Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tangents- Diversity, role models, and women

I was in a meeting earlier today at work and the subject of "diversity training" came up. Some say that it's a waste of time because people either understand it, and get it, and don't need the training OR they have closed minds and won't go to trainings either. However, as someone else in the meeting pointed out sometimes diversity sneaks up on us. Do I think of Polish-American history as "diversity training"? Well, I don't know. Usually when I think of "diversity training" I think of GLBT issues, black/Asian/Latino issues, or Judaic issues. I don't always think of age, weight, European things etc. And since I consider myself to be open-minded, I might not sign up for a diversity training anyway.

However, I'm one of the lucky ones. It's only been within my lifetime, or close to it, that people of color, women, and gays and lesbians have seen equal rights. The Civil Rights movement happened just before I was born. E.R.A. was happening in the '70s when I was a child. Same sex marriages are still being argued for in the States today.

So after that meeting I went to our staff intranet and saw a posting for an event at the National Yiddish Book Center that got my attention. On the list of speakers is Sonia Manzano. She's not Jewish or Yiddish, but she's coming to the area with some others as part of a program called "Selected Shorts". Most of us know Sonia as "Maria" from Sesame Street, and her daughter Gabriela has been on the show as well. Sonia is a woman who has done some great stuff, and is truly a role model. As a Hispanic on Sesame Street in the 70s, she was part of an interracial cast that was part of the foundation of the show. She's won Emmys and other awards for nearly 40 years. So here's a tribute to Sonia, well not really a tribute. Just some links, and a nod of the head toward everyday women like her who aren't always on the "A" list of celebrities, but who have done amazing things.


Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm
Becoming Americans
Part of the Fall Encounter Weekend

Host Isaiah Sheffer, Sonia Manzano ("Maria" from Sesame Street) and Laura Esterman perform stories by immigrant writers.

The National Yiddish Book Center
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building
1021 West Street
Amherst, MA
Phone: 413-256-4900
Tickets: $15

And here she is blogging for Obama--

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