Book Bridge Project Concludes with Author's Visit
By John Medina III
Photos by Ernie Branson
The fifth and final public forum of the Diversity Book Bridge Project was held recently by the NIH Office of Equal Opportunity. The forum featured Bebe Moore Campbell, author of the novel Brothers and Sisters, who read passages from her book. The reading and discussion session that followed focused on the concept of managing diversity and its relevance and impact on the NIH community.
The Diversity Book Bridge Project was introduced to the NIH community as part of the Workplace Diversity Initiative, an integral part of OEO's longterm strategy to better manage diversity in the workplace. Book Bridge uses literature as a tool to discuss diversity issues. Brothers and Sisters explores diversity issues such as sexual harassment, welfare-to-work programs, differences in a diverse workforce, affirmative action and gender relationships. The main goal of the project was to examine the challenges and opportunities NIH faces as a diverse workforce by reading and discussing similar issues described in the novel.
Also, the 1999 NIH Champions of Diversity were recognized for the first time and honored for their commitment to fostering an inclusive work force that promotes respect for diversity. The champions of diversity include Dr. Harold Slavkin, NIDCR director, for demonstrating outstanding leadership of trans-NIH activities designed to raise awareness and respect for diversity as well as for chairing the NIH committee for recruitment of a diverse workforce; Dr. George Counts, NIAID associate director for clinical research, for his outstanding leadership and contributions as the first chairperson of the NIH Diversity Council; Donald Poppke, NLM executive officer, for holding visible roles relative to diversity including the vice-chair and chair of the NIH Diversity Council, and for taking an active leadership role on the NLM Diversity Council; and Mishyelle Croom, EEO manager, and Carroll Hanson, diversity catalyst, both of NHLBI, for development and implementation of an inhouse training module on diversity for NHLBI employees. Naomi Churchill, OEO director, also presented NIH deputy director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein with a champion of diversity medal for her continuous dedication to all aspects of diversity management and for her faithful attendance at all the book bridge forums.
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