a topical article on how " Racism is a National Security Issue" ; we find out what Merriam-Webster 2018's "Word of the Year," is, and why; and in light of the controversy at Starbucks and the subsequent follow-up diversity training, there is an article from a Princeton Alum about what she learned "Teaching Baristas about Bias."

We hope you will find these useful and relevant to your work and daily life.

Do you have an article or video you think might be good for our audience? Please let us know. We do value your feedback and we look forward to continuing the conversation.

Thank you again for your interest,

Todd Logan
Creator | Executive Producer | bio
The Defamation Experience
"The Defamation Experience helped our students navigate the social issues of our time and exemplified how to have healthy conversations around highly charged topics.”

Ilan Rodriquez
Dialogue On Diversity

Q&A with Ilan Rodriquez
Director of Student Multicultural Programming
Milton Academy, Milton, MA

This month, Ilan Rodriguez talks about his background, Milton Academy’s goals and objectives regarding diversity and inclusion, and how The Defamation Experience fit into the school’s mission of “diversity, inclusion and belonging.”

"Our school motto is “Dare to be true” and by embracing diversity and the pursuit of excellence, we foster an environment where students develop competence, confidence and character.  Building community, promoting cross-cultural dialogue, giving voice and respecting people representing a breadth of identities is part of our common educational commitment." 

Dialogue On Diversity, a conversation with leaders in the field of diversity and inclusion, is designed to help better understand the issues they face in today’s challenging times.

 "We still live in a world where the color of our skin not only gives a first impression, but a lasting one that remains."
Challenging The Myth of Race

By Angélica Dass, Artist & Photographer,
Creator, HUMANÆ Project & Founder, HUMANÆ I nstitute

Angélica is an award-winning photographer living in Madrid, Spain. Her photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. In this personal talk, hear about the inspiration behind her portrait project, Humanæ, and her pursuit to document humanity's true colors rather than the untrue white, red, black and yellow associated with race.

Photo Credit Jon Elswick AP
Photo Credit:
Jon Elswick/AP

The photo above shows copies of Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the U.S. political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues. 
It’s Time to Face the Facts: Racism is a National Security Issue

By Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel,
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The Washington Post
December 18, 2018

Sherrilyn is the President and Director-Counsel,
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

"This is hardly the first time our adversaries have identified race and racism as America’s great vulnerability. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union frequently pointed to segregation and civil unrest as proof of American hypocrisy...Civil rights are essential to our national security, but national security cannot be the chief rationale for pursuing civil rights. After all, racial injustice is not just another chink in our armor. It is the great flaw in our character. Our adversaries know that race makes us our own worst enemy. It is past time we learn this hard truth ourselves..."

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
‘Justice’ Prevails as 2018 Word of the Year

By  Dan Levin, New York Times, Dec. 17, 2018

In choosing the noun, Merriam-Webster said it was looked up on its website 74 percent more often than in 2017.

“For many reasons and for many meanings, one thing’s for sure: justice has been on the minds of many people in 2018,” the company said in a statement, explaining that the word, often as a concept or used as a legal term, “was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year...”

Illustration Credit:
Mengxin Li
What I Learned: Teaching Baristas About Bias

By Lori Alexis McGill-Johnson ’93
Princeton Alumni Weekly
January 9, 2019

Lori is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Perception Institute. She has taught courses on race, urban development, power, poverty, and social movements at Yale and Wesleyan universities.

"Luckily, our brains, like muscles, can be strengthened to build a new fairness practice — one that allows us to recognize people both as members of the social groups with which they identify and as unique individuals. Institutions, including our corporate citizens, must bear the responsibility to change policies and practices to limit our reliance on implicit biases to make decisions. But institutions are made up of people who must do their part, too — it just takes training."

THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE is a unique interactive diversity program in three parts: a courtroom drama, an audience deliberation, and a post-show discussion.

The Defamation Experience is an ideal Diversity Program appropriate for a myriad of diverse audiences including Corporations, Colleges, Universities, High Schools, Law Schools, Bar Associations, Civic, Cultural and Religious Organizations. Discover why countless diversity & inclusion experts are calling it one of the most relevant and compelling programs they have ever scheduled.

MIDWEST: September 23 - October 6
MID ATLANTIC: October 14 - 27 
NEW ENGLAND: October 28 - November 10

To find out how you can bring THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE to your venue, contact Managing Producer, Kimm Beavers at defamationtheplay.kimm@gmail.com
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