Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke, Founder of #metoo – a Movement for Empathy and Empowerment

TIME magazine recognized the Silence Breakers for their forthcoming statements about sexual harassment in their work settings. All entertainers and high-profile women have advocated by raising their collective voices for the benefit not only of themselves but of other women and girls. But more than 10 years ago, Tarana Burke, began the social movement with women of color in the South and other major cities. An African American woman, she knew at the time that she was not alone in her experiences of sexual harassment and began to reach out, particularly to other women of color. Today, she continues her advocacy at a grass roots level, engaging women often left in silence.

In the November AAG newsletter, we noted that, surveys report that roughly 25% of all women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace [1]. Perhaps the statistics of non-celebrities were buried in the article because colleagues asked me about how sexual harassment affected women of color and blue-collar women. So that these facts are not overlooked, we have decided to restate the data this month.

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The Historic Pervasiveness of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Normalizing discussions of mental health in the workplace has increased over the last 10–15 years as the stigma of seeing a mental health practitioner has also decreased. Although this statement cannot be generalized to all workplaces, employers in-general have concerns about employee productivity, absenteeism, demeanor, and overall participation as a contributor. A constellation of these behaviors may be a signal of mental health distress or other distractors from the employee’s personal life. Of course, behaviors that overall reduce productivity are financial costs to the organization.

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Mindfulness to Maximize Workplace Performance

During the last 20-25 years, we have witnessed attention to various methodologies to enhance workplace productivity and efficiency. Among strategies are workshops to enhance teamwork and communications, improvement in relationships informed by inclusive diversity expectations, and the promotion of wellness. Related to wellness are programs designed to integrate mind, body, and spirit for more intentional focus and output. Mindfulness is one such strategy.

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Latinx Realities in the Future of Higher Education and the Workplace

“Hispanic” Heritage Month started out as Hispanic Heritage week with legislation signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. Twenty years later, on August 17, 1988, President Ronald Reagan authorized PL-100-402, establishing the month-long celebration—September 15-October 15. The intent is to recognize and celebrate the contributions of persons of Latinx-heritage in the U.S.

Though the terms Hispanic and Latina/o are still used, in contemporary discourse, Latinx is the recommended term because it is a gender-neutral term conveying inclusivity. Latinx also affirms the socio-cultural and political awareness of the youth and young adults who represent the future of higher education and the workforce. A few facts highlight these Latinx realities.

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PRIDE Month from an Historical to a Contemporary Evolution

The recognition of PRIDE month may seem like a fact of everyday life in U.S. society. However, most will know that this was not always the case. With this posting, we would like to highlight a few important historical leaders and events that have led to the strength of the LGBTQ+ movement and a more open recognition of gay and lesbian employees, students, and community leaders.

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Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month: Multiple Contributions across Multiple Sectors

June is Immigrant Heritage Month, thus, it is very appropriate to celebrate the many contributions of immigrants to the country’s prosperity. Throughout this month, immigrant stories or narratives have been posted on #imanimmigrant, Facebook, and other social media outlets. These are inspiring accounts of women and men from different countries establishing themselves as entrepreneurs, service and agricultural workers, and college graduates with professional positions in different industries.

In this newsletter, we provide a few noteworthy facts about immigrants, both authorized and unauthorized, as well as trends about future immigrant growth.

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Recognizing Mental Health Stressors in the Workplace

Have you had the following thoughts or shared these sentiments with friends and family?

  • My job is extremely stressful.
  • The yelling in the workplace causes me stress.
  • Work gives me headaches.
  • I don’t think my supervisor has any idea about how demanding s/he can be.

Job or workplace stress is regularly used to describe how one feels at the end of the day.  Though many of us do not punch time clocks any more, we may still feel the pressure of more complicated assignments, the challenge of working on teams, or what we consider excessive demands that may keep us at work beyond the typical workday.

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