2022 DEI Q2 Newsletter

Newsletter ,

Your Quarterly DEI News & Updates

Q2 2022

Hello Fellow IREM members –

The DEI committee members gathered for a fun evening and painted the iconic Bansky piece entitled “Girl with Balloon,” which has been interpreted as a sign of hope. We selected this picture to symbolize our aspirational desire to move the needle each day to make the world a better place through understanding, accepting, and appreciating our differences.  The committee is now 13 members strong. Welcome aboard - Carrie Ehart, Dena Jordan, Theresa Keysar and Tikia Neblett! The membership is committed to providing educational and enjoyable opportunities for us to navigate our journey to disassemble discrimination. We have on tap many ideas and programming events to to create a platform for open and courageous conversations, visits to museums, and guest speakers to discuss a plethora of topics. The dates will be announced for these upcoming events. 
We look forward to seeing you at the April 19th Dinner, Drinks and DEI event at Busboys and Poets in Columbia, Maryland. This will be fun evening to learn more about DEI and biases from Kia Silver Hodge, our guest presenter. Please plan to join us as we collectively, member by member, continue to be the beacon 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

AAPI or Asian American and Pacific Islander is an acronym used to refer to people of Asian, Asian American or Pacific Island ancestry. Asian ancestry typically refers to people from such countries as China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and other countries. While Pacific Islander typically refers to people from countries or islands such as Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Guam, Fiji, and others. Each of these regions with very distinct cultures and languages.

The month of May was selected to commemorate 2 significant events. The arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the US on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, which was primarily built by Chinese immigrants.
In May we honor the various AAPI cultures, and the contributions made to the fabric of the American life. It is also a good time to reflect upon the injustices and hardships inflicted upon the AAPI communities and consider ways to show respect and advocate for safety and equity for all. This May consider educating yourself on new cultures, check in on your AAPI friends, or dine at your favorite Asian-owned restaurant.
Learn more about AAPI Heritage Month at:
Contributor: Trevor Ankeny, Kimco Realty 

Many of us have heard the word Juneteenth but never really understood what it meant. In 2021, President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Aside from it now being a holiday, do you know the importance of Juneteenth?

The Juneteenth holiday signifies the end of slavery, also known as African American Emancipation Day. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official on January 1, 1863. However, it wasn’t until over 2 years later, June 19th, 1865, that Union Troops reached Texas with the news that the enslaved were now free. The message read, "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."
 
Why it took 2 years for the news to reach Texas has been debated over the years.  What we do know is that this news brought about a chance for slaves to reunite with families and start their lives as free men and women. Being free for the first time did bring its challenges but celebrating the day slaves were freed in Texas helped to ease these challenges and relieve some anxieties caused by their new lives. It’s a day for education, reflection, self-improvement, and remembrance. These celebrations are stronger today than ever with many cities across the country creating activities to celebrate African American Freedom. Learn more about Juneteenth at https://www.juneteenth.com/
Contributor: Dani Bressler; Toepfer Construction Co., Inc.
April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological developmental disability that affects social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and non-verbal communication. People with ASD are often highly intelligent and functional in the workplace with equitable accommodations. https://www.autism.org/
Ramadan is April 2 - May 2, 2022. This ninth month of the Islamic calendar is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. The annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon and is 10-12 days earlier each year of a 33-year cycle. 
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ramadan
May is Older Americans Month (OAM). The 2022 theme is Age My Way, focusing on the opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities as well as stay in their homes and live independently for as long as possible. 
https://acl.gov/oam/2022/older-americans-month-2022
Cinco de Mayo does not signify Mexico’s Independence Day. May 5, 1862 was the day of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. Celebrations include parades, food, music, folk dancing, and battle reenactments.
https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo#cinco-de-mayo-history
The Tulsa Massacre occurred May 31st and June 1st of 1921. In the 18-hour massacre, a white mob attacked residents, homes and businesses in the thriving and predominantly black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa Oklahoma also known as Black Wall Street. The event remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. 
https://www.britannica.com/event/Tulsa-race-massacre-of-1921
June is LGBTQIA + Pride Month. Are you familiar with what the acronym stands for? https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/
LGBTQIA + terms
Lesbian – Women with a sexual attraction to women
Gay – Attraction to the same gender
Bisexual – Attraction to both genders
Transgender – People whose gender identity is different than what was assigned to them at birth
Queer or Questioning – Broad term used for those outside of the heterosexual norm
Intersex – People born with a mix of male and female biology
Asexual – People that do not feel sexual attraction
Some other terms commonly used hence the (+):
Cisgender – Corresponding to the sex assigned at birth
Pansexual – Attracted to others regardless of their gender
Non-binary – Not relating to traditional male/female or homosexual/heterosexual roles
Genderqueer – People that do not subscribe to traditional gender distinctions
“Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
“The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein
“Out of Place” by Edward Said
“The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle” by Lillian Faderman
Chair
Sharón Turner
Trevor Ankeny | Dani Bressler | Dena Calo | Carrie Ehart | Rich Henneberry
Rochelle Jackson | Dena Jordan | Theresa Keysar | Elisabeth Kirk
Tikia Neblett | Kara Permisohn | Beverly Willis