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Getting Real about Workforce Diversity

Speech transcript on “Real About Diversity” first delivered to the Tri-State Human Resource Management Association Diversity Program (October 26, 2012). Learn more about this keynote & view presentation slides here.

Until I did it for me

I ponder the numbers a lot these days. —25 years of service in human resource management, overseeing employment of thousands of people.  Yet I never came across a job candidate who was deaf or hard of hearing that was apparent or known to me.  And I never, not even once, directed workplace accommodations or otherwise assisted an employee who I knew to be deaf or severely hard of hearing. Of that great honor, I had zero experience.

Until I did it for me! Since losing hearing in June 2010, I served as Vice President of Human Resources and lived the experience in the workplace.  Oh what humble paradox that this was my stock-in-trade!

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Illuminations Forevermore

John Adams’ Illuminations

“The day will be the most memorable in America.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward, forevermore.”  -John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, after the Continental Congress proclaimed the American colonies independent from Britain.

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John Adams’ “illuminations” always resonated with me. I absolutely positively love fireworks in an over-the-top patriotic childlike sort of way. Few entertainment venues inspire me more than a grand display of pyrotechnic missiles exploding in shimmering sparkles of magnesium dust across the steely sky. Read more